About school policy

The European Commission works with EU countries to develop their school education systems. While each country is responsible for the organisation and content of its education and training systems, there are advantages in working together on issues of shared concern.

What is it about?

The European Commission works with EU countries to develop their school education systems. While each country is responsible for the organisation and content of its education and training systems, there are advantages in working together on issues of shared concern. The European Commission supports national efforts in two main ways:

  • The Commission works closely with national policymakers to help them develop their school education policies and systems. It gathers and shares information and analysis and encourages the exchange of good policy practices through the ET2020 Working Groups. In 2016-2018, the Working Group on Schools has a broad mandate to work on the governance of school education systems in order to promote higher quality through sustainable innovation and inclusion
  • Through the Erasmus+ programme, the Commission contributes millions of euros each year in European cooperation projects that promote school exchanges

Priority areas

Education ministers from EU countries have identified the following priority areas:

The European Commission also produces regular studies on the situation across Europe in order to monitor progress.

The Communication on School development and excellent teaching for a great start in life of 30 May 2017 provides evidence and proposes actions to improve the quality and inclusiveness of schools; support excellent teachers and school leaders; and improve school governance. See also the accompanying Staff Working Document.

The Communication on Strengthening the European Identity through Education and Culture of 14 November 2017 sets out the vision of a European Education Area. It identifies mobility, recognition of diplomas and study periods abroad, languages, early childhood education and care, the teaching profession, innovation and digital technologies as key areas for EU cooperation in school education.