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ROMEDIA FOUNDATION

Authorities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been told that the illegal placement of Romani children outside mainstream schools must stop if a devastating cycle of discrimination, prejudice and unemployment is to be broken.

The demand comes from the head of a British organisation which carried out recent research into the educational development of Czech and Slovak Romani children who were taken out of their native school systems and placed in the United Kingdom’s following a family move. The charity, Equality, found that the performance of Czech and Slovak Romani pupils compared favourably with that of the average British child attending the same schools in eight English cities.

Romani children in the Czech Republic and Slovakia have traditionally been sent to de facto segregated “specialist,” or “practical” schools, which are primarily intended for youngsters with mental disabilities or learning difficulties. Alan Anstead, the founder and chief executive of…

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