KeyCoNet final conference

Almost 100 stakeholders from 25 countries attended the conference  Improving the Integration of Key Competences in School Education, stretching across the various education communities involved in policy, research and practice. The goal was to launch KeyCoNet’s recommendations to a broad group of key stakeholders involved in key competence development in school education. EPA was invited to be at the conference and contribute to the discussion as a panellist. We are also committed to helping the dissemination of KeyCoNet’s recommendations at national, regional, European or local level, to ensure they are put to good use by the various stakeholders you work with in your daily professions.

The role of home-school relationship in preventing school violence and early school leaving – report of the EPA conference 28/29 November 2014

FNAP-IP, our Romanian member hosted the last EPA conference of 2014 in Bucharest in the grand building of the national Parliament. The topics of the conference - school violence and early school leaving (ESL) – are both burning issues in the host country as well as other parts of Europe. Our speakers tried to answer the question how parental involvement help to decrease both problems and how to involve parents, especially those with disadvantaged backgrounds. The importance of the conference was highlighted by the fact that it was greeted by the Minister of Education – on Skype from Senegal -, the General Mayor of Bucharest and a high ranking official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All keynote speakers of the first day offered workhops on the second day to make it possible for participants to share their thoughts and good practices.

Agents of Change - Fight against early school leaving following the model of Real Pearl Foundation

Keynote by Nóra Ritók at the EPA Conference in Bucharest 28/29 November 2014

My foundation works in East Hungary, in one of the poorest regions of the country. We work for integration with families living in extreme poverty. Most of these families are Roma. Among this population early school leaving is a significant problem. There are many causes of this problem. First of all we have to understand the families, the circumstances, the possibilities. These families live in very poor and terrible circumstances. There are five to eight, sometimes ten children in one family. In the second part of the month they have no more money to buy food for their children. This situation is not acceptable in the twenty first century in Europe. These people are expected to do things they are far from being able to.


EUCIS-LLL message on the International Volunteer Day

This year, the International Volunteer day highlights the contribution of volunteers in engaging people from the grass-roots in decision-making processes, ultimately creating space for participation that leads to: stronger governance, social cohesion, peace and sustainable development. Volunteers develop personal, social and civic competences that are seldom recognised by educational institutions and companies. The International Volunteer day is a good opportunity to recall the importance of ensuring the possibility for volunteers to have their learning outcomes recognised and to push for the better social and political recognition of volunteering for society and for democracy. 

ICOT 2015 News

The 17th International Conference on Thinking (ICOT 2015), which will take place in Bilbao betweeJune 28th and July 4th 2015. The conference that will focus on the application of Thinking in Education, the Arts, Business and Sport is supported by EPA being FAPAE (our local member) actively involved in its organization. The focus is to develop understanding about the key competence of Learning to Think creatively and critically. Read a detailed report by FAPAE on the organisation and the event.


No Hate Speech - Zakia Akkouh's keynote and outputs from her workshop at the EPA Conference Bucharest 28/29 November 2014

First I want to express my deep gratitude for the invitation to this important conference on the role of home-school relationship in preventing violence and early school leaving. 

It is always a pleasure to get to talk about the No hate speech movement of the Council of Europe and an extra pleasure to speak to an important audience like this one. I think parents have a special role in prevention of hate speech. I will get back to this at the end of my talk.

The last years have demonstrated (perhaps clearer than ever) the internet´s immense potential for democraticising societies by lowering the barriers for participation. Furthermore it has shown what powerful combination youth  and internet can be for this purpose. Social media has proven an effective tool for young people to organize protests, campaigns, social projects. This powerful combination has brought down dictatorships across the world. A free internet is an important feature of a modern democracy. But we have also seen the negative sides to the internet. And it´s potential for spreading hate and dangerous ideologies: we know that prior to the terrible massacre of youth on Utøya the terrorist Breivik was active on online fora spreading hate and communicating with like minded. We also know that many of the young Europeans joining the IS in Iraq and Syria are recruited through the internet.


Social Platform press release: Juncker’s investment package still misses a strong social dimension

Following European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s presentation of his €315 billion ‘Jobs, Growth and Investment Package’ to the European Parliament [Nov 26], Social Platform warns that the European Social Model will not survive unless a serious commitment is made to invest in ambitious and integrated social policies.


EU Alliance celebrates 25 years of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Press Release of the EU Alliance for Investing in Children[i] on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day

20 November marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child, which rapidly became the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in history.
When almost 28% of children live at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU,[i] according to the EU Alliance for Investing in Children it is also a day to remind decision makers “to undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures” for the implementation of children’s “economic, social and cultural rights to the maximum extent of their available resources”, as the UN Convention says.


Migrant education policies across Europe: “the most important issue facing European education over the next decade”

The SIRIUS Network on the education of children and young people with a migrant background has developed recommendations and a clear Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe that give concrete guidelines on how to improve education systems so as to decrease the achievement gap for all low-achieving students. It was introduced and discussed at a 2-day conference in Brussels, symbolically in the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee. EPA has endorsed the Agenda and participated actively in the conference putting emphasis on the importance of involving migrant parents for the school success of their children and the need for empowerment of both migrant parents and other actors (other parents, teachers, etc.) to make it become a reality.


Growing Up Digitally

Safer Internet Forum is a yearly event held by the European Commission. The focus of the event is how to create a save environment for our children on the internet. This year the focus was on parents, schools and the internet industry and our shared responsibility to create a secure environment on the internet for our children so that they can use all the benefits of the vast amount of information and entertainment on the internet. 


Investing in Education: a sine qua non condition to reach 2020 targets - EUCIS-LLL Press Release

The Education and Training Monitor 2014 reveals the alarming situation in investment in education across Europe. 19 Member States cut their education expenditure in 2012. This goes against Member States’ EU commitments to invest in growth-friendly public investment as stated in the last Annual Growth Surveys. Moreover, the messages from EU Budget negotiations of “conciliation” talks between the European Parliament and the Council on the EU budget for 2015 are worrying as proposed cuts by the Council amendments would effect fields such as education and research. This sends a very negative signal to European citizens especially at the time when hopes have been raised about the €300 billion Investment Package announced by M. Juncker. The time has also come to hear concrete proposals how the Package will support greater cohesion and solidarity in Europe. EUCIS-LLL calls on Member States to stick to their European commitments in order to reach the Europe 2020 targets.


The alternatives to immigration detention of children

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution on the alternatives to immigration detention of children on 3 October 2014. It reflects the concern about the fact that "the immigration detention of children is a growing phenomenon in the Council of Europe member States."

From a parental point of view it is very important that it calls the CoE member states to develop community-based systems that ensure that children are not separated from their parents while their immigration status is being resolved.


Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Thematic Working Group Report published

The Thematic Working Group on Early Childhood Education Care (ECEC) reflected on the diverse governance arrangements of early childhood education and care under different national authorities in the education as well as social, family and health sectors. It has developed a proposal for a European Quality Frameworkpdf(843 kB) so as to improve, monitor, and evaluate the quality of early childhood education and care systems.


A Clear Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe

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."


FUG Annual Conference - Newsflash from Norway

Every year FUG - the National Parents’ Committee for Primary and Secondary Education in Norway – organises a conference for parents that are elected to a honorary function in their school in Norway. This year parents from kindergartens also participated. From Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon 200 parents from the whole country took part in lectures, discussions in smaller groups, sharing of experiences and more informal talk during meals and pauses. The Minister of Education was the first speaker and he talked about the importance of parent support.


EPNoSL VIP - the Virtual Platform of the European Policy Network on School Leadership

As a member of EPA or a person interested in parental involvement you are a VIP for EPNoSL, so join the Virtual Platform to
-          access resources on school leadership,
-          watch our webinars and gain up-to-date information on what is happening in the field of school leadership in Europe,
-          join the discussions and speak with school heads, trainers, academic experts,
-          learn from others and share your experience on the topic you choose,
-          influence policy.



Towards a good mental health care for adolescents in Europe

European Parliament in Brussels October 16th, 2014

This comprehensive report is also available as PDF-file for download.

Among the last invitations for EPA a new thematic focus emerged recently: mental health.


Achieving validation of learning outcomes best practices and the way forward

Ana-Carla Pereira (EC), Conny Reuter (Solidar)
and Pavel Trantina (EESC)
This conference organised by SOLIDAR Foundation in cooperation with La Ligue de l'enseignement was hosted by Julie Ward, MEP (UK Labour party, S&D Group) in the European Parliament in Brussels on October 14, 2014. Due to my presence at the meeting of the ADHD-Alliance I could only participate in the closing panel presentations.


EPNoSL PLA in Nice and October Newsletter

The fifth EPNoSL Peer Learning Activity (PLA) took place in Nice, France on 25-26 September 2014. The PLA stimulated knowledge exchange between policymakers, practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders towards enhancing school leadership for equity and learning. All documentation from the Nice PLA is now available on the EPNoSL portal. 


ADHD Alliance for a Change

EPA was invited by the ADHD-Alliance for a Change to attend a meeting in Brussels. The Presentation and discussion was hosted by Rosa Estaràs Ferragut MEP on October 14th, 2014. The Real Voices Report Launch Event brought together experts and stakeholders from various fields. EPA had not been involved in the preparatory actions. EPA’s claim to act as the Voice of European Parents made it reasonable to follow this invitation.


Child poverty figures on the rise. Commissioner Andor: “Member States must invest in children”

On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Commissioner László Andor recalls the EU measures which can help Member States reduce child poverty. Effective use of policy guidance and EU funds can make a difference. Listening to children and young people, and organisations working with them, would be a good place to start
By Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General of Eurochild.

Family-School Get-together - Newsflash from Finland

The Finnish Parents’ League has published a leaflet about Kodin ja koulun päivä (Family-School Get-together). The Family-School Get-together is an informal event that offers families and teaching staff the opportunity to interact with and get to know each other. It can take the form of morning coffee shared by teachers and parents, an entire Saturday filled with exciting programme events, or a friendly evening after a day's work. Most important is to find the time to interact.

Forum on the future priorities of ET2020

The third annual Education, Training and Youth Forum was held in Brussels on 9th and 10th October. As usual there were about 350 stakeholders in these fields and as usual parents were represented by EPA. The Forum witnessed the farewell of Commissioner Vassiliou who has done a lot during her 5-year assignment and also we heard the encouragingly enthusiastic Silvia Costa, the new President of the CULT Committee of the European Parliament. Xavier Prats-Monné who became Director General at DG EAC introduced some thought-provoking ideas. The results of a stakeholder survey was presented as well as a report on youth work in Europe. Participants had the opportunity to share some thoughts in workshops and at the end of the Forum Pierre Mairesse, Director General at DG EAC shared his thoughts about the issues highlighted by the participants. Read our detailed report below.


'Protection of minors in the context of screen convergence' confrence in Barcelona

On behalf of EPA, board member Josep-Manuel Prats has attended a conference in Barcelona on 9/10 October, held by Euralva and some local Associations of listeners and viewers. The topic of the conference was Media Convergence, and it took a view of the European regulations, technical solutions and education. The general contents of the conference in Barcelona was not especially focused on parental education and training to face the challenges properly, but on regulatory and technical solutions. We think that this is good, but not enough.


Global Handwashing Day - 15th October

Global Handwashing Day was originally created for children and schools, but can be celebrated by anyone promoting handwashing with soap.
Each year, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world. Global Handwashing is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies, and individuals.
The day was established to
  • foster and support a global culture of handwashing with soap,
  • shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in every country,
  • raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap.
  • 10/10/2014

    Empowering marginalised groups through education and training in the Danube Region

    The two-day conference held in Vienna on 2/3 October 2014 mainly focused on presenting strategies and projects for the inclusion of Roma families into society and especially on improving children’s integration in school. Read Arja Krauchenberg's report below


    Nordic conference on an equal school for all in Helsinki

    From 12.-13.September 2014 the Nordic Committee for parent organizations in the Nordic countries organized a conference with over 50 participants from parent organizations in the Nordic countries. Participants came from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway.


    Why languages matter: European and national perspectives on multilingualism

    The conference Why languages matter: European and national perspectives on mulitlingualism was held in Florence, Italy on 25th and 26th September 2014 in the frame of the Italian presidency. The event was attended by Arja Krauchenberg on behalf of EPA. Read her comprehensive report here:


    Eurydice launches new short overview on Annual Instruction Time

    The Comparative Overview on Recommended Annual Instruction Time in Full-time Compulsory Education in Europe 2013/14 has just been published by Eurydice. Going through the data some EPA members found that the data provided by their respective governments and used by Eurydice may not be correct. We would appreciate if EPA members sent us their comments if they find mistakes in the data provided. 


    APEL conference next March

    Our French member, APEL is announcing their conference in La Rochelle on the 28th March 2015 on Howard Gardner’s 8 intelligences theory and news from French neuroscientists about how brain learns.

    The whole day will be split in many one and a half hour workshops that will allow participants to really meet the speakers who will display theses intelligences through various means (clown, singing, theatre ..).

    Save the date if you can understand French speaking specialists and let Regine Florin know. APEL will be happy to welcome you. 700 participants, ranging from parents to teachers and directors are expected. Don’t’ hesitate to pass this information on to some people who might be interested French speaking people and within your organizations.

    Conference leaflet here


    NGO's raising important questions before the public hearing of the new Commissioners

    During the summer EPA joined a group of NGOs all active in the field of education who listed a few key demands about inclusive education and for protecting basic rights is education towards the new European Commissioner responsible for Education. One of these five key issues is the participation of parents. You can read the full text below. 

    EUCIS-LLL has also prepared a set of elaborate and very important questions to raise for the successors of Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, Marianne Thyssen and Tibor Navracsics. They all reflect crucial matters of EU governance in the field of education, training and lifelong learning that EUCIS-LLL - EPA is a member of - has identified and tackled in the past years.


    Less stress at work – more effective workers and better parents

    The European Employers’ Forum for Work-Life Balance was organised in Helsinki on 8-9 September within the framework of the Alliance 2014 for Reconciling Workand Family Life. The main message of the event was that working at a family-friendly workplace, being able to work flexible hours makes employees who are parents less stressed and better at work, while it also helps better parenting. On the first day we learnt about the situation and experience in Finland while on the second day we could look at the topic from diverse perspectives, including the perspectives of employers, women entrepreneurs, the service sector, small businesses and trade unions. The report below gives a lot of references to links to further reading.


    New Commission: Suspense ends but questions remain about the future of learning in Europe - EUCIS-LLL Press Release

    While negotiations are ending about the composition of the new European Commission, EUCIS-LLL welcomes the willingness to build more synergies within the institution with thematic clusters, to bring the EU closer to its citizens and to gather education, culture, youth and citizenship under a same portfolio. However the Platform warns that Mr. Juncker’s will to “put Europe back on the path to jobs and growth” should come along with a strong emphasis on social inclusion, which starts with tangible investment in education and training and a clear vision for the future of learning in Europe. 


    International Literacy Day, 8 September - a good opportunity to read

    The United Nations' (UN) International Literacy Day annually falls on September 8 to raise people's awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world. It is a good opportunity for every parent to think about the importance of reading, reading every day to your children, helping them to learn reading, helping them to become apt readers and - last but not least - to make sure you read every day yourself. You should never forget the quote by Emilie Buchwald, the well-know children's book author : 'Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.'


    Oslo standard for school-home partnership

    EPA Treasurer, Christian Hellevang shares a good example in his newsflash. It is a document prepared by the city of Oslo, Norway supporting parents and schools alike to cooperate for the benefit of children, coming into force at the beginning of the schoolyear. We think it can be adapted and used anywhere in Europe. 


    FAPEL anniversary greeted by EPA

    Our valued member, FAPEL is celebrating 30 years of good home-school cooperation. Their anniversary newsletter has been published in print recently. They asked EPA to send a greeting by the president. You can read it below to celebrate with our member from Catalonia, Spain. The message is valid for other members and countries, too.


    A new Convention for combating domestic violence

    “On 1 August 2014, a new stage will begin in the protection of human rights in Europe: the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence will enter into force in 11 Council of Europe member States,” the President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Anne Brasseur, said today.


    New EPNoSL publication: Promoting the policy agenda on school leadership from the perspective of equity and learning

    Promoting the policy agenda on school leadership from the perspective of equity and learning is developed in the frame of the European Policy Network of School Leadership (EPNoSL) project EPA is part of. Although it focuses mostly on school leaders, head teachers themselves, it can be used as a good tool for training parents for participating in distributed leadership and school leadership in general.


    EPNoSL July newsletter with invitation to Nice

    EPNoSL is organizing its next Peer Learning Activity (PLA) in Nice, France at the end of September. EPA is attending the event and will report on it but all EPA members interested are welcome to join, too. The event that will be attended by members of the wider school leadership stakeholder community, including policy makers, educational leaders (school principals and head teachers, and teacher educators), researchers, representatives of professional associations, parents and students. 

    You can read more about the event and other news of the European Policy Network on School Leadership in the Newsletter here


    School holidays – summer agony for many parents

    Organising suitable programmes for the children during long summer holidays causes headaches to many parents around Europe these days. It is difficult enough to find camps, holiday activities where the children are safe and that also have an educational value, but in Hungary two scandals are making the decision even more difficult for parents. One is a summer camp that is absolutely unsuitable for children – at least in my opinion -, the other is a 25-year-old story of abuse.


    First OECD PISA financial literacy test finds many young people confused by money matters

    Around one in seven students in the 13 OECD countries and economies that took part in the first OECD PISA international assessment of financial literacy are unable to make even simple decisions about everyday spending, and only one in ten can solve complex financial tasks.

    Some 29 000 15 year-olds in 18 countries and economies* took part in the test, which assessed the knowledge and skills of teenagers in dealing with financial issues, such as understanding a bank statement, the long-term cost of a loan or knowing how insurance works.


    Financing Schools in Europe: Mechanisms, Methods and Criteria in Public Funding

    Eurydice has just published a comprehensive report that provides a framework for understanding the structure of funding systems of primary and general secondary education in Europe. It delivers an analysis of authority levels involved and the methods and criteria used for determining the level of resources for financing school education. It covers 27 of the 28 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey. The authority levels involved in the transfers and provision of school funding is inextricably linked to the political and administrative set-up in individual countries themselves. With the help of national diagrams on funding flows, the report explains the different mechanisms, methods and priorities when it comes to funding staff, operational goods and services and capital goods.


    ‘So they were divorced, and lived happily ever after, as did their children…’: Beyond doom and gloom for children of divorced parents

    By Shanti George, independent researcher, The Hague
    We live in an era when divorce is far more common than it used to be, yet we still cling nostalgically to visions of the ‘good old days’ when couples stayed together, and relatedly we continue to stigmatize children who grow up with divorced parents (‘in broken homes’).  Why is it that we hold on to negative narratives and images despite the changing trends around couples and families, and portray divorce as unremittingly grim when we discuss children of divorced parents?  The old narratives with the happy ending ‘They were married and lived happily ever after…’ seem to retain a powerful grip on the social imagination today.


    Implementation of competence-based education in a school at all levels:What is the role of the school leader and stakeholders?

    Nelly Guet, a former school head, advisor in the field of education and long-time EPA partner shares her presentation with our readers on this topic. (Original presentation was done at the ATEE Hungary conference in Veszprém, 27 June 2014)

    Why do we need competence-based education?
    Europeans should be more interested in the future of Europe if they want benefits for the youth in their own countries. Those experiencing a high rate of youth unemployment must urgently adopt different measures, otherwise violence, youth unemployment, lack of interest in school, anxiety about the future and lack of confidence will increase among youngsters.
    Knowledge is not enough if we want to engage ourselves for more democracy and more equity at school and if we want to prepare our youth for lifelong learning. 


    TALIS 2013 published - compare your school to country and international averages

    OECD has just published the new TALIS results. Unfortunately we don't have a picture of all EPA member countries as only 19 of the 28 EU countries did the survey, but we have results for some non-EU EPA countries like Norway. From a parental point of view the most important finding is what underlines our regular arguments: teachers who engage in collaborative learning and where stakeholder involvement is present, teachers feel more satisfied and valued. Unfortunately parental involvement is not part of the survey. You can compare your own country's results to that of the average if you go to the OECD website.


    Commission urges Member States to improve quality and access to early childhood education and care

    Only eight European countries - Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Malta, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and Norway - guarantee a legal right to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) soon after a child's birth, normally after the end of paid maternity or parental leave. In all other countries, the gap between the end of maternity / parental leave and legal entitlement to ECEC is more than two years (see figure 1). This is one of the main findings of a new report published by the European Commission.


    EUCIS-LLL Survey on Erasmus+

    EUCIS-LLL, the European Lifelong Learning Platform is inviting everybody who submitted an application in the first round of Erasmus+ to take part in a survey on experiences.  All Erasmus+ applicants' feedback is very important to make concrete improvements to the programme. The deadline is 26th June.

    Online consultation on the future of education

    KeyCoNet, the Key Competence Network on School Education invited EPA to become its associate partner. In the framework of our co-operation parents are invited to take part in an online consultation on 21st century school eduaction.  Thedeadline was extended and thus the online consultation is open until 4th July in several languages.

    Educating Girls - statement by important politicians as a reaction to the attack of Boko Haram

    "Access to free, primary school education is a promise to children that all world leaders have made through the U.N. Millennium Development Goals and the Education For All movement. But the right to education, particularly for girls, is still too often denied – sometimes violently as the recent abduction of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria shows. This is completely unacceptable and we condemn the terrorist actions of Boko Haram in the strongest possible terms. We call on the entire international community to stand together for the right of all children – girls and boys – to education.


    Shared Histories for a Europe without Dividing Lines

    EPA was invited as a stakeholder to contribute to this very interesting and very important project of the Council of Europe that has just finished. The outcome of the 5-year project is a ground-breaking inter-active e-book on shared European histories. It has been launched nearly on Europe Day (May 5), marking the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe’s European Cultural Convention. Apart from the fact that there is a part of the book that is provided by EPA, it is a good tool to widen our knowledge as parents, to share it with our children and also to recommend it to history teachers for classroom use.


    ICT in Schools - contribute to the survey

    The Danish company, Skoleskyen (school cloud) is conducting a EU-wide survey of parents on the use of ICT in schools. The aim of the survey is to find out how much technology is used at schools in Europe. The topic is in line with our conference in Lisbon. This is the reason why we are happy to the share information about the survey to get more parents to participate on request of our Danish member, SOF.


    15 May - the International Day of Families

    The International Day of Families, annually held on May 15, celebrates the importance of families and the work started during the International Year of Families established be the United Nations. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the International Year  and that makes this International Day very special. The theme of the Day today is "Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals - International Year of the Family + 20". A special event is held to commemorate the day in the UN Headquarters in New York.


    ALCUIN Award 2014

    EPA’s ALCUIN Award is a prize for excellence in the field of education which primarily focuses on the role of parents.
    This award is assigned to the best educational initiative judged on the following criteria:
    The project should have the quality of being new and original. The characteristics of uniqueness and singularity are difficult to appreciate/achieve in Europe. If the concept is based on existing activities the original sources need to be declared. The minimum requirement for a proper ALCUIN-candidate is the adaption to local or national needs with respect to a specific (multi)cultural situation. The project should demonstrate inventiveness, imaginativeness, a certain extent of audacity, authenticity, individuality and rarity.
     Contribution to education
    The project should be a good example in the sense of LifeLong Learning showing the influence and input of parents in the learning process of their children. EPA especially appreciates a holistic approach to education. Implementation of non-formal and informal learning and the involvement of parents as “lifelong learners” – educators, trainers, role model and learning adults …
     Involvement of parents as a characteristic
    Parents and parents’ associations should be the main actors in the project. The project should have a real interest and advantage for parents and schools
     Constructive approach to home-school relationships in education
    To see “Parents as Primary Educators” is EPA’s core paradigm. The ALCUIN award is intended to give a floor to successful support of this parental role in partnership with educational institutions. The project should be characteristic to the actors and recipients and have strong personal features.
     Its potential as a “role model” in Europe with easy dissemination and applicability
    Every impacting activity is governed by optimum adaption to specific needs. The ALCUIN trophy can only be rewarded to initiatives that exhibit good performance along a clear vision. Disseminating experiences from a winner project should encourage member associations to implement their own activities based on these examples.

    Candidates can be put forward by
    • a member of EPA
    • a Ministry of Education
    •  The European Commission

    The prize will be rewarded in the GA of EPA in November 2014.
    To present the project most effectively it is crucial that one person is present in the ceremony to introduce and explain the specific characteristics. We kindly ask to already nominate this person in the application.
    Please explain the main characteristics of the project in English in the application form and take your time to link to the five criteria listed above. Though additional information in English is appreciated we encourage to also add whatever is available in national tongue (leaflets, posters, brochures, recordings, videos etc.).
    To win the ALCUIN trophy all five criteria need to be fulfilled. The board explicitly decided to accept more than one submission from a country if they represent different independent local or regional projects.
    The jury is chaired by Michèle Retter (FAPEL Lux). Its members come from different European countries and represent various stakeholders in education.
    The jury will judge on the projects with respect to the specific environments.
    Proposals for candidates must be sent in to the EPA office by 15 September 2014.
    via e-mail:
    via snail mail:
    European Parents’ Association (EPA)
    Strozzigasse 2/Zi. 418
    A-1080 WIEN
    Please fill the downloadable application form with the basic information and explain in detail, how the project is run.

    We are curiously awaiting your application and look forward to new successful ideas.

    Families in the Crisis: Finding work-life balance in difficult economic context

    The first official event of the Year of Reconciling Work and Family Life was held on 29th April in Athens under the Greek Presidency of the European Union. The event started with an opening speech delivered by László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion who acknowledged the difficult situation families got into as a result of the crisis and austerity measures, but at the same time emphasised that families - including parents - are in the focus of policy makers in Europe. The basis of the conference was the new publication of Eurofound, Quality of life in Europe: Families in the economic crisis.

    Quality education and language competences for 21st century society: traditions, challenges and visions

    This somewhat belated blog entry is the report of the 20-21 March 2014 Council of Europe conference held at the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) in Graz. EPA was represented by Vice Secretary Arja Krauchenberg and our Ambassador, Johannes Theiner. The event was organised by Austria, holding the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers.

    Council of Europe Conference on the Picture and Professional Ethos of Teachers

    EPA was invited to represent the view of parents as stakeholders at this event held on 24-25 April 2014 on a very important topic: what the demands of the 21st century are for teachers to stand up for the challenges of this very complex world to educate the new generations towards a democratic life in a society that is diverse in many ways. EPA was represented by or Vice President, Oren Gostiaux who participated in a round table discussion entitled "What is the perfect teacher for you?"


    April Newsletter of the European Policy Network on School Leadership (EPNoSL)

    In this newsletter:

    • Latest EPNoSL reports on School Leadership for equity and learning
    • EPNoSL empirical studies
    • Ministries of Education of Slovenia, Matla, and Portugal join EPNoSL
    • Forthcoming EPNoSL PLA @ Nice, France
    • EFEE, ETUCE and VO-raad project on Professional autonomy, accountability and efficient leadership

    Read the April 2014 Newsletter


    Fapel initiative on LLL

    FAPEL and EBC*L sign a cooperation agreement to promote the achievement of a European certificate of training on business and entrepreneurship skills to improve the education of their young people, and also of parents .

    FAPEL is aware of the need for training and accreditation at European level, and they made and agreement with the entity representing this certification in Spain ( EBC * L, Certificate European Business Licence, http://www.ebcl.es ) to promote it to parents and their schools, which they consider important in itself and also as a distinguishing feature in educational provision.

    Challenges for Parents in the Digital Age - conference report

    The last EPA conference and GA so far was held in Lisbon on 4th and 5th April 2014. The speakers and participants were dealing with a hot topic, the various aspects of the digital age in connection with families, parents and schools. The few paragraphs below will try to give a very short insight to this very interesting and lively conference. You will also find the presentations of all the speakers with their contact details if you want to work on with these topics.


    Celebration in Spain

    One of our Spanish members, FEPACE is celebrating half a century of good home-school cooperation. The EPA family is wishing a happy anniversary!

    Talking about Fomento is talking about Parents. And talking about Parents is talking about Fomento.
    It was 1963 when a group of parents from all over Spain joined in different cities for the purpose of creating a type of institution where school and family were linked in a solid union in order to achieve an academic and human excellence. Where the professors help families raise their children in the same direction as they were being taught in their houses. 



    Press release by the European Parents’ Association (EPA)
    for the Launch of the COFACE publication
    ’Helping you to make your choice 2014 European Parliament Election’

    Martin Schultz, the President of the European Parliament – answering our question at a recent event - highlighted the fact that a parent’s strongest drive is to act for her/his child. Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council is urging a ‘confidence pact’ in his introduction to the publication containing the policy items of the four biggest political groups of the present European Parliament. The Board of EPA wishes to take this opportunity to emphasise that this is an instance for all parents in the EU to act for their children, namely learn about the opinion of different political groups and go to vote at the European Parliament Elections this May on the party that represents the interest of you, your family and especially your children best. The only way to be part of this confidence pact is to vote and to do it responsibly. EPA - as usual - has been undertaking the role to link parents to the different political groups and represent the diverse interests of European parents.