Gypsy, Roma and Traveller learners

Find out how to promote and manage the attendance of these learners, along with information on understanding legal requirements.

Cultural considerations

By understanding the culture of children and young people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, schools and local authorities reduce the risk of underachievement or exclusion of these pupils. The best opportunities are found when parents/carers, schools and local authorities understand each other and plan and work together in the interest of the child.

What does the term ‘Gypsy, Roma, Traveller’ mean?

For the purposes of this advice only, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families are those where:

  1. the parent/carer is engaged in a trade or business of such a nature that requires them to travel from place to place, or
  2. the travelling identity is:
  • Gypsies including Romanies, Romanichals
  • Welsh Gypsies/Kaale
  • Scottish Gypsies/Travellers
  • Irish Travellers, Minceir
  • Roma from Eastern and Central Europe
  • Showmen (Fairground people)
  • Circus people
  • Boat Travellers/Bargees
  • New Travellers or New Age Travellers.

This advice on school attendance only applies to families who meet the criteria at both a) and b) above.

In this advice the term ‘travelling’ means travelling as part of the parents’/carers’ trade or business. It does not mean travelling as part of a holiday or extended holiday.

Supporting GRT pupils

You can support GRT pupils in your school by understanding the relevant laws and school guidelines. In particular be aware of:

  • what the law says about the attendance of GRT learners
  • how to register a child from a GRT family
  • how to record attendance of GRT learners and the codes to use.