ERIC Number: ED438133
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Traveller Pupils and Scottish Schools. SCRE Spotlights 76.
Travellers with their distinctive cultures and lifestyles have been part of Scotland for centuries. The two main groups are the traditional Travelling People (Gypsies) and the Showground Community. Mobility and migration patterns have implications for Traveller children's education and for schools. Scottish national surveys show Travellers attending schools in almost every local authority during 1988-93, but not in every year. Analysis of attendance in five schools showed no regular patterns for Gypsy Travellers, while Showground pupils attended school regularly during the winter and usually returned to the same school each year. Increasing age brought significant reductions in Gypsy pupils' attendance, with very few attending after grade 7. Most Showground pupils dropped out by their 16th birthday. Comments by school staff suggest that the dropout rate increased after introduction of Standard Grades and continuous assessment arrangements. School offered Showground pupils no reward for their years of effort, while the Showground community provided positive nonformal learning experiences and preparation for adulthood and employment. Schools were concerned by Traveller pupils' underachievement and attributed it to lack of educational continuity and to social bias. Since funding is based on local "catchment," few schools could guarantee resources for their "absent" pupils. Various international projects show the feasibility and value of distance learning, but financial support, staff training, international collaboration, access to open learning facilities, and personal tutorial support are needed. In Scotland, increased flexibility in the educational system and openness toward nontraditional "sites of learning" are also needed. (Contains 42 references and contact information for resource centers.) (SV)
Descriptors: Attendance, Distance Education, Dropouts, Educational Needs, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment, Foreign Countries, Migrant Education, Migrant Workers, Nonformal Education, School Responsibility, Student Mobility, Student Needs
For full text: http://www.scre.ac.uk/spotlight/index.html.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Scottish Council for Research in Education, Edinburgh.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)