Feeling Safe at School

What is it?

Feeling Safe at School is based on TDSB students who feel safe “All the time” or “Often” outside on school property. For students in Grades K to 6 responses to this question were reported by parents. For students in Grades 7 and 8, responses were self-reported.

Why is it important?

Safe and nurturing learning environments are integral for supporting children’s learning outcomes. A child’s perception of safety at school can help indicate the extent to which the school climate meets these goals. A young person's curiosity and engagement in learning may be compromised by feeling unsafe at school, which could occur for many reasons (bullying, school violence, social exclusion, etc.). The child could also lack a sense of belonging to their school community.

What does it mean?

In Toronto, most children feel safe at school, however differences can be seen based on race, income and age. Figure 1 shows that parents of white children are more likely to report that their child feels safe at school, compared to all other racial groups. Figure 2 shows that parents with higher incomes are also more likely to report that their child feels safe at school, compared to parents with lower incomes. Figure 3 shows that older students in grades 7 and 8 (who self report their feelings of safety at school) are less likely to feel safe at school, compared to children in grades K to 6. This could indicate that parents may be under-estimating their child’s feelings of safety at school, or that students may feel less safe as they get older.