More Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils attend school, but further support needed

Since 2011, more children from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities have been attending school, but the education experience for these pupils and their families needs to improve, according to Estyn.

Today’s report from the inspectorate highlights that over the last eight years the numbers of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils have increased by almost 35% in secondary schools and by 41% in primary schools.

Many schools have raised awareness of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture and lifestyle in assemblies and celebratory days, but need to promote it more throughout the curriculum.

Meilyr Rowlands, Chief Inspector, says, “Children from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities are among our most vulnerable learners. They need the right support at school to help make the most of their talents, interest and abilities.

“Only half of pupils from these communities continue into secondary education. Even though GCSE results have improved, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils are still the lowest achievers of all ethnic groups.

“Schools need to ensure their anti-bullying policies take account of the specific needs of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils, and evaluate their strategies for achievement, attendance and transition to help generate improvement.”

One case study in the report highlights how Cardiff Council worked closely with pupils and parents from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities to help them move from primary to secondary school. By arranging visits to their new school to help dispel any concerns and fears, the number of pupils transferring to Cardiff secondary schools increased from 50% in 2014 to 88% in 2017. 

Publication date

Wednesday, 3 April, 2019