To achieve an inclusive education system and gain equality of access, participation and outcomes for and with the Traveller and Roma communities across Donegal.
- Over two thirds (67.3%) of Traveller children lived in families where the mother had either no formal education or only primary education (Department of Health and Children, 2012).
- The low enrolment of Traveller children in preschools, noted by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children (2016) is of concern as Traveller children are entering primary school already at a disadvantage.
- The All-Ireland Traveller Health Study pointed to a reluctance to continue in mainstream education as Travellers feel that it is not associated with any positive outcomes because of the high level of discrimination faced by Travellers when seeking employment.
- 13% of Traveller children complete second- level education compared to 92% in the settled community. (National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017 -2021)
- Of those Travellers who drop out of second level education, 55% have left by the age of 15. (National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017 -2021)
- The number of Traveller children who progress to third level education represents just 1% of the Traveller community. (National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017 -2021)
- The main barriers experienced by Roma parents and children include Poverty and lack of social protection, Literacy and English language skills and Experiences in the education system. (Roma and Education: Pavee Point)
- Our objective is to acknowledge institutional racism in the area of education and promote the inclusion, respect and protection of the cultural identity of young Travellers and Roma within informal and formal education settings.
- DTP is committed to working towards eradicating educational disadvantage and creating experiences in younger Travellers and Roma that can change their expectations for the better.
- A three year grant from Rethink Ireland in October 2022 will enable us to make significant inroads into enhancing access and improving education outcomes among Traveller and Roma communities in Donegal by identifying contributing factors to education disadvantage and working with educational providers to improve outcomes and expectations.
- We are developing participatory research methods to identify education and training interests of the Traveller and Roma communities in the northwest.
- We promote interculturalism with education providers and collaborate with education providers to develop effective anti-bullying, non-discriminatory practice, including enrolment procedures with schools.
- We are developing local transformative community education actions which bring people together to analyse and challenge inequality and exclusion.
- We promote equality for Travellers and Roma in the area of education through home/school liaison, after-schools homework clubs, an Intercultural Preschool and a range of adult education initiatives.
- Our homework clubs operate two days a week in Letterkenny and Ballyshannon (from January 2023), offering an opportunity for Traveller and Roma children to do homework with the support of qualified adults in a safe and welcoming environment.
- DTP’s dedicated Family Links worker delivers a range of culturally appropriate family supports and programmes for Traveller families accross Co. Donegal and North Leitrim.
- We are developing increased communications and linkages between the education providers at all levels and the Traveller and Roma communities and in particular responding to challenges impacting negatively on participation in education.
- We design and deliver locally based community and adult education programmes with relevant bodies such as Solas, ETB, Local Development Companies including the SIT initiative to meet the interests of Traveller men and women.
- We work to increase access to Third Level education for members of the Traveller and Roma communities.