ET 2020 Working Groups

Working Groups are designed to help EU Member States address the key challenges facing their education and training systems, as well as common priorities agreed at the European level.

What are Working Groups?

The Working Groups are set up as part of the EU’s policy cooperation process in education and training supporting common policy objectives. 

The groups support policymaking at the EU and national levels, and offer a forum for the exchange of experiences and best practices on ways to address the key challenges facing education and training systems. 

Members of the Working Groups are government officials appointed by EU Member States and other participating countries. A number of representatives from stakeholder organisations and social partners are also appointed to the groups. 

The seven Working Groups were created in July 2018 and will continue their work until their current mandate expires in June 2020. 

The groups are organised around the following themes: Early Childhood Education and Care; Schools; Vocational Education and Training; Higher Education; Adult Learning; Common Values and Inclusive Education; and Digital Education: Learning, Teaching and Assessment. 

For meeting reports, please consult the European Commission’s Register of Expert Groups. For further information about the Working Groups, please register on the Yammer platform.

This Working Group discusses how to develop high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems across Europe. It builds on the results achieved by the previous Working Group (2012-2014), which developed the European Quality Framework for this sector. Its main priority areas are:

  • Professionalisation of staff as a key element of creating an attractive, sustainable and  competent profession. This part of the work focuses on both initial and continuous professional development, career pathways and opportunities, diversity of staff (e.g. tackling the gender gap, ensuring diversity of ethnic background), as well as working conditions.
  • Social inclusion which focuses on promoting broad participation in early childhood education and care, which aims at narrowing skill gaps between children of different backgrounds (including  children with special needs), improving social cohesion and supporting early language learning of children from newly arrived migrant or minority groups.

The Working Group will also reflect on how to measure quality at different levels of ECEC systems.

For more on the Commission's work in this area, please consult the early childhood education and care page.

This Working Group discusses the governance of school education systems to develop high-quality and inclusive education across a European Education Area. Its current focus areas are: 

  • Quality assurance: how the school education system can support the broad-competence development of young people and promote a whole-school approach, based on the engagement of all people involved in school life;
  • Teacher and school leader careers: how to develop and support attractive and sustainable careers– in particular on staff evaluation, required competences, professional development and capacity for leadership.

For key policy messages of the previous Working Group Schools (2016-18), see the Commission report European ideas for better learning: The governance of school education systems

For more on the Commission's work in school education policy, please consult the school policy pages.

For the latest European news, publications, videos, Erasmus+ schools opportunities, and teacher academy professional development courses, please visit the School Education Gateway.

This working group discusses the role and potential of innovation, with a focus on digitalisation to create more flexible, sustainable and high-quality vocational education and training (VET) systems. This involves examining innovation and digitalisation within VET and its link to other pathways, but also reflects the impact of broader trends of innovation and digitalisation in the economies and labour markets on VET (e.g. industry 4.0, automisation, artificial intelligence). 

Ultimately, the goal is to enhance the employability and personal development of young learners and people of working age in VET, to contribute to the competitiveness of companies, as well as sustainable growth and social cohesion. 

Its main priority areas are: 

  • Establishing innovative teaching styles for teachers and trainers
  • Strengthening key competences by adapting curricula and/or training programmes and regulations that are responsive to rapidly changing labour markets
  • Creating new learning environments and organisational developments in training institutions and companies
  • Ensuring the use of modern learning technologies in VET and higher VET
  • Fostering pro-active and flexible VET systems supporting smart specialisation  strategies and cooperation through industry clusters
  • Promoting quality and excellence in VET
  • Reinforcing governance and financing via cost-sharing and investing in infrastructure
  • Supporting VET learning mobility, careers without borders and VET internationalisation

For more information, please register on the Yammer platform and follow #ET2020VET on Twitter.

This Working Group discusses how to maximise the provision of quality higher education, preparing graduates for changing labour markets and changing societies. It also aims to increase Europe's capacity for innovation and contribution to sustainable growth and inclusive societies. 

The Working Group follows up on the priorities identified in the renewed EU agenda for higher education and in the Communication on Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture.
Its main priority areas are: 

This Working Group discusses policy options for developing modern adult learning systems that support the continuous upskilling and reskilling of individuals necessary to thrive on today’s labour market and in society. Its main priority areas are: 

  • empowering individuals to undertake up- and/or re-skilling 
  • supporting the development of a culture of continuous learning in the workplace (both private and public)

For more information, please visit the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE).

This Working Group discusses policy solutions on key issues falling under the scope of the Paris Declaration  on Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education of 2015 The group also promotes common values, notably in light of the Council Recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching

Its main priority areas are:

  • Promoting common values and intercultural competences, including citizenship education and digital citizenship
  • Supporting inclusive education for all learners
  • Fostering a European dimension of education and training
  • Supporting education staff in encouraging diversity and creating an open learning environment

For more information, please register on the Yammer platform.

This Working Group discusses the purposeful and innovative use of digital technologies in education and training, and the development of digital competences. It examines how education systems can best respond to changes in society and a labour market driven by digital transformation, promotes good practices and the co-development of policy solutions. 

In line with the Digital Education Action Plan, its main priority areas are:

  • Making better use of digital technology for teaching, learning and assessment
  • Developing relevant digital competences and skills
  • Improving education through better data analysis and foresight

The working group focuses its work on the following key themes:

  • Monitoring and measuring impact
  • Teacher education, practice and student learning
  • Assessment and recognition
  • Paradigm and sustainable change
  • Digital education supporting lifelong learning
  • Partnerships (private, third sector) and collaboration