RECORD numbers of gypsy and traveller children in Torfaen are gaining new skills and qualifications thanks to the success of the borough's Gypsy and Traveller Education Service.

More than 130 gypsy and traveller children are supported each year by the service which provides support across primary, secondary and post-16 education.

This year, Carly Morgan became the first traveller pupil to move into sixth form education and study for her A-Levels, while the latest results show that all pupils are now leaving school with at least five GCSEs, with one student achieving 12 A-C grades.

All pupils are supported to go onto further education, employment or training.

Cllr David Yeowell, Executive Member for Education and Life Long Learning at Torfaen council, said: "I would firstly like to congratulate Carly on becoming the first pupil from the gypsy and traveller community in Torfaen achieving the A-C grades that has enabled her to enter sixth form education.

"I hope this encourages other pupils within the gypsy and traveller community to study hard and believe in themselves, knowing they also have the capability and the opportunities open to them, in order to enter higher education.

"This is also an excellent achievement for the Gypsy and Traveller Education Service. This shows that some of the grassroots work and academia that the service implements at the school has had a huge impact on the children that attend, and now we are starting to see positive results as a result of this."