Education as a key tool for keeping Roma out of poverty : the education of Roma children in France and in Spain
Vico Sánchez, Francisco Luis
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Concerns over the underachievement of Roma children in the educational systems of many countries in Europe, and a commitment to improve provision for these children, are something that has been acknowledged across a series of government reports and other documents over the last decades. However, despite many efforts have been made, Roma communities continue to experience discrimination and remain the worst achieving minority group in European schooling systems. This paper compares the educational policy on the inclusion and exclusion of Roma children from France and Spain. By analysing the educational situation and measures adopted in these two European countries to deal with the situation of Roma, this paper deals with the challenges that minority communities find in their tentative of integration in the national systems of European states. Whilst different states of the European Union are increasingly taking seriously the educational inequalities of such communities, ethnocentrism and assimilationist frameworks undermine such efforts. A more coherent Europe wide policy may encapsulate a broader understanding and respect for these communities, in order to ensure their inclusion in the educational spaces they occupy.