Leadership and management
How well are we doing for children and young people from mobile cultures in our area?
Entitlement to support
Gypsy/Traveller children and young people are entitled to support to enable them to:
- review their learning and plan for next steps
- gain access to learning activities which will meet their needs
- plan for opportunities for personal achievement
- prepare for changes and choices and be supported through changes and choices
- schools and centres working with partners
All Gypsy/Traveller children and young people should have frequent and regular opportunities to discuss their learning with an adult who knows them well and can act as a mentor, helping them to set appropriate goals for the next stages in learning. This provides opportunities to challenge young people’s choices, which may be based on stereotypes. Young people themselves should be at the centre of this planning, as active participants in their learning and development. The health and wellbeing experiences and outcomes address more fully the theme of planning for the changes which a young person may experience and providing support for making choices.
To ensure that Curriculum for Excellence is a curriculum for all children and young people, it is essential that support is provided to remove barriers that might restrict their access to the curriculum because of their circumstances or short- or longer-term needs. Education Scotland has published Promoting Diversity and Equality which considered good practice examples across the four contexts of the curriculum. This report includes examples of good practice in making provision for diverse groups including Gypsy/Traveller children and young people and their families.
Embedding equality education, senior phase, DYW and vocational education
Developing Young Workforce is taking forward new Standards for Careers Guidance 3-18 and Work Placements which include an opening statement that
“It will be the responsibility of all partners to address the issue of equality. While this standard is expressed as a universal entitlement, it needs to be clear that not all young people enjoy the same advantages, nor face the same challenges. Their backgrounds and circumstances must never limit their potential and all partners will seek to develop practice which ensures improved outcomes for all young people.
All involved in career education should provide advice, guidance and opportunities that contributes to:
- eradicating discrimination
- ensuring equality of opportunity features
- fostering good relations across genders, social background, disabilities, ethnicities, sexual orientation, religions and pregnancy.”
The potential of a relevant Senior Phase offering opportunities for accreditation across forms of vocational learning to develop workforce skills a key policy priority and matches aspirations of Gypsy/Travellers’ communities and the young people themselves. Future developments can include collation of examples of emerging good practice in respect of personalised pathways for young people from Gypsy/Traveller background at the Senior Phase including skills for work.
Entitlements within Curriculum for Excellence
Gypsy/Travellers children and young people share the entitlements within Curriculum for Excellence. These include that children and young people from Gypsy/Traveller communities have an entitlement to a curriculum which they experience as a coherent whole, with smooth and well-paced progression through the experiences and outcomes, particularly across transitions, for example from pre-school to primary or from secondary school to college. Such an entitlement faces barriers linked to a learning environment that is not easily described as “Gypsy/Traveller friendly” and in the nature of family circumstances due to being mobile.
However in planning the curriculum authorities and schools have a responsibility to plan, in partnership with others involved in learning, how they will jointly enable children to move smoothly between establishments, building on prior learning and achievement in a manner appropriate to the learning needs of the individual. This includes liaison between establishments where children and young people change schools at times other than the ‘standard’ transitions. The transition from the period of compulsory education to a positive destination needs very careful planning in conjunction with appropriate partners for each individual young person.
Personalised support and wellbeing
All children and young people need support to help them learn and develop. The needs of the child or young person should always be central to the identification, planning and provision of support. Support should be appropriate, proportionate and timely.
Health and wellbeing guidelines set our schools the agenda to provide a learning environment that supports Gypsy/Travellers and sets out what a child or young person from the Gypsy/Traveller community can expect. It states:
“Each establishment, working with partners, should take a holistic approach to promoting health and wellbeing, one that takes account of the stage of growth, development and maturity of each individual, and the social and community context.
I can expect my learning environment to support me to:
- develop my self-awareness, self-worth and respect for others
- meet challenges, manage change and build relationships
- experience personal achievement and build my resilience and confidence
- understand and develop my physical,mental and spiritual wellbeing and social skills
- understand how what I eat, how active I am and how decisions I make about my behaviour and relationships affect my physical and mental wellbeing
- participate in a wide range of activities which promote a healthy lifestyle
- understand that adults in my school community have a responsibility to look after me, listen to my concerns and involve others where necessary
- learn about where to find help and resources to inform choices
- assess and manage risk and understand the impact of risk-taking behaviour
- reflect on my strengths and skills to help me make informed choices when planning my next steps
- acknowledge diversity and understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to challenge discrimination.”
Education authorities and schools can do more to promote engagement through ensuring this supportive environment.
How STEP provides support
STEP can conduct evaluations providing systematic and objective assessments of your intervention programmes, projects, or policy documents. Evaluation of the design, implementation and outcomes can determine fulfilment of objectives, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. In this way, you can easily identify areas for improvement, outstanding achievements and ensure policy and practice are of the highest standard.
Our consultancy work is informed by our research and many years of experience working with Travelling communities across Scotland. STEP is happy to consult on all matters relating to mobile families and education. We working partnership with practitioners, individuals and organisations to co-produce solutions to specific issues.
Training is customised to suit each local situation. Sessions vary in format and can range from one-hour staff development presentations to full-day Inservice.
Example of themes and approaches include:
- An introduction to Gypsy/Traveller culture, traditions and contemporary mobile lives -usually delivered by STEP staff and members of the Gypsy/Traveller communities.
- Try out a range of software to use in developing literacy with mobile children and develop learning outcomes.
- Planning, managing and assessing learning at a distance.
For more detail look at forthcoming events and Training Menu