ET2020 Working Group on School Policy – Brussels, 15 December 2014

What are Working Groups?

As part of the Education and Training 2020 (ET2020) Open Method of Coordination, the Commission and Member States cooperate in the form of Working Groups. Working Groups are designed to help Member States address the key challenges of their education and training systems, as well as common priorities agreed at European Level.

The primary focus of the Working Groups is to benefit the Member States in the work of furthering policy development through mutual learning and the identification of good practices. Following their mandate, Working Groups must deliver outputs directly linked to the objectives of ET2020 and contribute to Europe 2020.

What has been done so far?

The ET 2020 Working Groups  rely on the work conducted by eleven Thematic Working Groups between 2011 and 2013. These groups concerned:

  • Primary and Secondary Education
  • Higher Education
  • Adult Learning
  • Vocational Education and Training
  • Transversal Key Competencies.

Each ET2020 Working Group has a specific mandate detailing the challenges the group needs ot address, the outputs to achieve, and the overall roadmap. To achieve this, more than 400 experts participate in peer-learning activities, such as country-focused workshops and webinars.

School policy

Building on the results of two previous Thematic Working Groups on Teacher Professional Development and Early school leaving, the group (see the mandatepdf(375 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  and work programmepdf(431 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  ) will look at:

  • ways to improve the effectiveness and quality of teacher education, with a view to equipping teachers with the competences required in changing work environments (see background note on Initial Teacher educationpdf(868 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  );
  • the collaborative approaches inside and around the schools that can support schools in their ambitions to provide educational success for all, and prevent and reduce early school leaving (see the background notepdf(379 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  and the final reportpdf(560 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  on the case study on Belgium-Flanders and the city of Antwerp).

The group is composed of government representatives of nearly all Member States plus Norway, Liechtenstein, Serbia and Turkey, and of European social partners. By the end of 2015, the group is expected to deliver a “Next practice guide on improving Initial Teacher Education”. On ESL the group is expected to deliver a “Guidance Framework” and a “toolkit” for schools on collaborative practices to reduce ESL.

How does SIRIUS engage with the Working Group on School Policy?

Experts from the SIRIUS Network will be attending the upcoming meeting of the Working Group on School Policy in order to give their input on various aspects of school policy:

  • Plenary session – Setting the scene: Education of Migrant and Minority Students
  • Workshop 1 – Early School Leaving and Community Intervention
  • Workshop 2 – Teacher Capacity and Multilingualism

Their input will be used in developing the above-mentioned framework and toolkit on collaborative practices to reduce ESL.

via ET 2020 Working Groups – European Commission

Inclusive Education. Fighting Inequalities in Education and Training – Brussels, 10 December 2014


Wed 10 December, 09:30-11:00 // Mundo J (Rue de l’Industrie 10), Brussels

Learning is powerful in getting people more engaged in society in its economic, political and social dimensions. Providing high quality learning opportunities to all and especially to the most disadvantaged is crucial not only for our ageing workforce to cope with ever more competitive and changing labour markets, but also to be more socially included and have better living conditions. Unfortunately, inequalities persist in European education and training systems where vulnerable groups like migrants are particularly disadvantaged. As European history shows, rising inequalities go hand in hand with rising nationalism and discrimination.

EUCIS-LLL firmly believes that we should refocus EU cooperation on equity, democracy and social cohesion. They highlight the need to re-engage to deliver the vision of a social Europe with high levels of quality education in respect of Article 9 of the Treaty. The EU has undertaken a series of actions to answer some of these challenges including the Youth Guarantee, cooperation on early-school leaving, Social Investment Package, social dimension of the Bologna Process and the Roma Initiative. However, we miss a coherent strategy heading those measures towards clear goals and national/regional roadmaps and a strong political will.

The Launch of the flagship initiative on ‘Inclusive Education. Fighting Inequalities in Education and Training‘ on 10th December will take place during the Lifelong Learning Week 2014 (#LLLWeek2014). The seminar is meant to bring people together to discuss what the strategy on inclusive education could look like within the Europe 2020 Strategy. Thomas Huddleston of the Migration Policy Group will be there to present the SIRIUS  Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe.

The event is organised by the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL), with the support of MEP Julie Ward (S&D, UK).


Opening session

  • Welcome words from Daniele DI MITRI, EUCIS-LLL Vice-President
  • Opening by MEP Julie WARD, UK, S&D


  • Paul DOWNES, Director, Educational Disadvantage Centre, Senior Lecturer in Education (Psychology), St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University

Panel discussion

Group discussions


For further information: EUCIS-LLL Website

Brussels, 19-20 November 2014: “Helping Children and Youth with Migrant Background Succeed: Making schools matter for all”


Education remains a critical element of government policy in the twenty-first century. A society with strong educational outcomes will have a better chance for economic and social development, and realize the potential of its citizens. Strong education systems allow societies to become equitable and meritocratic at the same time in a balanced way, facilitating both social mobility and inclusion. Education empowers people to participate fully in the community and strengthens democracies.

European Union policy has underlined the importance of education, notably in its most recent EU growth and competitiveness strategy, EU2020. The strategy sets ambitious targets for the improvement of educational results: reducing school drop-out rates to below 10%, and ensuring that at least 40% of 30-34 year old citizens have completed tertiary education by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, the European Commission has developed an Education and Training Strategy (ET2020) based on strategic objectives that include promoting equity, social cohesion, and active citizenship. While European countries have well-established education systems, there exists a strong inequality of access to schooling and quality of education for socio-economically disadvantaged communities across the continent, in particular for migrant groups. Children with migrant background are disproportionally represented among dropouts and the lowest performing percentiles because they have a number of critical, and specific, education needs that are not currently met through mainstream education policy.

A SIRIUS Conference entitled “Helping Children and Youth with Migrant Background Succeed: Making schools matter for all” will take place in Brussels o19 and 20 November 2014 in order to highlight successful strategies identified by the SIRIUS Network over the past three years to effectively implement holistic education policies with targeted measures for migrant students on a systematic level. At the local level and with a particular focus on children and youth, we will outline our suggestions for developing inclusive classrooms within schools that are open learning spaces and that develop strategic partnerships with the local community.

EP logo19 November 2014: Making Reform happen
European Parliament
13:00 – 18:00

Invited by MEP Tonino Picula in association with the Network of Education Policy Centres (NEPC), we will join together with policy makers, education and migration experts and practitioners and migrant youth representatives to look at making reform of education happen by:
  • Discussing policy recommendations to improve the education of migrant children and garnering commitment for their implementation.
  • Highlighting systematic approaches to improving equal access and opportunities to quality education for children and youth with migrant background.
  • Identifying the keys to making inclusive policy making a reality.

20 November 2014: The schools we needCoR logo
Committee of the Regions

09:00 – 18:00

Together with migrant youth representation, education and migration experts and practitioners and policy makers, we aim to:
  • Discuss state-of-art of school level approaches to improving equal access and opportunities to quality education for children and youth with migrant background, their contextual aspects and possibilities of transferability to other countries.
  • Outline good practice to support schools in addressing educational needs of children and youth with migrant background.
  • Agree on strategies to foster school/community partnerships and  increase active involvement of migrant youth and communities in school decisions.
  • Give participants the space to seek and share solutions to issues and to the challenges that this issue provides.


After the conference, on 21st November, will take place at vlor headquarters the 6th SIRIUS General Meeting.