Ofsted recommends more support for Roma pupils

An OFTED survey, Overcoming barriers: ensuring that Roma children are fully engaged and achieving in education, has said that children from Roma backgrounds must be better supported to learn and achieve, after figures revealed the number of “Gypsy/Roma” pupils enrolling in English schools increased by 13.7% to 19,030 over the past year. The watchdog surveyed three local councils and 11 schools with a large intake of Roma pupils from Eastern Europe. Although head teachers reported no adverse effect on the achievement of other pupils already in their schools, some schools had struggled to get pupils to follow school routines and behave appropriately. Ofsted recommends that local authorities should ensure that there is a dedicated and knowledgeable senior leader who can push forward the local authority’s strategies for improving outcomes for Roma pupils. The report went on to note that some schools have felt obliged to meet the costs of lunches, uniforms and trips for Roma pupils despite not receiving funding to do so.

Some key points noted by nomadic include:

  • Strategies for including Roma are the same as used by Traveller Education Support Services and highlighted in the National Strategies Guidance, NFER research etc. including
    • an identified member of Senior Management team with responsibility for Roma
    • interagency liaison and monitoring to support achievement and transitions
    • outreach and use of community members as mediators and Teaching Assistants to promote engagement and inclusion.
  • A few schools seem to have had a significant numbers, but overall there is nothing in the report to justify scare stories in some sections of the press.
  • There is strong endorsement of specialist support services and a powerful quote from a Roma support worker confirming the value of proactive rather than reactive interventions.
  • It emphasises the financial problems for the schools and families resulting from their ineligibility for Pupil Premium.
  • There is also support for induction by high quality experienced qualified specialist teachers, and explicit criticism of Teaching Assistant led classes.
  • Concerns were raised about high levels of mobility, coordination across agencies and monitoring within schools.

Roma in Caracal (Romania) get a new roof, after more than 50 years!

Through Nick Radu’s extensive contacts in Romania, and including a cash donation from Coca Cola – Nick has secured a commitment from the mayor and local politicians to enable the huge roof of a building in the Romanian city of Caracal, to be renovated.  The building is home to several hundred Roma children and adults.  There had been no maintenance or repair for some 50 years, and consequently it was in a terrible state of repair with countless leaks and very little protection from the often harsh Romanian winters.  Here is a clip from the local media in Caracal reporting on the building work progress…

Coca Cola and the World Cup

Earlier in the year Nick Radu (nomadic education), was instrumental in working with Coca Cola to film this advert, in his home town of Caracal in Romania. The film featured Roma young people, and culminated in several of them being taken to Brazil for the World Cup! Have a look at the final cut here…

Autumn Term 2014 Network Meeting

Supporting Inclusion and Achievement

Wednesday September 24th, 2014
4.15pm to 5.45pm
Thorpe Hall Primary School
Hale End Road
London E17 4DP
Telephone: 020 8527 4062


  •  An introduction to Romanes , the Romani language.  Participants will receive a dictionary, essential word list and practical ways for using the language with children.
  • Nick Radu, from Riverley, will give practical hints and tips on raising Roma achievement in practice
  • We hope to hear from a Waltham Forest School, on their experience of including Roma children, and improving their outcomes
  • Brian Foster will present the TARGET model for improving outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils
  • ‘nomadic’  What’s in it for your school
Book your place

Summer 2014 network meeting

 Supporting Inclusion and Achievement

Wednesday July 9th, 2014
4.15pm to 5.45pm
Riverley Primary
Park Road
London E10 7BZ
Telephone: 020 8539 4535


    • An introduction to Romanes , the Romani language.
    • Recent DFE data on achievement and inclusion of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils.
    • Educational issues affecting Gypsy, Roma Traveller children in East London and ways to address them (discussion).
    • Presentation on nomadic’s work in Rowland Hill Children’s Centre, Kensington and Riverley Primary Schools.


Spring 2014 network meeting

Waltham Forest Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Schools Network


March 12th, 2014
4.15pm to 5.45pm
Riverley Primary
Park Road
London E10 7BZ
Telephone: 020 8539 4535


  • Introductions
  • Latest DfE data on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller attainment, attendance and exclusions
  • New arrivals – implications for schools
    (including video of Nick Radu with Nigel Farrage)
  • Current nomadic projects
    • Kensington
    • Folkestone
    • Cambridgeshire
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 2014

Book places here

The voice of reason

January 1st saw the residence regulation on Bulgarian and Romanian national relaxed. Many had predicted a flood of migrants from those countries, particular poorer people without guaranteed offer of jobs. Roma in Eastern Europe experience high levels of unemployment and tend to work in casual and poorly paid jobs. So much of the anxiety about a deluge of poor and unskilled Romanians and Bulgarians was, in fact, code for Roma.

In the end the flood was nothing more than a trickle, but ITV’s daybreak programme decided to devote time to considering the issue on the Daybreak programme on the 6th January. Nick Radu, a member of the nomadic-education team, was asked to share a sofa with Nigel Farrage and be the voice of reason into the Eurosceptic debate in which the Roma are becoming a political football.

Roma Have Your Say programme



Following the increasing media hysteria about Gypsies snatching blonde children, the BBC World Service have decided to dedicate an hour programme to the issue for the Romani community to air it’s views. A one hour live programme, which Jake Bowers will be co-presenting, will be broadcast live today at 6pm from a Romani caravan site in Surrey, England on the BBC World Service across the world. Continue reading