2010-11 represented the first year of Coalition Government and many challenges for ACERT.
- The localism agenda resulted in changes to planning guidance which Lord Avebury, President of ACERT, said would reverse a trend in thereduction in the proportion of the caravan-dwelling Gypsy-Traveller population who are homeless, from a quarter in 2004 to 17% in 2011.
- The impact of the Dale Farm eviction, supported financially by the Government, clearly signalled the new climate
- The gradual extinction of Traveller Education Support Services and the reliance on the Pupil Premium to meet needs
- The Inter-Departmental Ministerial Working Group on Gypsies and Travellers (but not Roma), led by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
ACERT sought to respond to these challenges providing information to parliamentarians, stakeholders groups and government consultations. In meetings with ministers, OFSTED and the Children’s Commissioner, we sought to ensure that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils remained on the inclusion agenda. We also worked with other organisations, such as the NATT+, ITMB and RSG, to develop effective and coordinated responses to developing policies.
Download ACERTAnnual report 2010-2011
Artists: Cristiano Berti (Italy) Elisabeth Blanchet (France/UK) Danica Dakic (Bosnia-Herzegovina) Nigel Dickinson (UK/France) Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi (Italy) Alfredo Jaar (Chile) Sitki Kosemen (Turkey) Josef Koudelka (Moravia) Maria Papadimitriou (Greece) Alessandro Quaranta (Italy) William Ropp (France) Santiago Sierra (Spain)
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The second meeting of the Research Group was held at the Open Society Foundation on Friday 20th April. The attendance was not as good as the first meeting, which may have been due to belated reminder emails.
Brian Foster had produced first draft of a proposal for research around the alarmingly high level of Irish Traveller and Gypsy Roma exclusions. The draft had been discussed and broadly supported by the Roma Support Group; they suggested that Roma were more likely to self-exclude, and this could be incorporated into the proposal. The next step would be to break the proposal down into operational components to identify potential researchers, funders and partners. One possibility would be the development of a research cluster around the university of Greenwich.
Another potential cluster appears to be developing around Dr John Coxhead at the University of Derby, possibly focusing on criminology, policing and the law.
There was a discussion about the focuses of activity, local, national and international with the feeling that the European framework for Roma integration, the proposals of the ministerial working group, and the work of Open Society Foundation may all generate research topics.
The Government yesterday published its progress report called “Tackling Inequalities for Gypsy and Traveller Communities”.
This report will be discussed at the next ACERT Executive on 1st May after which our response will be published here. The Executive is open to all ACERT members (although space is limited).