Qld schools to consider needs of gay, lesbian students

QUEENSLAND schools could soon be asked to consider the needs of its gay, lesbian, transgender or intersex students with Education Queensland to release its first policy to address a focus on gender.

Education Queensland deputy Director-General Patrea Walton said it was the first time the department  had released guidelines for "supporting students who are same-sex attracted, intersex or transgender".

Intersex refers to those born with an unusual combination of sexual organs, whether internal or external.

The policy would ensure all Queensland state schools have a uniform option that is "gender neutral" and would ask administrators to decide how best to handle school sport so all students are included.

"Schools will make local decisions about how they organise sport to ensure safe, supportive and inclusive school environments," Ms Walton said.

It is unclear how many Queensland students will directly benefit from the changes because Education Queensland does not record how many students identify as transgender, intersex, gay or lesbian.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said it was "encouraging to see the department providing this information in one place for schools supporting students".  

"Self-identity can be very challenging for young people, particularly for our most vulnerable students,''  the Minister said.

"This policy will see Queensland schools better able to support and nurture vulnerable students."

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