November 9th, 2011

Roma education report

A selection of my photographs from Cedar Mount, a high school near my home, has been used to illustrate a study into the experiences of migrant Roma children in UK schools, written by Equality and published by the Roma Education Fund. Cedar Mount has about 100 Romanian Roma children – roughly one in eight pupils – as well as smaller numbers of Roma children from other Eastern European countries. I wrote about the school’s successes – and the challenges it faces – for Times Educational Supplement Magazine earlier this year. One of the things Manchester’s education authority has started doing – with great foresight in my opinion – is employing classroom assistants from the Romanian Roma community, almost all young adults who speak English but have not themselves benefitted from a formal education. There are several reasons for this – it shows the community that they are valued in this city; it raises aspirations by proving to Roma children that they can have the same ambitions and expectations as the rest of us in the UK, and it builds the confidence of this group of adults, who will hopefully go on to become links between different sections of the population. Ramona, who I have been focusing on for my major project, and who appears in the image above, is one of these people and the only woman. The report is available at Equality’s website.

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Related Posts: Roma Source participatory project , Still here, plodding along , while in Romania I took a few portraits…, What a difference 6 months can make, Trying to find my groove, Prefect material , Foundry, day 1, Love of learning , New Roma story , Handing over the edit – Ramona sequences her own story

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