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Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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Ministerial Commitments? What Ministerial Commitments?

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  July 12, 2012 |

News has come from the Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and other Travellers which completely undermines the commitments made by the  Ministerial Working Group on Gypsies and Travellers in respect of the education of Gypsy and Traveller children.

 This is very worrying as the MWG commitments have been put forward by the UK government as sufficient to meet its EU duty to draw up a 'Strategy for Roma Integration' as part of the EU Decade of Roma Inclusion. In respect of education the 'commitments' rely heavily on Ofsted, which, in its most recent framework, has ceased to identify Gypsies and Travellers as 'vulnerable' in education. Read more from ACERT here.

Families at Leeds GATE are very worried that progress made in the last few years to support Gypsy and Traveller peoples to have their education needs met in the mainstream is under threat.  Across the country Traveller Education Achievement services are being slashed.  If Ofsted fails to recognise Gypsy and Traveller pupils as 'vulnerable' in education, schools and local authorities are going to find it increasingly difficult to resource these vital services.  For many decades Gypsy and Traveller pupils have faced an 'uneven playing field' in trying to access and achieve within mainstream education.  Much progress has been made and most Gypsy and Traveller children are successfully completing primary school.  However, despite many fantastic exceptions and examples of young people doing really well, in high school the experience is still bleak or unsatisfactory with too young people feeling unable to complete year eleven, let alone going on to further education.  The statistics still say we are 'vulnerable' why doesn't Ofsted?  And if Ofsted doesn't how can the government live up to its commitments?

GRTAS learning
Young Gypsies and Travellers enjoy learning with school friends with help from Leeds City Council Gypsy Roma Traveller Achievement Service


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