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

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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.

 

Downloads

A Clear Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe

The European Union has underlined the importance of education, notably in its most recent 10 year EU growth and competitiveness strategy, EU 2020. 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 olds have completed tertiary education by 2020. This goal was developed from and is supported by the Education and Training Strategy (ET 2020), which is based on strategic objectives that include promoting equity, social cohesion, and active citizenship.

ClassroomWhile 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 migrants coming from a low socio-economic background. According to EU data, 8.3 million young people in the EU Member States (3.1 million under 15 and 5.2 million aged 15-24) were born abroad, while the number of second-generation young adults (aged 15-34) are estimated at over four million. The youth unemployment and young people “Not in Education, Employment or Training” (NEET) rates are significantly higher for first and second generation migrants than for their native peers in most EU Member States. The EU Migrant Integration Indicators indicate that the share of early school leaving among foreign-born learners in the EU is nearly twice as high as among the total population. Eurostat’s 2011 statistical report on Migrants in Europe also shows that the shares are higher for second-generation youth with migrant parents. Clearly, young people with migrant background have a number of critical and specific education needs that are still not met and may not be compensated for through current education policies or in the classroom. Updating the agenda on the education of migrant learners may help EU Member States to reach their common targets for a smart and inclusive economic growth and against youth unemployment. For example, the EU’s 2013 report on Using EU Indicators of Immigrant Integration estimates that closing the gap in early school leaving rates for foreign-born learners would bring the EU 30% closer to its headline target of reducing this rate to 10% and prevent half a million young people from leaving school early, which accounts for 8.7% of all early school leavers in the EU.

Agenda and supporting Recommendations

petit 3x1,85The SIRIUS Network on the education of children and young people with a migrant background has spent the past three years debating policy priorities for migrant education and inclusion. EU and national stakeholder meetings, conferences, peer reviews and site visits have contributed to our knowledge on how education systems must change to provide all learners with the skills and knowledge to perform to their potential in today’s diverse societies.

Summarising the results of these activities, the Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe and the supporting recommendations for EU institutions and for Member State authorities present a vision on migrant education and a set of policy recommendations that aim to promote a more inclusive education system and lead to a decrease in the achievement gap between pupils with and without a migrant background. Migration Policy Group, as SIRIUS’ Communications Officer, developed a first draft based on the outcomes of the EU stakeholder meetings that have taken place since September 2013, as well as recommendations from numerous SIRIUS publications. This text was improved upon through a consultative process with the SIRIUS Steering Committee, SIRIUS’ national and collaborative partners, as well as EU stakeholders from August to October 2014.

The final version of this document is well supported by a wide variety of actors who aim to help raise and spread a strong message for a more inclusive education policy including for immigrant learners.

Download

sirius agendaThe document includes:

  • A Clear Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe
  • Supporting document: Recommendations on improving education for children and young people with a migrant (for both Educational Authorities in Member States and EU Institutions)
  • Endorsements for the Agenda and Recommendations on Migrant Education
  • Bibliography

Read press release

See video summarising the Agenda

Migrant Education Platform: Consultation with European Stakeholders on Recommendations for the Migrant Education agenda

European Union policy underlines 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 aren’t currently met through mainstream education policy.

The SIRIUS network on the education of children and young people with a migration background has spent the past three years debating policy priorities for migrant education and inclusion. Stakeholder meetings, conferences, peer reviews and site visits have contributed to a common vision on how education systems must change to provide all pupils with the skills and knowledge to perform to their potential in today’s diverse societies. Summarising the results of these activities, and the EU stakeholder meetings in particular, a common vision on migrant education and a set of policy recommendations has been developed that aims to promote a more inclusive education system and lead to a decrease in the achievement gap between pupils with and without a migrant background.

On 29th September, Migration Policy Group brought together European stakeholders with the objective of finding a consensus on the vision and the recommendations. Stakeholders representing students, adults, education councils, language diversity supporters and migrants commented on the document from their viewpoint, and concrete proposals were set forward in order to improve the reception of the document by national and EU level decision makers. Written comments from those stakeholders not able to attend will be collected until the 10th October, while at the same time comments from national SIRIUS partners will also be welcome in the same time frame.

The agreed version will be presented in the European Parliament on 19 November at the SIRIUS Conference Helping Children and Youth with Migrant Background Succeed: Making Schools Matter for All, with the objective of presenting our vision for the future of the migrant education agenda in Europe.

SIRIUS Newsletter No.12 – June 2014

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The SIRIUS Policy Network has published the June edition of its Newsletter. This is a unique source for monthly updates on SIRIUS,  migrant education news, events, good practices, and policy developments.

The SIRIUS Event Reports and Policy Outreach summaries are the highlight of this month’s SIRIUS news.

If you would like to read the Newsletter, please click here.

To read previous Newsletters, please click here.

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