Policy Cooperation and innovation Roma Multilateral Project

Implementation period: March 2012 – March 2013

This project was led by the BHA for Equality (BHA) in collaboration with the Manchester City Council International New Arrivals, Travellers and Supplementary Schools Team (INA/T/SS Team) in the UK. As international partners in this project the leading organizations worked with the Fundación Secretariado Gitano in Spain and Pharos (Dutch Centre of Expertise on Health Disparities) in the Netherlands. The project focused specifically on newly arriving Roma in the partner countries. This refers to Roma who have migrated to partner countries in more recent years – particularly following the accession of several Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries – rather than focusing on long established or indigenous Roma populations.

There are widely acknowledged issues around Roma and education, with low levels of attendance – particularly at secondary school level – and poor educational attainment being two commonly cited concerns.

The objective of this project was to support the creation of transnational cooperation projects to develop lifelong learning measures for Roma integration, joining up educational and other social measures such as health, employment and housing. Furthermore, the programme aim was to raise participation and attainment levels of Roma students in education and VET (Vocational Education and Training).

The project specific objectives were:

  1. To support the development of Roma communities:
  • Supporting individuals to make informed choices and understand the value of formal education
  • Supporting young people to develop as mediators and become role models for others
  1.  To support educational inclusion through raising awareness amongst professionals
  • Accurate information-sharing regarding local Roma populations
  • Highlighting potential barriers to integration and identifying solutions
  • Recognition and understanding of specific experiences and strengths of Roma
  • Provision of practical guidance to support professionals to develop effective strategies for working with children, families and the wider Roma communities

Within this project a broad research was developed in order to explore and assess:

  • Existing data on newly arriving Roma communities in the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, with a specific focus on demographic data and education indicators;
  • Perceptions of the barriers to Roma educational inclusion by key stakeholders in the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.

In this research we sought to explore some of the main underlying reasons for these acknowledged issues, from the perspective of key stakeholders. It looks at the key issues of engagement with the Roma children from the perspective of selected stakeholders – teachers and head teachers, local authorities’ educational services and voluntary sector.

What was evident from the interviews was that there were a range of issues that were sometimes interrelated, but more importantly combined to create a complex picture in relation to engagement (or lack of) in education. The research report ‘What’s working?’: Promoting the inclusion of Roma in and through education: Transnational policy review research report’ provides an overview of educational practices towards Roma in chosen EU countries, including a case study in the Manchester region, UK.

Project Team:


  • What’s Working for Roma in Schools: A Network Learning Book, 2013

Authors: Jane Murphy

Publisher: Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust, Manchester

  • ‘What’s working?’: Promoting the inclusion of Roma in and through education: Transnational policy review and research report, March 2013

Authors: Lisa Scullion and Philip Brown

Publisher: University of Salford



This project was funded by the European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) through the Lifelong Learning Programme