On the 9thJanuary The Women and Equalities committee held its the fifth and final evidence session of the enquiry into inequalities faced by Gypsy Roma and Traveller communities.They heard from Ministers from the Department of health and social care, the Department of education and the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.
The new children and young people’s minister, Nadhim Zahawi rejected a call to set aside money specifically to help GRT children in schools and that, “there needs were better met through pupil premium”.
A one size fits all approach continued to take precedence despite calls by educationalists, activists ad charities to ringfence funding amidst fears that many schools are not using their pupil premium funding to help children from GRT communities.
The committee Chair Maria Miller asked Mr Zahawi to write to the committee about, “whether or not the pupil premium criteria really are picking up on the needs of children in this community”; we look forward to reading and sharing the response in the coming months.
Labour MP Gavin Shuker also noted the government and Ofsted guidance on bullying rarely mentioned GRT despite reports of high levels of bullying and harassment in education settings. The Children’s Minister noted that more needed to be done but said the DfE was funding activities to combat bullying and had published a document to help schools to address this general issue.