European Education Area and Digital Education Action Plan: what do these mean for schools?

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On 30 September 2020, the European Commission published two new communications, each aimed at boosting support for educators and learners within and across countries. We take a brief look at what these mean for schools.

European Education Area

With its vision of the European Education Area to be achieved by 2025, the Commission proposes new initiatives, more investment and stronger cooperation of Member States to help all Europeans, of all ages, benefit from the EU’s rich education and training offer. Quality, inclusion and “green” are key words. 

Particularly important for schools will be the proposed focus on: 

  • Tackling disadvantage and promoting well-being in school education; 
  • Supporting mobility and the opportunity for teachers and pupils to learn and flourish outside of their current context; 
  • Teacher and school leader careers. 

Funding from Europe’s Recovery Plan (NextGenerationEU) and the Erasmus+ Programme will be important in making this a reality. 

Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027

The Digital Education Action Plan outlines the European Commission’s vision for high-quality, inclusive and accessible digital education in Europe. It is a call to action for stronger cooperation at European level to: 

  • Learn from the COVID-19 crisis, during which technology is being used on a scale never seen before in education and training;
  • Help make education and training systems fit for the digital age.

It outlines specific action that will help with: 

  • Resources, e.g. Internet connection, digital equipment and software, and online learning material; 
  • Teacher digital competence, both in creating meaningful learning experiences for pupils and in accessing online professional development opportunities;
  • Blended learning and the role digital tools can play in supporting not only teaching and learning, but also communication between schools and families, with other schools, and between school authorities.