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Challenges and tendencies - Belgium (French speaking community)

A contract for the school

Between January and May 2005, the minister organised meetings with direct contact between the minister and teachers. 30.000 persons participated in 200 meetings. Out of this large inquiry, the contract for the school was born and has been applied since September 2005. The contract outlines 10 priorities for the school.

The four main problems in our education:

  • Too many pupils are not reaching the basic competences of reading, writing and maths.
  • Too many pupils never graduate and the percent of failure and repeat year is too high
  • The elitism of certain schools label other schools, good or bad, and cause segregation
  • Too many pupils are in schools or other options that they did not choose, as they had no project or because they met with difficulties and became de-motivated. 

The agreed aims:

It is necessary to strive to achieve a better level of requirements, increase the number of graduates, reduce the school failure and promote the social co-education.

The ten priorities (in bold, the points concerning assessment are described in more detail in the chapter reserved for assessment)

1. more teachers

  • increase the pre-school education framework
  • reinforce the framework in the 2 first classes of primary school
  • reinforce the framework in little school
  • create an organic framework for nurses

2. ensuring that each pupil acquires the basic competences

  • assure improved transition between primary level and secondary level
  • reinforce the common scale of 28 periods of lessons in all schools
  • define the function and the organisation of the optional activities
  • increase remediation (to prevent pupils dropping out of school)
  • assess the opportunity to organise a common test at the end of the common studies

3. efficiently guide each pupil

  • confirm the psych-medical- social centres in their essential mission
  • provide vocational information during the first year of the secondary level
  • train members or the psycho-medical-social centres to advise and to inform
  • ensure that teachers receive training in the various forms of guidance
  • ensure a harmonious transition from one study level to another
  • develop a common service of information and course of study

4. choose and learn an occupation at school

  • develop a coherent policy concerning the investment of equipment
  • increase and systemise technical and professional education in order to organise work placement in the third degree
  • promote a positive approach to occupation
  • register the training given partly in an educational institution and partly in a work place relevant to the qualifications required
  • organise the qualifying education in units

5. improve teacher training 

  • improve the initial training of teachers
  • revise the requirements for the pedagogical abilities certificate
  • increase specific training for the trainer and for the teacher
  • inform on the continual training, aim and priorities in the contract for the school

6. give pupils and teachers the tools to acquire knowledge

  • create a school library
  • approach the control commission concerning school books
  • disseminate the pedagogic tools to the teachers

7. increase the value of the teachers

  • create the same status to the title as to the function
  • update their status
  • close down de Bond’t commission

8. permanent control of schools

  • reinforce the role and the means of the control commission
  • reform the inspection service
  • reinforce external assessment
  • implement a common test link with the basic study graduate
  • increase the value of school’s principles
  • reinforce the administration of compulsory education

9. ‘no’ to the school ghetto

  • take care of pupils who move schools due to exclusion
  • control registration refusals
  • limit the possibility of  moving to another school during a cycle or a degree
  • insist on rapid inter-university analysis regarding socially mixed groups

10. reinforce the communication between school and family

  • implement a project to reinforce the link between family and school encourage parents to participate in their child’s school life
  • give the parent’s association a decretal framework
  • sign a contract between school and family



  • Contrat pour l’Ecole : 10 priorités pour nos enfants Gouvernement de la Communauté française de Belgique (contract for the school, 10 priotities for our children)
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