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LEFT BEHIND in the classroom; How Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children face an education gap that affects their entire lives.

Byline: MICHAEL GOODIER

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children have substantially worse outcomes at school compared to people of other ethnicities, an exclusive investigation has revealed.

Our analysis of government statistics shows that nationally, 67 per cent of all early years pupils met the expected standard of development in 2015/16.

However, just 24 per cent of Gypsy and Roma children and 36 per cent of Irish Traveller children aged 4-5 did so - the worst results of any ethnic group by a wide Only 41 per cent adults would be with their child playdate at the a Gypsy/Traveller margin.

The difference only gets worse as children progress through the education system.

By age 7-11, only 13 per cent of Gypsy and Roma and 19 per cent of Irish Traveller children are reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, compared to 53 per cent across all ethnic groups.

They also the have the highest absence rates from school - more than double any other ethnicity.

Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller (GRT) children are also the most likely to drop out of school aged 16, with roughly a third leaving school and not going into further education or employment.

of happy having a home of In 2016, (the latest year with data available), Irish Traveller, Gypsy and Roma were the only ethnic groups that had no students achieving three As at A Level.

These inequalities seen at such early age also have an effect on GRT people later on in life.

For example, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people are also disproportionately more likely to end in the criminal justice system.

According to the Annual Prison Survey, in 2017/18 11 per cent of female prisoners and four per cent of male prisoners in England and Wales identified as being from a GRT background - despite only making up per cent of the total population.

Meanwhile, polling suggests GRT people still face stigma and negative attitudes from the rest of the population.

A YouGov poll last year found that only 41 per cent of adults would be happy with their child having a playdate at the home of a Gypsy or Traveller, and one four said they would be unhappy with close relative having a long-term relationship or marriage with someone from this background.

Health data tends to absorb the GRT population into the white population as a whole. However, Gypsies and Travellers are less likely to have access to NHS dental services - only 81 per cent managed to get a booking in 2016/17 compared to the average of 95 per cent.

We also found that while many government datasets record statistics for other ethnic groups, there was a general lack of information on the problems faced by GRT people.

Jim Davies, manager of the Equality and Social Justice unit at the Traveller Movement, said: "The inequalities faced by Gypsies, Roma and Irish Travellers are pervasive and need to be challenged more for compared of effectively by policy makers and Government.

"GRT people face discrimination in all areas of their lives, which again perpetuates poor outcomes across key policy areas; from health, to education, to economic inclusion, to criminal justice.

"It appears that the 'last acceptable form of racism' is alive and well. However, Gypsies, Roma and Irish Travellers are three distinct ethnic groups, and racism towards any ethnic group is unacceptable.

"The root causes of this inequality are embedded in institutional and societal systems; these need to be rooted out and tackled."

Educational outcomes GRT children are shockingly poor when to the rest the population

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Only 41 per cent of adults would be happy with their child having a playdate at the home of a Gypsy/Traveller

Educational outcomes for GRT children are shockingly poor when compared to the rest of the population
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Aug 3, 2018
Words:634
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