Dublin schools acknowledged for LGBTQ+ inclusion 

by Rachel Cunningham
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Eleven schools across County Dublin were the first to be awarded the LGBTQ+ Quality Mark for their commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion at a celebratory event at The Foundry, Google Headquarters in Dublin.

These include Clonturk Community College, Coláiste Dhúlaigh, Holy Child Community School, Kingswood Community College, Loreto Crumlin, Marino College, Mercy Collge Coolock, St. Benildus College, St. Paul’s Secondary School, Sutton Park School, and Wesley College.

The post-primary schools recently finished an 18-month journey embedding LGBTQ+ inclusion across their people, policies and practices.  

The LGBTQ+ Quality Mark is run by Belong To, Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ youth organisation.

The LGBTQ+ Quality Mark initiative is a holistic approach to LGBTQ+ inclusion in post-primary schools that involves the whole school community.  

Over the course of 18 months, schools are supported in implementing evidence-based actions across a number of key areas, which research shows improves the wellbeing and safety of LGBTQ+ students.

In Ireland, 76 per cent of LGBTQ+ second-level students feel unsafe at school and homophobia, biphobia and transphobia remain a significant challenge for these students.

“We know that a supportive school environment can have a hugely beneficial impact on the wellbeing and attainment of LGBTQ+ students,” said Jack Chambers, Minister of State and TD for Dublin West.

“Together, we need to address the anti-LGBTQ+ stigma and discrimination that remains prevalent in our society.” 

“From a staff perspective, people feel more equipped now having done the training to support our LGBTQ students and as we go forward we are more aware of the need to reflect this in our school policies and planning,” said Mary Kelleher, Principal of Loretto Crumlin.

“Students have also had a very positive experience and we have set up our first LGBTQ and allies support club in the school run for the students by the students.”

“Given the diversity of our students and staff, we decided to join the Q Mark, as we believe it is important that we do as must as possible to support those who are LGBTQ+ in our school community,” said Craig Maples, Q Mark Coordinator from Coolock Community College. 

“This turned out to be a great decision as we were able to develop our staff’s ability to assist students identifying as LGBTQ+, as well as ensuring that our school environment is LGBTQ+ friendly.”

“School can be a difficult place for LGBTQ+ students, but that does not have to be the case,” said Moninne Griffith, CEO, Belong To – LGBTQ+ Youth Ireland.

“There are outstanding schools committed to creating safe and supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ students, including the 11 schools in Dublin.

“The positive impact of inclusion and visibility allows students to live healthy lives and thrive at school

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