The LGBTQI Inclusion Index: a new tool to measure if learning environments are safe, non-violent and inclusive for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex students in Europe

13 March 2018

No country can achieve inclusive and equitable quality education if learners experience violence in school. Evidence shows that school violence particularly affects Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) students.  In order to measure the level of inclusion of LGBTI students in education, IGLYO - The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex (LGBTQI) Youth and Student Organization developed a LGBTQI Inclusive Education Index. The Index was launched in January 2018, during a meeting supported by UNESCO at the European Parliament. IGLYO also presented a report (preview), providing qualitative data from 43 European countries collected through the Index. The report highlights both good practices and areas for development in each country to ensure that LGBTI learners feel safe, supported and included within state educational institutions.

The findings reveal that 31 Council of Europe Member States already have anti-discrimination laws applicable to education with explicit mention of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or variation in sex characteristics as protected grounds. In 23 countries, there is evidence of well-established partnerships between the education sector, civil society organizations and other relevant service providers and organizations to ensure that schools have access to the most up to date information and guidance on LGBTI inclusion.

However, among the Council of Europe Member States, less than half (21) have action plans to explicitly prevent and address bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Only four have mandatory teacher training programmes on LGBQI awareness. Less than half (21) countries provide publicly funded information and guidelines for LGBTI learners and families on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or variations in sex characteristics. Fewer countries (18) have support systems with specific reference to or knowledge on the needs of LGBTI learners. Only in six countries, national data are collected on bullying, and disaggregated for sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and variation in sex characteristics.

Figure: Preview of total scores of 10 LGBTQI Inclusive Education Index indicators measuring the government responses to discrimination and violence in schools based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, ranging from 0 (no responses) to 100 (full responses)