Since 2003 Gypsy/Roma and Travellers of Irish heritage have been identified as two distinct ethnicity groups in national school census data. However, this data is incomplete as many parents and children are reluctant to identify themselves for fear of bullying and prejudice which is endemic in their everyday lives.
In January 2009 there were 414 self-ascribed Gypsy/Roma and 88 self-ascribed Irish Traveller pupils in Cambridgeshire, comprising respectively 0.5% and 0.1% of the total school population compared with 0.2% nationally for both groups. However, a more accurate figure is likely to be higher than that with Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Services (CREDS) data showing 844 Gypsy, Roma, Traveller pupils during the period September 2008 to July 2009.
In Cambridgeshire, data for 2009 across all phases (Foundation Stage, KS1, KS2 and KS4) shows performance of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils as consistently trailing, with little evidence of narrowing the gap with the county average.
Figures for Cambridgeshire in 2008/09 show that 81% of all known Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people accessed education in county schools at some point during the year.
There is a significant number of secondary school aged Gypsy, Roma and Traveller young people in Cambridgeshire, not accessing secondary school provision. Attendance figures are in line with those nationally for these groups but well below the national average for all pupils.