The LGBTQ+ Quality Mark provides a comprehensive approach to developing an LGBTQ+ safe and supportive school.
Belong To is delighted to launch recruitment for the next phase of our support and accreditation initiative for LGBTQ+ safe and supportive schools – the LGBTQ+ Quality Mark.
The LGBTQ+ Quality Mark provides a comprehensive approach to developing an LGBTQ+ safe and supportive school that includes:
- Ensuring that staff are equipped to support LGBTQ+ students.
- Creating a supportive, LGBTQ+ inclusive school culture and environment.
- Encouraging students to share their opinions and ideas on how to create a safe and supportive school.
- Developing and implementing effective school policies and plans.
- Implementing a curriculum that supports diversity and respect.
- Working with parents, community organisations and other local LGBTQ+ youth projects or groups to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Why is the LGBTQ+ Quality Mark needed?
In Ireland, 76% of LGBTQ+ students do not feel safe at school. However, research shows that effective school-based interventions can improve the lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ students.
In 2022, 57 schools embarked on the 18-month journey to become an accredited LGBTQ+ safe and supportive school.
This year, we are excited to partner with a limited number of additional post-primary schools nationwide to support them in working towards achieving the LGBTQ+ Quality Mark.
The LGBTQ+ Quality Mark has been an invaluable asset to our school community. It has provided us with the tools to assess where we are in relation to becoming a fully LGBTQ+ safe and supportive school. The resources provided are excellent in helping to educate staff and students alike. It has helped us to reach highly effective practice in this area and is a benchmark for excellence.
Niamh Sheridan (she/her) Deputy Principal, St. Joseph’s Secondary School Westmeath
What is involved?
Recognise and promote existing supports for your LGBTQ+ school community. Together we will identify the key strengths in your existing approach to LGBTQ+ inclusion. Belong To will provide training and resources on how to do this including a user-friendly toolkit which you can use to identify your strengths and areas for development.
2. Build and grow
Build on these existing supports, and grow as an LGBTQ+ safe and supportive school through inclusive practice and policies. Once the areas for development have been identified, together we can create a bespoke plan with key action areas for your school. Belong to will provide best practice recommendations in line with the Department of Education guidance along with practical ideas, suggestions and templates to support you every step of the way.
Celebrate your commitment by attaining the Belong To LGBTQ+ Quality Mark.
Once your school has demonstrated best practice across the key action areas, you can apply for your LGBTQ+ Quality Mark and become recognised across Ireland as an LGBTQ+ safe and supportive school.
The LGBTQ+ Quality Mark is a whole-school approach which focuses on the four key areas of wellbeing promotion from an LGBTQ+ perspective:
- Creating an LGBTQ+ inclusive culture and environment.
- Resourcing an LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum.
- Nurturing LGBTQ+ inclusive relationships and partnerships.
- Supporting LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and planning.