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Agenda item

Support to Roma Children

Report of the Interim Head of Primary and Targeted Intervention



The Committee received a report of the Interim Head of Primary and Targeted Intervention (Andrew Jones), on the Council’s strategic approach for children who are new arrivals and/or part of the Roma community.  The report set out information on the New Arrival and Roma Steering Group, established in 2010, to oversee this key area of work, schools-based activity and best practice, early intervention and prevention, training and learning provision, health activity, effective community engagement to promote community resilience, cohesion and integration, early years, community youth teams, school admissions, fair access and school places and data analysis tracking.




Members of the Committee raised questions, and the following responses were provided:-




·                 Whilst the Every Sheffield Child Articulate and Literate (ESCAL) programme had been disbanded, a number of officers who had worked on the programme had been transferred to other education programmes, such as the South-East Learning Partnership (Locality C). The schools in Locality B were also involved in the groups. Whilst it was a very complex situation, the Local Authority was trying to assist where possible, and it was accepted by all partners that a considerable amount of work was required in order to see improvements in the attainment and inclusion rates of Roma children.




·                 Whilst there was an emphasis on reducing pupil exclusion, the main priority of the work being undertaken was to try and increase inclusion levels. Work was currently being undertaken with regard to this, focussing on a partnership approach to help schools to become more inclusive, through Home Education and Mobility.  Work was underway to include alternative provision in the partnership approach and activities. Emphasis would be placed on those pupils deemed more “at risk”, particularly with regard to those who were at risk of involvement in gang activity.




·                 A community profile of the Roma community, including a definition of “Roma”, the gender and age balance of pupils being monitored as part of the work and the languages spoken by such children, would be circulated to Members of the Committee.




RESOLVED: That the Committee:-




(a)      notes the contents of the report now submitted, together with the responses to the questions raised;




(b)      thanks Andrew Jones for attending the meeting, and responding to the questions raised; and




(c)      welcomes the work being undertaken in this regard.


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