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How can early years services improve access and transition into early years settings and primary schools for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children?

By Kate D'Arcy


Recent educational policy and guidance directed at early years education has highlighted the need to improve Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children’s access and inclusion within early years provision.\ud This research project explored how interagency working could put such policy and guidance into practice and considered what this work might look like at grassroots level. The research coordinator used the research to pilot a strategy, which if successful, could be rolled out and shared with other services.\ud This research used a mixed-method approach comprising action research and quantitative analysis of questionnaires completed by research practitioners. This methodology was found to be effective as it supported the aims and objectives of the research. It also empowered the researchers and the research participants developing practice.\ud The main findings emerged in four main themes:\ud • Interagency working\ud • Professional development\ud • Training and support\ud • Sustainability of the work.\ud This research found that interagency working was important for professional development as well as delivering effective services. Action research supported practitioners’ professional development and had a very positive impact on their confidence in meeting their duty with regard to equality of opportunity. This confidence had a positive effect on their own and their settings practice as professionals shared their learning with other staff. \ud Training and support was shown to be a very important and effective way to raise awareness of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children’s barriers to early years education but also to enable practitioners to feel confident to address such barriers in their settings. The model of practice developed by this research is both sustainable and cost-effective and as the research coordinator I would be keen to explore further research opportunities to disseminate this model further

Publisher: Children's Workforce Development Council
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:dera.ioe.ac.uk:2693

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