PhD opportunity: Gypsy/traveller experiences of career guidance

I just saw an advert for what looks like a very interesting funded PhD at the University of the West of Scotland.

‘But what comes next?’ Gypsy/Traveller experiences of careers guidance services in Scottish and English High Schools

Surely someone who looks at this blog must be interested in going for this!

In January 2014 results from the 2011 census indicated that of the 60,000 people who formally identified themselves as being of Roma/Gypsy/Traveller ethnicity in the UK, over 60% had no formal qualifications (ONS, 2014, Scottish Government, 2013). This is almost three times higher than the figure for the UK population as a whole, which is recorded as 23%. It has been widely recognised by statutory agencies and NGOs that this situation is not acceptable or sustainable in terms of both furthering the rights of the child and broader social inclusion strategies. This project aims to fill a fundamental gap in knowledge: despite many years of research and government reports examining the situation of Roma, Gypsy and Traveller educational attendance and attainment, there has been almost no systematic research examining the potential impact that effective careers guidance can have on raising the aspirations of Roma, Gypsy and Traveller children who are engaged in formal secondary education.

The key research questions for this project are:
1. To what extent do careers services in secondary schools currently work and engage with Roma, Gypsy and Traveller children?
2. What are some of the key issues and topics arising for staff in working with Roma, Gypsy and Traveller pupils?
3. What are some of the key issues and topics arising for Roma, Gypsy and Traveller pupils in working with careers guidance staff within secondary school settings?
4. In what way could current services be adapted and/or improved to maximise Roma, Gypsy and Traveller engagement with careers services?
5. What are some of the main policy recommendations arising from this study and how can they help improve current practice?

The geography of the fieldwork will cover the west of Scotland and the north of England and will be conducted in targeted High Schools. The student will work with Roma, Gypsy and Traveller pupils as well as careers guidance staff in schools. The study will be both qualitative and quantitative, gathering data via a survey of careers guidance staff as well as in-depth, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with both staff and pupils. A minimum of 20 interviews will be conducted with staff (10 in the West of Scotland and 10 in the North of England) and a minimum of 40 interviews with Roma, Gypsy and Traveller pupils (20 in the west of Scotland and 20 in the North of England).

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