Mainstream education is essential for all children

The Equality Authority has read with concern the reports on developments in Rathkeale relating to the education of young Travellers as published in today’s newspapers. “Schools are bound by the Equal Status Act which addresses discrimination in access to education across nine grounds including the Traveller community. It is important that some parent’s councils do not emerge to play the role in Traveller education that some resident councils have played in Traveller accommodation. If this happens we deny Travellers any change in their situation and we deny society the benefits of equality and cultural diversity ” said Equality Authority CEO, Niall Crowley.

“Access to mainstream education for all is crucially important in the building of a more equal and progressive society. This principle has been underlined by the Report of the Task Force on the Travelling Community. One if its recomendations ensured access to mainstream education for Travellers and in doing so to develop procedures capable of accommodating Traveller nomadism. This has also been underlined by the practice of the Department of Education and Science and by the introduction of Equal Status legislation with its very specific focus on access to and participation in education which comes under the remit of the Equality Authority” he added.

“I look forward to an early resolution of the difficulties in Rathkeale” concluded Niall Crowley.