Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

Think tank: HEPI

Author(s): Dr Laura Brassington

July 7, 2022

This report from UK think tank HEPI looks at the ethnic minorities most excluded from UK education.

Written by Dr Laura Brassington, Policy Manager at HEPI, Gypsies, Roma and Travellers: The ethnic minorities most excluded from UK education (HEPI Report 151) shows: Gypsy, Roma and Travellers of Irish heritage have the widest attainment gap in measures of pupils achieving a good level of development in early years education; Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils have some of the lowest rates of attendance and the highest rates of permanent exclusion from schools; in 2020/21, 9.1% of Gypsy / Roma pupils and 21.1% of Irish Traveller pupils achieved a grade 5 or above in GCSE English and Mathematics, compared to a national average in England of 51.9%; young people from Gypsy / Roma and Irish Traveller communities are the least likely ethnic groupings to enter higher education by the age of 19 – just 6.3% of Gypsy / Roma and 3.8% of Irish Travellers access higher education by the age of 19 compared to around 40% of all young people; Gypsy and Irish Travellers are the UK’s ‘least liked’ group, with 44.6% of people holding negative views against them – 18.7 percentage points higher than Muslims; and Irish Travellers face a ‘mental health crisis’, with one-in-10 deaths caused by suicide.