Expert groups are consultative bodies that advise the Commission on the preparation of legislative proposals and policy initiatives, the implementation of legislation, programmes and existing Union policies, and the preparation of delegated acts. The Commission and its services remain fully independent with regard to taking into account the views expressed by expert groups. Over the years, there have been a number of expert groups working in the areas covered by the Directorate General for Education, Audiovisual, and Culture (DG EAC). These groups, like all other groups created by other Directorates General of the Commission, are published in the Register of Commission expert groups and other similar entities.
The Register provides useful details about each group, including the Commission service to which it reports and the mission, duties and composition of the group.
The rules applicable to Commission expert groups are set out in the guidelines adopted by the College of Commissioners.
Primary and Secondary Education
Early school leaving (ESL)
This group addressed the challenges of developing and implementing comprehensive policies to reduce early school leaving. It looked at conditions for successful policies, focusing in particular on data collection and monitoring, governance issues and cross-sectoral cooperation, and priorities for preventative, intervention and compensation measures.
The group brought together representatives of nearly all EU Member States, plus Norway, Iceland and Turkey, and of European stakeholder organisations (teachers, parents and students).
Its final report sets 12 key messages for policy makers and translates them into practical tools through a checklist on comprehensive policies and an annex with practice examples from several EU countries illustrating the key messages.
Early Childhood Education and Care (2012-2014)
This Working Group on Early Childhood Education Care (ECEC) reflects 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 is developing European reference tools to monitor and evaluate the quality of early childhood education and care systems.
The group identifies and analyses success criteria of effective policies to develop guidance for national policy makers. It focuses on five main aspects of quality in early childhood education and care: access, workforce, curriculum, evaluation/monitoring, governance/funding.
The group brings together representatives from 25 EU Member States plus Turkey and Norway, the Eurydice Network, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and the OECD. Its final report is expected for the second half of 2014.
Mathematics, Science and Technology
This group worked on guidance on effective policies to raise pupils’ attainment levels in mathematics and science with a particular emphasis on low-achievers.
The group focused, among others, on learning support for low achievers, teacher education, school leadership, the role of assessment in identifying and supporting low achievers, curriculum development and the impact of inquiry-based science education on low achievers.
The group included members from 25 European countries and representatives from the Eurydice Network, the OECD and the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE).
Teacher Professional Development
This group examined specific aspects of teacher education, in particular the development of teacher competences, teachers’ continuous professional development, and policy on teacher educators. The group built on and complemented the work of previous expert groups on the teachers and trainers.
The group included representatives from 22 EU countries, Turkey, Iceland and Norway as well as from the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE), the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE).
Guidance for policymakers:
Peer Learning Activity Reports:
Modernisation of Higher Education
The key focus is on peer learning among Member States to explore ways to support the modernisation of higher education through the identification and dissemination of good practices in curricular, governance, and funding reforms.
The main objectives are to:
- increase attainment levels;
- improve the quality and relevance of higher education;
- strengthen quality through mobility and cross-border co-operation;
- link higher education, research and business for excellence and regional development;
- improve governance and funding.
More information on the Thematic Group for the Modernisation of Higher Education(26 kB)
Report of the High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education(10.05 Mb)
Quality in Adult Learning
The group was tasked with developing a quality framework which will inform and guide both Member States and individual providers on the provision of high quality adult learning.
It aimed to explore synergies and strengthen the policy links/interface between EU policy development on quality in VET, higher education, and adult learning.
Financing Adult Learning
The Thematic Working Group on Financing Adult Learning explored existing good practices and produced policy recommendations aimed at assisting Member States in improving the efficiency and coherence of financing adult learning.
The group will identify financial mechanisms and tools that balance the responsibility of private-public funding.
Vocational education and training (VET)
Vocational education and training (VET) Trainers
The main focus of this working group has been on VET trainers at the workplace in both initial and continuing VET.
Through peer learning among policy-makers and experts in the field, the working group shared knowledge and helped develop policy guidance as regards vocational trainers’ competences and continuing professional development.
The final report of the group will be available in Spring 2014.