BETA


2008/2329(INI) Better schools: an agenda for European cooperation

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead CULT SCHMITT Pál (icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE)
Committee Opinion EMPL
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 052

Events

2009/10/13
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2009/04/02
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2009/04/02
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the subject of entitled “Better Schools: an agenda for European cooperation”, following the Commission’s communication on the subject.

The text adopted in plenary had been tabled by the EPP-ED, PES, Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL groups, under Article 45, paragraph 2 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, as a proposed resolution to replace the resolution proposed in the own-initiative report tabled by the Committee on Culture and Education.

The Parliament fully supports the proposals made in the Commission’s Communication of 4 July 2008 (see summary of the non-legislative initial document) and in the parallel Communication of 16 December 2008 ( COM(2006)0865 ) on “An updated strategic framework for European cooperation on education and training”. Overall, it considers that school education should be a key priority for the next cycle of the Lisbon strategy.

In this context, Parliament makes the following recommendations:

Improving competences of every student: Parliament calls on the Member States to do their utmost to provide every young person with basic skills that are fundamental for further learning. It is concerned about the current trend of decreasing level of students' literacy and numeracy skills and calls for strategies to be put in place to reduce the number of early school leavers and to reduce gender imbalances in basic skills. The plenary notes that young people show a concerning lack of ability to concentrate and therefore calls on the Commission to conduct a study to investigate the main reasons for this lack of concentration among pupils. Parliament stresses the need to identify students at risk as soon as possible and to provide them with additional support, as well as to support them during the transition from one school level to the next and provide personalised learning approaches for those in need.

Parliament calls on the Member States to:

ensure that their educational policies achieve a balance between equality and quality, with the stress on social facilitation measures for pupils and students from disadvantaged backgrounds and on adapting the learning process to their individual needs; enhance the access of disadvantaged groups to vocational training and university studies by drawing up and advertising appropriate scholarship schemes.

It also calls for the modernisation and improvement of school curricula so that they reflect today's social, economic, cultural and technical realities and are closely linked to industry, business and the labour market. The plenary c onsiders it important for young people to be prepared during their time at school, college and university for flexibility in the labour market in view of its mutability, where employers’ requirements can change rapidly. However, the reform of the educational system should be fundamentally geared to the full and multi-faceted development of the individual, cultivating respect for human rights and social justice, lifelong learning, the protection of the environment and personal and collective wellbeing. On the whole, the Parliament believes that schools should strive not only to improve employability, but also to give all young people the opportunity to develop their full potential, in line with their personal aptitudes. It also considers that all children should, from the earliest age, be given the opportunity to acquire musical, artistic, manual, physical, social and civic competences and strongly believe that musical, artistic and physical education should be compulsory parts of the school curriculum.

Reiterating its view that children should learn foreign languages from an early age, Parliament welcomes the proposal of a new benchmark, according to which at least 80% of pupils in lower secondary education be taught at least two foreign languages . Member States are also called upon to instruct pupils in the use and applications of new communications and digital technology.

High-quality schools and teachers: Parliament calls for a European charter on pupils’ rights as a first and important step to guaranteeing the right of every child to quality education. Member States and the competent regional governments are also called upon to invest in high-quality pre-primary education.

In parallel, the Parliament considers that public education should remain primarily a state-financed domain which contributes to social equity and inclusion. However, the plenary also c onsiders that public educational institutions in a more disadvantaged financial situation, particularly those located in poorer regions of the EU, should be granted additional support .

According to Parliament, a good quality learning environment, providing modern infrastructure, materials and technology is a pre-requisite for achieving high quality education in schools. The quality of education further requires curricula of a demanding and rigorous nature and assessment of pupils on a regular basis.

Parliament also calls on Member States to give schools the necessary autonomy to find solutions to the specific challenges they face in their local context (as well as the appropriate flexibility in curricula, teaching methods and assessment systems).

It also believes that it is necessary to provide high-quality initial teacher education based on both theory and practice, while stressing the importance of respect for the teacher's authority in the classroom. The quality of teaching depends on the skills of the teachers and on the mobility of teaching staff (via programmes such as Comenius, in particular) and school partnership projects. Parliament also recommends creating school/community partnerships in order to combat the problem of violence in schools.

At the same time, Parliament recommends involving parents in school life . It believes that all schools should foster the acquisition of democratic competences by supporting student councils and allowing students to take co-responsibility for the school in partnership with parents, teachers and school councils.

Lastly, Parliament calls on the Member States and the Commission to cooperate closely to promote implementation of the European schooling system in the Member States’ respective education systems and to envisage including the European Schools in the work of the Eurydice network. In the meantime, it calls on the Commission to report regularly to Parliament on the progress made following the two aforementioned communications.

Documents
2009/04/02
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2009/03/09
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2009/03/09
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2009/03/05
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The Committee on Culture and Education adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Pál SCHMITT (EPP-ED, HU) in response to the Commission’s Communication entitled “Better Schools: an agenda for European cooperation”.

MEPs recall that considerable disparities between the respective performances of education systems in the EU could increase disparities in economic and social development between the Member States. They therefore fully support the Commission Communication of 4 July 2008 (see summary of the non-legislative initial document) and parallel Communication of 16 December 2008 ( COM(2006)0865 ) on “'An updated strategic framework for European cooperation on education and training”.

On the whole, MEPs consider that school education should be a key priority for the next cycle of the Lisbon strategy. In this context, MEPs make the following lain recommendations:

Improving competences of every student : MEPs call on the Member States to do their utmost to provide every young person with basic skills that are fundamental for further learning. They are concerned about the present trend of decreasing level of students' literacy and numeracy skills. Strategies should therefore be put in place to reduce the number of early school leavers and to reduce gender imbalances in basic skills. Moreover, MEPs stress the need to identify students at risk as soon as possible and to provide them with additional support, as well as to support them during the transition from one school level to the next and provide personalised learning approaches for those in need.

MEPs call on the Member States to:

ensure that their educational policies achieve a balance between equality and quality, with the stress on social facilitation measures for pupils and students from disadvantaged backgrounds and on adapting the learning process to their individual needs; enhance the access of disadvantaged groups to vocational training and university studies by drawing up and advertising appropriate scholarship schemes.

MEPs also call for the modernisation and improvement of school curricula so that they reflect today's social, economic, cultural and technical realities and are closely linked to industry, business and the labour market. However, the reform of the educational system should be fundamentally geared to the full and multi-faceted development of the individual, cultivating respect for human rights and social justice, lifelong learning, the protection of the environment and personal and collective wellbeing. On the whole, MEPs believe that schools should strive not only to improve employability, but also to give all young people the opportunity to develop their full potential, in line with their personal aptitudes. They also consider that all children should, from the earliest age, be given the opportunity to acquire musical, artistic, manual, physical, social and civic competences and strongly believe that musical, artistic and physical education should be compulsory parts of the school curriculum.

Reiterating their view that children should learn foreign languages from an early age, MEPs welcome the proposal of a new benchmark, according to which at least 80% of pupils in lower secondary education be taught at least two foreign languages . Member States are also called upon to instruct pupils in the use and applications of new communications and digital technology.

High-quality schools and teachers : MEPs call for a European charter on pupils’ rights as a first and important step to guaranteeing the right of every child to quality education. Member States and the competent regional governments are also called upon to invest in high-quality pre-primary education.

MEPs consider that public education should remain primarily a state-financed domain which contributes to social equity and inclusion. They recommend that financial support be given equally to all kinds of school in accordance with their size, regardless of their educational philosophy and recall the important role of faith-based schools that provide high quality education and teach strong moral values. Moreover, MEPs believe that public educational institutions in a more disadvantaged financial situation should be granted additional support.

According to MEPs, a good quality learning environment, providing modern infrastructure, materials and technology is a pre-requisite for achieving high quality education in schools. The quality of education further requires curricula of a demanding and rigorous nature and assessment of pupils on a regular basis.

MEPs also call on Member States to give schools the necessary autonomy to find solutions to the specific challenges they face in their local context (as well as the appropriate flexibility in curricula, teaching methods and assessment systems).

MEPs also believe that it is necessary to provide high-quality initial teacher education based on both theory and practice, while stressing the importance of respect for the teacher's authority in the classroom. According to MEPs, the quality of teaching depends on the skills of the teachers. Moreover, they stress the importance of mobility and school partnership projects (e.g. Comenius). They also recommend creating school/community partnerships in order to combat the problem of violence in schools.

At the same time, MEPs recommend involving parents in school life . They believe that all schools should foster the acquisition of democratic competences by supporting student councils and allowing students to take co-responsibility for the school in partnership with parents, teachers and school councils.

Lastly, MEPs call on the Member States and the Commission to cooperate closely to promote implementation of the European schooling system in the Member States’ respective education systems and to envisage including the European Schools in the work of the Eurydice network. In the meantime, they call on the Commission to report regularly to Parliament on the progress made following the two aforementioned communications.

2009/02/19
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2009/01/27
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2008/12/18
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2008/12/17
   EP - SCHMITT Pál (PPE-DE) appointed as rapporteur in CULT
2008/07/03
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2008/07/03
   EC - Non-legislative basic document published
Details

PURPOSE: to present a Commission communication on improving competences for the 21st Century: an Agenda for European cooperation on schools.

CONTENT: the European Council has repeatedly stressed the key role of education and training for the future growth, long-term competitiveness and social cohesion of the EU. To achieve this, it is crucial fully to develop the potential for innovation and creativity of European citizens. The education element of the knowledge triangle "research-innovation-education" should be strengthened, starting early – in schools. The competences and learning habits acquired at school are essential for developing new skills for new jobs later in life. The challenge facing the EU is to strengthen the reform of school systems so that every young person can develop his or her full potential, through improved access and opportunities, to become an active participant in the emerging knowledge economy, and to reinforce social solidarity. The Commission believes that, given the common nature of many of the challenges facing school systems and the importance of these issues for the Union’s socio-economic future, school education should be a key priority for the next cycle of the Lisbon process.

This Communication proposes an agenda for strengthening European cooperation on schools by identifying the major challenges facing systems that can best be tackled by such cooperation. These are divided into three areas:

Focus on competences : the trend in school curricula is to help learners acquire knowledge and the skills and attitudes necessary to apply it in real life situations. The European Framework of Key Competences describes the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for a successful life in a knowledge society. It is a basis for a coherent approach to competence development, in school and in vocational training. L iteracy and numeracy are essential components of key competences, but performance in the EU is deteriorating. The EU benchmark is by 2010 to decrease the proportion of 15-year-olds who are low-achievers in reading literacy to 17%. However, the rate actually increased from 21.3% in 2000 to 24.1% in 2006. Moreover, almost twice as many boys as girls have low reading skills: 17.6% of 15 year old girls and 30.4 % of 15 year old boys. The decline in reading literacy must urgently be reversed.

To support the Member States in implementing the Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, the Commission proposes to focus future cooperation on:

developing action plans to increase levels of reading literacy and numeracy, including the use of target-setting; reinforcing transversal as well as subject-based competences, particularly learning to- learn; and adopting a comprehensive approach to competence development, encompassing curricula, learning materials, teacher training, personalised learning, and assessment techniques.

High quality learning for every student : providing all young people with the full range of competences for life is an equity challenge. No school system provides exactly the same educational opportunities for all pupils. The quality gap between schools should be closed. Recent research shows that low variation in student achievement scores can go together with high average achievement, and suggests that policy makers should reduce disparities and improve participation by targeting those with lower skill levels. The EU benchmark is that by 2010 at least 85% of young people should have completed upper secondary education. The 2007 average rate for 20-24 year-olds is 78.1%, an improvement of only 1.5 percentage points since 2000.

To support Member States in implementing the Council Conclusions on efficiency and equity in education and training, the Commission proposes to focus future cooperation on:

generalising access to high quality pre-school education; measuring and improving the equity impact of school education systems, and reducing quality differences between schools; ensuring that school systems facilitate successful transitions between different school types and levels, and into further education and training; reducing early school leaving; and• providing more timely support and personalised learning approaches within mainstream schooling for students with special needs.

Teachers and school staff : teacher quality is the most important within-school factor affecting student performance. As such, it is vital to the achievement of Lisbon goals. The profession has a high percentage of older workers; some 30% of teachers are over 50, and around 2 million will need to be replaced in the next 15 years to maintain the size of the teaching workforce. Staff need the skills to give every pupil adequate opportunities to acquire necessary competences in a safe and attractive school environment based on mutual respect and cooperation, which promotes social, physical and mental well-being and where bullying and violence have no place. Yet most countries report shortfalls in teaching skills. Despite this, incentives for, and investment in, continuous training and development are weak. Generally, time spent on in service training is minimal and many Member States offer no systematic support for new teachers.

To support Member States in implementing the Council Conclusions on improving the quality of teacher education, the Commission proposes to focus future cooperation on:

ensuring that teachers’ initial education, induction and ongoing professional development are coordinated, coherent, adequately resourced and quality assured; improving the supply, quality and take-up of in-service teacher education; reviewing teacher recruitment to attract the most able candidates, select the best applicants, and place good teachers in challenging schools; and improving the recruitment of school leaders and equipping them to focus on improving student learning and developing school staff.

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
56 2008/2329(INI)
2009/02/19 CULT 56 amendments...
source: PE-420.225

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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  • date: 2008-12-18T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: CULT date: 2008-12-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: SCHMITT Pál body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL
  • date: 2009-03-05T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: CULT date: 2008-12-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: SCHMITT Pál body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2009-03-09T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2009-124&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0124/2009 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2009-04-02T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=16855&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2009-217 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0217/2009 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
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  • date: 2008-07-03T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/sec/2008/2177/COM_SEC(2008)2177_EN.pdf title: SEC(2008)2177 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=SECfinal&an_doc=2008&nu_doc=2177 title: EUR-Lex type: Document attached to the procedure body: EC
  • date: 2009-01-27T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE418.269 title: PE418.269 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2009-02-19T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE420.225 title: PE420.225 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2009-03-09T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2009-124&language=EN title: A6-0124/2009 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP
  • date: 2009-10-13T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=16855&j=0&l=en title: SP(2009)3508 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
events
  • date: 2008-07-03T00:00:00 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2008/0425/COM_COM(2008)0425_EN.pdf title: COM(2008)0425 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2008&nu_doc=425 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE: to present a Commission communication on improving competences for the 21st Century: an Agenda for European cooperation on schools. CONTENT: the European Council has repeatedly stressed the key role of education and training for the future growth, long-term competitiveness and social cohesion of the EU. To achieve this, it is crucial fully to develop the potential for innovation and creativity of European citizens. The education element of the knowledge triangle "research-innovation-education" should be strengthened, starting early – in schools. The competences and learning habits acquired at school are essential for developing new skills for new jobs later in life. The challenge facing the EU is to strengthen the reform of school systems so that every young person can develop his or her full potential, through improved access and opportunities, to become an active participant in the emerging knowledge economy, and to reinforce social solidarity. The Commission believes that, given the common nature of many of the challenges facing school systems and the importance of these issues for the Union’s socio-economic future, school education should be a key priority for the next cycle of the Lisbon process. This Communication proposes an agenda for strengthening European cooperation on schools by identifying the major challenges facing systems that can best be tackled by such cooperation. These are divided into three areas: Focus on competences : the trend in school curricula is to help learners acquire knowledge and the skills and attitudes necessary to apply it in real life situations. The European Framework of Key Competences describes the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for a successful life in a knowledge society. It is a basis for a coherent approach to competence development, in school and in vocational training. L iteracy and numeracy are essential components of key competences, but performance in the EU is deteriorating. The EU benchmark is by 2010 to decrease the proportion of 15-year-olds who are low-achievers in reading literacy to 17%. However, the rate actually increased from 21.3% in 2000 to 24.1% in 2006. Moreover, almost twice as many boys as girls have low reading skills: 17.6% of 15 year old girls and 30.4 % of 15 year old boys. The decline in reading literacy must urgently be reversed. To support the Member States in implementing the Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, the Commission proposes to focus future cooperation on: developing action plans to increase levels of reading literacy and numeracy, including the use of target-setting; reinforcing transversal as well as subject-based competences, particularly learning to- learn; and adopting a comprehensive approach to competence development, encompassing curricula, learning materials, teacher training, personalised learning, and assessment techniques. High quality learning for every student : providing all young people with the full range of competences for life is an equity challenge. No school system provides exactly the same educational opportunities for all pupils. The quality gap between schools should be closed. Recent research shows that low variation in student achievement scores can go together with high average achievement, and suggests that policy makers should reduce disparities and improve participation by targeting those with lower skill levels. The EU benchmark is that by 2010 at least 85% of young people should have completed upper secondary education. The 2007 average rate for 20-24 year-olds is 78.1%, an improvement of only 1.5 percentage points since 2000. To support Member States in implementing the Council Conclusions on efficiency and equity in education and training, the Commission proposes to focus future cooperation on: generalising access to high quality pre-school education; measuring and improving the equity impact of school education systems, and reducing quality differences between schools; ensuring that school systems facilitate successful transitions between different school types and levels, and into further education and training; reducing early school leaving; and• providing more timely support and personalised learning approaches within mainstream schooling for students with special needs. Teachers and school staff : teacher quality is the most important within-school factor affecting student performance. As such, it is vital to the achievement of Lisbon goals. The profession has a high percentage of older workers; some 30% of teachers are over 50, and around 2 million will need to be replaced in the next 15 years to maintain the size of the teaching workforce. Staff need the skills to give every pupil adequate opportunities to acquire necessary competences in a safe and attractive school environment based on mutual respect and cooperation, which promotes social, physical and mental well-being and where bullying and violence have no place. Yet most countries report shortfalls in teaching skills. Despite this, incentives for, and investment in, continuous training and development are weak. Generally, time spent on in service training is minimal and many Member States offer no systematic support for new teachers. To support Member States in implementing the Council Conclusions on improving the quality of teacher education, the Commission proposes to focus future cooperation on: ensuring that teachers’ initial education, induction and ongoing professional development are coordinated, coherent, adequately resourced and quality assured; improving the supply, quality and take-up of in-service teacher education; reviewing teacher recruitment to attract the most able candidates, select the best applicants, and place good teachers in challenging schools; and improving the recruitment of school leaders and equipping them to focus on improving student learning and developing school staff.
  • date: 2008-12-18T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2009-03-05T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP summary: The Committee on Culture and Education adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Pál SCHMITT (EPP-ED, HU) in response to the Commission’s Communication entitled “Better Schools: an agenda for European cooperation”. MEPs recall that considerable disparities between the respective performances of education systems in the EU could increase disparities in economic and social development between the Member States. They therefore fully support the Commission Communication of 4 July 2008 (see summary of the non-legislative initial document) and parallel Communication of 16 December 2008 ( COM(2006)0865 ) on “'An updated strategic framework for European cooperation on education and training”. On the whole, MEPs consider that school education should be a key priority for the next cycle of the Lisbon strategy. In this context, MEPs make the following lain recommendations: Improving competences of every student : MEPs call on the Member States to do their utmost to provide every young person with basic skills that are fundamental for further learning. They are concerned about the present trend of decreasing level of students' literacy and numeracy skills. Strategies should therefore be put in place to reduce the number of early school leavers and to reduce gender imbalances in basic skills. Moreover, MEPs stress the need to identify students at risk as soon as possible and to provide them with additional support, as well as to support them during the transition from one school level to the next and provide personalised learning approaches for those in need. MEPs call on the Member States to: ensure that their educational policies achieve a balance between equality and quality, with the stress on social facilitation measures for pupils and students from disadvantaged backgrounds and on adapting the learning process to their individual needs; enhance the access of disadvantaged groups to vocational training and university studies by drawing up and advertising appropriate scholarship schemes. MEPs also call for the modernisation and improvement of school curricula so that they reflect today's social, economic, cultural and technical realities and are closely linked to industry, business and the labour market. However, the reform of the educational system should be fundamentally geared to the full and multi-faceted development of the individual, cultivating respect for human rights and social justice, lifelong learning, the protection of the environment and personal and collective wellbeing. On the whole, MEPs believe that schools should strive not only to improve employability, but also to give all young people the opportunity to develop their full potential, in line with their personal aptitudes. They also consider that all children should, from the earliest age, be given the opportunity to acquire musical, artistic, manual, physical, social and civic competences and strongly believe that musical, artistic and physical education should be compulsory parts of the school curriculum. Reiterating their view that children should learn foreign languages from an early age, MEPs welcome the proposal of a new benchmark, according to which at least 80% of pupils in lower secondary education be taught at least two foreign languages . Member States are also called upon to instruct pupils in the use and applications of new communications and digital technology. High-quality schools and teachers : MEPs call for a European charter on pupils’ rights as a first and important step to guaranteeing the right of every child to quality education. Member States and the competent regional governments are also called upon to invest in high-quality pre-primary education. MEPs consider that public education should remain primarily a state-financed domain which contributes to social equity and inclusion. They recommend that financial support be given equally to all kinds of school in accordance with their size, regardless of their educational philosophy and recall the important role of faith-based schools that provide high quality education and teach strong moral values. Moreover, MEPs believe that public educational institutions in a more disadvantaged financial situation should be granted additional support. According to MEPs, a good quality learning environment, providing modern infrastructure, materials and technology is a pre-requisite for achieving high quality education in schools. The quality of education further requires curricula of a demanding and rigorous nature and assessment of pupils on a regular basis. MEPs also call on Member States to give schools the necessary autonomy to find solutions to the specific challenges they face in their local context (as well as the appropriate flexibility in curricula, teaching methods and assessment systems). MEPs also believe that it is necessary to provide high-quality initial teacher education based on both theory and practice, while stressing the importance of respect for the teacher's authority in the classroom. According to MEPs, the quality of teaching depends on the skills of the teachers. Moreover, they stress the importance of mobility and school partnership projects (e.g. Comenius). They also recommend creating school/community partnerships in order to combat the problem of violence in schools. At the same time, MEPs recommend involving parents in school life . They believe that all schools should foster the acquisition of democratic competences by supporting student councils and allowing students to take co-responsibility for the school in partnership with parents, teachers and school councils. Lastly, MEPs call on the Member States and the Commission to cooperate closely to promote implementation of the European schooling system in the Member States’ respective education systems and to envisage including the European Schools in the work of the Eurydice network. In the meantime, they call on the Commission to report regularly to Parliament on the progress made following the two aforementioned communications.
  • date: 2009-03-09T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2009-124&language=EN title: A6-0124/2009
  • date: 2009-04-02T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=16855&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2009-04-02T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2009-217 title: T6-0217/2009 summary: The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the subject of entitled “Better Schools: an agenda for European cooperation”, following the Commission’s communication on the subject. The text adopted in plenary had been tabled by the EPP-ED, PES, Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL groups, under Article 45, paragraph 2 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, as a proposed resolution to replace the resolution proposed in the own-initiative report tabled by the Committee on Culture and Education. The Parliament fully supports the proposals made in the Commission’s Communication of 4 July 2008 (see summary of the non-legislative initial document) and in the parallel Communication of 16 December 2008 ( COM(2006)0865 ) on “An updated strategic framework for European cooperation on education and training”. Overall, it considers that school education should be a key priority for the next cycle of the Lisbon strategy. In this context, Parliament makes the following recommendations: Improving competences of every student: Parliament calls on the Member States to do their utmost to provide every young person with basic skills that are fundamental for further learning. It is concerned about the current trend of decreasing level of students' literacy and numeracy skills and calls for strategies to be put in place to reduce the number of early school leavers and to reduce gender imbalances in basic skills. The plenary notes that young people show a concerning lack of ability to concentrate and therefore calls on the Commission to conduct a study to investigate the main reasons for this lack of concentration among pupils. Parliament stresses the need to identify students at risk as soon as possible and to provide them with additional support, as well as to support them during the transition from one school level to the next and provide personalised learning approaches for those in need. Parliament calls on the Member States to: ensure that their educational policies achieve a balance between equality and quality, with the stress on social facilitation measures for pupils and students from disadvantaged backgrounds and on adapting the learning process to their individual needs; enhance the access of disadvantaged groups to vocational training and university studies by drawing up and advertising appropriate scholarship schemes. It also calls for the modernisation and improvement of school curricula so that they reflect today's social, economic, cultural and technical realities and are closely linked to industry, business and the labour market. The plenary c onsiders it important for young people to be prepared during their time at school, college and university for flexibility in the labour market in view of its mutability, where employers’ requirements can change rapidly. However, the reform of the educational system should be fundamentally geared to the full and multi-faceted development of the individual, cultivating respect for human rights and social justice, lifelong learning, the protection of the environment and personal and collective wellbeing. On the whole, the Parliament believes that schools should strive not only to improve employability, but also to give all young people the opportunity to develop their full potential, in line with their personal aptitudes. It also considers that all children should, from the earliest age, be given the opportunity to acquire musical, artistic, manual, physical, social and civic competences and strongly believe that musical, artistic and physical education should be compulsory parts of the school curriculum. Reiterating its view that children should learn foreign languages from an early age, Parliament welcomes the proposal of a new benchmark, according to which at least 80% of pupils in lower secondary education be taught at least two foreign languages . Member States are also called upon to instruct pupils in the use and applications of new communications and digital technology. High-quality schools and teachers: Parliament calls for a European charter on pupils’ rights as a first and important step to guaranteeing the right of every child to quality education. Member States and the competent regional governments are also called upon to invest in high-quality pre-primary education. In parallel, the Parliament considers that public education should remain primarily a state-financed domain which contributes to social equity and inclusion. However, the plenary also c onsiders that public educational institutions in a more disadvantaged financial situation, particularly those located in poorer regions of the EU, should be granted additional support . According to Parliament, a good quality learning environment, providing modern infrastructure, materials and technology is a pre-requisite for achieving high quality education in schools. The quality of education further requires curricula of a demanding and rigorous nature and assessment of pupils on a regular basis. Parliament also calls on Member States to give schools the necessary autonomy to find solutions to the specific challenges they face in their local context (as well as the appropriate flexibility in curricula, teaching methods and assessment systems). It also believes that it is necessary to provide high-quality initial teacher education based on both theory and practice, while stressing the importance of respect for the teacher's authority in the classroom. The quality of teaching depends on the skills of the teachers and on the mobility of teaching staff (via programmes such as Comenius, in particular) and school partnership projects. Parliament also recommends creating school/community partnerships in order to combat the problem of violence in schools. At the same time, Parliament recommends involving parents in school life . It believes that all schools should foster the acquisition of democratic competences by supporting student councils and allowing students to take co-responsibility for the school in partnership with parents, teachers and school councils. Lastly, Parliament calls on the Member States and the Commission to cooperate closely to promote implementation of the European schooling system in the Member States’ respective education systems and to envisage including the European Schools in the work of the Eurydice network. In the meantime, it calls on the Commission to report regularly to Parliament on the progress made following the two aforementioned communications.
  • date: 2009-04-02T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/ title: Education and Culture commissioner: FIGEĽ Ján
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
Old
CULT/6/71165
New
  • CULT/6/71165
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure EP 052
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
procedure/subject
Old
  • 4.40.01 European area for education, training and lifelong learning
  • 4.40.03 Primary and secondary school, European Schools
  • 4.40.06 Teachers, trainers, pupils, students
New
4.40.01
European area for education, training and lifelong learning
4.40.03
Primary and secondary school, European Schools, early childhood
4.40.06
Teachers, trainers, pupils, students
activities/0/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2008/0425/COM_COM(2008)0425_EN.pdf
New
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2008/0425/COM_COM(2008)0425_EN.pdf
activities
  • date: 2008-07-03T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2008/0425/COM_COM(2008)0425_EN.pdf celexid: CELEX:52008DC0425:EN type: Non-legislative basic document published title: COM(2008)0425 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/ title: Education and Culture Commissioner: FIGEĽ Ján
  • date: 2008-12-18T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: CULT date: 2008-12-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: SCHMITT Pál body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL
  • date: 2009-03-05T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: CULT date: 2008-12-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: SCHMITT Pál body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2009-03-09T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2009-124&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0124/2009 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2009-04-02T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=16855&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2009-217 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0217/2009 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
committees
  • body: EP responsible: True committee: CULT date: 2008-12-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: SCHMITT Pál
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/ title: Education and Culture commissioner: FIGEĽ Ján
procedure
dossier_of_the_committee
CULT/6/71165
reference
2008/2329(INI)
title
Better schools: an agenda for European cooperation
legal_basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Initiative
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject