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Minister Foley announces tender process for the independent pilot project, aimed at tackling education disadvantage in Traveller and Roma communities

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today announces the opening of a tender process to undertake an independent evaluation of the STAR pilot project, dedicated to tackling educational disadvantage in Traveller and Roma communities.


The Supporting Traveller and Roma (STAR) pilot project in education was established in 2019 under the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS) with the aim of improving attendance, participation and school completion in specific Traveller and Roma communities regionally.


The announcement of this eTender process is a key action in responding to the Programme for Government commitment to undertake an independent assessment of this pilot project.


The Minister strongly encourages those qualified to apply for this evaluation contract, which will play an important role in enabling the learnings from the pilot to inform future policy initiatives for the benefit of the Traveller and Roma communities in Ireland.


Apply via eTenders here: Public RFT - STAR pilot project (




Notes to Editor


The National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS), published in 2017 and led by the Minister for Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth, provides the framework and strategic direction for interventions to improve the lives of Travellers and Roma in Ireland in practical and tangible ways. The strategy takes a whole-of-government approach to bringing about real improvements in the quality of life for Travellers and Roma as well as improving public service engagement with Traveller and Roma communities in Ireland.


There are 149 actions in the strategy covering the themes of Cultural Identity, Education, Employment and Traveller Economy, Children and Youth, Health, Gender Equality, Anti-discrimination and Equality, Public Services, Accommodation and Traveller and Roma Communities.


Education-related actions include the aims of achieving equality of education outcomes, supporting an inclusive school community, and promoting a positive culture of respect and protection for the cultural identity of Travellers and Roma in education.


Responding to these actions, a pilot project Supporting Traveller and Roma (STAR) was established in 2019 to target attendance, participation and retention/school completion in four specific Traveller and Roma communities: Tuam, Gorey and Enniscorthy, Dublin North and Cork. Initially a two-year pilot, the project has been extended to the end of June 2024.


Each location is provided with additional resources to work together with parents, children and young people, schools, Traveller and Roma communities and service providers to address the barriers impacting on Traveller and Roma children’s attendance, participation and retention in education.


Partners in the project include: Department of Education, Tusla Education Support Service (TESS), the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) and Traveller and Roma representative organisations. Also represented on the project’s national Oversight Group are national and local Traveller and Roma representative groups, the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), the Department of Education’s Inspectorate, the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN), and the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD).