Traveller education support service
The service aims to raise the educational achievement of Traveller children and to promote Traveller culture in schools and the community.
- In-service training to encourage good practice for those working with the Traveller community
- In-class learning support for Traveller pupils
- The development of whole school projects that support effective curriculum planning meeting the needs of Traveller children
- Offering access to resources that can be used to make easier planning
Attendance and registration of Traveller pupils
The law is designed to protect Traveller parents from unreasonable prosecution for the non-attendance of their children at school. It does not mean that part-time education for Traveller pupils is legally acceptable, nor does it relieve parents of their primary duty to ensure that their children are receiving suitable education when not at school.
Traveller parents are prevented from conviction if they can demonstrate that:
- he or she is engaged in a trade or business of such a nature as requires him to travel from place to place
- the child has attended school as a registered pupil as regularly as the nature of that trade or business permits
- the child, where aged six years or more, has attended school for at least 200 sessions (half days) during the preceding 12 months
The aim should always be to ensure that Traveller children attend school as regularly and as frequently as possible. The interests of the child need to be balanced with a sensitive and sympathetic approach which recognises the lifestyle and cultural traditions of family life.
Schools may authorise absence of Traveller children by the use of register code T. The school would need to be satisfied that a family migrates but gives reasonable indications that they have the intention to return. Schools should consult the Attendance and Behaviour Service on these matters.
Where Traveller children are registered pupils at a school and are known to be residing at a site (official or otherwise) or in a house and are not attending school, the absence must be investigated in precisely the same way as that for any other pupil.
Dual registration of Traveller pupils
Pupil Registration Regulations were amended in 1998 to make easier dual registration of Traveller children.
This means that if the parents inform the 'base school' that the child is going to be away travelling but will return, or if the school knows that the child regularly leaves the area, the child should not be removed from the school roll.
- Regulation 9(1)(b) - Registration of pupils at another school
- Regulation 9(1)(g) - Absences of more than four weeks, unknown location
These regulations do not apply to Traveller pupils and while the child is away, the base school holds the place open and records the absence as authorised (register code T).
All other regulations for recording attendance apply to Traveller children as they do for all other pupils.
Traveller Outreach Worker c/o Town Hall