Last Updated: Friday, February 19, 2021

Gypsy Traveller Education Group – South Lanarkshire Council

What is this?

​​This practice exemplar explains how one local authority engages parents and young people from Gypsy/Travelling communities through an alternative education provision.​

Who is this for?

This exemplar will be useful for secondary school practitioners, community learning and development, third sector, family learning professionals and family learning support workers.

​How to use this exemplar to improve practice?

Consider the diverse parent community in your catchment area e.g. non-resident parents, refugees, kinship carers, adoptive parents, young parents, gypsy traveller parents, parents whose first language is not English, service families, disabled parents, parents whose partner is in prison. Make a list.

Reflective questions:

  • ​Which diverse parent community are you trying to increase parental involvement or engagement with?
  • Are there specific barriers preventing this diverse parent community from engaging with the setting/school?
  • Which local and/or national partners can help take this forward?
  • ​How effectively do we support parents and families to participate in, contribute to and understand their child’s learning?

Explore this exemplar

What was done?​

The Gypsy Traveller Education Group (GTEG) runs 3 days a week, from a Youth Family and Community Learning Centre, catering for the needs of S1 to S6 pupils engaging in GTEG. For the past two years they have also offered Pop-Up venues for young people of secondary school age from Gypsy/Travelling communities. These are held at Rutherglen, East Kilbride and Larkhall Academy. Parents are involved and engaged initially in their child’s learning through home visits. Help with homework is provided for parents where necessary through non-judgemental, easy to understand approaches.

GTEG offers an individual learning programme across both the Broad General Education and Senior Phase. The programme provides a curriculum offer in Literacy, Numeracy, Health and Wellbeing and employability. Young people have access to qualifications to develop their skills for learning, further education, life and work.

Work is ongoing to build upon the existing offer and enable young people to access more qualifications through a wider range of Scottish Qualification Awards. More assessment is being built in to benchmark literacy and numeracy.

The curriculum offer has been developed and implemented in line with Curriculum for Excellence to suit individual learners needs whilst respecting culture and traditions of the young people and their families.

​Verbal reports on their child’s learning and progress are given to parents twice each term. There are ongoing two-way communications throughout the year between parents and practitioners about their child’s learning and other related matters. Contact is also made with other professionals where necessary to ensure easy access and transition to further support.

Advice and support is provided to practitioners across all sectors who support children and young people from a Gypsy/Travelling community who have opted to remain in their own school/setting.​


South Lanarkshire Council aims to engage with parents and young people from Gypsy/Travelling communities and improve educational outcomes.

GTEG identified the need to have an alternative education provision that offers bespoke and staged intervention opportunities for Gypsy/Travelling young people and their families.

What was the impact?​​

Close working relationships with parents and families, based on understanding and trust, have been established and maintained. Parents and families are involved and engaged in their child’s learning. Two-way communication has strengthened home-school partnership working.​​​

Over the past academic year, 32 young people have engaged in the project.

Senior pupils in the Gypsy Traveller Education Group have achieved qualifications in English, Maths Life Skills, Numeracy, Maths, History, PE and Media, at National 3 and 4 levels, Leadership, Construction and Beauty at National 5. A group of S1/2 pupils achieved the John Muir Award.