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This briefing looks at Gypsy and Traveller education. It focuses on England.

It is part of a series of related briefings, which can be accessed via our Commons Library website page on Gypsies and Travellers.

The term ‘Gypsies and Travellers’ encompasses a range of ethnic and cultural groups, many of which practice nomadism (where people do not have a single fixed accommodation but move from place to place) and/or have a nomadic heritage. Some of the groups included in this label are Welsh Gypsies, Scottish Gypsy/Travellers and Irish Travellers.  For further information about Gypsies and Travellers, see the Library series on Gypsies and Travellers linked above.

A report by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee [PDF] highlights that “while some find the term “Gypsy” to be offensive, many […] were proud to associate themselves with this term”. It is therefore also used in this briefing.

The term ‘Roma’ is generally used by people of Roma origin who have come to the UK from Central and Eastern Europe more recently. Roma are regarded as a distinct group in the UK,  although in current Department for Education (DfE) statistics, the two categories used are: Gypsy/ Roma, and Travellers of Irish Heritage. 

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