Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Ministry for National Education, Children and Youth organised a meeting of the Directors General responsible for school education in the EU Member States. The meeting took place in Luxembourg on 26 and 27 October 2015.
The Minister, Claude Meisch, opened the meeting by emphasising that, considering the current situation faced by the European Union in terms of migration flows, the education systems must remain flexible enough to adapt accordingly.
To respond to the current migration flows, the priority must be to integrate all pupils into the school system quickly. The integration must be done in cooperation with the families of the children and all relevant stakeholders. In particular, a sizeable challenge will arise for young people who arrive alone, without parents or other family members. Another challenge concerns the assessment and validation of the knowledge of newly arrived young people.
One response to this diversity of life situations is, according to most Member States, the development of school autonomy. Indeed, many countries rely on enhanced autonomy of educational institutions, to allow them to better adapt to the needs of their students and thus improve school results. According to international studies, children from migrant backgrounds are most at risk of early school leaving. Greater school autonomy would allow those who accept more refugees or more children from migrant backgrounds than others, to offer the necessary support. There is also a widespread tendency to encourage closer cooperation among schools and with partners such as local associations and players.
The discussions have shown that the implementation of the reforms and measures discussed is in full progress in the Member States. With goals that are often similar, the everyday routine of the Directors General is always marked by numerous questions about the procedures, planning and practices of cooperation. These will be the subject of discussion, in a new work cycle under the "Education and Training 2020" European strategic framework.
Press release by the Ministry for National Education, Children and Youth