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Term 2: Mates & Dates Programme 

Our school has chosen to participate in ACC’s school-based healthy relationships programme called Mates & Dates.

This letter is to provide you with information about the programme and the evaluation planned. Attendance in the programme and taking part in the evaluation are not compulsory, and any student can attend the programme lesson without having to take part in the evaluation.

If you do not want your son to attend the programme lesson, they will be placed in another class for those lessons.

About the programme:

ACC has developed Mates & Dates to help prevent dating and sexual violence. This is important given that 20% of female and 9% of male secondary school students in New Zealand report unwanted sexual contact or being made to do unwanted sexual things.

Working with young people is one of the most effective ways of preventing sexual violence. It equips them with relationship skills and behaviours they can carry with them throughout their lives.

ACC has worked with the Ministry of Education to ensure the programme aligns with curriculum, and has worked with an expert advisory group to develop the content. The programme has been fully evaluated by an independent research company.

The programme taught in each year will be appropriate for that age group and will be taught by specialist sexual violence prevention programme facilitators over five fifty minute sessions. Mates & Dates will teach each student how to have healthy relationships built on respect, negotiation and consent. It will teach them how to identify inappropriate behaviour and how to get help if they, or someone they know, are in an unhealthy relationship including how to safely intervene in situations that could lead to harm.

The programme is not a sex education programme but will include material and discussions about sexual relationship violence, consent, dating, relationships, pornography and other related subject matter.

For further information about Mates & Dates relating to helping young people have healthy relationships please see https://www.matesanddates.co.nz/

What do I need to do?

If you do not want your son to attend this programme please contact:

Andrew Auimatagi

Leader of Learning – Health & Physical Education

St Thomas of Canterbury College 

Email: aauimatagi@stc.school.nz

Phone: (03) 348–7010 (Ext 782)

If you have any questions about the programme, please don’t hesitate to contact matesanddates@acc.co.nz.