Resolving Issues Concerning Objections

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

​​Purpose of this topic

To provide guidance to ensure that schools respond reasonably and respectfully to objections about the use of specific curriculum resources.

Guidelines

Schools must:

  • ensure the objection is provided to the principal
  • establish the basis for an objection to curriculum resources
  • at all times demonstrate respect for the views of objectors
  • determine the ground of an objection by referring to the selecting teaching and learning resources guidelines and not imply agreement with the objection during this process
  • make every effort to resolve objections to the use of specific curriculum resources through discussion and conciliation.

Note: Before considering any action it should be established that the objection is based on the objector feeling or believing that the material is inappropriate and will harm the student in some way.  Objections based solely on the grounds that that curriculum material is alleged to be educationally unsound or aesthetically unsound do not warrant action in relation to these Departmental policies. In the regular course of teacher-student and teacher-parent communication, teachers should discuss or explain the choice of particular materials in terms of educational value.

Process

Stage     Description
1 If the school receives an objection to the use of a curriculum resource then the school determines the basis of the objection and tries to resolve the matter through discussion with the objector. Regardless of the outcomes of this initial discussion detailed of the objections should be circulated to the relevant teacher(s), coordinator(s) and the principal for information and any necessary action.
2

If after the initial discussion the objection is not withdrawn the principal liaises with teachers and coordinators and:

when the material is then the principal
found to be offensive or obscene, regardless of educational value removes the material from the school curriculum.
reasonably held to be objectionable or inappropriate to the objector only ensures that alternative material is offered.
3 If the alternative material that has been offered and is unacceptable to the objector and the issue remains unresolved for this or any other reason then the principal refers the matter to school council. The school council considers the matter in full to determine the status of the objection in terms of the Departmental guidelines and take appropriate action.
4 The principal briefs their Regional Network Leader with decisions made by the school about the suitability of teaching and learning resources.

Related guidelines