06 December, 2007 - Minister for Lifelong Learning Seán Haughey T.D. Launches Strategic Plan for the Network of Senior Traveller Training Centres

Minister for Lifelong Learning, Seán Haughey T.D., today launched the new Strategic Plan for the Network of Senior Traveller Training Centres (STTC's) at the Ashling Hotel, Parkgate Street, Dublin.
The new Strategic Plan sets out the development of STTC's from 2008-2012 detailing aims, objectives and specific action plans to ensure that the network of centres is responding to the changing educational needs of Travellers in our knowledge based society.
It was developed over 3 years by the National Association of Travellers' Centres in partnership with the centres Directors Association, the Irish Vocational Education Association and the National Co-ordinator for the Senior Traveller Training Centres. 
Minister Haughey highlighted the inter-agency approach to producing the plan and the consultation that took place with Travellers at every level."This collaborative approach has allowed all those involved in the programme to have a say in the drafting of the strategic plan for the centres and this has been hugely productive. What we have here is a clear,manageable and achievable set of objectives that will have a long-lasting and positive effect on the place of Travellers within the education system."
The Minister went on to say that, "with the publication of the Report and Recommendations for a Traveller Education Strategy by the Government in 2006, and the recent focus on policies to enhance inclusion in relation to Traveller education, the development and publication of this document is very timely. The educational landscape has changed considerably since the development of STTC's in the early 1970s.It is important that the network keeps abreast of these changes in line with policy shifts and legislative changes within our educational framework.
This plan lays down clearly defined goals for the network of centres over the short, medium and longer term.These goals cover such issues as equality, diversity, continuous professional development,ongoing development and evaluation, quality assurance, interagency collaboration, progression opportunities and the retention of younger Travellers in mainstream post-primary schools.The Government will use this Strategic Plan to inform the development of policy for Senior Traveller Training Centres into the future."

Editor's Note:

The first Senior Traveller Training Centre (STTC) was established in 1974.  There are now 33 centres operating across the country catering for just over 1,000 learners.
The aim of the centres is to provide Travellers with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to successfully make the transition to work and adult life, and to participate fully in their communities. 
The target group is people who have left school with either minimal or no qualifications, however, there is no upper age limit, and particular effort is made to encourage parents on to the programme, given the impact this can have on their children's subsequent participation in schooling.