Safe Schools Coalition Victoria
Creating safe and supportive school environments
Safe Schools of Coalition Victoria (SSCV), funded by the Victorian Government and established in partnership with Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria at La Trobe University and the Foundation for Young Australians, supports sexual and gender diversity in schools. The coalition of schools and supporters is dedicated to creating safer educational environments where same sex attracted and sex and gender diverse young people are supported, every family can belong, every teacher can teach, and every student can learn.
SSCV provides training and resources for every school in Victoria to support sexual and gender diversity. The coalition recognises that a supportive and inclusive school environment is a key factor in well being and educational outcomes and a right for all young people. Any school that is a member of SSCV provides students with the opportunities and environment to have the courage to speak up and be who they are, the imagination to see a bright future and the will to make it happen.
Going to school should be straightforward: young people learning insafe and inspiring environments. However, many Australian students experience homophobia and transphobia, which affects their well being and impedes their ability to learn and stay engaged in school. Research shows that:
- Between 7 per cent and 11 per cent of young people are attracted to others of their own sex or are unsure of their sexual attraction
- 75 per cent of young people report experiencing some sort of homophobic abuse
- 80 per cent of this abuse occurs at school.
Supportive and inclusive school environments have a huge impact, with research showing that students feel safer; that young people are less likely to self harm or attempt suicide; and that they are less likely to be abused (Hillier et al., 2010).
Almost 120 Victorian schools have developed effective policies and implemented teaching practices that challenge homophobia and transphobia. This number will continue to grow as more Victorian schools join the coalition to decrease the amount of abuse experienced by same sex attracted and sex and gender diverse students. The ultimate outcome is to create a safe school environment for all young people.