Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We've been awarded government grant to support education of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

We've been awarded a government grant of over £200,000 to help support the education of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people.

We're one of five local authorities to have been awarded a share of the £1 million fund, as part of a year-long pilot project to boost educational attainment, tackle exclusion and drop-out rates and improve pathways to employment for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children.

With the grant of £225,796, we aim to support more Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in education and in acquiring skills needed for work, and hope to:

  • support more families to access early years education, helping children up to five years old develop the skills they need to prepare for school
  • work with teachers to increase their knowledge of cultural and educational issues
  • support individual pupils with their learning, with the aim of them continuing into secondary education
  • develop a work experience project for up to 12 year-11-aged pupils to allow them to develop workplace skills and gain a recognised accreditation

Councillor Sue Clark, our Executive Member for Families, Education and Children said:

Not attending early years education or taking young people out of education before they have reached statutory school age can have major implications for the rest of a child’s life.

We already have three part time traveller liaison officers, who support families in accessing education. But this grant means we will be able to offer much more support to make sure that no young person is left behind, and that they are able to access education and gain valuable life skills.

The pilot areas were chosen as those with the highest number of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils attending primary and/or secondary school, according to data from the DfE 2020 National Pupil Database.

According to 2011 census data, the population of Central Bedfordshire was estimated to be 254,381 of which 0.2% of the population was estimated to be a Gypsy or Traveller. This is twice the percentage proportion of the population found nationally.