As of Term 1 next year, NSW schools will teach students in Years eight to 10 about how to recognise – and possibly prevent – domestic violence in their households.
Paul Hewitt from the Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards told The Moree Champion the plan already had “strong community support”.
“There is a lot of strong community support. Even though this new amendment is small it will be significant to Moree,” Hewitt said.
The amendment to the syllabus was made after a change.org campaign was carried out by a 14-year-old student whose mother committed suicide due to domestic violence.
The girl wrote a detailed letter to the NSW Education Department saying she was unaware of what was going on in her household, explaining if she was educated more on the issues she would have been able to help her mum.
Adam Marshall, Member for Northern Tablelands, said schools must equip their students with the knowledge to identify the warning signs of domestic violence so they can take action.
“Knowledge and awareness in these situations is power and the skills students learn could help them identify a dangerous situation, realise the risks and contact the appropriate authorities,” Marshall said.
“Our local schools already give an enormous amount to support the wellbeing of all students; in fact, many use their additional equity (Gonski) funds to run programs targeting bullying and domestic violence, coupled with school support officers and welfare teachers.”
Marshall said that while he supported the classes, the NSW curriculum was “very crowded” and the new additions to the syllabus shouldn’t come at the expense of other educational outcomes.
The changes to the syllabus will be introduced to schools in the first term of 2016.