Rainbow youth charity InsideOUT Kōaro say they are prouder than ever to celebrate Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa  – a nationwide rainbow pride campaign in schools, running June 12-16 2023.

Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa is a celebratory week of events and activities to help foster a sense of belonging for rainbow young people within their schools and communities.
Now in its fourth year, this year sees a record number of schools from across Aotearoa participating. Over 300 schools and education institutes are taking part in the week’s festivities, including over 60% of the country’s secondary schools.

Samuel Marsden College celebrates Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa.

Despite the rise in conservative rhetoric and the culture war, we have been seeing overseas, New Zealand schools have consistently shown the importance of recognising, supporting, and celebrating the diverse community of rainbow young people we have in Aotearoa.


According to the recent Identify survey, the largest study of rainbow young people’s experiences in New Zealand, about a third (32%) of students surveyed said they had learnt positive or helpful things about rainbow people, histories, or issues at school. Schools’ Pride Week serves as a reminder for schools to ensure that the diversity of society in Aotearoa is reflected and celebrated.

Students from the Identify survey shared that “You can’t go a day at my school without someone using the term ‘gay’ incorrectly, or talking about how something LGBTQ-related is stupid or weird. People do not understand the importance of having Rainbow spaces and clubs” and that “There is a lot of homophobia and transphobia in my school. I get asked inappropriate questions from peers about my sexuality and gender”, highlighting some of the concerns rainbow students have about the way they are treated at school. With most students (86%) reporting that they had a rainbow group/queer-straight alliance at their school.

“As always, it’s exciting to see schools using the Pride Week campaign to recognise and celebrate their rainbow staff and students,” says Tabby Besley, InsideOUT’s Managing Director. “We hear from many students about how important events like Pride Week are to them, and how a week like this can make such a difference to their well-being and sense of belonging at school, so we’re pleased to see that the campaign continues to grow and that schools are actively promoting values of diversity and empathy.”