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Notice given 21 April 2006

1698  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—Can a copy of the report into the review of the In-Home Care Program be provided; if not, why not.

 

Senator Allison: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1703-1704)—

(1) Is the Minister aware of the United Kingdom (UK) study of ‘Sex and relationship education for 13-16 year olds: Evidence from England’ conducted by the RIPPLE Study Team and reported in Sex Education , Volume 6, No. 1, February 2006.

(2) Is the Minister aware that the UK Government has, in recent years, focused on the need to improve sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools in order to reduce the rates of teenage pregnancies and the number of young people contracting sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).

(3) Given the similar rates of teenage pregnancy and STIs in Australia, does the Minister share the UK Government’s policy objective on this issue.

(4) Is the Minister aware that UK studies have thus far shown that:

(a) often little time is allocated for the delivery of SRE, it is delivered too late for many students and tends to have an overly biological focus;

(b) SRE has failed to address affective issues around emotions and relationships, attitudes or skills development;

(c) lack of time available for planning and delivery of SRE; and

(d) lack of teachers’ confidence and commitment, embarrassment and lack of training, and difficulties with implementing and monitoring a cross-curricular approach.

(5) Does the Minister consider that these may also be issues in Australia.

(6) When was the last time a study was conducted into SRE in Australian schools.

(7) What plans does the Minister have to:

(a) commission research into SRE;

(b) discuss teenage pregnancy, STIs and/or SRE with state and territory health and education ministers; and

(c) reduce the current rates of teenage pregnancies and teenage STIs.

1704 Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training