Supporting Traveller pupils in school

A focus on supporting the attendance, progress and attainment of Traveller pupils can help ensure children in these groups enjoy the same benefits and opportunities during their time in school as children from other groups.

As for other children, it is important for pupils from Traveller backgrounds to see their cultures, languages, values and histories reflected in school. This can have a positive effect on their self-esteem as well as giving all pupils a balanced, positive view of diversity within their school and local community. Work in this area can help combat stereotypical views of our Traveller communities, views which can lead to intolerance and racism.

EMTAS provides a range of services to support schools to meet the needs of children from all Traveller backgrounds including Gypsy, Roma, Travellers of Irish heritage, Showmen, Circus, Boaters and New Travellers.

Range of services available to schools

EMTAS aims to offer Traveller-specific services to school that meet local needs, hence there is not a one-size-fits all approach.

Schools can access support for individual Traveller children or for groups of children, whichever is the most appropriate to the needs of the child(ren) concerned. Support might be given through well-being mentoring or through bespoke transition packages. For older Traveller children, support might focus on the transition to post-16.

Alternatively, schools can access Traveller-specific services that span longer time periods for their Traveller cohorts, for example pooling the notional support allocation per Traveller pupil and using it to introduce the EMTAS Traveller and Showmen Literacy Ambassador programme.

EMTAS Traveller Support Worker

EMTAS TSWs can work with school staff to support Traveller pupils either individually or in groups. They work with the pupil(s) and school staff to agree on a suitable programme of support. This may take various forms including:

  • Bespoke transition programmes to support children from Traveller heritages with any/all the following:
    • transition into Year R
    • transition from an Infant School to a Junior School
    • transition from Year 6 to Year 7
    • transition from Year 11 into post-16
  • Mentoring/well-being support for individual Traveller pupils
  • Bespoke retention support for individual Traveller pupils (KS3 and 4)
  • Bespoke transition support for students moving into the post-16 sector
  • GRT and Showmen Literacy Ambassador programme
EMTAS Specialist Teacher Advisor

An EMTAS Specialist Teacher Advisor can work with schools to develop practice and provision for Traveller pupils and their families and communities at strategic and operational levels. This may include:

  • working with the EMTAS Traveller Excellence Award
  • advice on retention strategies for students in Key Stages 3 and 4
  • support with planning for transition, including transition to post-16
  • advice to school staff on planning and delivering activities to celebrate Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month (GRTHM), World Fun Fair Month, Traveller Horse Fairs and/or other cultural events
  • advice, training and loan of appropriate resources for use in school and classroom
  • advice on distance learning materials to support those pupils who are travelling with their families for business purposes
  • supporting schools to develop links with parents/carers
  • awareness-raising of Traveller cultures through training and events