The European Commission has launched a public consultation which will run until 19 May 2017. This is part of a process within the Skills Agenda, aiming at boosting human capital in Europe and updating EU - and subsequently hopefully also national - policies to make one more attempt to modernise education in Europe so that it supports what is necessary for learners' success. The review and update of the 2006 Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning is part of this process and the public consultation is the opportunity for your voice to be heard on European level. EPA has been active in the process and will submit its own contribution, but all readers of our blog, especially our national members are encouraged to do so, too.
The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) supports EU countries' actions to provide material assistance to the most deprived. EPA was invited to find ways to cooperate and our representative, Herminio Correa is working on finding ways to offer additional support by national parents associations in the form of empowerment to complement material contributions offered by FEAD. Read this short report and feel free to contact us if you want to join support action.
FEAD support includes food, clothing and other essential items for personal use, e.g. shoes, soap and shampoo. Material assistance needs to go hand in hand with social inclusion measures, such as guidance and support to help people out of poverty.
National authorities may also support non-material assistance to the most deprived people, to help them integrate better into society.
In real terms, over €3.8 billion are earmarked for the FEAD for the 2014-2020 periods. In addition, EU countries are to contribute at least 15% in national co-financing to their national programme.
FEAD support will help people take their first steps out of poverty and social exclusion. and will also help the most deprived people by addressing their most basic needs, which is a precondition for them to be able to get a job or follow a training course such as those supported by the ESF.
To date, five sessions have been held, four of which were for the presentation of good practices on the ground. EPA has accompanied all these sessions and will in due course present to all its members a proposal for a intervention and collaboration project with the NGOs of the European countries.
New scientific tool to analyse the inclusiveness of education systems embraces EPA advocacy messages
Professor Paul Downes and his team has just published a scientific paper setting up an exhaustive set of structural indicators to measure the inclusiveness of systems in and around schools on different vertical levels and local. Inclusion is key to making Europe more successful in educating lifelong learners who are equipped for future challenges and can also cope with the present. Professor Downes, one of the speakers of our conference in Dubrovnik in April 2016, shares our thoughts about the importance of fully engaging both parents and students of all ages as the only means to achieve this successfully. We were consulted as experts during the development of the indicators, and we are proud to see that our comments were not only taken into account, but the paper refers to and openly embraces EPA advocacy messages, becoming the first official European Commission document referencing our Manifesto 2015. The publication offers assessment tools for use on national policy and also on institutional (school) level. It is free to be downloaded from here.