Our Watch

Skip to content

Step 1: School readiness

2 minute read time

This step is designed to ensure that you have the leadership commitment and resourcing you need and the steps you take are safe for your staff and students.

Building school readiness could take up to a year, depending on the size of your school and whether your school is already doing work to promote equality and respect. This may seem like a long time but ensuring you have the genuine understanding and commitment of school leaders will make your work more effective.

In this step, you will:

  • Build yours and your school’s understanding of the prevalence, impacts and key drivers of gender-based violence.
  • Establish a respectful relationships education implementation team which will lead your whole of school approach to promoting gender equality and respectful relationships.
  • Ensure that this team is supported in its work and adequately resourced.
  • Publicly communicate your commitment to respectful relationships education.

There are four key steps to School Readiness that should be completed prior to implementing respectful relationships education.

1. Establish a respectful relationships education implementation team

This team will lead the work internally and should have representatives from all areas within the school community, including:

  • Leadership team
  • Teaching staff
  • Non-teaching staff
  • Wellbeing team
  • Student body.

Your school may also wish to consider including the following members to support implementation:

  • Families or broader school community
  • Critical friend from a partner community organisation or service.

2. Making sure that key staff understand gender-based violence and how schools can prevent it

It’s important to make sure the all teaching and non-teaching staff understand the dynamics of gender-based violence and how to prevent it. One way to do this is to provide prevention training to build a strong shared understanding of what issues to address and key steps to take. You may also want to provide resources to staff so everyone is equipped to respond to questions, concerns and feedback.

See What is gender-based violence? for more information.

3. Ensuring your school can respond to staff who experience violence

It’s important that you consider what policies and practices need to be in place to support staff and students experiencing violence, such as paid family violence leave and appropriate referral processes to victims’ services. Every workplace should provide basic training to ensure staff can respond to colleagues who are experiencing gendered violence and sexual harassment.1

4. Secure genuine commitment from leaders

It’s worth investing time and energy to help your implementation team understand that your school has the power and responsibility to promote gender equality and that they have a role to play, as leaders and role models.

What's next?

Step 2: Engaging your school community