Sunday, September 27, 2009


All day yesterday at the AGM of the Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and other Travellers, an excellent meeting at which among other distinguished speakers we heard from Penny Badman, Deputy Director of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF); Arthur Ivatts OBE, a Senior Consultant to the DCSF and Andrew Ryder, Consultant to the Irish Traveller Movement.

Travellers are severely disadvantaged educationally - as in every other respect - as shown by a review published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) a few weeks ago ( Half of Traveller children drop out of school at the transition from primary to secondary; those who do stay on have worse results at GCSE than any other ethnic group; they are two and a half times more likely to have Severe Educational Needs than other white children; are far more likely to be excluded than any other group, and are the worst represented in further education of all groups. Now that the EHRC has assembled the evidence, we must insist that the Traveller Education Service gets the resources it needs to make progress against these appalling levels of disadvantage.

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