The Gathering: Travellers in Education – Celebrating Success, Framing the Future
The Travellers In Education work stream hosted The Gatheringon 23 May 2023 in the Kingsley Hotel, Cork. The event provided a platform for Travellers, Access staff, education providers and other stakeholders to share successful models of practice, build an evidence base on research findings and explore outstanding barriers, challenges, and solutions in supporting Traveller success in Education. Dr Hannagh McGinley, Education Officer, NCCA provided the keynote address. Over ninety people attended. SOAR Project models of best practice – Leadership in the Community, Mentoring in Education, Traveller Graduate Network and Brighter Futures programmes were showcased by community participants. A synopsis of research findings was provided before a soap box for programmes from around the country to share their practice which included: ITM Traveller Apprenticeship Programme, Tipperary Rural Traveller Project, Whiddden Workshops and the Tobar Project, Marino Institute of Education.
A rap video created by a Traveller Youth Group titled ‘We need More Travellers Teaching’ reflecting their thoughts on the education system was presented. The video is available here:
Small group discussions enabled the participants to identify the key challenges that remain for Travellers and priority actions to address them. The day closed with a performance from Traveller singer/songwriter Steo Wall.
A short video capturing the day was produced The Gathering May 2023 Video
The Assembly – Supporting Travellers in 2nd Level Education: Progress through Partnership
In March 2019 the Travellers in Education work stream hosted a very successful consultation and information-sharing assembly – Supporting Travellers in 2ndLevel Education: Progress through Partnership.The assembly invited key stakeholders to work together to explore how best to support Travellers in second level education in Cork and Kerry. The event included presentations on PATH 1, 2 and PATH 3. A member of the Traveller community supported by PATH I also addressed the assembly. A representative from Traveller Cultural Awareness Training(TCAT) Cork presented their work, four schools requested the training as a result. Small group discussions took place to identify possible supports and actions; key recommendations from the assembly were incorporated into SOAR Project work. Approximately 40 people attended the assembly including: Traveller Groups, Traveller parents, Access staff, School Principal, HSCLs, Guidance Counsellors, NEPS, local authority and the Department of Education and Skills. A video of the assembly is available at the following link: https://www.soarforaccess.ie/news2/