Learning to read and write is not necessarily a matter of course for travellers, especially when access to education is often denied them due to constant evictions from roadside encampments or discrimination from the settled community. This publication arose out of Save the Children's work with the gypsy and traveller community in Buckinghamshire, which originally focused on the developmental needs of young children. It soon became clear that the child cannot be seen in isolation from its family and wider community, and consequently work developed which embraced traveller parents. This enabled parents to support the development of the child, and to some extent, address their own learning needs. This work draws together evidence which demonstrates the need for basic education provision for travellers. By drawing on examples of good practice from projects developing education initiatives with travellers, the booklet provides guidance on what has been tried and what has worked. The work aims to make this information more widely available to traveller and adult basic skills practitioners and planners and the institutions which provide these services.
The booklet draws upon gypsies and travellers own words to demonstrate the value of adult basic skills projects and to illustrate the power of literacy as a key to other experiences and life chances.