Gypsy, Roma, Traveller inclusion in schools

Who are Traveller children?

The term 'Travellers' covers a number of community groups, which include:

Gypsy/Roma

Travellers of Irish heritage

Fairground and circus families

New Travellers.

Some groups have minority ethnic status, for example Gypsy/Roma and Travellers of Irish heritage, and this should be recorded on school admission forms.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide education for all school-age children who live in their area, including GRT children.

GRT children may have additional needs in school, which will need special consideration.

Why support GRT children?

Every child has the right to education, regardless of parental status or length of stay in the area.

GRT children are among the most vulnerable of any identified group. They often have difficulty in accessing education, due to:

a highly mobile lifestyle exacerbated by shortfall in site provision

a poor family history of formal education

conflicting cultural expectations and demands

no expectation of secondary school attendance or achievement.

Education for GRT children means enhanced life choices and skills. A welcoming and encouraging school can improve a child’s attendance and progress in school work and can help GRT children acquire the skills vital for everyday life.

Education can lead to acceptance and greater understanding of cultural differences by both Gypsy, Roma and Travellers and non-Travellers.

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