Publication - Consultation paper

Improving educational outcomes for children and young people from travelling cultures: consultation paper

Published: 21 Feb 2017
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Education, Equality and rights

Draft guidance for a consultation on supporting children and young people from travelling communities to engage in school education.

57 page PDF

854.4 kB

57 page PDF

854.4 kB

Improving educational outcomes for children and young people from travelling cultures: consultation paper
Section 3. Learning Provision

57 page PDF

854.4 kB

Section 3. Learning Provision

How good is the quality of the care and education we offer Traveller children and young people?

This section aligns with existing policy and guidance to illustrate where practitioners can improve outcomes for Travellers. Each subsection draws attention to issues where it is common for Traveller communities to benefit from support or positive interventions. Where appropriate, reference is made to the Learning Provision Quality Indicators ( QIs), How Good is Our School 4 ( HGIOS4). This section is organised around the following headings:

  • Curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment
  • Personalised support
  • Involving Traveller families in learning
  • Transitions

Travellers' perceptions of education

Most Traveller families can see the benefits of education to the future employment of their children and most will want to take advantage of the services schools can offer. However, some communities can find it difficult to participate in the school education system due to the differences between schools' and their own cultures. Schools and local authorities may need to put in place additional measures to ensure that Travellers experience easier and equitable access to education services. This may involve working with the communities to gain an understanding of their cultural and employment aspirations.

Consideration should be given to the barriers faced by those Travellers who do not attend school as well as those already in education. By engaging with families, staff will learn how Travellers can be supported to attend and services improved. Schools should have information on the mobile families in their community, regardless of how temporary their stay. There may be a need for interventions or partnership work with other agencies to establish initial relationships. Local TENET [24] members will be able to provide information and broker relationships.

Practice Insight

"In one secondary school, the headteacher and staff demonstrate a strong commitment to working with Gypsies/Travellers in the area. They have built strong and trusting relationships based on respecting the culture and beliefs of the Gypsies/Travellers. They have equipped a "portacabin" on the site to provide an alternative classroom for children who find it difficult to attend a large secondary school. Key staff help to deliver a good range of subjects to young people in S1 and S2. The curriculum is agreed with parents and has a strong focus on developing literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing. Skills-based work is also a feature and successful links with a local college has resulted in evening classes in hairdressing and cookery being offered. A small committee meets regularly with the headteacher to monitor developments and a pupil council is being established."

From Promoting Diversity and Equality: Developing Responsible Citizens for 21 st Century Scotland

Curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment

Curriculum design

The curriculum is all of the experiences that are planned to ensure that young people develop the attributes, knowledge and skills they will need for learning, life and work. Children and young people from Traveller communities have the same entitlement as all other pupils to a coherent curriculum that reflects their rights and wellbeing needs, as well as their cultural and future employment needs. To achieve this, schools will need to engage with and involve a range of stakeholders and agencies, including Traveller parents and young people.

The guidance document ' Promoting Diversity and Equality - Developing Responsible Citizens for 21st Century Scotland' considers good practice examples across the four contexts of Curriculum for Excellence. It demonstrates how support is essential to remove barriers that might restrict young people's access to the curriculum because of their circumstances and illustrates how to make provision for diverse groups including Travellers.

Learning pathways

It will benefit Traveller families if they can see the value and relevance of the 3 -18 Scottish curriculum for school education and that they can see the benefits of continuity and progression to children's educational outcomes. Accordingly, the children and young people should understand the value of what they are learning and its relevance to their lives, present and future. Learning pathways support the child or young person's journey through their education and the choices made within the pathway help to develop existing skills and knowledge. Schools should be flexible and support young Travellers to select courses and qualifications that will improve their outcomes and prospects for employment. All Travellers should experience learning that;

  • recognises prior experiences, particularly those skills which have been gained from their cultural and family based experiences
  • provides access to a range of opportunities which will support their skills development needs.
  • supports the development of an appropriately challenging and achievable progressive learning pathway designed to meet their needs
  • are appropriately challenging and enjoyable and well matched to their needs and interest
  • includes opportunities for appropriate tracking and monitoring

"I have been taking travelling children to outdoor residential settings for a number of years and they have been great examples to the other children in terms of taking on the challenges with confidence; they often become the natural leaders of the group."
Primary School Teacher

Schools should set clear and high expectations for Traveller pupils, which used in conjunction with teacher judgement should inform learning pathways. There will be a need for shared systems to show where Travellers have missed stages in learning due to interruptions.

Pathways should recognise cultural skills and strengths; many Travellers are known to excel in some curricular areas while experiencing difficulties in others creating what might be called a 'jagged' profile of learning and achievement. Schools will need to use the flexibility of the curriculum to support Travellers to achieve to the best of their ability in all curricular areas. This will mean supporting them to progress and reach their full potential, without imposing artificial limitations in curricular areas in which they excel. This is particularly important where Travellers may not make the transition to secondary school or the traditional route to further or higher education. Where gaps in learning are identified, Travellers' learning is known to accelerate quickly with appropriate short-term support.

Significant to learning pathways is the work of the Developing the Young Workforce ( DYW) [25] programme which is seeking to ensure a Senior Phase that offers relevant courses to provide young people with skills for life, learning and work. The potential of offering Senior Phase opportunities for accreditation across different forms of vocational learning matches aspirations of Traveller communities and the young people themselves. Effective partnerships between colleges and schools, employers and other strategic partners are pivotal in helping ensure that such opportunities for learning are available to meet the needs of all young people, including Travellers. Colleges have an important role to play in providing support for learners at risk of disengaging from learning, [26] or those who have already disengaged.

"The first time he came home with something he had made himself was remarkable … it's not something that his family would have known how to make."
Gypsy/Traveller mum of boy attending college course

Learning and engagement

Children and young people from travelling communities are likely to demonstrate higher levels of engagement when they understand how their educational achievements can help develop knowledge and skills for future employment. As some children may come from families where there is no tradition of schooling, or where parents have had negative experiences, it will be important to emphasise how the curriculum is personalised to meet each learners' individual needs. To sustain motivation, learning activities should be appropriately challenging and enjoyable and matched to the learners' interests.

Where children have periods of interruption it will be important that aspects of school life remain constant. Recognition of familiar elements such as school timetables and personal learning intentions will enable them to gain confidence quickly in returning to class learning.

Careful consideration of the range of learning activities and approaches will ensure that the curriculum builds on, and promotes, Traveller young people's learning strengths and their culture and lifestyle. The following features are identified as being motivational, inspiring and relevant to their learning needs [27] :

  • Cultural relevance - Young people and their families needed to understand the connections between their learning and its future value. Activities based around active and outdoor learning such as integrating problem-solving and the construction of natural and synthetic materials provide useful starting points for learning, as do entrepreneurial activities such as setting up small businesses, integrating numeracy, literacy and communication skills.
  • Leadership and ownership - Opportunities to make use of planning and leadership skills learned from an early age within the Traveller community, including leading learning and taking an active role in the school community. Young people are also concerned that they have a 'voice' and that their views are listened to and acted on.
  • Flexibility - Travelling communities need flexibility in both the content and processes of school education. Unpredictable travelling patterns will need additional levels of flexibility. Schools will need to consider how education can be delivered in terms of time, space, contexts, facilitators and forms of delivery.
  • Creativity - Opportunities for creative learning in the arts and also in cross-curricular settings are felt to be motivational, perhaps also as Travellers are known to feel challenged by subject-specific boundaries. Creativity is known to arise when activities are presented in a permissive and game-like way. [28] Research cites [29] four conditions for schools to pursue when planning creative learning activities:
    • giving pupils assignments that extend over a significant period of time and address central themes in subjects to foster investigative work;
    • teachers emphasising both process and product, and providing ample opportunity for research, experimentation and revision to foster inventiveness;
    • encouraging pupils to integrate production with perception and reflection to foster the ability to use models;
    • giving pupils opportunities to assess their performance and to get feedback on explicit criteria from peers and teachers to foster the capacity for self-assessment.
  • Accessible formats - The use of several modes or methods (multimodal) should provide alternative and accessible ways of learning. Information and communication are more effective when they take a range of formats, including audio, visual, textual, material and virtual. Activities should offer choice and be appropriately challenging, matched to a range of higher order skills, needs and interests and not restricted by literacy levels.

"Travellers bring a richness to our school. They are skilled story-tellers and are proud of their heritage."
Primary School Teacher


  • To what extent is our school an inclusive learning environment for children and young people from the Traveller community?
  • How well does our curriculum planning meet the needs of the Traveller community?
  • Are there further opportunities for flexibility in the way we provide education which will benefit Travellers?

Digital Learning

If used appropriately, digital technology in education can improve educational outcomes in all curricular areas and provide learners with vital digital skills [30] . In recognition of this The Scottish Government is in the process of developing a Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [31] This will set out a comprehensive approach to digital learning and teaching to allow all learners to benefit from education supported by the use of digital technology. The strategy will be built upon four themes:

  • empowering leaders of change to invest and innovate in digital technology to support learning;
  • improving access to digital technology for all learners;
  • ensuring curriculum and assessment relevance in a digital context; and
  • extending the skills and confidence of teachers in the appropriate and effective use of digital technology.

The positive impacts of digital technology also extend to learners from travelling communities. For example, digital technology can support Traveller learners in the following ways:

  • Education can be delivered through digital devices and online platforms. Research shows that most Traveller families have access to digital devices [32] however; these devices tend not to be used for educational purposes. Schools can tap into this existing resource by offering educational content that can be accessed through digital devices [33] . Apps, websites and games can all support mobile learners.
  • Where pupils are mobile, families' involvement in supporting digital learning is seen as a key success factor in maintaining pupil engagement. Digital technology can provide a catalyst and a mechanism to work with parents to identify relevant learning plans for their children.
  • Digital technology offers a way for learners to stay up to date with the work of their school. Schools can utilise digital platforms such as websites, blogs and forums to keep mobile learners informed and engaged with the work of the school.
  • Schools and learners can access a range of up to date digital tools and services through Glow. These tools and services are available free of charge and can be accessed from any internet enabled device. There is therefore significant potential for Glow to support Traveller learners who cannot attend school regularly.

"I looove technology! I would diiiie without it!"
Traveller young person

Digital technology also offers opportunities to educators in understanding how best to support learners from Traveller communities. For example:

  • Local authorities can form clusters and work with TENET colleagues to share materials on digital platforms that are known to be effective in engaging Traveller learners.
  • Digital platforms such as forums, online TeachMeets and MOOCS can support a range of career long professional learning opportunities for classroom teachers and school leaders. These opportunities can focus on how best to support the education of learners from Traveller communities.


  • Are there further opportunities to use digital delivery of learning and teaching to reach Traveller pupils?
  • Can technology support better communication and engagement with families?

Practice Insight

The Electronic Learning and Mobility Project ( ELAMP) was a nationally funded project by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, which ran from 2004 to 2010. ELAMP looked at ways of using ICT to enhance the learning of Traveller pupils, particularly those who were highly mobile. Laptops with internet connectivity were issued to mobile pupils via 32 Local Authorities. Qualitative evidence from ELAMP indicated that having laptops and internet access had the potential to improve learner progress. Success was dependent on both committed schools and families. Equally it was dependent on the underpinning role of local Traveller Education Services ( TES) - the equivalent of the Traveller Education Network ( TENET) in Scotland.

Parents were prepared by highlighting safeguarding issues and developing the skills they would need to support their children. TES also played a key role in working with schools to develop appropriate approaches, especially where they were supporting distance learning, and then continued to support both learners and schools over time. The project concluded that ICT is not in itself a panacea and it is important to appreciate that the positive results were the result of three-way partnerships between schools, families and TES.

"This student is now about to start a further education course and can't envisage post-16 learning without having a laptop and internet access."
FE Tutor

"Having the laptop has involved (the father) in supporting schoolwork for the first time ever!"
Traveller mother

Effective use of assessment

The National Improvement Framework for Scottish education has been introduced to help all children to achieve their full potential. It highlights the importance of gathering and sharing accurate information and, essential to this, are the new national standard assessments, which aim to support high quality teaching and learning. Evidence from the assessments will be shared openly with parents to enable them to engage more effectively in their child's learning. The consistency of approach across all local authorities in Scotland should be supportive of mobile pupils.

Assessment is integral to the planning of learning and teaching. Where young people have interrupted learning, it can be challenging for staff to ensure that their learning is assessed regularly. However, teachers and school leaders need to ensure that targets are reviewed when learners return from travel, and that they take quick action where progress slips.

Teachers should ensure that they assess a wide range of sources and celebrate achievements, particularly in skills that are valued by Traveller communities, enabling parents to understand the value of the continued progression of their children's learning. There should be opportunities for dialogue with parents across the school year. Schools can demonstrate the processes used to share learning intentions and chart achievements. Visual methods such as charts and visual timetable will be particularly engaging for some Traveller families.


  • Does the school have effective assessment systems in place to identify the needs of the children and young people from the Traveller community?

Practice Insight

A primary school with a high population of Travellers living in the catchment hosts "House Coffee Mornings' several times a year. Parents, families and friends are invited to meet a section of P1-7s in an informal environment and hear about their attainment and achievement. All achievements are equally valued - from dance performances to citizenship activities. Staff are available to provide additional information. Where families do not attend, staff and other members of the school community will engage with learners to share their successes.

Further information

Personalised support

The curriculum should respond to the individual needs and support particular aptitudes and talents of all children and young people, including those from the Traveller community. Delivering the entitlement to personalised support will require individualised planning and possibly support to overcome barriers linked to a learning environment that is not easily described as "Traveller friendly" whether the family is mobile or not. Following periods of interruption teachers will need to be continually responsive, often providing one-to-one support and teaching at the point of learning.

Supporting learning underpins the delivery of the curriculum for all children and young people and it is the responsibility of all practitioners and partners to deliver this universal entitlement within their own teaching environments. The level and support required will vary from child to child, but all children and young people should;

  • have frequent and regular opportunities to discuss their learning with a key adult who knows them well and can act as a mentor, helping them to set appropriate goals for the next stages in learning.
  • be involved as active participants with planning and reflecting on their own learning and development through assessment, evaluation and personal learning planning.
  • be able to identify and plan opportunities for their progress and achievement, in and outwith school.
  • receive support for barriers to learning they may experience.

To improve educational outcomes, practitioners will need to consider carefully how they deliver these entitlements for Travellers. For example, a Traveller's key adult will need to understand the cultural background and the challenges this may pose as well as the particular benefits and opportunities it may provide.

Additional Support for Learning

All children and young people need support to help them learn and develop but, where there is a particular barrier to learning, some children will need extra help to benefit fully from school education. For a variety of reasons, Traveller children may require additional support and national statistics show that Gypsy/Traveller children and young people are nearly twice as likely to be recorded as having additional support needs. The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, as amended, provides the legislative framework for providing support. It requires education authorities to identify, provide for and review the additional support needs of their pupils and, in line with the GIRFEC approach requires that support to be individualised, appropriate, proportionate and timely.

Examples of practice are given in the following table:

Individual support entitlements

Examples of expected practice for children and young people from Traveller communities.

Review learning and plan for next steps

To support interrupted learning, schools and class teachers should;

  • share tracking and learning information
  • provide a learning log/profile
  • provide curriculum work, which can be completed out with school
  • moderate and assess the curriculum work.

Gain access to learning activities, which will meet individual needs

Ensure that the curriculum is accessible for the children and young people from the Traveller community. This could take the form of:

  • Engaging with families to enquire about access to digital devices at home.
  • Maximising the use of digital media through the use of teaching and learning resources that connect home and school.
  • Maximising the use of freely accessible software - share information with the family e.g. text recognition software, learning apps, GLOW
  • Identifying most appropriate methods for communication such as sending and receiving course work.

Plan for opportunities for personal achievement

Recognition of achievements/attainments gained within the travelling culture. e.g.

  • Experiences gained within the family business
  • Sporting activities - martial arts, dancing, boxing
  • Cultural activities - musical, art, creative writing, storytelling

Prepare for changes and choices and be supported through changes and choices (including transitions)

Provide timely support for transitions and course choices. Sensitive and well planned support may be required to support the child and family transition from P7 to S1 and beyond school.

Schools working with partners

Flexible and shared educational placements. For example, some Traveller children and young people are being supported with their learning by community learning officers and the catchment school is supporting them with SQA accreditation.

To enable schools to deliver the additional support for learning that some Traveller children and young people may require, schools should develop flexible, targeted support [34] which could be at any point of their learning journey or, for some, throughout the journey and which takes into account the Traveller culture. 'Targeted' support is usually, but not exclusively, delivered by staff with additional training and expertise. In a primary school the support will be coordinated by the Senior Management Team and in a secondary school, by guidance/pastoral care/pupil support staff. In both settings staff who may be involved could be:

  • EAL (English as an additional language) services
  • Specialist pupil support teachers (support for learning)
  • Community Link Workers

Targeted support for the Traveller community should reflect the support required to ensure opportunities for more choices and more chances to achieve positive, sustained post-school destinations. Targeted support recognises the additional needs which requires highly personalised approaches to be considered and which are appropriate to the culture and life style of the Traveller community.

"I get help with my reading and I am getting really good at it. Before I didn't want to come to school because it was too hard but now it is easier."
P5 Traveller


  • How effective are our approaches for Traveller children and young people to ensure that there is effective curriculum planning and opportunities for their entitlement to support?
  • How do we know if support is having the desired impact of improving outcomes for children and young people from the Traveller community?

Further information

Involving Traveller families in learning

Travelling families and their children's learning

Traditionally, Traveller parents have viewed the education of children and young people as the responsibility of the extended family. Many parents have no experience of school education and can view schools as 'threatening' formal institutions. Some families believe that they can provide adequate socialisation and education, which also supports their concerns over community cohesion and security. [35] However, it is a misconception that all parents undervalue learning, [36] and there is evidence to suggest that many parents, particularly mothers, increasingly believe there is value in school educating their children. [37]

What can schools do?

The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 provides a framework to support family engagement and aims to help parents to be:

  • involved with their child's education and learning
  • welcomed as an active participant in the life of the school, and
  • encouraged to express their views on school education

Traditionally, Traveller parents have resisted becoming involved in the life of the school or to express views, as many of the forums, such as parent council meetings, have appeared formal, intimidating and unfamiliar to their culture.

Traveller parents can also find supporting their children's learning challenging due to lack of confidence, subject knowledge, poor literacy or English language skills. Schools should be proactive in supporting family involvement. For example:

  • Schools can provide opportunities for Traveller parents to meet teachers on a one-to-one basis to share information about classwork and support them to support their child in home learning - this will also establish relationships and build trust.
  • Parents can be invited to contribute to planning the curriculum, for example, by sharing information or artifacts that represent Traveller culture. Parents will feel that their culture is valued and that their child is respected in the class.
  • Parents should be reassured that previous knowledge and skills learned within the community will be valued and used as a foundation for the child's future learning.
  • Schools should be mindful that school-home communication may be best done through a phone call or a chat at the school gate as parents may be unable to read written communication. For those unable to understand English, oral and visual communication approaches can be used as well as well as translated information leaflets.
  • Schools should explore creative approaches to learning, which build on the travelling community's strengths and invite parents to become involved.

When good relationships and trust have been established, schools may be in a position to support the parents' own learning and development, which in turn will help them support their child's education. They can offer advice about adult literacy classes, parenting groups, digital learning or English courses for speakers of other languages, and signpost the range of support agencies in the wider community.


  • In what ways is the family support we provide encouraging young people to learn?
  • How are we ensuring that our provision is responsive to the needs of Traveller families?

Practice Insight

A Gypsy/Traveller Interrupted Learning Officer worked in partnership with a nursery teacher and Additional Support teacher from a local pre-school centre to run a mums and children's group. While one member of staff worked with the children on 'school readiness' activities, the others worked with mums to develop approaches to supporting their children's learning. Together they worked on developing shared reading, environmental print awareness and everyday literacy. The mums built confidence in supporting their children while also developing relationships with staff and learning about the nursery and school curriculum. A positive outcome was that two of the mums enrolled their children in nursery where there had been reluctance to engage in mainstream provision.

Practice Insight

An inner city primary school celebrated the problem-solving and construction abilities of young Travellers when creating a set for the annual school performance. Several Traveller children took leadership roles in the design and construction of the set and one of the Traveller parents also offered support, providing a positive link with the community. The parents expressed their pride in their children's achievements and they felt that their contribution was meaningful and valued. The initiative also encouraged a large number of the young people's families to attend the school play performance further supporting community cohesion.

Practice Insight

Roma parents and children from two primaries and one secondary school in Glasgow were supported to create a video to describe their experiences of beginning school. The parents speak in their native language with subtitles provided in English. Some of the mums offer practical advice such as about enrolment procedures or the structure of the school day. Others describe the range of ways that the school can support them, including how to access an interpreter to help with a range of things such as accessing health services. Some of the older children describe their experiences of secondary school. The video promotes the benefits of education, particularly through seeing the young people's aspirations for the future.

Further information


The times of transitions to, between and beyond school are particularly critical to the success of school education for Travellers. Due to the necessity for family involvement, the barriers can be described similarly to those in the preceding sections, such as low parental literacy, low family value placed on schooling, and concerns about bullying and safety. [38]

Transitions can be negatively affected by Travellers' cultural beliefs at various different school stages. For example, some members of the community may view Traveller mothers as failing in their maternal roles if they put their young children into pre-school education. Additionally, the time of transition between primary and secondary school, is usually the time when young Travellers are taught traditional skills within the extended family and school can be seen to be unnecessary. Parents are also concerned about allowing children to start secondary school because once enrolled, they will need consent to withdraw them. This knowledge can create a culture of withdrawal from primary schools around primary 6 or 7. [39]

In recent years there has been a trend for young Gypsy/Travellers who have left formal education at the end of P7, to regain access to education and qualifications around 14 - 15 years. Most approaches are to further education ( FE) colleges or Community Learning and Development and outreach services. The transition back into education can be particularly challenging for professionals and young people themselves to manage successfully when several years of young people's school learning has been missed.

What can schools do?

Most Traveller families will benefit from the same transition strategies as others but they may need to begin earlier and they may require more family involvement and inter-agency support. Recent research [40] suggests that to make smooth transitions, three levels of readiness are required: school readiness, pupil readiness and family readiness.

  • Pupil readiness - Gradual familiarisation is the key to achieving school 'readiness' for pupils from mobile cultures. Where most settled pupils will be surrounded by a culture of going to the local school, young people from mobile cultures may be the first in their families to make these transitions and they may have to learn new social practices, behaviours, rules, and learning styles. Approaches should aim to build gradual connections for example by providing opportunities for pupils to meet school staff or other pupils informally, participate in school-type activities, rehearse social practices but show flexibility until the pupil is 'school ready'. Similarly, transitions beyond primary are about building and extending meaningful connections through people and curricular activities.
  • Family readiness - Parental involvement in transitions is essential. Positive relationships between the school and home will reassure pupils. Parents and carers from mobile communities are likely to have heightened concerns about children's safety, social relationships and whether their children will be treated fairly. Schools can help by: providing opportunities for parents to meet staff, voice their concerns, and address specific issues well in advance of transitions; sharing school inclusion strategies in formats that parents understand, and maintain regular dialogue in the lead up to and beyond transitions; being aware that pupils may be affected by tensions within families with some members viewing school more positively than others.
  • School readiness - Many strategies can be adopted to improve the 'readiness' of educational settings and prepare staff for engaging highly mobile families. The 'readiness' of an educational setting is achieved by adopting three key approaches:

(i) a whole-school approach where schools adopt a clear transition framework, a positive culture, consistent teaching and relevant curriculum;

(ii) outreach to improve and support family access and engagement with education;

(iii) targeted programmes for early intervention, to foster school 'readiness' and target specific barriers such as family literacy.

Schools will need to ensure that transitions approaches are shared with agencies who have been in contact with the child (such as health services), or previous or receiving schools. Receiving schools will need to reach out, promote a positive ethos and provide teaching and learning that are consistent, relevant and familiar. They will need to work with other schools and agencies to plan a curriculum where children and families can see the benefits of continuity of learning, building on their knowledge to the next stage (see 'Curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment' sub- section). Schools should ensure that they pass on information about family-based learning and achievements so that they are valued and developed in the receiving institution.

"My mum was worried, my granny was worried, my whole family were worried, but I wanted to go."
"I felt that I wasn't going to fit in, but realise now that everyone else felt the same."
"Granny tells my mum to keep me in school now because I am getting a good education."
Gypsy/Traveller girl starting Secondary school

Where schools or families identify that a Traveller child is likely to experience difficulties with the transition process (for example, because of bullying or racial discrimination, or social or emotional issues) the school should assess the extent of the support needs and prepare a plan to help ease the transition. In this situation the family may benefit from an integrated service approach. All partners, including the family, should agree responsibilities in supporting the transition process.

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 and supporting Regulations [41] , and the GIRFEC approach, are central to effective transition planning and ensuring that Traveller young people can access the support they need. Education Authorities have specific duties under the 2004 Act in relation to transitions. In the Additional Support for Learning Report to Parliament, 2014, Education Scotland identified the key features of successful transitions. This provides a useful guide for schools working with Traveller children and young people.


  • To what extent do our processes for involving children and families and other agencies ensure effective transitions for Traveller learners?
  • To what extent does our curriculum provide opportunities for support and induction into the next stage of learning?

Practice Insight

A secondary school in Wales created a Transitions Council with representatives from each of the feeder primary schools and Year 5 pupils from the secondary. The staff ensured that there was representation from the travelling communities at each stage. The Council members were responsible for representing the concerns of their peers. They discussed issues such as bullying and isolation and it was the task of the senior pupils to assure the P6 pupils and build good relationships with them.

Further information