As part of growing up, all children and young people will spend time exploring their identity and developing a sense of who they are.
This will include thinking about whether they experience attraction to others, who they are attracted to (their emotional, romantic and/or sexual orientation), how they feel about their gender (their gender identity), and the different ways they express their gender (gender expression).
Some children and young people will realise that they are lesbian, gay, bi, trans or queer or on the asexual or aromantic spectrum, meaning that their orientation or gender identity may be different from many of their peers. Others may be questioning their orientation and/or gender identity.
Being LGBTQ+ can feel like an extra pressure for children and young people at school, college or in their setting, depending on the extent to which staff, peers and the wider community are supportive. LGBTQ+ children and young people often worry that those around them will react negatively to who they are and they can experience high levels of bullying. This can leave children and young people feeling isolated and unable to access the support or information they need.
Schools, colleges and settings play a vital role in supporting LGBTQ+ children and young people – they can create an inclusive environment where these learners feel welcome and valued. This guide is designed to help education professionals understand and meet the needs of LGBTQ+ learners. It contains practical guidance and outlines where LGBTQ+ learners might require additional support, and highlights areas in which support might differ for lesbian, bi, and gay (LBG) learners, and trans learners. It also includes information on working with parents, carers and the wider community, in addition to signposting to further information and resources.
What would you like to know?
Read the guidance to learn how to make your school, college or setting an LGBTQ+ inclusive environment.
What do LGBTQ+ young people want schools, colleges and settings to know?
What do you need to know about LGBTQ+ children and young people?
The experiences of LGBTQ+ children and young people
What steps schools, colleges and settings required to take to be LGBTQ+ inclusive?
10 recommendations on supporting LGBTQ+ children and young people
Creating an inclusive environment
Individual support for LGBTQ+ children and young people
Working with parents, carers and the wider community
Take a look at our glossary to help you understand some of the terminology used in our guidance.