CBC in £200,000 Grant to Educate Traveller Children

  • Central Bedfordshire Council has been awarded a Government grant of over £200,000 to help support the education of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children and young people. 
The council is one of five local authorities to have been awarded a share of the £1million fund. It is part of a year-long pilot project to boost educational attainment, tackle exclusion and drop-out rates, and improve pathways to employment for GRT children. 

With the grant of £225,796, the council aims to support more GRT children in education and in acquiring skills needed for work. It hopes to:
  • support more families to access Early Years Education, helping children up to five years old develop the skills they need to prepare for school 
  • work with teachers to increase their knowledge of cultural and educational issues 
  • support individual pupils with their learning, with the aim of them continuing into Secondary education
  • develop a work experience project for up to 12 Year 11 aged pupils to allow them to develop workplace skills and gain a recognised accreditation  
Cllr Sue Clark, CBC Executive Member for Families, Education and Children said, “Not attending early years education or taking young people out of education before they have reached statutory school age can have major implications for the rest of a child’s life.  

“We already have three part-time Traveller Liaison Officers, who support families in accessing education. But this grant means we will be able to offer much more support to make sure that no young person is left behind, and that they can access education and gain valuable life skills.”

The pilot areas were chosen being those with the highest number of GRT pupils attending primary and/or secondary school, according to the DfE 2020 National Pupil Database.  

In 2011 the population of Central Bedfordshire was estimated to be 254,381. Of those 0.2% of the population was estimated to be a gypsy or traveller. This is twice the percentage proportion of the population found nationally.  

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