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Teaching and Learning Resources — Selecting Appropriate Materials

Resolving issues concerning objections to teaching and learning resources

Before considering any action it should be established that the objection is based on the objector feeling or believing that the teaching and learning resource is inappropriate and will harm the student in some way. Objections based solely on the grounds that the teaching and learning resources are alleged to be educationally unsound or aesthetically unsound do not warrant action in relation to these guidelines but should be managed in accordance with the school’s general complaints policy. In the regular course of teacher-student and teacher-parent communication, teachers should discuss or explain the choice of particular teaching and learning resources in terms of educational value, where relevant.

Process for responding to objections to teaching and learning resources

Stage 1

If the school receives an objection to the use of a teaching and learning 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 details of the objections should be circulated to the relevant teacher(s), coordinator(s) and the principal for information and any necessary action.

Stage 2

If after the initial discussion the objection is not withdrawn the principal liaises with teachers and coordinators and:

  • the principal considers that the teaching and learning resource is offensive or obscene, regardless of educational value, the teaching and learning resource must be removed from the school curriculum
  • the principal considers that the teaching and learning resource is objectionable or inappropriate to the objector only, and that the objection is reasonable in all circumstances, the principal ensures that an alternative teaching and learning resource is offered to the student

Stage 3

If an alternative teaching and learning resource has been offered and is unacceptable to the objector and the issue remains unresolved for this or any other reason, the principal refers the regional office in accordance with the school’s and the Department’s policy on managing parent complaints.

Guidance chapter outlining the process for responding to objections to teaching and learning resources

Reviewed 11 June 2020

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