A SIX-figure boost will help Gypsy/Traveller children “reach their full learning potential”, Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie has said.

The £275,000 sum is aimed at improving education for young people in the marginalised community as the Scottish Government works to remove barriers and overcome prejudice.

The cash will be funnelled into the Scottish Traveller Education Programme (STEP), which supports teachers of Gypsy/Travellers across the country.

It will be used to fast track efforts to train key teaching staff and improve partnerships across all age groups from early years to adult learning.

And the sum also paves the way for a further £500,000 investment in a community education programme set to start next year.

Speaking in Edinburgh, McKelvie said: “We want all children and young people to get the support that they need to reach their full learning potential.

“Young people from the Gypsy/Traveller community can face particular challenges that can impact upon their educational attainment. That is why it is important that we invest in what works.

“We are determined to work closely with the Gypsy/Traveller community to invest in approaches that better meet their needs, and that improve the life chances of members of that community.”

Earlier this year an independent review of hate crime legislation carried out for Scottish ministers noted evidence of “significant discrimination against the Gypsy/Traveller community, often fuelled by negative stereotypes portrayed in the media”, as well as instances of “significant criminal conduct” against the group.

A Holyrood spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is determined to work across and beyond government to address the inequality faced by Scotland’s Gypsy/Travellers.

“A Ministerial Working Group has been set up which will oversee a concerted effort to improve outcomes at a faster pace in the key areas of accommodation, education, poverty and health.”