The Minister for Education has asked the State's curriculum development body to review the place of Traveller culture and history in both primary and second level school schools.

Richard Bruton has asked the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to consider this as part of a review to include an examination of the current intercultural education guidelines, as well as other resources for schools in relation to Travellers.

The current NCCA guidelines on intercultural education were published in 2005 and 2006 and predate last year's recognition of Travellers as a distinct ethnic group.

Speaking at an education conference, the Minister said he believed the guidelines were "too old".

He told those attending the annual conference of the Education and Training Boards that he wanted the NCCA to examine the opportunities for teaching about Traveller history and culture, and how the subject matter is incorporated into existing curricular subjects.

He also said he believed it was important to consider how the curriculum in this area was delivered, and that he had asked the NCCA to identify examples of good practice in schools, with a view to providing these as general exemplars.

Mr Bruton said he had asked the council to consider what additional curricular supports might be required to ensure effective implementation.

The minister added that Traveller retention rates remained "stubbornly low".

He said he wanted more children from the Traveller community to progress in education at all levels.