Greater education opportunities for gypsy traveller families

Extra funding to boost teaching expertise.

An additional £275,000 to support and share best practice in delivering education for children and young people in the Gypsy/Traveller community has been confirmed today by Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie.

Making the announcement at a meeting of the Traveller Education Network (TENET) in Edinburgh, Ms McKelvie said:

“We want all children and young people to get the support that they need to reach their full learning potential. This is why we are focusing on overcoming barriers to learning and getting it right for every child. 

“Young people from the Gypsy/Traveller community can face particular challenges that can impact upon their educational attainment. That is why it is important that we invest in what works.

“The extra funding is being provided to the Scottish Traveller Education Programme (STEP) which supports teachers of Gypsy/Travellers across Scotland. It will be used to accelerate a programme of work to upskill key teaching staff and strengthen partnerships across all age groups – from early years to adult learning.

“We are determined to work closely with the Gypsy/Traveller community to invest in approaches that better meet their needs, and that improve the life chances of members of that community.”


An additional £275,000 to support and share best practice in delivering education for all ages and stages through STEP was highlighted in the First Minister’s Programme for Government.

This funding paves the way for a further £500,000 Tackling Child Poverty Fund investment in a community education programme for Gypsy/Traveller families, starting from 2019.

The Scottish Government is determined to work across and beyond government to address the inequality faced by Scotland’s Gypsy/Travellers. A Ministerial Working Group has been set up which will oversee a concerted effort to improve outcomes at a faster pace in the key areas of accommodation, education, poverty and health.

The Scottish Government is supporting greater opportunities for the voice of the Gypsy/Traveller community to be heard in decisions that affect their lives. This year we will:

  • Provide over £1 million funding, over three years, to organisations supporting the Gypsy/Traveller community
  • Consider what further actions are needed to ensure our public services meet the needs of the community
  • Give the community a stronger voice in the future development of where they live and ensure that they have safe and secure places to stop or settle through planning reform
  • Invest £100,000 to establish the new Gypsy/Traveller Women’s Voices Project, and continue to support the Young Gypsy/Traveller Assembly, to empower the community to have a greater say in decisions that affect their lives.
  • Work with COSLA, NHS and Police Scotland to take forward a programme of activities to tackle negative attitudes to Gypsy/Travellers across the public sector.


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