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Traveller Education Strategy: issues and possibilities. Máirín Kenny Ireland. Traveller Education Strategy: Policy context. The 1995 Task Force Report, and ensuing Monitoring Committee Reports set targets for recognition, respect, effective participation and equal status in education

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Traveller Education Strategy: issues and possibilities

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traveller education strategy policy context
Traveller Education Strategy: Policy context
  • The 1995 Task Force Report, and ensuing Monitoring Committee Reports set targets for recognition, respect, effective participation and equal status in education
  • Education Act 1998 enshrines respect for diversity
  • Equal Status Act 2000 and other equality legislation prohibits discrimination on nine grounds, including the ‘race’ ground and the Traveller ground (separate grounds)
  • The Equality Authority’s work
  • Department of Education & Science Guidelines on Traveller education; and Intercultural curriculum guidelines
travellers and roma in ireland
Travellers and Roma in Ireland
  • Traveller population: approx 24,000 persons
  • Roma: recent arrivals (last ten years), population perhaps 3,000 and growing. No official statistics on Roma in schools; as foreign nationals, they have access to English language tuition.
  • Under the terms of the Equal Status Act (2000)
    • Roma are an ethnic group (the ‘race’ ground).
    • Travellers are a separate ground, or category.
  • Subtle and silenced cultures
travellers in education

Travellers ineducation

Placement, progress and policy

non formal sector education provision for travellers
Non-formal sector education provision for Travellers
  • Preschools : 500 out of perhaps 1200 have access; variable quality of curricula, resources etc.
  • Training Centres (STTCs): c. 900 late teen and older Travellers enrolled. Identified issues and potential:
    • Can be a nucleus in promoting community development and education opportunity
    • Segregated; variable programme quality; difficulties in certification and progression; can attract young people out of formal education at age fifteen
    • Integrated options for early school leavers available
current policy development key aims
Current policy development – key aims
  • equality of access, to all levels of education provision
  • equality of participation, in inclusive settings at all levels and in all sectors
  • equality of outcome in terms of attainment and in terms of progression to higher levels
  • All informed by recognition of the rights of the child [learner] both as individual and as member of their community
for good formal education outcomes keep the balls in the air
For good formal education outcomes, keep the balls in the air…


Learning to know

Learning to do

Learning to live together

Learning to be




traveller roma learner in context challenges to all
Traveller/Roma learner in context: challenges to all






What can I/we/they learn?

Where do I/we/they belong?

Who am I/who are we/they?

What can I/we/they become?






promoting traveller access to high level education a community based approach
Promoting Traveller access to high level education: a community based approach
  • Identity and Belonging
    • Foster a rich knowledgeable sense of identity
    • Diversify learners’ options within the identity profile
    • Embed high expectations in the culture
  • Ownership and Equality
    • Engage Travellers as partners in formal education planning and provision
    • Build family/community ownership of provision
    • Provide empowering resources
travellers and roma and education

Travellers and Roma andEducation

Teaching everybody about everybody

concepts and perceptions in policy
Concepts and perceptions in policy

Case Studies of ICT Use in the Classroom

  • Learning Difficulties
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Specific Speech & Language Disorder
  • Traveller Education
  • Non-English Speaking Students
  • Dyspraxia .....

(National Centre for Technology in Education (2000: 36-41)

teaching racism teaching inclusion
Teaching racism/teaching inclusion

Entrenched racism:Invisibility of group ->hostility to group

Implicit/Silence:Treat all the same -> nominal mention

Inclusion:Anti-racism policy and codes of practice that explicitly include Travellers and Roma

Rich, knowledgeable intercultural curricula for all learners at all levels

Community partnership in provision

System capacity requires:anti-racism & interculturalism informing professional development for all, at all levels in the education system

everybody learning about everybody
Everybody learning about everybody

Curriculum goals are to enable every child:

  • to construct a knowledgeable, confident self-identity
  • to develop comfortable, empathetic, and just interaction with diversity
  • to develop critical thinking and the skills for standing up for oneself and others in the face of injustice

Louise Derman-Sparks, 1998 p. ix

National Curriculum Council:Intercultural education -

  • respects, celebrates and recognises the normality of diversity
  • promotes equality and human rights, challenges unfair discrimination, promotes the values upon which equality is built