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School wins award for helping to integrate traveller children

An infants school in the London Borough of Hillingdon has won a national award after taking part in a project about traveller life

Harefield Infant School's items representing gypsy culture

A school which has worked hard to promote traveller and gypsy culture has been presented with a national award.

For the second year running, Harefield Infant School won first prize in a competition organised by the National Association of Teachers of Travellers (NATT) for their work throughout Traveller History Month in June.

On Tuesday it will hold an assembly to mark the achievement.

Sally Barter, an outreach worker at Harefield Children’s Centre which is linked to the school said: "Harefield has a high number of settled traveller families and this is reflected in the children on roll at school and historically this has always been the case. This is a really positive thing, not only for the school but also for the traveller community in Harefield."

Sally herself is a traveller who went to school in Harefield then on to work for the traveller education team, within Hillingdon Council’s education department. Every year, with the support of the Children’s Centre and local schools, she runs a Traveller Family Learning Project, which encourages traveller parents and children to work together on entries for the NATT competition.

The Mayor of Hillingdon, Allan Kauffman, presented awards to all those involved, along with special guest Richard O’Neill, a member of the travelling community well known nationally for his work within education.

Mr O’Neill was recently presented with an award by the Duchess of Cambridge as one of just 10 National Literacy Heroes, including JK Rowling.

Head teacher, Bernadette Lloyd said: “I am so proud of the children and their hard work which is made possible by the support they receive at home. We have a vibrant community who bring a lot to the school.”


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