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Belong To School Climate Survey 2022

Experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer young people in Irish second-level schools.

In 2022, we once again partnered with the Teachers College, Columbia University, to conduct research into the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in schools across Ireland. The 2022 School Climate Survey is our second iteration of this research, with the first report published in 2019. The research examined indicators of a negative school experience, the impact of the school environment on students, and school-based supports that can improve the lives of LGBTQ+ youth. Our findings paint a bleak picture of the reality of school life for LGBTQ+ students in Ireland. An alarming 76% of LGBTQ+ students felt unsafe at school (2019: 73%). Many students reported being subjected to homophobic remarks; physical, verbal and sexual harassment, and physical and sexual assault. However, there is hope. Almost all LGBTQ+ students who responded to the survey, 99%, identified one school staff member supportive of LGBTQ+ identities (2019: 97%). The proportion of LGBTQ+ students taught positive things about LGBTQ+ identities also increased significantly, from 22% in 2019 to 36% in 2022. Our research once again found that staff intervention in instances of homophobic language, higher levels of staff support for LGBTQ+ students, and an LGBTQ+-inclusive curriculum increases feelings of safety, acceptance, and belonging among LGBTQ+ students, and reduces their likelihood of missing school. To obtain a representative national sample of LGBTQ+ young people, we engaged with our education partners, network of parents and guardians, professionals and young people, along with national and regional LGBTQ+ and youth organisations. Through increased promotion on youth platforms, TikTok and Snapchat, we achieved the largest ever research sample of LGBTQ+ young people in schools in Ireland. The final sample consisted of 1,208 LGBTQ+ students, representing all 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland (2019: 788).