New EU policy recommendations on transforming schools focus on parental involvement and child participation

On 7-8 March a conference in Brussels discussed the results of the ET2020 Working Group on Schools Policy – an expert group of policymakers and stakeholders from more than 30 European countries. The Group’s work over the last two years had focused on identifying successful policy approaches to reducing early school leaving and to raising the quality of Initial Teacher Education. The set of new policy recommendations focus very much on parental involvement and child participation, as well as preparing professionals for this. EPA was represented by Eszter Salamon, President, who was invited to participate at the closing plenary round table discussion, together with representatives of other stakeholder groups, of the event.
150 participants from 30 European countries, including policymakers, experts, practitioners and stakeholder representatives, explored the relevance and potential impact of the Working Group’s recommendations and conclusions for national policies on school education.
The peer learning in and between country delegations was a central element of this conference. Acting as each others' critical friends country delegations explored strengths and weaknesses of their school education systems and defined possible future actions.
All discussions and presentations, as well as country ideas were supported by two graphic notetakers who produced interesting and fun visuals around the conference themes and ideas emerging from country delegations.
The policy messages are very much welcome by stakeholders, especially parents. The challenge ahead is to support and empower national level stakeholder representatives, including the members of EPA to make these recommendations a reality in individual country contexts, as it is national competence in the European Union. 
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