§ Mr. Cartwright
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what activities are undertaken by her Department in relation to the needs of gipsies and other travellers; what are the annual costs to public funds; and what is the estimated additional cost of any proposed expansion of such activities.
§ Miss Margaret Jackson
The Educational Disadvantage Unit in my Department maintains contact with other Government Departments, gipsy organisations and other voluntary bodies working in this field and also handles educational projects for gipsies under the urban programme. The provision made for gipsies by local education authorities is subject to inspection by Her Majesty's inspectors, one of whom is responsible for national co-ordination. The Department has provided a number of short courses for teachers working with gipsy children and another to be held this summer. The Centre for Information and Advice on Educational Disadvantage, financed by my Department, organised a conference last autumn for those involved in gipsy education which I and other members of the Department attended.
To cost these activities would be extremely difficult and likely to be unreliable. No such expansion is proposed at present.