The Traveller Movement works across the education sector to challenge systemic and institutional barriers faced by Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller children, families and individuals. Discrimination, and the harassment arising from discrimination, has a pronounced impact on educational attainment for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils and young people in education; and this in turn is statistically likely to adversely affect outcomes in educational attainment, health, wellbeing, employment, economic inclusion, financial security and involvement within the criminal justice system.
Our aim is to challenge the processes which reproduce discrimination, and to empower pupils, parents and others in the GRT communities to act as their own advocates when educational challenges arise, before seeking more specialist support.
Our Areas of Work
We conduct topical research, support through offering direct advocacy, and engage fully in policy work when representing Gypsy, Roma and Traveller experiences of the education system.
To raise awareness of disparities and unequal opportunities in education, the Traveller Movement operates across multiple areas and works with stakeholders in the education sector, local and national government, and others in the third sector to pursue the following outcomes:
- Providing a robust evidence base outlining the main issues for GRT in education, which informs our campaigns, advocacy, and policy output.
- Demanding reform of the education system to ensure GRT are protected and supported
- Advising and lobbying Government departments and Ministers to ensure policy interventions, statutory guidance, and legislative changes promote inclusion and access to education for the GRT community
- Advocating for more rigorous, uniform data collection policies to enable consistent and routine ethnic monitoring throughout the education system
- Campaigning to overcome the overrepresentation of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in exclusion, off rolling, attainment, elective home education, and pupil referral unit figures.
Currently the education team is working on the following projects:
- The launch of a brand new education website, which will provide both information and support for pupils, parents and organisations on how to ensure any educational challenges are overcome and how best to support effective learning for children from GRT communities
- Continued collaboration with the Department for Education and relevant government ministers on central school exclusions policies and how best to tackle the high levels of exclusions within GRT communities.
- Issuing a special report which examines a successful pilot scheme run in Derby city to reduce fixed-term and permanent exclusions. This report will provide a detailed guide on how to replicate the pilot scheme, with recommendations for both the Department for Education and local authorities
- Issuing detailed reports on core areas of educational challenge for GRT children, such as:
- Special educational needs and disabilities for GRT children within education; and,
- Elective home education for children outside of formal education; and,
- GRT experiences in early years and primary education
- Currently funding to launch an exciting project to tackle anti-GRT bullying. This project will support education for educational organisations, as well as offering a media focused campaign, with the launch of an interactive service for families to get accessible advice on bullying.”
Education Advice and Advocacy Support Unit
The Education Team continues to operate the Education Advice and Advocacy Support Unit (EAASU) which is a service aimed at supporting GRT families who are facing significant educational challenges and who often face discrimination in the provision of educational and social support services. We provide support for the following areas:
- Assistance with school admissions and applications
- Advice on how to tackle anti-GRT bullying
- Advice and support for education related expenses (school uniform and school transport)
- Assistance with registering special educational needs and disabilities, as well as the provision of an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)
- Support with issues of non-attendance and the use of ‘the t-code’ for applicable absences
- Advice and support on all types of school exclusions (including self-exclusions)
- Advice on how to provide effective elective home education and when to opt for formal education
- Support with referrals for extra educational tuition
- Advice on progression in to further and higher education courses and forms of study, as well as many other topics.
The Education Advice and Advocacy Support Unit (EAASU) also provides support, guidance and training for education-linked organisations who wish to increase their engagement with GRT communities.