Pupils: Travellers

House of Lords written question – answered on 22nd January 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Whitaker Baroness Whitaker Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the report by the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups, Civil Society Monitoring on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy in the United Kingdom in 2012 and 2013, and the report Overcoming barriers by Ofsted, what plans they have to encourage local authorities to appoint leaders to drive forward strategies to improve outcomes for Roma school students.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Local authorities have an important role to play in promoting better outcomes for Roma pupils. They are best placed to determine how to organise their local arrangements to support these pupils and should consider issues highlighted in the reports referred to by the noble Lady.

To support local authorities, the Department for Education funded two local authorities to trial a ‘virtual headteacher’ for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils, with responsibility for supporting schools to promote better outcomes for this group. The effective practice identified has been circulated to every local authority.

The Department will work with its Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Education Stakeholder Group, chaired by the noble Lady, to discuss ways for all the parties to encourage local action to improve provision and pupils’ outcomes.

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