Opportunity and access to education

Education for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

For a list of Cultural Resources for schools that the GRT can help schools with, see the "Our Service" section of the website by clicking here.

The Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people are the most at risk in the education system’ OfSTED Report. These assessments have been confirmed by data coming from the School Census since 2003. These children are the lowest attaining  amongst all Ethnic Minority groups in the city and  nationally.

As Andrew Adonis the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools and Learners wrote in September 2007:

"Working towards and achieving good practice in the education of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people is the responsibility of everyone within the education system - the DCSF, local authorities, schools, teachers, governors, Travel ler Education Support Services, parents and pupils."

The letter was part of the DCSF and NATT initiative to have more cultural resources in schools that reflect the GRT communities.

Read the whole letter here

Document: The Inclusion of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people

The Inclusion of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young peopleThe Inclusion of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young peopleThe DCSF is committed to raising the attendance and achievement of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils.

Raising the achievement of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children is the responsibility of everyone within the education system and a significant measure of the effectiveness of policies to combat educational and social exclusion.

This document offers guidance and a range of actions which contribute to ensuring that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children are healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve and make a positive contribution to school life as set out in the Every Child Matters agenda and The Children’s Plan, December 2007.

Download the document here

In the UK, Gypsy, Roma and Travellers of Irish Heritage are recognised ethnic minority communities and number 300,000. In Leeds the Gypsy Roma Traveller Achievement Service worked with over 1000 children and young people last year from these communities.

There are serious implications for access to education and other services caused by insufficient sites for Travellers in Leeds. Many families have to camp by the side of the road or on pieces of waste land and live without the amenities all other families take for granted.

Poor education means most Travellers are disadvantaged in the job market and have traditionally been self employed. This is changing as families are more static and need sensitive training and support to develop their potential.

Giving Travellers and Gypsies the opportunity and access to education is the primary motivation of the Gypsy Roma Traveller Achievement Service (GRTAS). Travelling families who want help and advice about their children's education, or indeed to further theirs, should contact the GRTAS.

A Beginners Guide...
to Gypsy and Traveller Young People

CD coverThis is an interactive CD ROM that has been designed as a resource for teachers, youth and health workers who are new to working with young Gypsy Travellers and wish to know more.

This CD extensively references previous studies, projects and resources to ensure that a broad and balanced picture of the issues is available.

Find out more

Further information


Every Traveller Child Matters

Every Traveller Child Matters

Liverpool Traveller Education Service have produced this booklet to celebrate the talent and potential of the GRT children they work with, and outline the Every Child Matters agenda, discussing some of the issues that affect Gypsy and Traveller children.

For a copy contact John Cole.

Early Years Outreach Practice

Save the Children have produced a document aimed at anyone working outreach with children from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Early Years Outreach PracticeDrawing on the experiences and understanding of
practitioners currently working in rural and urban locations, it aims to share and reflect their work, knowledge and ideas.

You can download the document as a pdf from their website.

Save the Children

Leeds Futures Programme

Read about this Gypsy, Roma and Traveller self-development training programme, ‘Futures’.


Travellers Homes

Travellers Homes Leaflet

This is a collection of twenty-six photographs illustrating the diversity of accommodation used by the Traveller communities. Photo exercises are targeted at KS2 but the photos provide useful information about the Traveller communities for pupils at KS3/4.

It is produced by The Traveller Education Support Service, METAT, SSPDC, Pauls Road, Opswich, Suffolk IP2 0AN.


Time to Talk

For the first time, one government department is now responsible for all policy on the well-being of children and young people.

The Time to Talk debate aims to gather views on what needs to be done to make things better for children, young people and families.

An online questionnaire has now closed. All the views they've gathered will feed into the Children's Plan, which comes out at the end of this year.


Other education resources


Police Training Pack

For education and training with regard to attitude towards Traveller People an excellent Training Pack has been developed by John Coxhead a Police Training Officer in Derbyshire. It would be a very useful basis for training with all groups.

Read more


Young Traveller considering your Options?

Dave Cannon of ACERT recommends this web site, which he has found useful for Travellers to consider options for the future.

Visit website

Also in this section

Education on the Hoof

This is the name of the education project that has been running for many years at Appleby Fair, run by Travellers Education Services.




Bookstart logoBookstart is a national scheme offering free books to every child and advice to every parent. It encourages parents and carers to share books with children from a very early age.



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