What is it about?
The knowledge, skills and attitudes of Europe's teachers and school leaders are of great importance. Their quality and professionalism have a direct effect on how well learners do at school.
The demands made of teachers, school leaders and teacher educators are high. They are called on to play a key role in achieving high quality education for all learners. To do that, they need to develop their own competences. Initial education and continuous professional development of the highest quality, and access to support throughout their careers are essential.
A decline in the prestige of the profession and staff shortages hamper the quality of school education in many EU countries. Most countries therefore seek to motivate and support staff to excel in these demanding professions, and at the same time attract a wider range of suitable candidates to careers at school.
The European Commission works with EU countries to raise the standards of teaching and to improve support for the teaching professions. It does so by facilitating the exchange of information and experience between policy-makers. A working group of European experts from Member State governments and stakeholder organisations meets regularly to examine specific aspects of policies linked to teachers and school leaders, to discuss shared challenges and exchange good practice.
What has been done so far?
The EU working groups have produced guidance for policy-makers on a range of topics linked to the teaching professions. These publications combine broad, universal principles for policy development with a wide range of concrete examples from across Europe.