Bullying, racism and feeling left out of the curriculum are major factors in low school attendance rates among Gypsy, Roma and traveller (GRT) children community, MPs have heard.
Poor attendance was their main barrier to academic achievement, experts told the Women and Equalities Committee.
They have the worst educational outcomes of any ethnic group, with just 21 in England sitting A-levels in 2016.
But the cross-party committee heard that the picture was complex.
Sean Harford, national director for education for Ofsted, said: "Exclusions are very high - exclusions, absence, a lack of previous education, certainly in the case of Roma children coming from Eastern Europe, and areas of bullying and racism.