Still time to tell Ofsted what you think

Ofsted, the schools inspectors, are updating their guideline about what they look for when they visit schools. Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are mentioned in the current framework, but it could be much stronger.

ACERT will be making a submission which we will post on the website but the more unique voices they hear, the more influential we shall be.

The consultation closes on the 5thApril 2019. Have your say and find out more here.

“We are proposing an evolutionary shift that rebalances inspection to look rather more closely at the substance of education: what is taught and how it is taught, with test and exam outcomes looked at in that context, not in isolation.

Outcomes clearly matter and will of course continue to be considered, in the context of what is being taught. But we all know that too much weight placed on performance measures alone can lead to a degree of distortion, both in what is taught and not taught, and in other aspects of how a provider is managed. We also know that those who come to education with a disadvantage of any kind are more likely to be directly affected when these distortions happen.”

ACERT welcomes Ofsted changes as we know Gypsy Roma and Traveller pupils are disproportionately impacted by poor practices such as these. We hope this shift will encourage schools to focus more on the quality of education received by children rather than the outcome they will be held accountable to fostering more inclusive practices.

Don’t miss Colin Clark at Kings!

King’s College London presents: ‘It is still possible to be a Traveller and have an education’ Guest Lecture by Professor Colin Clark
17 April 2019 5:30pm – 7pm

As part of the ‘Rom Belong’ event series by the Widening Participation Department at KCL, Professor Colin Clark will be joining us from the University of West Scotland to give a presentation on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller students and staff in education. He will explore themes of access and aspiration as well as resilience and racism, before turning the question to what education establishments and third parties can do to increase representation and attainment.

Church to challenge racism and hate

The Church of England’s national assembly, the General Synod, has backed a call for the Church of England to speak out against racism and hate crime directed against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Janie Codona, an ACERT EC member, spoke of discrimination she had first experienced aged only five years old. 

“We have experienced discrimination within the Gypsy and Traveller community every day and we have got so we don’t even seem to notice it half the time,” .

“We don’t judge, we don’t demand apologies, we don’t say ‘oh don’t treat us that way’ because we think’ what is the good it is only going to happen again the next day.’

“But as time went on I realised that if we didn’t stand up as a community and we didn’t start saying enough is enough it would never end.”

Janie Codona

In the motion passed by 265 – 1, the General Synod voted to request every Church of England diocese appoints a chaplain to Gypsies, Travellers and Roma communities. The motion also asks for the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council to evaluate the provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers in wider housing policy and recommends Church bodies raise the need for this land.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, moving a motion before the General Synod, spoke of the ‘evil’ of all forms of racism – and how racism and prejudice against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities was still ‘tragically’ tolerated.

“If one of us in any other situation today or later was to use racist language about some other person or group it is very likely in today’s society that we would and rightly so be immediately called out but tragically, perversely, racism against Traveller and Roma and Gypsies is still tolerated.”

“This motion may be modest in its scope but it signals a change of heart and a new direction in our determination to combat racism in all its manifestations and to be clear that all people are made in the image of God, and that Gypsy, Traveller and Roma people deserve particular support” .

Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford