Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (36)

Michael Colreavy


36. Deputy Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if it is appropriate for the statistics section of his Department to contact schools to request in writing from the parents of Traveller children confirmation of their ethnic status in order to qualify for the higher capitation grant; and if he considers this method of data collection at odds with the concept of integrating Traveller children into a mainstream school setting. [32214/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The statistics section of my Department recently contacted schools to remind them (as was always the case) that parental consent is required in the identification of a pupil as a member of the Traveller community. The statistics section also recommend to schools that they collect this information using a consent form. The current policy, in relation to Traveller education, is underpinned by the Report and Recommendations for a Traveller Education Strategy which was launched in 2006. The Report covers all aspects of Traveller Education from pre-school right through to further and higher education within a lifelong learning context. The primary aim of the report is to ensure a quality, integrated education for Travellers underpinned by the principles of inclusion and mainstreaming with an emphasis on equality and diversity and the adoption of an intercultural approach. In keeping with the recommendations of this report allocation of resources is underpinned by the principle of "individual educational need" rather than "Traveller identity". In line with this approach the majority of recommendations in relation to mainstreaming of educational provision have been implemented at this stage. As there are still some Traveller specific supports provided it is necessary to collect specific data in order to determine these resources.