Focus Schools Program – Comprehensive Relationships and Sexual Health Education in SA Schools

SHINE SA’s Focus Schools Program is a comprehensive relationships and sexual health program for secondary schools. It is a primary prevention initiative that aims to build relationships skills, health literacy, e-safety and achieve long-term health and social outcomes.

SHINE SA recognizes that comprehensive relationships and sexual health education for young people is a shared responsibility between school, family and community. Evidence suggests that a developmentally appropriate, whole-school approach improves the sexual and reproductive health and relationship wellbeing of young people.  

Comprehensive relationships and sexual health education empowers young people to: 

  • develop the knowledge and lifelong skills to enjoy respectful relationships
  • make informed and safe decisions concerning relationships, reproduction, contraception, sexual health, and wellbeing 
  • understand where they can go for support 

The Focus Schools Program supports the prevention of: 

  • unintended pregnancy 
  • gendered violence 
  • bullying  
  • child abuse 
  • STIs, HIV and other blood borne viruses 
  • suicide in young LGBTIQ+ people 

This program works to build the capacity of schools (principals, leadership, educators and wellbeing staff) to implement a whole of school approach to relationships and sexual health education. 

What does the Focus Schools Program involve?

The Focus Schools Program involves a commitment from Department for Education secondary schools to: 

  • support educators to attend SHINE SA’s professional development/training  
  • empower their educators to deliver relationships and sexual health lessons across Years 7-10  
  • deliver the SHINE SA Relationships & Sexual Health Curriculum mapped to the Australian Curriculum 
  • provide ongoing feedback from students and staff 
  • communicate with parents/carers 
  • work towards a whole-school approach to relationships and sexual health education 
  • follow SHINE SA’s Principles of Best Practice. 

Department for Education schools with students in Years 7-10 have the opportunity to become a SHINE SA Focus School by signing an agreement with SHINE SA. 

Educators from Focus Schools complete an initial 15-hour face-to-face Teaching It Like it Is – Secondary course and are then assigned a SHINE SA Schools Coordinator to their school. Each Coordinator works with a group of schools in a geographic region. Coordinators are available to support and advise educators that are delivering lessons and provides Annual Updates to curriculum, resources or services.   

This program is funded by SA Health and delivered in partnership with the Department for Education. 

For more information about supports for primary schools and non-government schools visit Educators and Schools.  

More information 

If you have questions about the Focus Schools Program please email school-support@shinesa.org.au 

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