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Herefordshire’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller learning outreach project

Herefordshire Council has been awarded funding to deliver an innovative new project for the county’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community.

The council’s adult and community learning team has been awarded £19,200 from the Skills Funding Agency’s new Equality and Diversity Innovation Fund (2013/14) toemploy a dedicated Gypsy, Roma and Traveller(GRT)learning outreach worker to deliver the project, which will advance equality, diversity and inclusion for learnersamong the GRT community in Herefordshire.

The new outreach worker will work alongside the council’s GRT education team, which offers support to schools and GRT families, to identify and overcome the barriers to learning experienced by the adult GRT community through outreach work, one to one sessions and by taking learning opportunities directly to the GRT community to encourage greater participation.

Herefordshire Council is one of only 41 providers from across the country to have been successfully awarded funding from a total of 243 bids.  Although the funded project will end by June 2014, the impact will continue to be studied by the Skills Funding Agency and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) until 2015.

Councillor Patricia Morgan, cabinet member for corporate services, said: “This programme will offer literacy and numeracy tuition to adults who may not have previously benefitted from a formal education.  It is hoped that the acquisition of such skills will improve the quality of life for those individuals and their families, in addition to providing valuable skills which should have a positive impact on employability and income.”

Kim Thorneywork, chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency, said: “We are delighted that these grants have been awarded and thank all who applied.  The number of applications demonstrate that the sector is rising to our equality and diversity challenge.  I hope that these valuable projects will help those who are underrepresented or disadvantaged in learning, reach their potential in life.”

Carol Taylor, NIACE director for development and research, said: “We are pleased to have been chosen to act as a trusted partner in managing the Equality and Diversity Innovation Fund.  It is evident from all the previous funds we’ve managed that even a small amount of funding can make a huge difference to providers.  This latest round of funding from the Skills Funding Agency will help transform the futures of some of the most underrepresented people in society by supporting them to progress.  The 41 successful projects are giving people the chance to innovate, to develop new partnerships and to develop strategies to engage and support diverse groups.”

Tags: Schools and education