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Respectful Relationships and Consent at Haileybury

NEWS 9 Mar 2021

Dear Members of the Haileybury Community

Most of our community will be aware of recent discussions around consent, gender relationships and respect including a petition circulated by a former Sydney school student. The petition has called for more to be done to provide better education around consent and respectful relationships.

The petition, which has now been extended to schools across Australia, has received more than 30,000 responses. The stories are heart-breaking, harrowing and traumatic. Whilst there are calls for a nationwide response to this behaviour, we acknowledge that change begins with schools and at home.

Haileybury will meet with any student or Old Haileyburian who wants to talk through their experiences. We have our Counselling Services prepared to assist and support. They can be contacted through our Senior Vice Principal (Student Welfare), Pam Chamberlain at Heads of House and Heads of School also stand ready to support with care and expertise.

Haileybury’s mandatory education program regarding respectful relationships and consent commences at Year 4 within our own curriculum, and with the support of external providers. This is delivered through the Health and Personal Excellence Programs from Years 4–12. These programs and the associated curriculum are reviewed on an ongoing basis. All schools need to do more. In addition to the programs already in place, Haileybury will be conducting a detailed review of our respectful relationships and consent programs and their capacity to have a stronger impact.

All school leaders I have spoken to agree that all schools must be part of the solution and this cannot be seen as solely a school issue. We must work together with parents and the whole community (including governments and media) to instigate significant cultural change.

In a recent article published in The Age, Michael Parker wrote “Talk to your Child about Sexual Consent”. This included a checklist of questions that would be helpful for parents to use as a guide. The article is linked here.

Haileybury is a school where every student matters every day. This is not about one school but about a significant cultural issue which must be addressed head on. It is about, at the very least upholding the law, protecting students and more importantly, developing young men and women who will uphold dignity and respect for all.

We will continue to work with our students, staff and parents to lead change in this important area.

I will keep you updated of the progress that we make.

Yours faithfully

Derek Scott

Pam Chamberlain
Senior Vice Principal & Head of Senior Schools

  • 1800RESPECT National Service: 1800 737 732
  • Lifeline (24-hour Crisis Support): 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue Support Service: 1300 224 636