Policy Brief: Too Scared to Learn? Understanding the Importance of School Safety for Immigrant Students Policy


School safety is an important factor in schools. Data from the IEA’s TIMSS indicates that perceptions of school safety are directly related to academic success.

This is particularly relevant for immigrant students, as their perceptions of safety appear to be more strongly related to academic success. Research has also revealed that immigrant students often report feeling less safe in schools. Using data from TIMSS, this policy brief explores immigrant students’ perceptions of school safety in comparison to their native-born peers in more depth.

Immigrant students’ perceptions of school safety appear to be more closely linked to achievement, and may also thus be more strongly related to student well-being and aspirations. It is crucial that teachers and principals are sensitive to school safety and school climate if inclusive and equitable quality education is a target. Evidence supporting which countries are providing the safest environments for immigrant students and whether safer schools are associated with higher achievement will be of interest to policymakers around the world. 

IEA's new policy brief, by Tamara Katschnig (University of Vienna, Austria), Dirk Hastedt (IEA, Germany) investigates this.