IGLYO worked with an international group of experts to develop the first edition of the LGBTQI Inclusive Education Indicators on basis of previous research. LGBTQI learners not only need to be protected by explicit laws and policies to achieve their potential, they require other concrete practices, like confident and knowledgeable school staff, access to appropriate information and support, and an inclusive and affirming curriculum and school environment. If Member States are to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals of gender equality, good health and well-being, reduced inequalities, and quality education, schools need to be safe, inclusive and supportive of all young people.

Anti-discrimination law
applicable to education

Education should be safe and accessible for all learners. A legal framework is therefore necessary to ensure effective enjoyment of the right of education. All states should guarantee the right to education to all by explicitly tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation (SO), gender identity and expression (GIE) or variations in sex characteristics (SC) within educational settings.

Policies and action plans

National or regional policies to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all learners are crucial for outlining the necessary processes and actions that schools should follow to tackle homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and interphobia, and provide teachers and other school staff with the framework to prevent and address discrimination with confidence and support.

Inclusive national curricula

General invisibility and lack of positive representations of LGBTQI people in schools have negative consequences for all students. The affirming inclusion of LGBTQI identities and realities across curricula and learning materials ensures that teachers have many opportunities to discuss diversity. Ensuring that curricula and learning materials convey positive messages and avoid negative representations or stereotypes of LGBTQI people in specific subjects is also necessary. While there is evidence in some countries of voluntary or elective lessons on LGBTQI issues, IGLYO believes that such topics should be embedded throughout the full curriculum or, at least, be mandatory for all students. As a result, countries have been scored only on compulsory curricula.

Teacher training
on LGBTQI awareness

Teachers play a vital role in creating a safe atmosphere for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or variations in sex characteristics. Many teachers, however, still report that they lack the confidence and knowledge to discuss LGBTQI issues or support learners who are LGBTQI. A national or regional training programme for teachers and other school staff on LGBTQI awareness and inclusion is essential to translate policies into reality. As with curricula, this report documents any available data on LGBTQI awareness training for teachers in any form, but scoring is based on mandatory training only.

Gender recognition

In order to meet the needs of trans, non-binary, gender variant and intersex students, all learners should have the right to have their own name and gender marker recognised. That decision should be supported by the whole school with all documents and certificates using the chosen name and gender and the learner being able to use the gendered spaces of their choice. Legal gender recognition with self-determination has been scored in this indicator. In the longer term, IGLYO aims to report on the rights of trans, non-binary, gender variant and intersex students at school, but while self-determined legal gender recognition has yet to be achieved in most Member States, this more in-depth data is not only not available, but remains far from being a reality at this stage. IGLYO is working closely with TGEU to develop this indicator in the future

Data collection of
bullying and harassment

Monitoring the nature, prevalence and impact of violence at school is necessary to plan effective interventions to tackle homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and interphobic bullying. Bullying based on learners’ (perceived or actual) sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or variations in sex characteristics must be recorded as such to build up an accurate record of the issue within each school. Within the narrative report, any evidence of data collection was included, regardless of who collected it or if it was collected locally, regionally or nationally. To score on the Index, however, there needed to be evidence of the data being gathered directly by governments, a funded institution, or civil society organisation that received government funding to work on inclusive education.

Support systems

Teachers and school staff are responsible for the health and wellbeing of all learners. At times, LGBTQI students may require additional support and guidance, so school staff should be trained and ready to deal with any requests. Links to relevant LGBTQI youth services and groups should also be established for signposting and referrals. Furthermore, specific support for everyone affected by homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and interphobic violence should be provided. The report details all available information on support systems in each country. For the Index, countries were scored based on if the government provides support services for learners directly or funds civil society organisations who provide such services.

and guidelines

Learners should have access to information and guidance regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and variations in sex characteristics. Information should be provided in different formats, and posters and leaflets should be on display in both public and more private areas of the school , with relevant websites accessible from all school computers. This is also helpful for creating an environment that encourages greater understanding and respect from all learners. The report details all available data on information and guidelines for learners in each country. For the Index, countries were scored based on if the government provides guidance directly or funds civil society organisations who provide such information.

Partnership between
governments and civil society

Partnerships between the education sector, civil society organisations and other relevant service providers and organisations ensures that schools have access to the most up to date information and guidance on LGBTQI inclusion. LGBTQI organisations can often provide expertise on school policy, staff training, curriculum development and supporting learners. In order to do so effectively, however, such organisations require adequate funding and resources, and backing at governmental level, to carry out such work across all schools. For the Index, countries were scored based on whether governments provided funding for civil society organisations whose work included LGBTQI inclusion within education.


Homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and interphobic bullying remains a global issue and requires attention beyond local and national levels if it is to be eradicated. International commitment to the issue from Member States shows political leadership to other countries and highlights the importance of cooperation. Membership of the Governmental LGBTI Focal Points Network and the signing of the UNESCO Call for Action by Ministers on inclusive and equitable education for all learners in an environment free from discrimination and violence both highlight such commitment on LGBTQI inclusive education.

“Member states should take appropriate legislative and other measures, addressed to educational staff and pupils, to ensure that the right to education can be effectively enjoyed without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; this includes, in particular, safeguarding the right of children and youth to education in a safe environment, free from violence, bullying, social exclusion or other forms of discriminatory and degrading treatment related to sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Recommendation 2010(5)