The 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. The Agenda that has just been published and additional Recommendations summarise the policies that prove to be effective in promoting equal access to high quality education and training for all. It also suggests additional support mechanisms for learners with a migrant background where necessary.
Major EU-level NGO's representing different stakeholder groups endorsed the Agenda including EPA. We have added that "Parents' Associations all over Europe are aware of the challenges migrant families are facing when trying to adjust to a new country and a new education system. The European Parents' Association finds it very important that all children are supported in their education in a way that serves their best interest and at the same time parents are also given all necessary state support as stated in Article 18 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child."
The SIRIUS starting point:
1) All learners should have full access to high quality education and vocational training in inclusive settings, regardless of their parents’ education or income level, ethnicity, gender, language(s) spoken at home or migration or residence status.
2) Inclusive education systems combined with targeted policies are more effective in delivering a high-quality education to all learners. To create better learning outcomes for all learners, the age of first tracking should be reviewed for its effect on the academic outcomes of all learners, while adopting comprehensive schooling would reduce social inequalities and create more socially mixed classrooms. Within the track system, there should be enough flexibility for learners to be able to move between learning tracks, thus allowing for upward mobility.
3) Furthermore, a learner-centred approach in all stages of education will allow education systems to address learners’ individual needs and help them to complete their education
The Agenda covers the areas of
- the need for more equal and comprehensive education systems
- the need for full and equal access to and support in education from a very young age, throughout
compulsory education and beyond
- multilingualism as an asset to boost learners’ self-confidence, intercultural skills, and employment prospects in a globalised world
- the crucial role of teachers and school leaders
- the role of local communities in encouraging a holistic education
- and the support newly arrived migrant need.
Read the full Agenda and Recommendations here.