The Roma Education Support Trust, Great Britain

Nominated for implementation of the program “Every Child Matters: Ensuring High Quality Education for All” improving the quality of education of Roma students.

The Roma Education Support Trust (REST) improves education outcomes of Roma children across Europe by creating centres of excellence for educating Roma students. These schools can afterwards mentor other schools in the European countries where the students originate from. REST was founded in July 2012. Since then, 4 other partner schools from Czech Republic and Slovakia joined the program and more partnerships are being established in Brno and Ostrava.

In the program, teachers from European countries visit Babington College Leicester where Eastern European Roma pupils achieve good results. They follow Roma students to lessons for two days and receive intensive training in inclusive education practices. The teachers see Roma children succeed in education and acquire skills to deliver the same results themselves. Members of Babington staff visit their partner schools, offering training and team teaching. The long term aim is to create a pool of well-educated Roma pupils contributing to society and becoming the voice of their community in adulthood.

Roma children regularly leave Babington with the highest qualifications, intending to continue their studies at a university. The first Czech partner school in the project, Zakladni Skola Trmice, has developed into a genuine centre of excellence for educating Roma youth and offers support and advice to other Czech schools.

REST has trained 600+ educators in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. More than 200 teachers from the UK, Czech Republic and Slovakia have visited Babington, attended lessons with Roma pupils seeing that Roma children can learn as well as anyone else. REST has directly trained over 800 educators in the UK and Europe and reached a further 200 Czech teachers through online seminars. The number of Roma pupils taught by these teachers is hard to estimate but more than a thousand of Roma students attend schools where the REST staff has been involved.