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Gypsy, Roma and Traveller News
Parliamentary Questions on Ofsted report ‘ Overcoming Barriers’
Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments. The following question was asked by David Blunkett.
Asked by Mr David Blunkett
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she plans to take, and on what timetable, to respond to the report from Ofsted entitled Overcoming barriers: ensuring that Roma children are fully engaged and achieving in education, published on 16 December 2014.
Answered by: Mr David Laws
Ofsted’s report recommends that the Department for Education considers how the allocation of existing school funding can be more reactive to in-year changes in pupil numbers. Local authorities currently have discretion to top up a school’s funding to take account of high numbers of pupils arriving at unusual times of the year. The Department is considering whether there could be ways to make the funding system even more responsive to in-year changes as part of work on funding reform beyond 2015-16.
Ofsted also recommends that the Department takes steps to encourage more accurate recording of pupil ethnicity. From January 2016, schools will be able to record separate data on Gypsy and Roma pupils, instead of the current joint category. It is anticipated that this change will encourage Roma parents to declare their child’s ethnicity accurately, which in turn will help schools to tailor their support for these pupils.
In addition, the Department will work with the its Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Education Stakeholder Group to disseminate the effective practice identified in Ofsted’s report and encourage local areas to consider what action they can take to improve outcomes for Roma pupils, in line with Ofsted’s recommendations to schools and local authorities.
Read the report at: