LGBTIQ+ Equality and Inclusion in Education

We are committed to providing a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students and staff. This includes people who are same-sex attracted, gender diverse or intersex.

‘LGBTIQ+’ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Non-Binary, Gender Diverse, Intersex, Queer and Questioning. It’s an inclusive umbrella abbreviation which encompasses a range of diverse sexual orientations, genders and sex characteristics. The ‘+’ sign is generally used to represent genders and sexual orientations outside of the letters LGBTIQ. The ‘LGBTIQ+’ acronym is widely used and has been adopted by all Tasmanian Government Departments because it is recognisable by many and is inclusive of diverse expressions of body, relationship, gender and biological sex.

We have a long and proud history of fostering LGBTIQ+ inclusion in Tasmanian schools. This work began in 1997 with initiatives such as:

  • the formation of the LGBTIQ+ Strategic Issues in Education Working Group
  • the recognition of same-sex relationships in the teacher transfer policy 
  • the first edition of the Sexuality and Gender Guidelines to help schools be more inclusive.

This work has continued ever since, making Tasmania and DECYP a leader in LGBTIQ+ school inclusion.

The 2018–2021 Department of Education Strategic Plan,  Learners First: Every Learner, Every Day, was a shared commitment to inspire and support all learners to succeed as connected, resilient, creative and curious thinkers. This vision is supported by our values of Respect, Aspiration, Courage and Growth. The updated 2022-2024 Strategic Plan took effect from 1 January 2022 and includes explicit reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

LGBTIQ+ Strategic Issues in Education Working Group

The DECYP LGBTIQ+ Strategic Issues in Education Working Group (Working Group) has guided, supported and advised the department in relation to LGBTIQ+ issues in education since 1997.

Working group members include representatives from the Department for Education, Children and Young People, Catholic Education Tasmania, Independent Schools Tasmania, and LGBTIQ+ organisations and community members.

The primary responsibilities of the Working Group are to guide, support, and advise the department in relation to LGBTIQ+ issues in education, including, but not limited to:

  • Recommending and assisting with tasks relating to LGBTIQ+ issues in education which align with department policy and will assist in providing safe and supportive learning environments for all LGBTIQ+ students, staff and families.
  • Providing advice when appropriate on national documents such as the Australian Curriculum and other relevant policy documents.
  • Considering and providing advice on matters presented by any member to the Working Group.
  • Providing advice on specific initiatives or policies relevant to LGBTIQ+ issues in education as they arise.
  • Assist the department with specific tasks in relation to LGBTIQ+ issues in education as assigned by the Secretary.

The Working Group has developed the Supporting Sexuality, Sex and Gender Diversity in Schools Policy.

The Working Group has also contributed to the development of the Inclusive Language Guidelines.

Student support

Every student has the right to feel safe and respected at school regardless of their background, circumstances or experiences. We are committed to supporting every learner, every day.

We have a responsibility to our learners to provide them with the tools to live a fulfilling and productive life. To achieve this, positive wellbeing is a critical component. Support and guidance is available to inform improvement planning in relation to the Wellbeing Goal.

For more information see the:

Respectful behaviour in Tasmanian Government schools is critical to creating and maintaining a safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment.

Schools work hard to create and maintain safe, supportive, positive and inclusive environments where all students can engage in their learning with confidence and optimism. This is done by using a range of ways to:

  • promote respectful relationships and positive behaviour
  • prevent and respond to unacceptable behaviour, which includes discrimination, harassment and bullying.

Family support

Everyone has a shared responsibility to help create safe and supportive learning environments by modelling respectful and inclusive language and behaviour; and respecting the individual wishes and needs of people, including LGBTIQ+ staff, students, and families.

Parent Fact Sheets have been developed in hard copy and online formats for parent and community member information.

Staff support

DECYP partners with community organisation Working It Out to help schools support LGBTIQ+ students and their families.

The department has developed a respectful relationships education teaching and learning package, which guides schools and communities in the explicit teaching of respectful relationships education. The resources are designed to support school communities to model positive environments and appropriate behaviours in which individuals know, understand and engage in equitable and respectful relationships.

Whole-of-Government support

The Tasmanian Government is committed to working towards an inclusive community where all Tasmanians are treated with dignity and respect and have equal access to Tasmanian Government programs and services.  This includes providing services that foster inclusion, respect and dignity for all LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians.

The  LGBTIQ+ Whole-of-Government Reference Group (GRG) has an oversight and advisory role on the implementation of the Whole of Government LGBTIQ+ Framework. In 2014, the GRG was re-formed to include non-government representatives nominated by LGBTIQ+ community organisations and review the current policy framework for LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians. The current GRG membership includes representatives from key Tasmanian Government agencies including the Department for Education, Children and Young People.

Further Support

There are a number of government and private organisations that provide information and services for LGBTIQ+ identified people including: