Education is state-run in Australia, and within each of the eight states and territories there are both government and independent schooling systems. This paper details the position of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) students within Australian education policy documents nationally, focusing on the three largest states and educational sectors in Australia. Survey data are used to report on the schooling experiences of over 3000 Australian GLBTIQ young people aged 14–21 years. Data from interviews with key policy informants identify both the obstacles to implementing policies, and how such obstacles have been overcome. Much official policy sees sexuality education as promoting inclusive, protective and affirming messages around GLBTIQ students. There exist significant correlations between policy and a variety of well-being and psycho-social outcomes for GLBTIQ students, including lowered incidence of homophobic abuse and suicide, and the creation of supportive school environments. Ideal policy visions are outlined, along with practical recommendations of relevance to a variety of stakeholders.
- sexuality education