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In schools

Relationships and sexuality education/mātauranga hōkakatanga in schools is compulsory up until year 10. Parents/mātua and caregivers can withdraw their child or they can choose to be involved in educating their young person.

Is relationships and sexuality education compulsory?

The Teaching of Sexuality Education

Relationships and sexuality education sits within the Health and Physical Education strand of The New Zealand Curriculum.

It is compulsory for New Zealand schools to teach relationships and sexuality education up until the end of Year 10. Parents have the right to withdraw their child/tamaiti from sexuality education classes. To do this they need to write to the Principal.

School Boards of Trustees must consult with their community every two years about their Sexuality Education Policy, and the content of the school's programmes.

What will young people learn in relationships and sexuality education?

In the early years young people will develop listening skills, talk about their feelings and relationships, and look at their roles within the family.

They will learn about contributing to safe environments, addressing bullying and accommodating difference. They will be able to name body parts, and identify differences between the genders.

From late primary onwards they will learn about the physical and emotional development of puberty/pūhuruhurutanga, and about reproduction and sexual behaviour. They will learn about relationships, keeping themselves sexually safe and decision-making skills.

How can parents and carers be involved?

Parents and carers can become more involved by:

  • asking their young people/rangatahi about their lessons at school
  • expressing their views and values on sex and relationships
  • answering their questions
  • participating in parent/carer workshops when the school policy is being reviewed.

You'll find more information for parents and carers in the Parents and Carers section of our website

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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