25 Mar 2019, 11.33

The Joint Committee on Education and Skills will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3.30 in Committee Room 2, Leinster House to discuss the topic of Traveller Education.

The purpose of the meeting is for an engagement with key Stakeholders on progression by members of the Travelling Community to second-level and third-level education with the insight of representatives from the Irish Traveller Movement, Yellow Flag Programme, Pavee Point and the National Traveller Women's Forum.

In addition, the Committee will hear the views of representatives from the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), the Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) and the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO).

To conclude its engagement, the Committee will hear from Student Mr Ian McDonagh who will detail for the Committee his experience of the Education system.

Ahead of the meeting, the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Committee Chairperson Fiona O’Loughlin TD, said: “The Committee is eager examine the challenges and opportunities for members of the Travelling Community in relation to second-level and third-level education.”

“Students, their families, communities and teachers need our support. The educational system must be inclusive, and members of the Travelling Community have traditionally faced challenges accessing this, and appropriate resources must be provided.

“The reality is just 1 per cent of Traveller children progress to third-level education, and The National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education has set a target of raising the number of Travellers at third level, but there are significant challenges.

Deputy O’Loughlin TD concluded: “As the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education recently highlighted, there are just 41 Travellers out of a total of about 250,000 people in higher education. With that in mind the opportunity to engage with the expertise and insight of some of the biggest Travelling and Educational representative organisations is most welcome.”

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/cr2-live/

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

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Alan Neary
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