As part of its aim to be an active agent for change, the Agency has developed a new way of working with its member countries. The Thematic Country Cluster Activities (TCCA) began in 2023, addressing Agency member countries’ priorities by working in small clusters of countries.

TCCA will provide an opportunity for Agency country representatives to work with peers from across Europe to discuss key issues, challenges, strengths and opportunities in their education systems. The overall aim is to enable Agency member countries to translate identified policy priorities for high-quality inclusive education for all learners into practical actions for implementation.

Activity framework

Overall approach for the Thematic Country Cluster Activities

The Agency used information collected from member countries to develop a series of parameters. These guide the development and implementation of the activities described in the Multi Annual Work Programme 2021–2027 (MAWP 2021–2027).

One parameter focuses on organising activities for groups or clusters of countries that have shared issues and approaches. These activities:

  • are organised around countries’ priorities;
  • are tailored to support policy development needs;
  • use peer learning and experience exchange approaches;
  • focus on work with small groups of countries around identified shared challenges.

These shared characteristics inform the design and approach of each of the cluster activities.

The agreed TCCA content areas are aligned with the priority issues that Agency member countries identified, and which are the cornerstones of the MAWP 2021–2027.

Other Agency activities, such as Country System Mapping and the results of the Agency’s 2023 Operational Survey, were used to group countries into clusters based on their highest priority areas.

As a result, six thematic country clusters were created:

  • Three clusters focus on monitoring and evaluation of policy implementation for inclusive education;
  • Two clusters focus on developing strategies for supporting collaborative, cross-sector working across all levels and sectors;
  • One cluster focuses on developing multi-level, multi-stakeholder quality assurance and accountability frameworks for inclusive education.

Participants and target group

All Agency member countries were invited to be involved in this activity.

In each cluster, the countries’ Representative Board members contribute to the design of the cluster activity plan by giving input on the activity’s aims, key questions and working procedures. The Agency activity team will use the countries’ input to identify and agree on key milestones, tasks and final outputs and outcomes.

Countries also have the option of involving stakeholders or experts in the activities if it is relevant to the cluster activity’s aims and key questions.


Building on the premise of the Agency as an agent for change, as identified in the MAWP 2021–2027, TCCA aim to provide Agency member country representatives with activities (processes) and resources (outputs) that:

  • explore policy development issues;
  • support self-reflection;
  • share information about what other member countries do;
  • aid policy review and development.

This also means examining issues around the policy into practice implementation gap that countries recognise they face.

Activities and outputs

The main activities of cycle 1 of the TCCA work will include online and in-person cluster meetings and peer-learning activities, which will take place throughout 2024 and 2025. All public outputs will be available on this web area.

The main milestone to be reached in 2025 for the overall TCCA work is a set of conclusions about lessons learned in each cluster. This milestone will inform the direction of cycle 2, as well as wider Agency work.

country cluster activity
policy analysis
policy development
policy implementation

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