Written answers

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Traveller Education

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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1029. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if work has commenced on the Traveller education strategy, which was committed to in the 2020 programme for Government; the progress that has been made to date; and when the strategy will be completed and rolled out across the education system. [30398/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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It is my intention to advance a Traveller education strategy in line with the Programme for Government commitment. Work has progressed and is underway on a number of areas which will inform the development of a Traveller education strategy.

This includes:

- a pilot project Supporting Traveller and Roma (STAR)which is underway in 4 areas with the aim of improving attendance, participation and school completion;

- work underway by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) to support teaching and learning of Traveller history and culture, which follows the 2019 audit of the curriculum in respect of Traveller culture and history;

- the refined DEIS identification model I announced in March of this year which includes components to reflect the educational disadvantage experienced by students who have self-identified as Traveller or Roma.

In addition, in line with National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS) commitments, my Department commissioned research on the effectiveness of the Department’s anti-bullying procedures on Traveller and Roma experiences in the school system. The report of the research, which was carried out by DCU’s Anti-Bullying Centre, was published on their website in March and will feed into the ongoing work in relation to developing a new Action Plan on Bullying, and reviewing and revising anti-bullying guidelines and procedures for schools.

Officials from my Department, together with officials from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, engage with Traveller representative organisations as part of the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS) education subcommittee. This engagement will continue in the context of the development of the Traveller education strategy.

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