Ofsted says some schools are ‘pushing away’ Gypsy Roma pupils

Sean Harford told MPs today that Gypsy Roma and Traveller (GRT) pupils faced a “push and pull” situation where some schools would push students away and some families would seek to remove them. Tes reports.

Asked what barriers there were to GRT pupils’ performance in schools, Mr Harford told the Commons Women and Equalities Committee:

“Exclusions, absence, a lack of previous education – certainly in the case of Roma children coming from Eastern Europe – and there is bullying and racism.

“There is a push and a pull factor here between some schools who push the children away, who don’t make them welcome. Others where families are pulling the children away at the same time. It is a complicated picture.”

Rose McCarthy, the chair of the Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and other Travellers warned the MPs that some teachers “with bad attitudes” encouraged home education among pupils from traveller communities. 

And a university academic said that GRT pupils faced discrimination and racism from school staff and their peers but suggested it was not taken seriously because they were white.

Last year the national average for pupils achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at the end of primary was 61 per cent – but just 16 per cent of GRT pupils achieved this, a gap of 45 percentage points.

Read the full article Ofsted says some schools are ‘pushing away’ Gypsy Roma pupils

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