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Traveller children’s education needs must be met - Ruane

7 October, 2008

Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has said that the education needs of Traveller children must be met in our schools.

The Minister was speaking following her recent meeting with the Chairpersons of the Taskforce on Traveller Education, Dr Robbie McVeigh and Catherine Joyce.

The 'Taskforce on Traveller Education' has been tasked with reviewing the educational needs of children from the Traveller community and the delivery of services to them. The Taskforce is also tasked with assisting the Department to develop an action plan in which its recommendations will improve educational access, attainment and outcomes for Traveller children in pre-school, primary, post-primary and youth provision.

The review group is being jointly chaired by Dr Robbie McVeigh and Catherine Joyce, Traveller activist and manager of Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group and chairperson of the Irish Traveller Movement.

Speaking after meeting the Chairpersons, the Education Minister said: "For too long, children and young people from the Traveller community have been the invisible children of the education system.

"Children from the Traveller community should have the same rights and opportunities as children from the settled community. This review will evaluate the current education provision available and identify what needs to be done to promote equality across the board in education.

"I have discussed with Dr McVeigh and Catherine Joyce the Terms of Reference of the group and the proposal to develop an action plan. Both are aware of the situation facing the Traveller community and are aware of the issues that need to be addressed. They have my full confidence and support in evaluating the needs of our Traveller children and I look forward to receiving the action plan once it is completed."


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