The Council of the European Union (EU) held an informal videoconference for education ministers on 19 February 2021 to discuss on-going challenges in inclusion and access to education and training.
During the meeting, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council informed ministers of the ‘Council resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond (2021–2030)’. The resolution, which was approved on 18 February 2021, includes five strategic priorities to improve education systems. These priorities include ‘Improving quality, equity, inclusion and success for all in education and training’ and ‘Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality for all’. The resolution also includes actions and targets to help attain these priorities.
In addition, the Presidency outlined progress towards the European Education Area. Ministers also exchanged examples of best practice and shared achievements in their countries from the point of view of educational inclusion and the impact of COVID-19 on education systems.
More information on the videoconference, including the full text of the Council resolution, is available on the Council of the EU website.
In other news from Europe, the European Commission is holding an online event entitled ‘Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe: a focus on inclusion and staff professionalisation’ on 3 March 2021.
The European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, will launch the event. She will be joined by João Costa, Portuguese Secretary of State of Education, and Roderic O’Gorman, Irish Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
The event will present the final outputs from the Education and Training (ET) 2020 Working Group on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). These include a toolkit for inclusive early childhood education and care, which includes practical solutions to help decision-makers move towards more inclusive ECEC systems, and a report on how to recruit, train and motivate well-qualified ECEC staff. A final report on the Working Group’s findings is also available.
For more information and to watch the live event, visit the Commission website.