School for Nomads

Organisation: Richard O’Neill

Location: UK

It is important for young Gypsy and Traveller people to have access to books that positively reflect their lives and experiences. At the same time, it is important that educators understand the barriers Gypsy and Traveller children often face in both accessing mainstream education and in staying in the education system. Whilst literacy levels are lower than the national average so too is the understanding of Gypsy Traveller culture and traditional learning models. Through this project, celebrated children’s author Richard O’Neill sets out to address this issue by developing a brand new book, created with Gypsy and Traveller students, for Gypsy and Traveller students and their teachers which explores what a ‘School for Nomads’ would look like.

Richard will write a draft book based on the lives of Gypsy and Traveller young people living on the roadside. He will then gain feedback and insight from young people living on the roadside about the book, so that the book is engaging, relevant and truly representative of their lived experience.

School for Nomads- Richard O'Neill
Art by Michelle Russell

The end product will be a ready-to-publish and downloadable book that can be used as an advocacy tool within schools, settled communities and at the roadside to encourage understanding, literacy and further educational inclusion.

Richard O’Neill hopes increasing the representation of Gypsy and Traveller children in literature will offer a learning opportunity for teachers and educational support staff too.


If school could really be like this, I’d be there now.