Gypsy, Roma and Traveller access to Further Education

27 Feb 2022

14-16 Provision

At present there is limited funding available for pupils aged 14-16 to pursue vocational qualifications and where there is, it is at the discretion of budget-strapped schools. There are higher numbers of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils that fall out of education before sitting their exams, with the start of the examination year being a key fall out point, and the reduced offering of vocational qualifications could be argued as facilitating this.

Vocational qualifications

There is reduced funding available for those aged 19-25, and where there is, it is often set up in a loan scheme format which can be off-putting for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people returning to education as an adult. Those re- entering after a significant gap can face a number of challenges in accessing and succeeding in Further Education. Underfunding of the sector means that settings are not always able to offer the level of support that is needed.

Traineeships and apprenticeships

The recorded number of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people pursuing traineeships and apprenticeships is low, and some are prevented from taking up these opportunities due
to low prior attainment. Those who pass vocational qualifications can be prevented from progressing to the next level because they do not meet Maths and English requirements.

A Levels

There is less known about the experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils at A Level. Small cohort numbers mean that current data is unreliable and generalisations cannot be drawn from it. Additionally, low prior attainment and low teacher expectations are likely to have a negative impact on the access, uptake and experiences of these pupils.

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