ET 2020 Working Groups

Working Groups are designed to help Member States address the key challenges of their education and training systems, as well as common priorities agreed at 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 which supports common policy objectives.

The groups support policy making at EU and national level and offer a forum for exchange of experience and good practice on ways to address key challenges of education and training systems.

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

The seven Working Groups were created in July 2018 and their current mandate runs until June 2020. More details on each of the groups below.

They work on 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 reports of meetings, please consult the European Commission’s Register of Expert Groups.

For more information, please register on the Yammer platform.

The 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 highly 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. This part of the work focuses on promoting broad participation in early childhood education and care, which aims at narrowing skill gaps between children of different backgrounds (including also children with special needs), improve social cohesion and support 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.

The Working Group discusses the governance of school education systems in order to develop high quality and inclusive education across a European Education Area. Its main priority 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: co-developing policy guidelines for promoting attractive and fulfilling career paths and structures, in particular on how to evaluate staff, their competences and professional development and their capacity for leadership.

For key policy messages of the previous Working Group Schools (2016-18), see the final 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.

The 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, robotisation, artificial intelligence).” Ultimately, the goal is to further enhance employability and personal development of young learners and people of working age in VET, hence contributing to the competitiveness of companies, sustainable growth and social cohesion.

Its main priority areas are:

  • New pedagogical and andragogical approaches for teachers and trainers;
  • Strengthening key competences by adapting curricula/training programmes and regulations responsive to rapidly changing labour markets;
  • New learning environments and organisational developments in training institutions and companies;
  • Use of modern learning technologies in VET and higher VET;
  • Pro-active and flexible VET systems supporting smart specialisation strategy and industrial clusters;
  • Quality and excellence in VET;
  • Governance and financing in terms of cost-sharing and investing in infrastructure; and
  • Support of VET learning mobility, careers without borders and VET internationalisation.

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

This Working Group discusses how to maximise the potential to provide quality higher education, preparing graduates for changing labour markets and changing societies. It also aims at increasing Europe's innovation capacity 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:

  • Skills;
  • Inclusive and connected HE systems;
  • Innovation;
  • Effective and efficient HE systems; and
  • Cross-cutting initiatives such as European Universities and the European Student Card.

The Working Group discusses policy options for modern adult learning systems that support all individuals in their continuing upskilling and reskilling necessary to manage multiple career transitions and constant evolution of society.

Its main priority areas are:

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

For more information, please visit EPALE.

The Working Group discusses policy solutions on key issues falling under the scope of the Paris Declaration of 2015 and the promotion of 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:

  • Promote common values and intercultural competences, including citizenship education and digital citizenship;
  • Promote inclusive education for all learners;
  • Promote a European dimension of education and training;
  • Support education staff in dealing with diversity and create an open climate in learning settings.

For more information, please register on the Yammer platform.

The Working Group discusses the purposeful and innovative use of digital technologies in education and training and the development of digital competences. It looks at how education systems can best respond to changes in society and the labour market driven by digital transformation, and promotes good practices as well as the co-development of relevant 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 key themes upon which the working group focuses its work are the following:

1. Monitoring and measuring impact

2. Teacher education, practice and student learning

3. Assessment and recognition

4. Paradigm and sustainable change

5. Digital education supporting lifelong learning

6. Partnerships (private, third sector) and collaboration