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Copyright Showmen’s Guild Yorkshire.
Education When their parents are travelling with their rides and equipment it is important that showmen’s children keep up to date with their studies wherever possible. Across the country, traveller education services co–ordinate their efforts with the Guild’s Education Liaison Officers (ELOs) to ensure fairground children are supported with distance learning projects. If you are a showman on the road and require support for your child, please contact your regional ELO or traveller education service. Until now, children from showmen’s families have relied on distance learning in the form of paper based worksheets supplied by their base schools to work on while travelling during the fairground season. The Showmen’s Guild, however, has moved with the times and is now part of the E–lamp Project, which loans laptop computers for children to use whilst they are travelling. This enables them to keep in contact electronically, rather than through the post, with their base school. Children receive work set by their own teacher and can gain feedback and new tasks, rather than waiting until they return to school at the end of the season. Useful educational websites also can be accessed to help further with their learning. Finally, pupils can also stay in touch with classmates, so that when they meet up again they all know what has been happening. This project, more details of which can be downloaded here, is co–ordinated by the National Association for Teachers of Travellers (NATT) and funded by the DCFS. The NATT was set up in 1980 in order to address the isolation of teachers of travellers and to support and encourage their work. Unlike teachers in mainstream schools who can be geographically close to one another, teachers in traveller education services are spread out across the UK and seldom have the chance to meet and share their work. For this reason, NATT organises the following events and all members are welcome to participate: –3 one-day meetings a year –Information mail-outs three times a year –A biannual national resources day –Professional development opportunities –Conferences Within the NATT are four development groups, including the Education Partnership Group whose special responsibility is to liase with ELOs and circus parents and keep everyone up–to–date. The group also organises an annual education conference, which takes place every January, details of which can be obtained from the Derby, Nott’s, Mid & South Lincs Section ELO, Sharon McKean, Norma Wilkinson & Michaela Derry. Although the NATT started as an association purely for teachers, it now includes members from the wider community including Showmen’s Guild ELOs, and a name change is planned to reflect this in due course.
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