Gypsy Travellers - Interrupted Learners

Contact Details

Karen MacMaster
Development Officer - Interrupted Learning
Education Centre
IV15 9HU

Tel: (01349) 868208

What do we do?

Highland Council staff work in partnership with parents/carers to ensure that the needs of children are supported.

The Council promotes an inclusive approach to service provision and takes account of individual needs and circumstances.

Who is the service for?

The Interrupted Learning Development Officer works Highland wide in partnership with staff in Education, Health, Social Work, Housing and other agencies including the voluntary sector. The integrated services approach is employed to ensure consistency of approach in meeting the educational needs of Gypsies and Travellers, and children who experience interrupted learning.
Advice & support to Gypsy and Traveller families about education.

We provide:

  • Support to Gypsy and Traveller families in accessing school, nursery and other educational opportunities
  • Consultation, advice and support for education staff and staff in other agencies
  • Co-operative teaching
  • Teaching support to individual/small groups of pupils
  • Loan service of resources to schools, support staff and children and families.
  • In-service training

The service is available to all families from a Travelling background. A multi-agency approach is employed to allow appropriate support to be made available to travelling families.

Decisions relating to individual children and families who experience interrupted learning are made in consultation with Head Teachers, Area Managers and the Support for Learning Teams.

Gypsy/Travellers and Children who Experience Interrupted Learning

  • Gypsy/Travellers and Children who experience Interrupted Learning [pdf]
  • The Scottish Traveller Education Programme (STEP) have produced 3 booklets for Gypsy/Traveller families called ‘Education in Scotland , Being Safe in School in Scotland  and Additional Support for Learning in Scotland  with an accompanying DVD (which assists with literacy difficulties).  The information will also be useful for schools and can be accessed and downloaded on the STEP website Further packs or individual copies can be purchased directly from STEP by contacting Jean Oliver on 0131 651 6440 or emailing to   If a school admits new Gypsy/Traveller children the Gypsy Traveller Development Officer can provide the family with packs.
  • My Learning Record  This is a family held educational record.  Families can give it to a school when their child enrols and collect it back when their child leaves.  It provides an initial education record in order to support continuity of education for the child.
  • Initial Rapid Assessment Guide  The Initial Rapid Assessment Guide (IRAG) for Gypsies and Travellers within the context of interrupted learning: guidance for teachers.  This document provides guidance and materials to carry out an initial and rapid assessment of the reading, writing and mathematical skills of a pupil.