Education and Training Monitor: how to use one of the biggest annual reports in European education

The Education and Training Monitor is the European Commission’s annual flagship analysis of the state of play in education in the European Union. The Monitor reports on the EU-level targets that are part of the EU’s long-term strategic framework in education. In addition, the Monitor focuses on a “lead theme”. This tutorial will take you through the Monitor’s main features and show you how to apply them in your work.

The Monitor as a concept

The Monitor aims to foster dialogue with and between Member States and other stakeholders in education, and to highlight policy measures that have delivered results on the ground, as a way of driving educational reform. It uses data from sources such as EU surveys, the joint UNESCO-OECD-Eurostat database (UOE), the OECD PISA study, the IEA ICILS test, and the Eurydice network.

The Monitor includes a cross-national and thematic analysis as well as 27 in-depth country reports.

The previous “2020 benchmarks” have been superseded by the “EU-level targets 2021-2030”, although there is substantial overlap between the two. The new benchmarks concern the following topics:

  1. Low-achieving 15-year-olds in basic skills
  2. Low-achieving eight-graders in basic skills
  3. Early childhood education and care
  4. Early leavers from education and training
  5. Tertiary educational attainment
  6. Exposure of Vocational Education and Training (VET) graduates to work-based learning
  7. Participation of adults in learning

The Monitor as a tool

The Monitor offers a wealth of data that you can use in your Erasmus+ or eTwinning project, your classroom-based action research, or your school’s development plan, to name a few examples. Here are some short explanations of its features and some ideas for how to use them.

Country reports: These 27 individual country reports assess policy measures in EU Member States using the latest data. The reports are useful for isolating a problem area in your country. You might use this information to design an Erasmus+ or an eTwinning project on that topic; make a local or regional strategic plan; or self-assess your school’s own approach. They are available in English and the country’s official language(s).

Overview on EU-level targets: The overview on EU-level targets puts the targets (e.g. “The share of low-achieving 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science should be less than 15%, by 2030”) next to the Member States’ actual performances. The countries that have met the benchmark are helpfully highlighted in green, and the best EU performers are listed separately. This leaflet is ideal for comparisons between countries. It could help you find project partners facing a similar issue as you, or partners successful in an area in which your own country is facing challenges. It could also indicate some topics worth exploring in the context of action research.

EU Infographics and table of figures: The infographics used in the Monitor can be used to substantiate your project or your action research, or liven up your lesson or presentation. The same applies for the table of figures.

Factsheet: The factsheet writes up the consensus of the Monitor in two short pages.

EU analysis: The EU analysis gives a full overview of the report, examining European education from a cross-national and thematic point of view. To simply see the big picture, you can view the executive summary.

If you would like to view the data in even more detail, the Eurostat database will help you browse and retrieve data for any specific purpose, and enable you to compare it across countries or years.

We’ve given you a taste of what the Monitor can do, but of course you should explore it for yourself, and discover how it caters to your own needs!