Contact and Attendance Issues for Traveller Pupils
Anna Webster

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Establishing continuity in school records for highly mobile Traveller pupils.



St Thomas More Primary School has included a number of Irish Traveller children on its roll in recent years.  These children come from particularly mobile families, and this has raised a number of issues for the school.  The children tend to arrive and move on at relatively short notice, and often may only attend the school for a few weeks. The school administration staff have become adept at processing new arrivals with an efficiency which has eased pupil transition.

As these highly mobile children and families often arrive with little or no school records of their own, it is important that their current school, with Traveller Education Team support, makes an effort to contact previously attended schools. One aspect of this process may be the contacting of prior schools to establish dual-registration. This allows children a greater experience of continuity in their education, and allows schools to pass on and share test results and other assessments, as well as maintaining accurate attendance records. This necessitates a certain level of interaction with parents, who may be able to fill the gaps in a child’s record.   

A form of Traveller Education Team support in this context may be the development and provision of specially designed pro-forma for recording and storing this information.  Further to this, a form has been developed for parents to give information about pupil absences, and this can be filled in prior to travelling (which is preferable) or upon return if necessary. The primary motivation for this is to support admin staff in dealing with attendance codes, legislation compliance and their own record-keeping.



Parent Form: Absence Notification

School Form: Information Collection is an education resource for the development of positive tolerance - find out more...