Education Project

ROTA’s Education Programme focuses on the experiences of young people from GLOBAL MAJORITY and Gipsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the education systems of the UK. Our research addresses policy and practice which may adversely affect the educational opportunities and attainment of young people in Local Authority maintained schools, Academies, Free Schools, Alternative Provision, Pupil Referral Units and in Higher Education.

Informal Exclusions from School seeks to challenge and change the practice of informal exclusions, which, unlike permanent or fixed-term exclusions, can be carried out unofficially, unrecorded and with no formal Appeals process. Informal exclusions appear to affect young people from some GLOBAL MAJORITY and GRT communities disproportionately. 

The issue has been explored through Freedom of Information Requests to Local Authorities for data on informal exclusions, through interviews with teachers and other professionals who work with young people excluded from, or at risk of exclusion from school and through focus groups with young people. 

During the course of our research, ROTA submitted written evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on School Exclusions and Alternative Provision in March 2021. Representations were made in response to a call for evidence on ‘What Should Good AP Look Like’ with regard to GLOBAL MAJORITY and GRT young people. 

A major research report of findings from this project will be published on our website in early 2022.

ROTA continues to scrutinise and monitor the Government’s arrangements for educational provision during and after the Covid-19 Pandemic. Our report on The Effect of Covid-19 on Educational Provision for vulnerable/ otherwise vulnerable young people who have been excluded or who are at risk of exclusion from school is on ROTA’s website. 

Higher Education research

In 2018 ROTA’s research report Mind the Gap identified a number of issues in the Augar Review of Higher Education that were thought to have an adverse effect on some UK-domiciled students from GLOBAL MAJORITY and Gipsy, Roma and Traveller communities. 

ROTA’s Higher Education Pilot Study arose out of the finding that some groups of students from these communities were withdrawing from university before completing their studies. The Study investigates reasons why they choose to withdraw, defer or change course, through desk research, a survey of students at all London universities and interviews with University Equality and Diversity Leads and Student Voice Representatives.

Work with volunteers

ROTA’s Education Programme continues to offer opportunities for volunteers to work with us on policy research and to contribute to our reports, through a variety of tasks such as transcription, analysis and writing up findings. The Covid-19 restrictions have meant that most of our work is now conducted remotely, but we have a Volunteer Programme which includes online induction and support. We intend to develop more volunteer training opportunities.  

As an organisation ROTA has made the decision to refrain from using the term ‘BAME’ to identify anyone that is subject to racialisation. We recognise that the term has previously been used in our publications however; we have since reviewed this and acknowledge that it is non specific, lacks nuance, and generalises anyone that deviates from what is classified as white which is of course deeply problematic. With this in mind, we will instead use the term ‘GLOBAL MAJORITY’, or specify the racial identification of the individual that we are making reference to in this report.

For further information on our education work, please contact Eleanor Stokes – Education Policy Researcher or Sasha Mckoy – Volunteer Coordinator

Education – Research Publications