Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

Scope of the Inquiry

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people on average, have a shorter life expectancy than the rest of the population, poor educational outcomes and a high level of infant mortality compared with many other groups. 

This inquiry will look at the commitments and the progress made by the Government in achieving the 28 commitments to tackle inequalities faced by Gypsies and Travellers, a report published in 2012 by a ministerial working group.


According to research by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission:

  • Although the educational attainment of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in England has improved in recent years, the attainment gap for Gypsy and Roma children has widened, while the gap between Travellers of Irish heritage and white pupils has remained unchanged.
  • Only one in five Gypsy and Roma children and fewer than one in three Traveller children achieve ‘a good level of development’ in their early years, compared to six out of ten other white children.
  • A lower proportion of Gypsy and Roma children (13.8%) and Traveller children (17.5%) achieved the GCSE threshold in 2012-13, compared to 60% of other white children.


  • Compared with the general population, Gypsies and Travellers are more likely to suffer bad health. This includes higher infant and maternal mortality rates, low child immunisation levels, higher prevalence of anxiety and depression, chronic cough or bronchitis (even after smoking is taken into account), asthma, chest pain and diabetes in comparison to the general population. 


Latest Oral evidence on this inquiry: 18th April 2018


Evidence given by:

  • Michelle Gavin, Project Manager, Friends, Families and Travellers,
  • Szymon Glowacki, Mental Health Project Manager, Roma Support Group,
  • Shaynie Larwood-Smith, Lead nurse for Gypsy Traveller Health, Cambridgeshire County Council,
  • Dr Alison McFadden, Senior Research Fellow, University of Dundee.

To watch the evidence session in full please click here

The full transcript of this session can be found here