Monkton Priory CP School welcomed partners from Romania and Spain earlier this month as part of a European project which seeks to overcome barriers to secondary school learning among girls from Gypsy, Roma and traveller (GRT) communities.
Inspired by a group of gypsy traveller girls from West Wales, the three-year Erasmus project will look at education, opportunities and inequalities within GRT communities in schools.
The three-day visit to Monkton involved presentations by pupils and teachers. Visitors from the partnering countries also visited local attractions such as Pembroke Castle, the Dylan Thomas writing shed in Laugharne and Freshwater West beach.
The visit follows a face-to-face trip by two Monkton teachers to their partner school in Murcia last autumn. One of the teachers, Claire Arnold, said they will be working collaboratively with eight partner organisations over the three years of the project.
“Our shared problem across our three partner regions is the amount of GRT pupils remaining in secondary mainstream education,” she said.
“Those who are mobile may face interruptions and a lack of continuity to their education, and whether mobile or not, children/young people from the GRT communities or any Traveller culture, may need support to overcome barriers to learning.”
She added: “We will be seeking to gain first-hand inputs and share effective practice on how regions with similar issues face the challenge of engaging GRT families. We will also be developing strategies to reduce barriers preventing GRT children in engaging fully in education.”
The project is led in schools across Wales by International Links Global, which will work with partners and GRT pupils to look at barriers that impact on them having equality of access and social inclusion within society and within the communities themselves.
Pictured are representatives of the Erasmus programme from Spain, Romania and Pembrokeshire.