Using sex education at Shepparton South Technical School (South Tech) as a prism, the purpose of this paper is to analyse the Victorian Technical Schools Division policies and practices during the 1970-1980s.
The paper draws on a documented history of South Tech by using a blended methodology consisting of interviews, media-centred debates and a range of documentary sources.
The Technical Director, Edward “Ted” Jackson's 1970 policy empowered principals as educational leaders, in partnership with their community, to develop courses responding to student needs. This paper analyses a controversy concerning sex education in 1980 that brought such courses under the scrutiny of the Victorian public.
Identifying the policies and practices of a sex education course that proved successful in the past enhances the development of contemporary courses.
Victoria's former secondary technical schools provide an important insight into current social and vocational problems.
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