ROTA’s research on exclusions from school indicates that young people from Irish Traveller and Gypsy and Roma communities continue to be disproportionately affected. This is substantiated by the latest data from the Department for Education (2022/23). Persistent absences or self-exclusions among girls and young women from all backgrounds have risen, the reasons for which are not well understood. ROTA is working with Agenda Alliance and Friends, Families and Travellers to investigate this more fully. We have recently contributed written evidence to the Department for Education on School Exclusions and have taken part in the November 2023 All Party Parliamentary Group on Alternative Provision.

ROTA’s Pilot Study Thwarted Ambitions: Barriers to completing university education  (December 2022) looked at the reasons why students from UK domiciled Black and Global Majority and Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller communities choose to discontinue their studies. Based on findings from the study, the next stage of research focuses on two main areas: the difficulties students face with housing and accommodation and the improvements that could be made to health and welfare support services so that they are more responsive to students’ ethnicity and cultural background. ROTA is seeking funding to expand this study so that we can gather more evidence on whether race discrimination is a factor in students leaving university before the end of their course.

For more information on our Education work, contact Eleanor Stokes, Education Policy Researcher.