Despite the thoughtful and largely positive recommendations of the Women and Equalities Committee last year, we have just seen a Government elected whose only policy on Romanies and Travellers is to increase police powers against families on roadside camps.
Last year the professional association of teachers and supports workers for Traveller Education (NATT+) folded, and in most areas of the country, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller parents have no-one to turn to if they are struggling with their children’s education.
ACERT believes that parents, who have faced and overcome challenges in getting their children a decent education, could provide advice and support to others in a similar position.
Our plan is to try and develop and support a parent’s network, on-line and face-to-face, where parents can raise and discuss questions and concerns, and hopefully get answers from other participants. We are also developing a dedicated website where can find clear basic information for parents about enrolment, appeals, attendance, curriculum, Special Education Needs, exclusions, home education, further and higher education, and child protection, regularly updated in response to the issues raised is by the network.
With the demise of Traveller Education Services and financial cutbacks, teachers who may want to understand their children better often have nowhere to turn for advice and information. So we would like to plan something similar to help them give our children a better deal.
Our conference of 26th June in Manchester aims to attract parents and teachers and to engage them in developing the ideas in ways that will work best for them.
Our aim is to present ideas to the conference and for participants to discuss them in workshops. To make sure our ideas are relevant and realistic, we would like to discuss them as widely as possible in the run up. If you would be willing to help us in this you can join our mailing list on the topic firstname.lastname@example.org using this form. We also plan to hold online meetings in mid-February for anyone expressing interest.