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The overall objective of the Traveller Education Advocacy Initiative is to increase the opportunities for Travellers to reach their full potential in the education system by working to address systemic and societal barriers to progression.
The Education advocacy Initiative aims to:
- Promote Traveller inclusion in the education system by working in partnership with education providers.
- Combat Traveller exclusion from the education system by working effectively with the Traveller community.
To increase Traveller access to education services and reduce early school leaving by working with Travellers, Traveller parents and Traveller organisations.
- Raising awareness of educational structures through the development of social media networks and regional seminars.
- Supporting local Traveller organisations to assist the Traveller community in their area to develop initiatives to increase equal and fair access.
- Developing educational materials.
- Hosting regional seminars with local Traveller organisations and Travellers.
To work with key stakeholders to raise awareness and understanding of the distinct needs of Travellers and promote their commitment to meeting those needs in an appropriate manner:
- Creating awareness raising material highlighting the specific needs and barriers faced by the Traveller community with regard to educational attainment for education stakelolders.
- Providing immediate remote access to Traveller specific research and information through the education section on the website.
- Develop partnership approaches with key stakeholders to assist and support Travellers to engage in the education system and to ensure their continued engagement maximising their potential.
- Promote and assist local schools to develop specific supports for the Traveller community in their area. Targeted events such as School Open Days for the Traveller community could be promoted through the education development workers in conjunction with the local Traveller organisations and Primary Health Care projects.
- Developing links to Third Level educational institutions to ensure members of the Traveller community have equal access and opportunities to participate at this level.
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To identify and disseminate relevant information to inform Traveller organisations and statutory services in their practice.
- Developing position papers and good practice guidelines to inform the appropriate delivery of education to members of the Traveller community. These papers and guidelines will clearly set out the steps education providers should adhere to to ensure that their service is open, accessible and equal to all members of society.
- Highlight the specific educational needs of Travellers at European level along with the needs of other European minority ethnic groups such as Roma.
To ensure positive outcomes for Travellers in any existing and emerging new structures which impact on education policies, procedures and services.
- Monitoring and resourcing of the National Traveller Education Strategy Advisory & Consultative Forum (NTESACF), based on our Specialist Support Agency status, to ensure all recommendations and actions agreed are based on up to date statistics and truly reflect the current educational needs of Travellers.
- Working in partnership with the Department of Education Inspectorate by raising awareness of the specific educational needs of Travellers. Provide information and/or training where possible to ensure that attention is given to the needs of Travellers.
- ‘Traveller Proofing’ the work of the Department of Education to assist them in ensuring that an appropriate ethnic identifier is in place which accurately records the number of Traveller children commencing, remaining in and progressing through all levels of the education system.
- Lobbying for the inclusion of Travellers at every level of the education system at various forums.