Tag Archives: education


LLLP has just published the policy recommendations to support school leaders, teachers – both serving and in their student years – to develop and implement inclusive education practices to create an inclusive educational context and see that in your classroom no one is left behind.

The INSCOOL II project involved partners working in Hungary, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. The project aimed to significantly increase the knowledge and skills of school leaders, teachers and teacher trainees/pre-service teachers to work inclusively with the increasing range of diverse learners in their schools. The project scaled up the good practice established with the Inclusive Schools project. 

The documents listed below address what can be done at a regional, national, European level to integrate and move forward the whole school approach for inclusive schools. 

  • Recommendations from advocacy groups: The advocacy groups were formed in Poland, Italy, Hungary, Netherlands, Spain and the UK to support the achievement of policy change at different levels, from schools to the EU level. Participants got a better knowledge of the project’s outcomes and discussed the further use of the tools and training. implemented after the project ends. An important point of reflection was how the project results could support them in their own local advocacy for inclusive schools. Partners involved several stakeholders such as school leaders, teachers, parents and teacher trainees as well as representatives from other stakeholder groups including project managers working on inclusion, non-teaching staff, teaching training institutions and foster homes. The advocacy groups also included representatives from public bodies and private entities. The different backgrounds and places of origin of participants ensured a diversity of perspectives and experiences.
  • Policy Recommendations: The policy recommendations bring together the current policy context around inclusion in education, the results of the advocacy groups, the inputs from the Final Conference and previous projects focused on inclusion in relation to teachers, teacher trainees and school leaders. This document is focused on recommendations for EU institutions to work together with Member States in different areas: i) professional development, training offer, ii) staff shortages and wellbeing, iii) systemic cooperation and whole-school approach and iv) public funding for education.

International Conference – “Inclusion in action: a holistic approach to inclusion in schools” – 17 May 23 – Brussels

LLLP, the British Council, Interactive UK, CESIE, ESHA, and the University of Granada invite policymakers, practitioners, teachers, school leaders, and civil society representatives for the international conference, Inclusion in action: a holistic approach to inclusion in schools”, on May 17th, 2023, in Brussels.

The conference will delve into a fishbowl discussion on European and national policy measures on inclusive education across the EU and will have workshops on inclusive education practices.

In addition, the conference aims to be a networking space for education stakeholders from different EU countries. After the conference, all participants are invited to join in for a networking lunch in the same venue.

What are inclusive schools?

Inclusive schools are schools where each pupil is involved in the learning process, and where talents and inclinations are noticed and valued. Student teachers, teachers, and school leaders support their students throughout.

The Inclusive Schools II project has built on the above-mentioned notions by creating both face-to-face and digital training experiences that support student teachers, teachers, and school leaders in creating an inclusive educational context where no one is left behind.

To register for the conference, follow this link.

To find out more stay tuned on LLLP’s social media through  Facebook; Instagram; Linkedin; Twitter.

Learn more about Inclusion at school

The conference is part of the Inclusive Schools II project .

The project aims to enable teachers – both serving and in their student years – to develop and implement inclusive education practices with confidence.
The project intends for teachers and school leaders to take part in the project to become role models for others, influencing practice and policy at local, regional, and national levels.

We know that inclusive education is essential in changing minds and breaking down barriers in schools. Teachers who join the project will be equipped to make this change happen in their setting.

Browse the project’s website to:

  • Get inspired by the teachers role models working on ways to support inclusion in their teaching.
  • Download the project free to access resources and tools.
  • Visit the MOOC for student teachers and in-service teachers on diverse settings to integrate inclusive practices in teaching!



CHOICE Policy Recommendations

LLLP has just published the policy recommendations to support the reform of the school curricula by making the shift from STEM teaching in silos to a more interdisciplinary and practice-oriented approach of STE(A)M education, as proposed in the CHOICE MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on STE(A)M education, and integrating this innovative digital-based instrument into school curricula.

What can be done at regional, national, and European levels for this to happen?

Click here to read CHOICE project’s Policy Recommendations

Investing in People and STEM – CHOICE project final conference

The CHOICE Project intends to innovate STEM education and contribute to the policy reform of STEM curricula in European secondary schools by providing teachers and students with tools and resources promoting the STE(A)M approach, connecting STEM subjects with Arts and All the other disciplines. The project’s partnership is composed of non-profit organisations, business and private sector, education and training institutions, from five European countries: Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Belgium. 

The project’s final conference, ‘Investing in People and STEM : Innovative Cross-disciplinary STE(A)M approaches to education’, held on the 29th of November 2022 in Brussels in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee, was attended by more than 90 participants (teachers, students, educators, policy makers, representatives of EU institutions and representatives of civil society organisations in the field of education and training, general public interested in the topic). The event, opened by  Monica Verzola (vice chairman of LLLP and member of the board of EVTA, was the concluding moment of the 3-year project CHOICE, where the project and its results were presented, and student and teacher testimonies heard. 

The main outcomes presented during the event were the state of the art analysis on existing initiatives, best practices, attitudes and approaches towards STEAM education and the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) promoting STE(A)M education for students, educators and teachers which collects Open Educational Resources (OERs) co-created with the students and teachers involved in the project; the project recommendation on how to promote the STE(A)M approach. 

The CHOICE MOOC is composed of five different modules which address five macro-areas: STEM& arts; experiential projects; STEM & teaching languages; using technology in social sciences; STEM & sports. The project’s success is measured by the positive impact it has had on student interest in STEM: following the project’s implementation, student’s interest in STEAM increased by 10%. Students and teachers from the Italian, Cypriot, Greek, and Spanish schools presented the OERs developed in the framework of the project, as “The Starry Night”, where students covered Van Gogh’s renowned painting with origami and studied the mathematics behind each shape. 

The conference ended with a fruitful panel discussion around the topic of “Innovative approaches on the promotion and improvement of STE(A)M education at school,” with a focus on EU policy development. The panel, composed of Michael Mcloughlin (European Economic and Social Committee | Youth Work Ireland); MEP Victor Negrescu (European Parliament), Leonie Bultynck (European Commission, DG EAC), Evita Tasiopoulou (Science Education Department, European Schoolnet), was moderated by Jon Harding (Vice chairman I treasurer, LLLP). 

The panellists emphasised that the different STEM/STE(A)M initiatives in Europe should be interconnected across regional and national levels. In this way, STEM education can grow and evolve, and build on different practices and approaches. It is important to involve local authorities and ministries, support institutions, and listen to students in a learner-centred approach. STE(A)M education touches upon many sectors and should involve all of them. Industries could be more involved and integrated into school curricula, to stimulate STEM careers. 

The panel particularly focused on STEM and gender equality. Currently, far more men than women are pursuing STEM careers: STEM education should be more fun, more ‘attractive’, related to everyday life, and provide more female role models to be truly inclusive. There are other inequalities in STEM education, such as those related to socio-economic status, belonging to national or ethnic minority, etc. Overall, all speakers agreed that, at local, national and European level, STEM education and careers should take a more intersectional approach, be adapted to the needs of students and schools, and receive more resources.

The project’s final conference raised important action points on how to sustain the project’s results with time, and, thereby, how to promote and improve STE(A)M education at local, regional, national and European levels. In this regard, it would be important to have a European network for STEM education that would act as a reference in the field, allowing individuals to connect and share best practices in teaching STEAM disciplines, encouraging and promoting them.

Readers are invited to read the project’s Policy Recommendations document, which deepens the lessons learned from “CHOICE” on how to support the reform of the school curricula by making the shift from STEM teaching in silos to a more interdisciplinary and practice-oriented approach of STE(A)M education.

Schools involved in the project:

Other project partners are: Lifelong Learning Platform, CESIE (Italy),  EUROTraining (Greece), Blue Room Innovation (Spain), GrantXpert Consulting (Cyprus).

The acronym STEM derives from Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, and it is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

New Study: Public investment on education and training in the EU: trends, challenges and future prospects

The Lifelong Learning Platform is proud to publish its study for the ongoing campaign on “Invest in ET”.

While the value of quality education and training is strongly acknowledged across EU Member States, it remains the case that public expenditure has failed to recover to pre-financial crisis levels at the EU level. This paper tracks the extent to which public expenditure on education and training has changed over time and puts forth the case for a marked increase in levels of public expenditure as a necessary policy tool for addressing the economic and social fallout of Covid-19.

Check it out here.

Environmental sustainability rhymes with lifelong learning

The European Commission published its proposal for a Council Recommendation on learning for environmental sustainability. The aim of the proposal is to support Member States, schools, higher education institutions, non-governmental organisations and all education providers in equipping learners with understanding and skills on sustainability, climate change and the environment. 

What is it?

This proposal serves the European strategy to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent 

and envisions decisive actions to be taken now. The European Education Area, the European Green Deal and other key initiatives already recognise the crucial role of education and training for the green transition: this proposal builds on them to step up Europe’s commitment. Learners of all ages now need to be able to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to live more sustainably, change patterns of consumption and production, embrace healthier lifestyles and contribute – both individually and collectively – to the transformation of our societies. The Commission explicitly points at a “lifelong learning approach to learning for environmental sustainability with hands-on, engaging and action-based ways of learning which foster (i) knowledge, understanding and critical thinking (cognitive learning); (ii) practical skills development (applied learning); and (iii) empathy, solidarity and caring for nature (socio-emotional learning)”.

What for?

The Commission proposal aims to:

  • articulate a vision and shared understanding at EU level on the deep and transformative changes needed in education and training for the green transition;
  • develop a coherent approach to the competences, skills and attitudes that people need to act, live and work in a sustainable manner, strengthen the importance of lifelong learning to ensure that everybody from a young age through to adulthood can acquire those competences and skills; 
  • facilitate the sharing of policy-maker, researcher and educator expertise and best practices at system and institution level;
  • support initiatives at EU level to foster learning for environmental sustainability; and encourage investment in the above areas.


The proposal recommends that Member States establish learning for environmental sustainability as a priority area in education and training policies and programmes; this will likely bring not only extra attention to this topic, but also – crucially – more funding. Among its provisions to support learners, we find that it needs to “[s]trengthen, including through financial support, high-quality lifelong learning for environmental sustainability, including traineeships, apprenticeships, volunteering, extra-curricular activities and other forms of non-formal and informal learning. Recognise and reward civic engagement in environmental sustainability”. This would mean that Europe is about to take a huge leap forward as it will recognise the active role that all forms of learning play in making human activities more sustainable, in line with its commitment to meet all Sustainable Development Goals. 

Moreover, this proposal also supports a) educators to facilitate learning for environmental sustainability, and b) education and training institutions to effectively integrate environmental sustainability across all their activities. Such ambitious objectives will hopefully steer Europe a little more on the track of environmental sustainability. To achieve them, Member States are encouraged to agree on the mobilisation of national and EU funds for investment in infrastructure, training, tools and resources. The EU programmes and financing schemes that will support the actions to be taken under this recommendation will be the Erasmus+, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, European Solidarity Corps, European Social Fund Plus, European Regional Development Fund, the Technical Support Instrument, Digital Europe Programme, Horizon Europe and InvestEU. When it comes to instruments, it will be important that such noble purposes are met with funding that is adequate to revolutionise European education systems. 

At the same time, as is often the case with Council recommendations, the implementation process and measures will be as important as the recommendation itself. It will be important to stay within the framework of a learner-guided implementation, where education is implemented for its own sake. 

Systemic cooperation for a green transition

It is nonetheless crucial to realise that the burden of reaching the objective shall not be placed entirely on individuals or on education systems. Alone, atomised individuals or educators will not make the world greener overnight: such a titanic effort shall see the active involvement and commitment of decision-makers and major economic players and polluters. Environmental challenges are first and foremost of economic nature (e.g. production and consumption models) and have societal implications (e.g. migration, inequalities). The system cannot be changed by only looking at the environmental dimension without questioning our economic and social system. Education is a place where its actors can understand what is wrong with the system and identify solutions to fix it, but education stakeholders cannot do that in isolation from the community and society that they live in.  

As a way of illustrating this, integrating education for sustainability in the education system can only succeed if the economic and productive policies supported by employment and civil society stakeholders fuel the creation of green jobs and occupations as well as the development of green skills. The same applies to social policies addressing inequality gaps; intergenerational sustainability can only be achieved if intragenerational wellbeing is given proper attention. Close cooperation between stakeholders can support that and is essential in that regard.  

Lifelong learning as guiding principle 

Likewise, it will be important to not conceive education and training only as a means to cover the jobs needed as part of the green transition as the first aim indicates, but keep in mind that the ultimate goal must always be to improve education in itself.

At the same time, it is revitalising to acknowledge that the European Commission is envisioning to put education and lifelong learning at the centre of this new journey. All the more, because many of the guiding provisions in the proposal had been put forward by the Lifelong Learning Platform in its position paper on “Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Societies”. And we like to believe that well-grounded documents such as the position paper, informed with values of inclusion and solidarity, will always end up being the backbone of progressive decision-making. 


EDEN – Education in time of new normal

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, universities worldwide faced the need to move all their classes to an online environment overnight, in order to ensure continuation of their teaching and learning activities. Institutions that had already ventured onto the path of online education realised this transformation much more quickly than those who were less prepared. Others made the transition more modestly, only beginning to take the first steps into online education. In a remarkable short time, courses and exams across the globe moved online, ensuring that universities did not close but rather adapted to the new situation and by doing so managed to save the remainder of the academic year.

Having overcome the initial impact of the pandemic and having moved beyond immediate crisis management, university leaders are now taking the time to reflect on the lessons learned, to set new strategies for the future, and to fully prepare their institutions for the new academic year. Although some continue to hope that students will soon return to classrooms, others see the COVID-19 crisis as a catalyst for educational organisations to implement online teaching and learning systematically and to thus offer a better quality of education in this age of the new normal. What are the key leadership decisions that organisational leaders must make in creating their vision for the future? What short-term and long-term strategies are needed? How can leadership ensure a smooth transition to the online setting and create the necessary infrastructure for training teachers, and implementing new teaching methods and redesigned curricula? How can universities manage their transition to online while improving the quality of teaching and learning? These are some of the questions we will be addressing in the first two webinars of the EDEN webinar initiative Education in time of a new normal (September 14 and 21).

Aimed at policy makers and organisational leaders and management, but also for all those working in education, these webinars will provide practical insights and tips from well-known experts, leaders, and practitioners in the field of e-learning and online learning.

Join the sessions and participate in discussions, where you will get the ideas you need to turn your vision for the future into actionable steps. Get the answers you need for smoothly leading your organisation in transforming your curriculum to online and ensuring high quality teaching and learning.

Read more and join the webinars!

Next EU Budget: Lack of political ambition leads to cut on social Europe

On Tuesday, July 21st, and after over four days of intense negotiations, European leaders finally reached an agreement over the next seven-year EU Budget and closely-related Recovery Fund. 

To any external observer, it was clear that the EU own budget would have fallen victim to the economic needs of the Recovery Fund (called ‘Next Generation EU’), which prompted bitter disputes between Member States. The Multiannual Financial Framework for the next cycle (2021-2027) is 1.074 trillion euros, plus the extraordinary 750 billion euros that will feed the Next Generation EU: an impressive agreement per se, especially in consideration of the difficulties along the way. 

In this context, the total budget for the next Erasmus+ programme is set at 21.208 billion euros, which is the same budget proposed by the Council itself in February before the COVID crisis. This amount openly defies the European Parliament’s concerns and leaves civil society’s cries unheard, including our Erasmus+ Coalition statement. Moreover, this figure represents a 5.2 billion cut (almost -20%) from the original European Commission proposal and a staggering 23.8 billion cut (-53%) from what the European Parliament deemed necessary

Other programmes that transversally touch upon education and training such as Horizon+ (80.9 billion euros, with a total reduction of 13.5 billion euros from previous Commission’s proposals) and Justice, Rights and Values (841 million euros, against the 1.83 billion euros demanded by CSOs and the European Parliament) have suffered cuts in funding. Overall, it is surprising to realise that cuts mostly affect the Heading 7 of the budget, ‘Investing in People, Social Cohesion and Values’: this alone says a lot about the European Council’s priorities.

Addressing the unprecedented consequences of the health crisis in education and training requires serious investments and political commitment. In this very particular moment, Europe cannot afford to leave behind vulnerable learners by failing to adequately inject much-needed investments into the social sphere. While the Next Generation EU rightfully focuses on the immediate recovery of the economy, European leaders do not seem to share the view that a democratic, sustainable and socially cohesive Union, in the long-term, cannot be built on industry and infrastructure alone but shall rise from values, solidarity and competences of its people. Ensuring employment and economic prosperity will not be enough to overcome the consequences of an ongoing traumatic experience for all citizens: this is a short-sighted action.

Furthermore, the agreed budget falls short on Europe’s own ambitions. We can’t help but notice a profound disconnection between political declarations to invest in education, training, research and youth, and the outcomes of decision-making processes. President von der Leyen herself, at the beginning of her mandate, claimed to support the tripling of the Erasmus+ budget; instead, for the next cycle, the Erasmus+ will see a mere +50% increase over the 2014-2020 budget. We regret to acknowledge that European leaders overlooked a great opportunity for upscaling education and training transversally in Europe. This envelope is not enough to deliver on the ambitious (and much-needed) goals of the future programme for learning mobility, cooperation between organisations and support for policy reform across all sectors, not to mention its sought contribution to implementing the European Education Area, EU Youth Strategy and the European Green Deal, among other priorities. 

Make no mistakes: this agreement is a shaky message to European citizens and an earthquake to European ambitions in education and training and other sectors alike. 

Erasmus+ Coalition joint statement on the revised proposal for EU Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027

The European Commission’s revised proposal for the next long-term EU budget (2021-2027) brings both hope and disappointment. The strong commitment to European cooperation and public investment demonstrated by its proposed allocation of 1.1 trillion euros, along with 750 billion euros for recovery instrument NextGenerationEU, is a positive sign for the future of Europe. Addressing the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the green and digital transitions, certainly requires ambitious public investment. In this regard, Europe cannot afford to leave people behind by failing to adequately channel such investment into funding programmes which have a tangible and positive impact on their lives while also helping to tackle the above challenges and contribute to the EU’s recovery. However, compared to the Commission’s original proposal from 2018, the revision surprisingly reduces the allocation to such programmes.

Read the full statement here

European Students’ Union review of Human Rights Violations during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The World Health Organisation along with the United Nations stressed the importance that national leaders adopt a cooperative, global and human rights-based approach in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic (1). The COVID-19 pandemic has not only shown society the importance of welfare systems, but more so the impact and repercussions that good or bad governance has on society at large.

The European Students’ Union, ESU, above all, commends governing bodies working to support healthcare staff on the national frontlines of defense and ensure that health services are accessible to all who need it. On the other hand, ESU is disturbed by governments that propagate denial, distrust in science and unnecessary fear during the pandemic (2, 3), as this risks setting society on a much longer and more painful path to normality.

Under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which most countries have adopted, governments are obligated to take effective steps for the “prevention, treatment and control of epidemic [..] diseases” and authorities must ensure that everyone has access to the same rights and protection. National constitutions and international human rights treaties contain strict clauses that allow governments to invoke special powers in times of crisis. However, emergency measures breaching human rights must be invoked under legal and scientific basis with the scope of combatting the pandemic. They must be subject to a pre-fixed time limit and must not subvert or escape the work of oversight and scrutiny carried out by Parliaments and independent authorities. Everyone should be fully informed about emergency measures and no person or social group should be discriminated against by the arbitrary application of such measures (4).  

Many states are under “lockdown” as governments assumed added legislative powers to close non-essential businesses, enforce quarantine and isolation measures, restrict public gatherings, limit freedom of movement and association, and subject people to increased surveillance through street police patrols or mobile applications (5, 6). In the following statement, ESU reviews the reprehensible damage being done to European democratic values and fundamental human rights and freedoms amidst the economic and social consequences of the global pandemic that is, in certain circumstances further aggravated by European leaders adopting emergency measures that only favour the ruling classes and that deepen social inequality.

Continue reading on ESU’s website!