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During June 2008, an education sub-committee of the County Wicklow Traveller Inter-Agency Group, completed a research piece involving nine families and six schools in the County Wicklow area. This was carried out by the Visiting Teacher for Traveller Service, together with the County Wicklow Primary Healthcare Programme. The research explored both the difficulties, and the positive experiences faced by young Travellers in post-primary education. The research wanted to find ways of supporting young Travellers in County Wicklow to complete their second level education.
Following the research, the sub committee organized a coming together of everyone involved in this piece of work. The event took place in the Wicklow Further Education Centre and was opened by Fiona Hartley (CEO), Co. Wicklow VEC. Those in attendance on the day included the students and parents, and the following schools and organizations; Bray Travellers Community Development Group, Wicklow Travellers Group, Loreto Bray, Colaiste Craomh Abhainn Kilcoole, The Abbey Community College Wicklow, St. Mary’s College Arklow, Dominican College Wicklow, St. Thomas’s Bray, County Wicklow VEC Adult and Community Education, and the Department of Education and Science.
The morning was chaired by Jim O’Brien, Bray Travellers CDP. Mary Kearney from the Dept. Education and Science gave a background to the sub-committee, and described some statistics on Traveller post-primary education. Findings of the research piece were presented on the day by Wicklow Travellers Group and discussion was facilitated. By the close of the morning, key actions for the future were identified. The committee hope to look at ways of implementing these actions in a sustainable way.
Article from The Wicklow People 3rd Dec 2008:
TRAVELLER FOCUS WEEK started on Monday and continues until Friday, with events arranged over a five-day period to highlight issues and challenges facing the Traveller Community.
Education is just one important issue which has been focused upon, with plenty of unheralded background work taking place to improve Traveller student retention rates at secondary level.
In June of this year, an education sub-committee of the County Wicklow Traveller InterAgency Group completed research with the aim of supporting young Travellers who want to complete their second level education.
This research involved nine families and six schools in the County Wicklow area and was carried out by the Visiting Teacher for Traveller Service in conjunction with the Primary Healthcare Programme. Parents, students and school principals were all consulted, as well as members of the Traveller community who enjoyed positive post-primary education experiences.
In order to follow up this research, a seminar took place in the Wicklow Further Education Centre including parents, students and various schools and organisations.
Bray Travellers CDP, Jim O'Brien, chaired the successful morning as Mary Carney from the regional office of the Department of Education and Science gave background information on the work of the sub-committee, and presented relevant statistics on Traveller post-primary education.
Wicklow Travellers' Group presented research they had looked into and key actions were focused upon with a view to supporting Traveller students to complete their second-level education.
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