THE GYPSY, ROMA, TRAVELLER, SHOWMEN AND BOATER (GRTSB) PLEDGE
The GTRSB Schools Pledge consists of a firm commitment by a school to undertake certain steps to support access, retention, and outcomes in education for GTRSB pupils. QKA undertook the pledge in 2022.
What is in the Pledge?
There are a few minimum commitments your school must agree to, prior to Taking the Pledge.
Your school must commit to working towards creating the most appropriate and welcoming environment and conditions in which GTRSB pupils can stay resilient and thrive academically and personally.
- To do this, the school will establish a named contact point for GTRSB pupils and potential pupils
- The school will clearly identify and publicise the support for GTRSB pupils already in place which engage the key areas of the Pledge:
- data monitoring of GTRSB pupils and staff numbers
- building a supportive and welcoming culture for GTRSB pupils
- outreach & engagement to local GTRSB communities and
- inclusion, celebration, and commemoration of GTRSB cultures and communities.
- To facilitate this, the school will develop processes to identify GTRSB pupils and monitor their progress, as well as supporting the professional and personal development of staff members who self-identify as members of the communities.
- The school will ensure that staff and pupils across departments are aware of the support available to GTRSB pupils in the school.
- The school commits to ensuring that staff development exists raising awareness of the barriers GTRSB pupils face accessing education, and broadly in society.
Queen Katharine Academy proudly pledges a firm commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment, in which all GTRSB students can thrive academically and personally. As a school community, we are dedicated to raising the profile of GTRSB cultures and celebrating the heritages and traditions of our GTRSB students. We pledge to support our GTRSB students, through our partnership with COMPAS charity, to provide our students and families with support and guidance from positive role models, as well as to monitor and challenge inequalities experienced by our GTRSB communities. Through our ROGA (Roma of Great Ability) and ‘Roma Leaders’ student leadership programmes, we are committed to raising the aspirations of our GTRSB students and, as an inclusive centre of excellence, to creating opportunities for them to make outstanding academic progress and gain access to Further and Higher Education.
At Queen Katharine Academy, we acknowledge the inequalities and discrimination experienced by many of our GTRSB communities, and we stand firm in our commitment to challenging and tackling any discriminatory language and behaviours. We also recognise the importance of cultural awareness training for all staff and remain dedicated to sharing our expertise by delivering ongoing Continuous Professional Development for our staff body, as well as staff from schools across the East of England. We pledge to continue to celebrate and commemorate key dates for our GTRSB communities, including International Roma Day, GRT History Month and Holocaust Memorial Day and engage our families in coming together to mark these occasions.
Queen Katharine Academy promotes equal opportunities and has a strong moral ethos, underpinned by the school RESPECT charter. We are proud to be a diverse and inclusive centre with high expectations for all students, regardless of race, nationality, gender or religion. We therefore stand united in continuing our work to raise the profile of our GTRSB communities and supporting them to positively shape their own future and make valued contributions to society.
Our Pledge was delivered by our Head of School, Jane Driver
A GTRSB QKA Film involving students, staff, and families about accessing Higher Education can be viewed here:
In December our ROGA (Roma of Great Ability) students were invited to Anglia Ruskin University Peterborough to look at routes into university, tour the campus and watch the premiere of this film they were involved in making about the GTRSB (Gypsy, Roma & Traveller, Showmen and Boater) Pledge - which aims to improve access and participation in Higher Education and schools for these communities.
What is ROGA?
- Stands for Roma of Great Ability
- The ROGA Programme was first introduced in 2018 by QKA and COMPAS Charity with Petr Torak.
What are the aims of ROGA:
- To inspire young Roma people to pursue their dreams and think about their future
- To learn more about different careers and further education
QKA aims to run two ROGA courses each year, and each course comprises three sessions. The programme aims to work with the students on their dreams, goals, and ambitions for their future through presentations from role models, visits to establishments of Higher Education and workshops to encourage dreaming BIG!
The first course was completed in 2018 and the students were encouraged to talk about their aspirations. To see the video from the scheme, please see link: http://www.compas.org.uk/roga/ .
The Gala event from this course featured on BBC Look East news, you can watch it here.
In the past our students have visited Cambridge University, Anglia Ruskin University, and heard from positive Roma Role Models such as Nicu Ion (MP for Elswick) and Petr Torak (MBE).
The students who took part in the most recent ROGA course were showcased talking about their dreams and aspirations.
A number of students who embraced the ROGA programme have moved on to become Roma Leaders at QKA. They participate in peer mentoring with younger students from Primary Schools within the Trust, Parents & Open Evenings as well as with celebration events. They are both role models and advocates for QKA and the Roma community at the same time. Below, you can view a video of these students talking about their Roma history.
International Romani Day
After first being declared in 1990 International Romani Day takes place on 8th April every year; it is a day to celebrate Romani culture as well as draw attention to the discrimination directed at Roma communities globally and a call for human rights of all to be respected and observed.
Our students are always excited to mark the occasion with a day of sharing Roma food, music and dancing; it is a highlight of the school calendar.
Here are Roma leaders share their thoughts on why celebrating International Romani Day is so important to them.
Here are some dancers doing the ROMA dance for ROMA Day 2023 celebrations.