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  • Traveller outcomes in education: A Traveller perspective.

    Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment for the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law,

    NUI Maynooth.

    Student Name: Kathleen Marie Lawrence

    Supervisor: Dr. Michelle Maher

    Date Submitted: 27/04/2017

  • 1

    Permission to use

    It is understood that due recognition shall be given to me and to the National University of Ireland

    Maynooth in any scholarly use which may be made of any material in my thesis

    .

    Requests for permission to copy or to make other use of material in this thesis in whole or part should be

    addressed to:

    Kathleen Lawrence

    [email protected]

  • 2

    Abstract

    Travellers have lower outcomes in education and employment compared to their settled counter parts in

    education alone 69% of Travellers have completed primary school education or lower and they have an

    84% unemployment rate (CSO 2011) The government reaction to Travellers since 1963 has been one of

    assimilation and cultural genocide. Policy was introduced to segregate Travellers while trying to absorb

    them in the general population. Some positive steps were made in policy through changing to a rights

    based model in the 1990’s.yet despite this travellers were disproportionately affected by cuts to education

    and accommodation. Research confirms the low educational attainment and the stark inequalities that

    Travellers face. Discrimination against Travellers is a regular occurrence and structural discrimination

    and internalised oppression has helped to maintain the status quo.

    Adding supports to engage Traveller parents and reinstating funding to Traveller education and liaison

    teachers will help to increase Traveller participation and educational attainment. There is also a need for

    Positive role models in the curriculum and normalisation of Traveller culture in schools rather than

    segregation. By considering Traveller culture and helping Travellers to maintain their culture while also

    participating in society the government would find this would help with relationships between Travellers

    and settled people. Positive discrimination in apprenticeships and public sectors would also open the door

    for more Travellers to become employed.

  • 3

    Acknowledgments

    The author of this dissertation would like to express gratitude to those who gave freely of their time in

    order to be interviewed. Their helpfulness and cooperation is very much appreciated.

    Respectful thanks are also due to Dr. Michelle Maher for the guidance and support given in her role as

    supervisor and to Lynsey Kavanagh for her valuable support.

  • 4

    Table of Contents

    Contents

    Abstract ........................................................................................................................................................... 1

    Acknowledgments ........................................................................................................................................... 3

    Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................................ 4

    Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 6

    1.1 Travellers in Ireland ......................................................................................................................... 6

    1.2 Inequality ............................................................................................................................................ 7

    Chapter 2: Review of the Literature ................................................................................................................ 8

    2.1 Education in Ireland ......................................................................................................................... 8

    2.2 Hegemony and Counter Hegemony .............................................................................................. 12

    2.3 Research on Travellers ................................................................................................................... 13

    Chapter 3: Methodology ............................................................................................................................... 16

    3.1 Research ........................................................................................................................................... 16

    3.2 Quantitative Research .................................................................................................................... 16

    3.3 Qualitative Research ...................................................................................................................... 16

    3.3 Surveys ............................................................................................................................................. 17

    3.3.1 Primary school education ........................................................................................................ 17

    3.3.2 Secondary school education .................................................................................................... 17

    3.3.3 Third level education ............................................................................................................... 18

    3.3.4 Random participants ............................................................................................................... 18

    3.3.4 Limits of research ..................................................................................................................... 18

    3.3.5 Ethics ......................................................................................................................................... 20

    Chapter 4: Research Findings ........................................................................................................................ 20

    4.1 Structural Reasons ...................................................................................................................... 21

    4.2 Experiences of Travellers in formal education ......................................................................... 21

    4.3 Barriers that Travellers face in formal education ................................................................... 23

    4.4 Effect on employability ............................................................................................................... 25

    4.5 Subjective Experiences ............................................................................................................... 25

    Chapter 5: Analysis of Findings .................................................................................................................... 29

  • 5

    5.1 Cultural Awareness Training .................................................................................................... 29

    5.2 Reinstate Traveller Resource teacher ....................................................................................... 30

    5.3 Supports to engage Traveller parents ....................................................................................... 30

    5.4 Affirmative action ....................................................................................................................... 31

    Chapter 6: Conclusion ................................................................................................................................... 32

    6.1 Reinstatement of funding and supports .................................................................................... 32

    6.2 Reaction ........................................................................................................................................ 33

    6.3 Further Work .............................................................................................................................. 33

    Chapter 8: Bibliography ................................................................................................................................ 34

  • 6

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    1.1 Travellers in Ireland

    There are 29,573 Travellers living in the Republic of Ireland according to the Central Statistics Office

    (CSO) statistics in 2011. CSO statistics also show that 84% of Travellers are unemployed and 69% of

    Travellers are educated to primary level or lower (CSO, 2011). When these statistics are compared with

    those of the settled population in Ireland they make for shocking reading. Unemployment in the majority

    population was only 14.6% the same year, while only 10% of the majority population had been educated

    to primary level or lower. (Ibid) So why are there such stark differences from the two communities when

    they live in the same country? There are many reasons why Travellers fare so badly when compared to

    the majority population. This research will expl