‘Take the School Pledge’ - Say Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman and Boater’s.

8 June 2022
take the pledge

Join this online event to hear how your school can be more inclusive and improve engagement with Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showmen and Boater pupils.

The Pledge for Schools is a commitment schools sign up to, to work towards creating a welcoming environment and conditions in which Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showmen and Boater (GTRSB) pupils can stay resilient and thrive academically.

“We would like to emphasise that parents can promote and forward this pledge to their children’s teachers and schools if they are committed to having a better understanding of our way of life,” said Sally Barter, GRT Schools Link Officer for London Borough, Hillingdon. “We all want our children to have the best education possible and we shouldn’t have to fight for this right, but the pledge ensures schools have to listen and learn more about us.”

Come and hear what the Pledge contains, how it is working in a signed up school, and from practitioners in Traveller education, as well as from community members as to why the Pledge is needed.

You can join the event by registering here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gypsy-roma-traveller-showmen-and-boater-grtsb-pledge-for-schools-tickets-323921727607

Sally Barter
“The Pledge ensures schools have to listen and learn more about us,” Sally Barter (c) Mike Doherty

The schools’ Pledge has been adapted from the GTRSB into HE: Improving Access and Participation for GTRSB Pledge, developed after consultation with individuals from Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showmen and Boater communities (graduates, pupils and academic staff who are members of the communities) and is underpinned by key research findings, and consideration of widening participation interventions effective in supporting members of the communities into and within HE.

The school Pledge has been developed with additional consultation from schools and NGOs working with GRTSB families. It contains actions such as building a supporting and welcoming culture for GTRSB pupils, data monitoring of GTRSB pupils and staff, cultural awareness training for staff, including GTRSB history and culture on the curriculum, having a named contact point for GTRSB pupils and outreach and engagement to local GTRSB communities.

The event will be chaired by Dr Carol Rogers, Senior Lecturer in Education, Buckinghamshire New University.

The speakers are:

Introduction from Baroness Whitaker, co-Chair to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gypsies, Roma and Travellers and Chair of the Department of Education Gypsy and Traveller Stakeholder Group.

Margaret Greenfields, Anglia Ruskin University, explaining what the Pledge contains.

Colleen Roper, from Future4Fairgrounds.

Jassy Powles and her son Jem Purry, from the Boater community.

Rosa Cisneros, Roma artist-researcher and filmmaker (Coventry University and RosaSenCis Films).

Martin Gallagher, Irish Traveller and academic at Northumbria University.

Sally Barter, Romany, GRT Schools’ link officer for the London Borough of Hillingdon, one of the pilot areas who have received the recent £1m government funding for Traveller education.

Sadie Barter, Romany Gypsy young person, talking about her experiences at school.

Paula Strachan, Head of St Teresa’s school, Darlington, signatory to the Pledge, talking about good practice at the school. St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School serves a diverse community with 54% of pupils from an ethnic minority group. The school and Paula’s leadership are used by the Catholic Education Service as a role model for schools with a diverse community and those with a high percentage of GRT pupils. Paula is regularly asked to speak about inclusion including recently providing oral evidence to the Education Select Committee regarding GRT barriers to education.

Liffy McDonnell Bond, the Anti-bullying Alliance, talking about the Alliance’s Gypsy and Traveller Anti-Bullying project and audit tool.

Theodora Brady, Department for Education.

Questions to the panel can be asked in any remaining time.

By FFT Press release/ TT News


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