We believe that every child and young person has a right to learn in a safe environment that is free from bullying and that is affirming towards their culture and way of life.
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people often experience bullying in schools, have lower levels of attainment and are among those most likely to be excluded from school. Many of the young people we work with tell us that they experience racist bullying from other children but also sometimes from staff members. Many young people feel that their culture and way of life is not recognised or affirmed within the education system. For example, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller histories are not covered in the curriculum and many other aspects of the curriculum fail to consider the lives and experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils.
"Avril comes to support me with my courses at college. She's helped me find someone who can support me with spelling and writing! I'm a young carer and if I need a break she helps me and my mum with days out, to do something nice together."
Every year, our casework and outreach teams help over 1300 families with issues ranging from homelessness to hate crime, bullying in schools to accessing higher education and much more. Our dedicated team of national caseworkers and outreach support workers, teachers, actors and youth workers help children and young people by:
- Providing advice and advocacy to parents of children and young people experiencing bullying or racism in school;
- Visiting schools around the country with our touring theatre production Crystal's Vardo;
- Supporting children and young people to access support for special educational needs;
- Running a homework club to support children with after school tasks and activities; and
- Organising extra-curricular activities where young people get the chance to make new friends and develop new skills.
We work at a local and national level to:
- Challenge racist bullying against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people in schools
- Promote inclusion of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history on the curriculum.
Our key tools and forums we use to bring about change in this area include:
- Our touring theatre production Crystal's Vardo which raises awareness and improves understanding of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities;
- Our membership of the Department for Education stakeholder group for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities;
- The APPG for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma, to which we act as Secretariat;
- Asking Universities to take the GRTSB into Higher Education pledge;
- Our work with partnership organisations and fora, including Equally Ours, the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the Coalition of Race Equality Organisations; and
- International Human Rights treaty making bodies, such as the United Nations.
We carry out research to:
- investigate and expose unfair treatment against Gypsy and Traveller children and young people in the education system; and
- amplify the voices of Gypsy and Traveller children and young people in the education system.
To view our full range of reports and publications on education visit our Policy and Publications section.