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Publication - Consultation Paper

Improving educational outcomes for children and young people from travelling cultures: consultation paper

Published: 21 Feb 2017
Part of:
Education, Equality and rights
ISBN:
9781786527905

Draft guidance for a consultation on supporting children and young people from travelling communities to engage in school education.

57 page PDF

854.4kB

57 page PDF

854.4kB

Contents
Improving educational outcomes for children and young people from travelling cultures: consultation paper
Section 2. Leadership and Management

57 page PDF

854.4kB

Section 2. Leadership and Management

How good is our leadership and approach to improvement for the education of Traveller children and young people?

This section aligns with existing policy and guidance to illustrate where leaders and managers can improve outcomes for Travellers. Where appropriate, reference is made to the Leadership and Management Quality Indicators ( QIs), How Good is Our School 4 ( HGIOS4). This section is organised around the following headings and sub-headings:

  • Local authority strategic leadership and management
  • Leadership and management in schools
  • Leading improvements in schools
  • Self-evaluation for self-improvement - using intelligence and data to measure impact on learners
  • Leadership of learning and staff development
  • Management of resources to promote equity

Local authority strategic leadership and management

By adopting an ethos, culture and values which demonstrate a strong commitment to inclusion and diversity, a local authority will provide a good grounding for supporting Travellers in schools. In line with their public sector equality duty ( PSED), local authorities should assess and review, and if necessary revise, all policies and practices which will impact, directly or indirectly, on the education of Traveller children and young people.

Local authority policies, guidance and systems for which Traveller needs should be considered include:

  • Attendance
  • Getting it Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC), including Named Person arrangements where these have been put in place
  • Parental engagement
  • Curriculum
  • Inclusion
  • Additional Support for learning
  • Relationships and positive behaviour, including anti-bullying, attendance and exclusions
  • School admissions/ enrolment/ placements
  • Home education
  • Children Missing from Education ( CME)
  • Childcare and nursery provision
  • Translator arrangements
  • Digital Learning
  • SEEMiS (School management information system)
  • Forthcoming planning and reporting on the duty to reduce pupil's inequalities of educational outcomes under the Education (Scotland) Act 2016

It may be necessary to involve a range of partners in developing education policies that will support Travellers, particularly where families have no history of engaging with schools. In this case health, social services, housing and Traveller Education Network ( TENET) partners ought to be involved. These partners can bring the voice of Traveller children and their parents to bear when developing policies and procedures.

Also, education authorities are encouraged to work together at a strategic level, in line with emerging practice, to address topics of regional significance relating to Traveller education. For example, under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, local authorities can reserve places in schools which might reasonably be required for pupils likely to move into the catchment area of the school during the school year, and intelligence from other local authorities on Traveller mobility patterns might help local authorities plan in this regard.

As part of the cycle of planning and review, SEEMiS (School management information system) data can be used by local authorities to drive improvements. For example, where data indicates that few Travellers who attend primary school transition to secondary school, local authorities are encouraged to work with the local secondary schools to explore patterns of transition and plan for improvements. It is important that each local authority has, and shares with schools, appropriate procedures for using SEEMiS to record data for Traveller pupils, despite the challenges for the system that mobility can pose.

The use of an evidence base to drive improvements is particularly relevant in light of the Education (Scotland) Act 2016 imposing a duty on education authorities to have due regard to the need to reduce pupils' inequalities of educational outcomes together with a duty to report progress. The associated National Improvement Framework will support this work.

Finally, but very importantly, local authorities need to consider, strategically, how they manage resources to support the improvement of educational outcomes for Travellers. Decisions around allocation of resources to support projects or schools to improve equity should to be evidence based, systematically monitored and regularly reviewed by the local authority to ensure that Travellers are not disadvantaged.

It is recognised that those working most closely with families have the greatest opportunity to build and sustain relationships; therefore much of this guidance is directed to schools.

Leadership and management in schools

A school's leadership team, and particularly the headteacher, has a fundamental role in raising and improving the achievement and attainment of children and young people from Traveller communities as well as raising the expectations of parents and families from these communities. They should consider the particular circumstances that Traveller children might face more often than other children, and then take action to mitigate the effects of these circumstances on their learning. A key aspect in engaging travelling communities in education is recognising the value of diversity and ensuring that equality and social justice are addressed in all aspects of the school's work. To effectively lead improvements in Traveller education, school leaders need to create the conditions in their school for change, ensure that their aspirations are well understood by all involved, and lead the school to continually improve. School senior management teams should recognise and support leadership at all levels within their school community.

Schools should not assume that they have no Traveller children or young people on their roll or in their catchment area, but should check with other colleagues or partners. For example, local authority education colleagues who are part of the Traveller Education Network ( TENET), as well as housing colleagues, are likely to be aware if there are Travellers in the local community. Subject to information sharing protocols, Health partners may also be able to advise.

From time to time, school leaders may require to access advice, information and support from colleagues in relation to specific matters. Annex B provides a summary of resources available.

Leading improvements in schools

The media frequently represents Traveller lifestyles negatively and, as a result, some travelling families can feel that they are wrongly branded with media-generated stereotypical behaviours such as crime, low hygiene and care standards, and even child neglect. Traveller communities can view any direct involvement by services, including education, as an unwelcome intrusion into their private lives. To mitigate families' concerns about officialdom and intrusion into their lives, school leaders may need to work to build trusting relationships with travelling communities. The following section sets out how this can be achieved.

An inclusive school ethos

'We are committed to ensuring that we achieve the highest possible standards and success for all learners…..Our vision evolves through ongoing reflection and debate across the school and community……These are shaped by our clear understanding of the social, economic and cultural context in which children, young people and their families live alongside our awareness of current policy and practice. Through effective leadership at all levels, our community works together to turn the shared vision into a sustainable reality.'

From Section 1.3, Leadership of change - Developing a shared vision, values and aims relevant to the school and its community, How Good is Our School 4 ( HGIOS4). [20]

The starting point for learning is a positive ethos and climate of respect and trust based upon shared values across the school community, including parents of children and young people. However, for many Travellers, this is not their experience. Improvement must therefore start with 'developing a shared vision, values and aims relevant to the school and its community' [21] . With strong leadership and vision, schools can create a positive, inclusive culture and ethos which creates a safe and welcoming place for all Traveller children to learn, develop and thrive. Nurturing approaches are likely to be of particular value to Traveller children.

Policies and policy development

The school's policies and procedures bring the vision, values and aims alive. Policies which recognise and provide for addressing the concerns of Travellers and the particular barriers to inclusion they face will demonstrate that school leaders are serious about the aims they have set. Schools should involve Traveller pupils and their parents in developing such policies and should adapt approaches to parental engagement to meet the particular needs of Traveller families. Policies should address barriers experienced by Travellers and improvement plans should clearly support an inclusive experience for children and young people from Traveller communities. (See the Learning Provision section for guidance on engaging with Traveller families).

For example, research cites [22] that, for Gypsy Traveller children and young people, concerns about safety and previous experience of discriminatory behaviour, including experiences of parents, are negative factors which may lead to low levels of enrolment and poor attendance and affect transitions into and between schools. Concerns about bullying are particularly acute for secondary schools, which may be seen as risky and unsafe by some families.

Traveller families are likely to therefore benefit from the reassurance of a clearly developed anti-bullying policy. The policy should be clear that the school strongly promotes equality, and that all forms of discrimination are challenged. Traveller parents and children should be invited to voice their concerns about bullying, during policy development as well as in response to specific incidents. They should be clear about what actions they can take and who they should approach in the event of bullying incidents. The national anti-bullying service respect me can provide support to schools to review, formulate, implement and evaluate anti-bullying policies. They can also provide training, information and support with guidelines, procedures and monitoring. The Scottish Government's refreshed National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland's Children and Young People [currently being refreshed - include future published date and link to refreshed guidance once known] includes a greater focus on prejudice-based bullying.

"Travellers have a great sense of justice and have high expectations around respect for others."
Primary School Teacher

Given the impact of interrupted learning and extended absence from school due to periods of travel, schools need to be mindful that policies and approaches to enrolment, transition and attendance may impact Traveller children disproportionately. Scottish Government guidance Included, Engaged and Involved - Part 1: Attendance in Scottish Schools (2007) provides specific guidance on managing authorised absence for Traveller children and wider guidance on promoting good attendance. STEP provides advice about keeping in touch with children and young people and their families during periods of mobility, and around supporting learning during these periods so that they continue to learn and remain engaged. (See also the Learning Provision sub-section on Transitions)

Similarly, given the relatively high proportion of Travellers excluded from schools, policies around positive behaviour and exclusion are also likely to impact Traveller pupils more than others. The national guidance Better Relationships, Better Learning, Better Behaviour encourages the development and implementation of school policies which promote positive behaviour and relationships through whole school ethos and values; while the revised guidance Included Engaged and Involved Part 2: a positive approach to managing school exclusions [due to publish 2016 - add link once published] guides schools to consider contributing factors, including protected characteristics, when making decisions related to exclusion. For example, staff should reflect on the triggers which may lead to a Traveller child or young person acting in a challenging way, particularly where there is a risk of exclusion, and put in place a plan which clearly outlines strategies that staff should use to support behaviour.

In all these cases, considering Travellers needs during development and review of policies and approaches provides a significant opportunity to impact positively on the education of a Traveller child or young person. Leaders should also routinely measure the impact that their policies have on Traveller children and young people's learning experiences. (See sub-section Self-evaluation for self-improvement below).

"Our nurture programmes have been age and stage appropriate and really supported our boy Travellers who often feel they can't discuss their feelings. It has contributed to their positive feelings about school."
Primary Headteacher

GIRFEC

Getting it right for every child ( GIRFEC) is the national approach in Scotland to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of children and young people by offering, if needed, the right help at the right time from the right people. GIRFEC requires services to work together and in partnership with children, young people and their parent(s) to support children and young people's wellbeing.

Under the GIRFEC approach, making available a clear point of contact or 'named person' ensures that there is someone who has responsibility for helping children and young people get the support they need, if and when they want it. It is also a clear point of contact for parents should they wish to seek advice or if they wish to discuss a concern about the wellbeing of their child.

Named persons are also a point of contact for other services if they have concerns about a child's or young person's wellbeing. This helps to ensure services can provide more effective support for children, young people and their parents by being better coordinated. Generally the responsibility for providing a named person service lies with the NHS board before the child starts primary school and the local authority once the child is of school age.

It is recognised that Traveller children often have a non-standard use of the universal services of health and education, and in some cases can experience difficulty accessing services. For this reason, local authorities may need to give particular consideration to arrangements to make a named person available to Traveller children while they are living in their area. These arrangements should be responsive to the needs of children and families where ever they are in Scotland, and sensitive to cultural diversity and difference. Specific considerations may apply in respect of Traveller children, depending on the nature of their engagement with services and their pattern of residence and travel.

Practice Insight

A primary school invited two Traveller parents and their children to a meeting to contribute to the development of the school's anti-bullying policy. A member of the local secondary school staff (a depute headteacher) also attended. As a result, a section of the policy was dedicated to teachers taking positive action against race-related (specifically Gypsy/Traveller) bullying through whole class sessions. The Traveller parents felt that the school understood their concerns, that they were being listened to and that their contribution was valued. It also engendered positive relations with the secondary school, therefore contributing to the possibility of positive transitions.

Practice Insight

A headteacher's tips for enrolling new Traveller children

  • On the first visit provide a tour of the school led by the school's key contact person for day-to-day contact with Traveller pupils and their families. Introduce the child's teacher and the head teacher if available. This will help the parents and child feel included, part of the school, straightaway.
  • Let parents know what documents you need to formally enrol the child - birth certificates etc. - and ask them to let the key contact person know of any problems in supplying the documents. Staff should support families through this process, particularly where the enrolment is non-standard.
  • Provide support to parents during enrolment, for example by offering to fill in the form for them if they would like to tell you the information. Do this sensitively. For example, to save embarrassing a parent with limited literacy skills say 'If you just want to tell me the information, I'll fill in the form if you would like'.
  • Ask if the Traveller already knows someone in the school community - a parent of a child already at school for example - and consider if their acquaintance can help in some way to support the transition into the school.
  • Don't be tempted to visit a Traveller site or a Traveller's home without an invitation. Although this would be done with good intentions, this may be considered intrusive and is potentially counter-productive.

"Success for us has been welcoming the travelling family into our community, making contact with them from the beginning."
Primary Headteacher

Reflection

  • How effective are our processes for involving local families from mobile cultures in the ongoing review of our vision, aims and values?
  • How effective are the links with other agencies and people (eg social work services, local health board, CLD (Community Learning and Development), Traveller Education Network ( TENET)) in engaging and addressing the needs of the Traveller community, including families where children are not at school?
  • How effectively are incidents relating to racial discrimination acted upon to ensure lessons are learnt and prevent future occurrences?
  • Are staff up to date with processes for travelling communities and are our systems regularly reviewed?

Further information

  • The report ' Improving Outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Pupils' (Wilkin et al, 2014) sets out six constructive conditions which appeared instrumental in impacting positively on education to improve outcomes: safety and trust; Respect; Access and Inclusion; Flexibility; High Expectations; Partnership.
  • Respect me http://respectme.org.uk/
  • "A National approach to anti-bullying for Scotland's children and young people", SG 2010 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2010/11/12120420/0 [currently being refreshed - include future publication date and link to refreshed guidance once known]
  • Included Engaged and Involved Part 2: a positive approach to managing school exclusions [currently being refreshed - include future publication date and link to refreshed guidance once known]

Self-evaluation for self-improvement - using intelligence and data to measure impact on learners

'The most important thing is being able to demonstrate impact in relation to improved outcomes for your learners. To achieve this you must continuously track and monitor children and young people's successes and achievements and use your self‑evaluation to identify where your school is performing well and where it could do better. Weaknesses in these outcomes are usually the result of weaknesses within the learning provision or leadership and management, and often both. Where outcomes are either not improving or deteriorating, you need to take swift action.' HGIOS4, 2015

How Good Is Our School 4 ( HGIOS4) provides guidance on supporting and developing effective self-evaluation. To understand how to impact the educational outcomes for children and young people in their schools, school leaders need to ensure that self-evaluation, supported by robust analysis of a range of intelligence and data, is the norm and that all staff recognise and actively participate in this approach to continuous improvement. Only by drawing on intelligence will schools be able to answer the questions 'how are we doing' and 'how do we know' which are key to self-improvement and then go on to decide 'what are we going to do now?' The introduction of the National Improvement Framework, aimed at achieving excellence and equity in Scottish education, will provide schools with new and better information to help identify where improvement is needed.

The following table sets out some examples of data and intelligence which is likely to be key to improving Traveller outcomes. This data and intelligence will be useful for the senior management team, but it is important that teachers and other staff also draw on it, consider how it can inform improvements that will support their Traveller children and young people, test those improvements and then measure the impact of the changes they make.

Data/ intelligence relating to:

Reflective questions and how the data/ intelligence might be used

Attendance

How does attendance of Traveller children when they are in school compare to non-Travellers?

If children attend other schools whilst travelling, do you have arrangements for sharing information with those other schools?

Exclusions and behaviour

What does data/ intelligence tell you about the behaviour of Traveller pupils?

Do you understand the reasons behind any negative behaviour and have they been considered in developing plans and strategies to support behaviour?

Record of racist incidents

Do you capture information about race or other relevant characteristics in your incident reporting?

Are Travellers more likely to experience a racist incident, and if so, do you understand why?

Are your school's ethos and values clear that racism will not be tolerated?

Could your anti-bullying policy do more to prevent incidents?

Feedback from pupils and parents (including on engagement, enjoyment, and health and wellbeing)

What does this tell you about how well you are meeting their needs?

Do you need to do more to seek and enable good feedback?

Parental engagement

What levels of parental engagement (eg attendance at parent's evenings) do you have with Traveller families compared to others?

How effectively are parental engagement approaches adapted to meet the particular needs of Traveller families?

Evidence of considering Traveller children's cultural background

Do you provide relevant and meaningful learning activities which reflect the cultural background of Traveller children?

Do you promote personal development and encourage pupils' self-esteem, cultural identity, aspirations and career choice?

Are you taking into account culture differences and inter-personal relationships to develop appropriate, and sometimes flexible, learning opportunities to suit individual learning styles?

Transitions data

What does transitions data tell you about the effectiveness of transitions arrangements for Traveller children?

Do you have effective practices for promptly accessing information about children's prior learning (when they either enrol or return to your school) which is then used to develop an appropriate plan for learning?

Do you consider whether a personalised transition plan would be of benefit for Traveller children?

Additional support for learning

Do you fully understand the types of additional support needs your Travellers have, or may have?

How well does the school meet their additional support needs?

What assessments have been undertaken, and what has been the outcome?

Performance data used to track progress and achievement

What does this tell you about progress of Travellers in your school? What do you recognise as 'achievements' and do these reflect achievements relevant to different Traveller cultures?

Are targets set for Travellers who experience interrupted learning or other barriers to learning sufficiently stretching?

Do you understand what expectations Traveller children have for themselves, and what expectations Traveller parents have for their children?

Attainment and positive destinations

How does data for Travellers compare to data for peers?

Do you understand the reasons behind these differences?

Do you set stretching targets for Travellers to drive improvements in learning provision?

Evidence of good practice

Do you look for evidence of good practice, in and out of school, and share it with practitioners?

Do staff share their experience and learning with colleagues?

The local Traveller community

Do you know whether Travellers live in your school community?

What local information will help you better understand your local Traveller community's education needs?

By way of example, schools can use data analysis to support improved attendance so as to positively impact on Traveller children's educational outcomes. Given the impact on learning and educational outcomes, if data analysis highlights poor attendance which cannot be explained by family mobility, schools should explore the reasons behind the attendance pattern with the pupil and parent. Once the causes are understood, schools can work with the pupil and family to support improved attendance and address any other issues or concerns. Schools should critically review any of their own procedures which may be impacting negatively on attendance levels. Early intervention to address declining attendance is particularly important for older children and young people who are at greater risk of disengaging from education. Effective tracking, monitoring and analysis procedures which are backed up by school leaders and local authority policies will be required to support such work.

"My attendance isn't very good but I am getting better at it now because I am in a special dance class. They are in the morning so I miss if I am late."
P6 Traveller

Included, Engaged and Involved Part 1: Attendance in Scottish Schools provides useful guidance around follow-up up on absence. Given that some Traveller parents may not speak English or may have limited literacy, schools should be particularly mindful of the advice about communicating with parents about absence.

SEEMiS and record keeping

To be useful, data needs to be accurate. There is flexibility within SEEMiS (the school management information system) to record periods of travel for Traveller children and young people, and schools need to ensure that administration staff follow local authority procedures to ensure that the data is collected and up-to-date. Schools should note that:

  • Pupils can be registered on SEEMiS with two schools at the same time. For example, some families arrange for their children to enrol in a 'base school' for part of the year and take authorised 'Extended Leave with Parental Consent' for periods of travel. The children may temporarily enrol in others schools as they travel, and these schools provide attendance and other data to the 'base school'.
  • The correct SEEMiS code to use when a pupil is travelling for cultural reasons is code 14, see below.
  • If there are child protection/wellbeing concerns for a child or young person who is travelling and their whereabouts are unknown and no communication has been made from the family explaining that they will be travelling for a period, Children Missing from Education ( CME) procedures must be followed.

Code

Narrative

Explanation

14

Authorised Absence - Travelling as part of culture/tradition (Education authority consent required)

Pupil has permission to travel as part of their tradition, for family connections or work commitments.

It is critical too that all school records for Travellers are maintained to high standards so that Travellers can have confidence in the accuracy of the information held by the school at any time and particularly at the point of transition. This becomes increasingly important when families are highly mobile and opportunities for planned transitions limited. Authorities will need to identify clear systems for sharing information with receiving schools and authorities

Practice Insight

A primary school headteacher identified an emerging pattern of some Traveller children not attending school on a Friday. The key Traveller contact member of staff established that some families thought it unnecessary to send their children to school on a Friday, as it was a half-day. Revising the week's timetable so that Friday mornings included creative activities which the Traveller children were known to enjoy, led to attendance rates improving significantly.

Reflection

  • How effective is our communication with families around expectations?
  • What range of data and information do we use to understand the social, economic and cultural context of the mobile cultures within our local community?
  • How reliable is our evidence of impact on the learning of the pupils?
  • How effective are our planning, recording and information transfer processes for children from mobile communities?

Leadership of learning and staff development

It is likely that many teaching and other school staff may know little about Traveller culture and may have limited understanding of the barriers they can face in accessing an education. Leaders therefore have a responsibility to support all staff to develop their knowledge of Travellers and help them understand their own role in improving Travellers' educational experience. This is particularly important in a school which has Traveller children on the roll and in this case staff who engage with Traveller children and their communities should be encouraged to develop their practice in leading learning in this area. However, this is also important for schools that do not have Traveller children on their roll, in which case it is anticipatory matter. In this way all staff will be better prepared should Travellers enrol in the school (which may happen unexpectedly) or may encourage existing pupils to identify themselves as Travellers.

Training for staff, including core aspect for probationer teachers and induction and on-going training for non-teaching staff, needs to include awareness raising around Traveller culture and to examine the challenges that schools and families face in developing positive working relationships. Some of the best learning will come from engaging with children and their families. For example, raising awareness activities developed with Traveller children can be an effective way of sharing examples of Traveller culture with other staff and children in a positive and interactive way. To enable them to support Travellers, teaching staff should be helped to develop their knowledge and understanding of relevant learning and teaching, family engagement in the classroom, managing distance and digital learning, and monitoring and assessment procedures (particularly during periods of mobility). For teachers, such Career-Long Professional Learning ( CLPL) is consistent with the Social Justice element of the GTCS Professional Standards [23] and the Professional Values and Personal Commitment core to being a teacher.

The need to support non-teaching staff in their understanding of Travellers should not be underestimated. Most Traveller families will get their first impression of a school from the office staff and effective relationships at the front desk can go a long way to building a relationship of trust with parents and the Traveller community. It is therefore essential that, in addition to building their knowledge of Traveller culture, office staff are supported to develop the skills they need to engage positively with Travellers, particularly strong interpersonal skills which enable them to engage sensitively and diplomatically.

The leadership of learning and staff development needs to be a continuous process which is reinforced with positive role models. Head teachers need to: set clear expectations; support staff to develop the knowledge and skills they need; monitor and evaluate the impact of staff development interventions on Traveller pupils' progress and relationships with the Traveller community; and then adapt, repeat or reinforce staff development approaches as necessary. For example, a head teacher spending time in the school playground (Traveller parents are likely to bring their children to school) on a regular basis can both encourage feedback from Traveller parents and demonstrate to staff the value of engaging with the family.

Practice Insight

"Strong community engagement with some of the most marginalised areas of the local community, for example through the Engaging with Travellers work. This has included making visits to the sites, engaging with the community and building relationships and using this as a vehicle to identify needs."
Good practice noted by Education Scotland in a secondary school

Reflection

  • How well do all staff understand their role and responsibility in supporting Travellers' wellbeing?
  • To what extent do we critically engage with research, policy sources and developments in learning and teaching for mobile cultures?

Management of resources to promote equity

School leaders need to promote equity for Travellers in their schools by ensuring that resources are managed in a way which enables the needs of this group of learners to be better met alongside meeting the needs of their other learners. Resource decisions in schools should be evidence-based, systematically monitored and regularly reviewed to ensure that resources are targeted to work and approaches which lead to improved, more equitable outcomes for Travellers. Before fully committing resources, schools should look for research or other evidence from those who have tested the product or approach in other schools or local authority areas, or pilot the product or approach themselves. The impact of Travellers lifestyles should also be considered, for example, resources which aren't sufficiently flexible to work around a pattern of interrupted education pattern are unlikely to be effective in supporting some Travellers.

Of course, not everything needs to have a financial cost and school leaders should consider how using their existing resources - including premises and staff - effectively and flexibly, can support Travellers. For example, identifying a staff member to act as a key point of contact with Travellers, can have significant benefits (see also Leadership of learning and staff development sub-section). Also, school leaders can get involved in, or draw on the expertise of, Scotland's Traveller Education Network ( TENET), a national professional network where ideas around management and resourcing are shared. Many Scottish education authorities encourage their designated Traveller education support staff to join TENET.

"The most successful area for us as a school has been the Performance Programme. Talents have been uncovered from singing and acting to dancing. Parents have made the effort to come in and see their child perform out with school hours and this has contributed immensely to the child's self-esteem and parents' experience of school life."
Primary Headteacher

Investment in staff development is crucial to supporting Travellers through education, and should ensure that the benefits from other resource investments are maximised. For example, by supporting all school staff to develop their knowledge and understanding of Traveller culture, the school will become more inclusive and Travellers will benefit as a result (see Leadership of learning and staff development sub-section).

Schools will want to acquire learning resources to support Travellers and other children who need additional support, for example resources to support EAL learners, resources known to help children quickly catch up on their literacy ability or digital resources which help children continue learning during periods of mobility. Such investments may be significant, and need to be evaluated carefully before committing resources. It is critical too that schools invest in the associated staff training for learning resources, where appropriate, to ensure that the full benefits of such investment are realised.

Schools should consider how the challenges faced by Traveller children and young people might impact on how they arrange and use the learning environment. For example, schools without existing nurture spaces should consider the benefits of creating a space which can be used as a safe or quiet space for Travellers, and other children, particularly at times when they are struggling to transition into a new school or just feeling unsafe. Such a space can also be used to support a 'soft start', helping a child prepare themselves for class if they have arrived for school late and/or in an anxious state.

Reflection

  • How effectively do we use our resources to meet the learning needs of children from mobile cultures and ensure equity?
  • How reliable is our evidence of impact on the learning of the pupils?
  • Do we need to adjust our learning to meet Traveller's needs, and if so, how?

Further information


Contact