Written evidence submitted by ACERT (The Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and Other Travellers)

ACERT EHE Evidence Submission


ACERT (The Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and Other Travellers) is a charity which advocates for improved education experiences and access for “Travellers” within the United Kingdom. The groups we cover are not necessarily defined by nomadism (the majority of us being either permanently settled or, if nomadic, only for short periods of the year) although it is still a feature of the lives of many of us. Formalised, state-ran education has been unequal and inadequate in catering for us for decades, as has been recognised since the 1967 Plowden report and in successive governmental or NGO reports and inquiries since, up to the Women & Equalities Committee’s 2019 report “Tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities”. Although improvements have been made, these problems with mainstream formal education, particularly the inflexibility of the system and the discriminations within it, mean that many from the Gypsy, Roma Traveller (GRT) communities chose home education in preference to an unyielding, or outright hostile, system.

Broadly, ACERT is in support of placing a duty upon local authorities to assure the quality of home education and that adequate safeguarding occurs, as well as the duty for local authorities to maintain a register of home-educated children. We wish to raise the following considerations:


In terms of the benefits of home education versus the disadvantages


Other points around home education in relation to GRT students:

We are in favour of the increased flexibility and the chance to specify in a more meaning way that home education can bring but we are equally aware that the current system leaves parents both unsupported and children unguarded; the scope for children to receive no/insufficient education is enormous, as it the scope for serious safeguarding issues to be missed. We are excited by how potential changes in the way dual registration could help make nomadic living more compatible with a good education than it has been for decades.


November 2020