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Improving educational outcomes for children and young people from travelling cultures consultation: response analysis report

Published: 9 Oct 2017

Analysis report summarising the responses to our consultation on guidance on improving educational outcomes for traveller children and young people.

17 page PDF

257.8kB

17 page PDF

257.8kB

Contents
Improving educational outcomes for children and young people from travelling cultures consultation: response analysis report
Structure

17 page PDF

257.8kB

Structure

Question 1: Is the structure correct?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 20 65
No 3 10
Don't know 0 0
Not Answered 8 26

10. Most respondents thought the structure was correct. Comments included ‘Clear, well-structured and user-friendly’ and ‘The structure of the document is well laid out and can be read in its entirety of referred to for guidance on specific issues.’ In responding to Questions 1, 2 and 3, some respondents made comments about the content and other points, rather than the structure, which have been captured in the analysis under other questions, as relevant.

Question 2: Does the structure help the reader to follow/use the guidance effectively?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 20 65
No 1 3
Don't know 2 6
Not Answered 8 26

11. Most respondents answered ‘yes’ to this question. ‘The structure of the guidance allows the reader to follow through the guidance in manageable chunks…..’ and ‘helpful subsections are easy to follow’. There were suggestions that a bullet point summary at the end of the sections, or an executive summary or concise/easy-read version, would help with ease of reading and finding information given the length of the guidance.

12. There were a number of general comments which did not relate specifically to the structure which, to save repetition, have been incorporated elsewhere in this analysis as appropriate.

Question 3: The guidance sections (Sections 2 and 3) are structured around some of the main themes in 'How Good is Our School 4'. The intention is to enable a clear line of sight between the guidance and the HGIOS4 self-evaluation framework which will be becoming familiar to schools and education authorities. Is this helpful?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 17 55
No 1 3
Don't know 5 16
Not Answered 8 26

13. The majority of respondents agreed that the link to HGIOS4 was helpful and familiar. Comments included ‘The direct connection to HGIOS4 is helpful as Traveller experiences and needs are not seen as an extra problem for staff…but as a fundamental part of providing a good education for all children’. There was a suggestion to link the practice insights more clearly to HGIOS4 Quality Indicators.

14. Some respondents thought there should be reference to other ‘How Good is Our…’ documents such as ‘How Good is the Learning and Development in our Community’ as well as other improvement planning documents to reflect partnership and multi-agency working. It was noted that HGIOS may be less familiar to those who were not teachers, and the guidance may benefit from a brief explanation of the ‘How Good is Our….?’ approach.

Introduction

Question 4: Is there sufficient information in the introduction on the context, cultural issues, responsibilities and evidence, to support improved understanding?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 20 65
No 4 13
Don't know 1 3
Not Answered 6 19

15. Most respondents answered ‘Yes’ to this question and the information was considered helpful and highlighted the need for national guidance. Positive comments included ‘The ‘Scotland’s Travellers’ section provides a comprehensive overview of the main themes and challenges we need to address to ensure we provide an inclusive and equitable service’. There was a request to add Irish Travellers to the ‘Scotland’s Travellers’ sub-section.

16. Across the consultation, there were a number of comments about the term ‘Traveller’ and about lack of engagement of the Traveller community in the guidance. To save repetition, both themes are covered together under Q 20, below.

17. A few respondents’ comments were linked to a theme of partnership working. There was a request that the introduction make clear that the commitment to raising educational outcomes is not exclusive to the Scottish Government – local government and schools share this commitment. Similarly, the responsibility extends to families, communities and non-educational services and the request was that this should be clear in the introduction.

18. A theme of several comments related to improving the presentation of evidence in the ‘Scotland’s Travellers’ section and a general view that this would make the guidance more accessible and enable easy extraction of key messages. Suggestions included a mix of text, visual graphics (there were positive and negative comments on the info-graphic), tables, graphs etc., and moving some data to the annex. There were comments that some data needed updated, some data was repeated, and that national statistics may not represent the picture in many local authorities.

19. While there were a few comments, in response to this and other questions, about the lack of data on different groups of Travellers on SEEMIS (for e.g. Eastern European Roma and Showpeople) and in national data collections, this relates to set ethnicity categories and it is not within the scope of the guidance to address this. The guidance acknowledges limitations of available data and encourages collection and analysis of data at a local level driven by local needs.

20. There were some suggestions for adding additional content to the evidence section, for example on specific barriers to learning related to cultural issues and interrupted learning, and their impact on educational outcomes, as well as reference to guidance and approaches. In contrast, a few respondents considered that in some cases there was too much detail in the Introduction.

Question 5: Is the balance of information correct for each issue?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 15 49
No 7 23
Don't know 0 0
Not Answered 9 29

21. Around two thirds of those who responded to this question answered ‘Yes’ and there were also some mixed views on the balance of information. Positive feedback included ‘Very clear message to Authorities that these families need appropriate engagement and support to improve their educational outcomes’ and ‘...strikes a good balance and gives all the essential information’. There were a few calls to strengthen the guidance by adding some success stories.

22. There was a suggestion that entitlement is clearer, and that the entitlements section be given greater prominence and expanded to help practitioners and children and families understand how the educational environment can fit with the needs of travelling communities.

Question 6: Are there any issues or elements currently not included which should be?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 14 45
No 8 26
Don't know 0 0
Not Answered 9 29

23. Just over a third of those who responded answered ‘No’ with the remainder suggesting a varied mix of additional issues or elements to be included in the introduction.

24. Suggestions for additions around teacher and leader responsibilities included: a reference to the General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTCS) standard ‘3.1.4 Have high expectations of all learners’ in the teacher responsibilities; an additional reference to the role and responsibility of school leadership; and a reference to training of SMTs and ongoing training of staff.

25. There were a few requests for more information and guidance about operational issues such as how to enrol children into school, how to discuss cultural background with the family, identifying a base school, links to home school and time limit for travelling. There was a request for more guidance on improving secondary uptake.

26. There were requests for additional statistics/data on Gypsy/Travellers, for example on different reasons for ASN and clearer statistics on secondary intake.

27. There were requests to include additional references and information to provide some context in this section, for example the Equality Act, HGIOS4, and the historical context to explain some Travellers’ reluctance to self-identify and mistrust of non-travellers. To aid understanding, a few respondents asked for more detail on different Traveller communities and throughout the consultation there were various requests to include links to information and/or resources produced specifically by Gypsy/Travellers regarding their culture and traditions.

28. One response suggested more information on contacts who can speak for traveller communities, such as the education liaison officers who support Showpeople.

Question 7: Please suggest any other ways in which the Introduction section might be improved.

29. There were 17 responses to this question. A number of comments under this section have been captured elsewhere in the analysis and are not repeated here.

30. One respondent suggested the introduction could be more positive as not all children and young people had negative experiences of education. Another suggested a section on the valuable role of support staff and partners such, as health and social care, and another commented ‘References to learning within its widest context and the important role for all services, families and the community would be a welcome addition.’

31. There were some suggestions across the document to define terminology, such as ‘child’ or ‘young person’ and equity’ and ‘equality’, in the sub-section on terms used. One respondent commented that the Introduction would be easier to read if broken down into sections. Comments about the term ‘Traveller/s’ are covered under Q20.

Leadership and Management Section

Question 8: Does the Leadership and Management section provide appropriate advice and guidance in relation to pupils from travelling cultures?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 16 52
No 7 23
Don't know 0 0
Not Answered 8 26

32. The majority answered ‘Yes’ to this question and there was a range of positive comments about the content. There were a number of comments about how the section could be improved.

33. Four respondents commented on the shortcomings of the SEEMIS system and the consequences of this, for example the impact on assessing a child’s progress. There was a request for greater clarity around recording Traveller’s absence and attendance on SEEMIS and requests for support for local authorities for children who did not attend school at all. One respondent suggested the guidance encourage using SEEMIS consistently for recording prejudice based bullying/race related incidents.

34. There were some requests for updating the draft guidance to reflect ongoing changes. One respondent asked that the sub-section ‘Management of resources to promote equity’ be updated to reflect resource management changes related to Pupil Equity Funding and the Governance Review. There were a number of comments about the Named Person in response to several questions in this section, including a request for clarity on how the Named Person arrangements would operate for Traveller children. This is difficult to address as the legislative duty has yet to commence.

35. One respondent asked that the guidance be tighter in terms of obligations on schools to take specific action in readiness for receiving Travellers, such as to educate staff and having a staff member with responsibility in this area. Two respondents commented on the value of having Travellers themselves involved in providing support services e.g. in education and social work.

Question 9: Do you find the ‘reflection’, ‘practice insight’, and further information elements of the leadership and management section helpful?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 18 58
No 2 6
Don't know 3 10
Not Answered 8 26

36. There were some very positive comments about these elements and only two respondents did not think these helpful. Overall, the reflection and practice insight sections were considered consistent with HGIOS4 and QI processes. One respondent advocated stating the type of school (primary or secondary) in practice insights, another advocated stating the specific Traveller group, and another that the practice insights were linked clearly with the HGIOS4 quality indicators.

37. Many respondents asked for additional practice insights to be added to increase the practical advice on how to improve outcomes. Suggestions for insights were diverse and included: multi-agency working focusing on leadership of partnership working in the community; parental engagement; curricular pathways; supporting Traveller children in terms of their cultural skills (making things, storytelling etc.); and examples from the Roma community. There were also some suggestions for improving the ‘headteachers’s tips’ insight on page 20, and a request for Reflections covering multi-agency and partnership working across different agencies.

Question 10: Are there any areas, missing, requiring strengthening, or which are not required and could be removed?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 18 58
No 5 16
Don't know 0 0
Not Answered 8 26

38. The majority of respondents answered ‘Yes’ and provided suggestions which were mixed and diverse. Some of the comments have been drawn from responses to other questions which relate to a theme which emerged here.

39. The issue of staff resource was raised under this and other questions. A few respondents noted that a personalised approach to support Traveller pupils would take significant time, and this should be acknowledged in the guidance and made clear that local authorities would need to consider how this could be properly resourced and supported.

40. On the subject of staff training, there were some suggestions that the ‘leadership of learning and staff development’ sub section should extend to all staff as well as third sector providers and partner agency staff, and that induction training for all staff and partners should cover how the school supports Travellers.

41. There were a number of comments about leadership in the wider sense including requests to add more about multi-agency partnership, and local authority partnership at a strategic level; and to shift the focus away from school leadership only and include leadership around partnership working, for example with Community Learning and Development, health and social work, the third sector, community groups and elected councillors. One respondent recommended including local planning and housing and homelessness polices and strategies in this section.

42. There were a number of isolated comments about improving this section. One respondent wanted more on raising expectations and improving communication, and another questioned the relevance of ‘positive destinations’ as aspirations for Travellers. Another asked that the guidance make clear that mobile children should be recognised by local authorities, and schools, as vulnerable to social discrimination, whether or not they were recognised as an ethnic minority in law. It was also suggested that the reference to nurturing was too general and it was important to stress individual assessment, and the role of nurturing and restorative approaches in enhancing the learning experience should be clearer.

Question 11: Please suggest any other ways in which the Leadership and Management section might be improved.

43. 16 respondents provided comments, although of these, 3 simply referenced comments provided elsewhere in their response. There was a mix of other responses.

44. Points raised for the first time included the suggestion of a Traveller advocate in schools, and one request that this section focus on the institutional issues for which schools had responsibility rather than placing responsibility for lack of engagement with the child and family. There were suggestions to add to the list of local authority polices in which Traveller needs should be considered, as well as requests to include references to wider policies (e.g. homelessness policies) so that education was not seen in silo. One response suggested setting up a central hub of achievement and progress and there was again a request to reiterate, as for all pupils, high expectations for Travellers. There were a small number of comments about attendance including a request for inclusion of strategies in this guidance, and one for extra guidance on attendance as well as for updated legislation on Gypsy Traveller attendance.

45. There was a request for more guidance on good practice at transition from primary to secondary school. Examples of alternative provisions at secondary level were requested, perhaps including features of highly effective practice and challenging questions. One local authority included a practice insight example about practice in welcoming New Scots families for consideration as part of their consultation response.

Learning Provision Section

Question 12: Does the Learning Provision section provide appropriate advice and guidance in relation to pupils from travelling cultures?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 18 58
No 5 16
Don't know 0 0
Not Answered 8 26

46. The majority of respondents answered positively. Comments included ‘This section is clear and informative’ and ‘... covers the majority of questions asked by Head Teachers’. There were some comments on the challenge of putting the guidance into practice, such as the time needed to support Travellers, for example in providing 1:1 support to help children ‘catch-up’. Therefore similar to a point in the Leadership section, there was a request for the guidance to state the need to invest time in this while being mindful of teacher working time agreements.

47. There were some very positive comments about the digital learning guidance, although one respondent felt this was over-emphasised, but some concerns that not all Travellers had access to digital devices and that some areas had broadband access problems. There was a request for guidance on accessing the digital projects such as ELAMP.

48. There were a few comments on this section about the provision of learning being too deeply rooted in the school environment - see Q20 for more on this point. There were a few comments on the significant role of CLD in learning for Travellers in their local authority and that some guidance on developing partnerships would be helpful.

49. A response from a member of the Travelling community noted how the difficulties in communication between Traveller children and non-travellers led to bullying and withdrawal from education - ‘Bullying needs to be highlighted and non-traveller kids educated about the culture and way of life so they accept traveller kids in school.’ It was proposed that local authorities do more to support parents to develop their own skills in order to overcome barriers to supporting their children through school.

50. There was a suggestion of some repetition on what made learning relevant and some mixed messages about Traveller family attitudes to learning which could be clarified. There was a request for more guidance on or acknowledgement of various issues such as: Family Learning; recognition of the conflict between sex education and some Traveller cultures; the gender divide in aspirations; the importance of continuing education into secondary; building flexibility into the curriculum prior to senior phase; and approaches to support Travellers who have missed stages in learning.

51. There were a number of requests for additional guidance but which were not thought to be within the scope of this guidance, including guidance on children with ASN participating in National Standardised assessments and new data protection legislation related to the storage and sharing of personal and sensitive information.

52. There were requests to add references or links to a variety of further information – these have been captured under question 15.

53. Again there were some points raised about different Traveller groups which included a request for more specific guidance, advice and tips about working with the Roma community. Also there was a request not to misrepresent the position with Showpeople. For example the ‘Involving Traveller families in learning’ subsection suggested Travellers were not engaged with schools or school education, when the contrary is true for Showpeople who place a high value on education and actively engage.

Question 13: Do you find the 'reflection', 'practice insight', and 'further information' elements of the Learning Provision section helpful?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 19 61
No 2 6
Don't know 1 3
Not Answered 9 29

54. A large majority of those who answered this question thought these elements in the Learning Provision section were helpful. Again, a number of respondents thought the guidance would be improved/strengthened by adding more practice examples/ success stories. Subjects suggested included: good practice in secondary schools; community learning and development; and Roma practice. One respondent considered there was an over-emphasis on E-learning in the refection and practice insights. There were polarised views (Qs 13 and 14) on the personalised support sections with one respondent suggesting more information be added, and another suggesting it be removed or have less prominence.

55. Isolated responses included: a comment that the further information focused too heavily on Scottish Gypsy/Travellers to the exclusion of other groups and one highlighting a lack of time available for practitioners to address needs of Traveller.

Question 14: Are there any areas missing, requiring strengthening, or which are not required and could be removed?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 9 29
No 9 29
Don't know 3 10
Not Answered 10 32

56. There was an equal division in ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses. There were a few requests to include more on transitions. For example, there was a request to include more detail, on supporting transitions other than nursery to primary and primary to secondary school i.e. transitions between schools, local authorities and sometimes countries. The same respondent suggested ‘increasing the emphasis on involving Traveller families in learning to improve attendance, inclusion and attainment of young people.’ One respondent suggested the guidance be used to share more ideas and ways to continue secondary education.

Question 15: Please suggest any other ways in which the Learning Provision section might be improved.

57. In addition to the suggestions for adding further advice etc. covered above, a number of respondents suggested further advice, guidance, resources and references, and contacts be added to this section or the annex, across a range of other themes including:

  • Child protection e.g. for young people not attending secondary school but working
  • Engaging with families on unauthorised sites
  • Appropriate learning provision outwith school e.g. young people wanting to learn but not to attend school
  • Links to digital learning sites and resources
  • Perhaps a section in this chapter about Roma
  • Links to organisations and further information in subsections, as appropriate, such as, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and internet safety guidance in the Digital Learning Section
  • More detail about Scottish Showpeople and some links and information were suggested, as well as contacts

58. Some further isolated comments including on: the impact of bad experiences in schools; the difficulties Travellers had in trusting schools and teachers not being confident in how to engage with Travellers; and the use of the term ‘targeted’ support.

Annexes

Question 16: Does the Annexes section provide appropriate supplementary detail?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 18 58
No 2 6
Don't know 1 3
Not Answered 10 32

59. The majority of the respondents answered ‘Yes’ to this question. There were some very positive comments such as ‘Informative and concise’ and ‘This is helpful in drawing together the relevant legislation, policy and guidance’. There was a suggestion for adding some research in the annexes, specifically on migrants, and a request that relevant specific parts of polices be identified.

Question 17: Is there anything in the body of the document that you think should be moved to the Annexes section?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 5 16
No 14 45
Don't know 1 3
Not Answered 11 35

60. A few respondents suggested moving some content from the main body of the guidance to the annexes. Of those, the majority suggested moving statistics and tables (e.g. on page 21-23 and page 38) to the annexes.

Question 18: Are there any areas missing, requiring strengthening, or which are not required and could be removed?

Answer Total % of all respondents
Yes 6 19
No 10 32
Don't know 3 10
Not Answered 12 39

61. There were many positive comments about the usefulness of the annexes. There were a few suggestions on how the annexes could be improved. Two respondents suggested adding information or weblinks to helpful agencies such as the Scottish Showmen’s Guild and Women’s Aid. Two respondents suggested some additions to Annex B. In terms of the named person policy, there was a request that this guidance states the intention of the Scottish Government that every child and young person has a named person and that it includes a link to guidance on information sharing.

Question 19: Please suggest any other ways in which the Annexes section might be improved.

62. This was an open-ended question in which there were 7 responses. Similar to some responses to other questions, there were suggestions around including/listing more resources and references, for example around culture, beliefs and traditions of Gypsy/Traveller families; resources and hints and tips for teachers; and, links to organisations that support Travellers. It was suggested there could be a more on the background to the guidance, those involved, and the methodology used.


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