GYPSY, ROMA AND TRAVELLER CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS: UNDERSTANDINGS OF COMMUNITY AND SAFETY

Authors



Martin Myers
Department of Sociology
Walton Hall
The Open University
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA
E-mail: M.Myers@open.ac.uk

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This paper examines understandings of community and safety for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) groups in schools in a metropolitan borough. One school in particular was identified as being the ‘Gypsy school’ and was attended by the majority of GRT children in the borough. The school was recognised as a model of ‘good practice’ reflecting its holistic approach towards the GRT community but it was also successful for wider reasons. A picture of the intersection of different communities emerged from interview accounts in which a GRT community with strong local attachments, socially negotiated and maintained, figured very strongly. The GRT community was also identified as sharing racist attitudes towards other non-white immigrants. This article examines children's perspectives of their engagement with the education process and how the strong GRT community played an important part in their understandings of safety and belonging.

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