Journal of Student Engagement: Education Matters


The British government aims to provide education for all and meet every student’s basic learning needs. The school system is the main avenue for educating pupils in Britain, but it is based on dominant cultures in the UK and does not always enable pupils from subordinate cultures to learn and develop their principles and values, especially students from Romani backgrounds. Such practices could lead to social exclusion. This paper looks at the cultural dissonance between Travellers and non-Travellers in British secondary schools. It analyses cultural discord between Traveller and non-Traveller pedagogies, traditions, behaviour, beliefs, expectations and values. The discordance could lead to Traveller pupils’ social exclusion, and the paper concludes by suggesting ways that schooling could improve the system, so that Travellers are more likely to be included. In doing so, there is more chance of a successful education for all that meets basic learning needs and enriches more students’ lives.

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