Gypsy, Roma and Traveller experiences in Secondary Education

27 Feb 2022

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils report high levels of bullying, based on their ethnicity that largely goes unaddressed in schools1. This damages their educational experiences and negatively impacts their sense of belonging in schools, particularly when there are no positive representations of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller histories and cultures within the school curriculum.

Punitive school policies disproportionately affects Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils who have the highest rates of temporary and permanent exclusions. Zero tolerance policies that are becoming prevalent, fail to take into consideration the individual circumstances of pupils, which impacts their school experience and outcomes.

For pupils from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller backgrounds there is a lack of clear and easily accessible routes back into education for pupils who do not have formal qualifications due to early school leaving. Furthermore, there is a gap in services for pupils aged 14-16 who find that traditional academic qualifications are not a suitable fit and there are limited opportunities for vocational qualifications, increasing the risk of drop out

for these pupils. Many parents are not given the right information and guidance from schools and local authorities when it comes to their educational rights and responsibilities, particularly around elective home education, and this information is not always easily accessible to those with lower levels of literacy.


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