School operations

Teaching and Learning Resources — Selecting Appropriate Materials


The purpose of this policy is to outline Department policy and guidance on selecting suitable teaching and learning resources for students.


  • Schools must ensure that teaching and learning resources provide challenging and engaging learning programs for students but do not offend students or the wider school community due to their obscene, offensive or controversial nature.
  • The Department provides guidelines to inform teachers’ and principals’ decisions regarding the selection of teaching and learning resources, available on the Guidance tab.
  • These guidelines also outline how schools should respond to objections raised about the use of specific teaching and learning resources.


Principals must ensure that:

  • the school complies with the Selecting Teaching and Learning Resources Guidelines, available on the Guidance tab
  • the school community is informed of possible controversial texts prior to their use in classrooms
  • students and parents know they can raise objections to the teaching and learning resources

Teachers and principals need to ensure that the selection of teaching and learning resources:

  • considers the expected student learning outcomes and standards described in the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority curriculum framework
  • considers the particular needs of its students
  • does not expose students to highly offensive or obscene materials or themes
  • ensures that teaching and learning resources are suitable for the age group using them
  • considers the words, behaviour, images or themes of the resources in terms of the:
    • context
    • impact on the audience age group
    • literary, artistic or educational merit of the material
    • intention of the author and general character of the material

​​Principals may consult with school council or other members of the school community regarding the selection of teaching and learning resources.

To ensure that staff respond reasonably and respectfully to objections to the use of specific teaching and learning resources, schools must:

  • ensure the objection is provided to the principal
  • establish the basis for an objection
  • at all times demonstrate respect for the views of the objector
  • identify the basis of the objection by referring to the section: Resolving issues concerning objections to teaching and learning resources on the Guidance tab
  • make every effort to resolve objections to the use of specific teaching and learning resources through discussion and conciliation


Offensive or obscene material
Material about which there is a consensus that it is unacceptable.

Controversial material
Material about which opinions can differ.

Teaching and learning resources
The ‘teaching and learning resources’ referred to in the guidelines include any spoken, written or visual text or activity used or conducted by schools, for example:

  • text books
  • novels
  • films
  • plays
  • radio programs
  • multimedia
  • digital learning resources including video, audio, text, animations and images
  • lectures
  • speeches
  • performances
Department policy on selecting appropriate teaching and learning resources for students

Reviewed 24 February 2021

Policy last updated

15 June 2020


  • Schools


Arts, Assessment and Reporting Unit

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