Supporting Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils in school

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children are at risk of serious underachievement. As educationalists we should be questioning why there is little improvement in GRT children’s attainment in comparison to other Ethnic Groups and what support we can offer pupils to improve their achievement.

It is particularly important for pupils from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller backgrounds to see their cultures, languages, values and histories reflected in school. This has a positive effect on their self esteem as well as educating all pupils by giving them accurate knowledge. This can help combat stereotypical views which often lead to racism.

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


Services include:

  • 2 x visits from a Traveller Teaching Assistant (TTA) to include observation of a pupil, contact with parents/carers, support and compilation of a Report. Up to 5 further visits from Traveller Teaching Assistant which can include in-class support and mentoring, together with advice and guidance for staff working with a Traveller pupil. Support allocation is identified according to need
  • To monitor each child’s progress and to identify any concerns so we can work with schools to address these, EMTAS will contact you to arrange a follow up review visit between 3 and 6 months after the end of the child’s initial support visits
  • Bespoke transition programme for Traveller pupils between KS1 and KS2 to support integration and retention. Individualised transition programme for Traveller pupils moving from primary to secondary school
  • An EMTAS Education Adviser to support admission into school, to provide a link with parents/carers and communities and to provide
  • Advice and guidance on settling in, induction and transition. Support allocation is identified according to need
EMTAS Education Adviser

An EMTAS Education Adviser to help develop inclusive approaches, foster positive relationships and identify opportunities within the curriculum to value and promote Traveller culture. This may include:

  • Advice to schools on expected periods of absence for GRT fairs and events, how to respond and how to accurately record on SIMS
  • Support and advice on dual registration and attendance issues
  • Facilitation at multi agency meetings to support pupil’s attendance and achievement
  • Work with school to plan and deliver schemes of work celebrating Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month (GRTHM), Traveller Horse Fairs and cultural events (supporting English, Art, Drama, Music, Food Tech, History, SMSC, PSHE & British Values)
  • Coordination of services with school SLT, staff and other EMTAS support staff to ensure cohesive and effective support strategies
  • Advice and loan on appropriate resources for use in school and classroom and provide training and guidance on use
  • Support with curriculum planning and implementation
  • Advice on distance learning materials to support those pupils travelling
  • Supporting schools to develop links with parents/carers
  • Awareness-raising of GRT cultures through training and events
Academic support

For academic support for a GRT child make an online referral.