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Gypsies and Travellers in Education: Hidden, Deviant or Excluded

  • Geetha Marcus
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)

Abstract

Marcus notes that research explores the experiences of Gypsy and Traveller families in accessing education for their children and interprets their challenges as the direct consequence of interrupted learning. An explanation of the Scottish legal context for enrolment and attendance in school is established. The situation is not straightforward, and the chapter sheds light on gaps and complications that make it possible for some travelling children and young people to legally miss out on an education, whether in school or at home. Gypsy and Traveller pupils are viewed as being ‘on the margins’ or ‘outside the mainstream’, ‘different’, ‘deviant’ or ‘excluded’. This chapter critically surveys relevant scholarly works in England and Wales, and the academic literature on Gypsy and Traveller experiences in education in Scotland. Key reports, recommendations and guidelines since devolution in 1998 reflect the lack of sustained, concerted action or non-performativity, which in turn reflect the myth of egalitarianism in the Scottish educational context in particular. There is currently no research that gives voice to the gendered educational experiences of Gypsy and Traveller girls in Scotland, as seen from their perspective. Neither are there studies that explore their educational experiences, in terms of their level of attainment and achievement, or their attendance in schools. The quality of schooling that they experience and how this relates to their ambitions and aspirations within school and beyond have not been considered or the external influences that might impact on their experiences at school explored. Whilst examples of good practice exist; some Gypsy and Traveller pupils remain socially and educationally excluded. As many do not self-identify out of fear of harassment, exact numbers are difficult to ascertain, and the gravity of the situation challenging to define.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Geetha Marcus
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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