Travellers and inclusion
The Traveller achievement service staff are sometimes aware of a misconception that the notion of equality is so well established in education that an historical template for the inclusion of Travellers communities must already exist.
Although aspects of previous and well-tried models are useful, agendas that focus entirely on these are unable to counteract the particular discrimination experienced by Travellers. Hence, the underachievement of their young people persists.
Such agendas reflect the tensions of a mainstream community unable to reconcile itself with those whose continuing choice is to live and work at the margins. They also run the risk of perpetrating the particular discrimination they seek to overcome.
In order to link students of Traveller heritage into key stage 3 and 4, the real needs, aspirations and history of the communities themselves must be understood. Alongside good management and rigorous teaching, close consultation and partnership with various Traveller communities is essential.
The National Strategies: Moving Forward Together: Raising Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Achievement have published a self evaluation tool (word).