Many practitioners feel uncomfortable discussing underachievement of vulnerable groups, particularly when the groups are defined by their ethnicity. Children and families who are Gypsy, Roma or Travellers of Irish heritage, particularly when they are ‘settled’ and no longer travelling, are often ‘invisible’ because most are white and their ethnicity is not obvious, but they are recognised and protected under the Race Relations Amendment Act. These frequently excluded groups experience prejudicial and often openly hostile attitudes and racism.
Deep-seated prejudice towards Travelling communities is often unashamedly voiced and hostility is openly displayed, particularly in the media where anti-Traveller feelings are often publicly expressed without fear of criticism. Trevor Phillips former Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission described this as ’the last “respectable” form of racism’ These attitudes should not be allowed to penetrate a profession that cares for and about all children and families.
The Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage states that:
“The EYFS seeks to provide:
The Equality Diversity Inclusion Team (EDIT) will support practitioners to ensure that this entitlement is met for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children.
For more details and information on how EDIT can help, please click one of the boxes below.