Why is it needed?
Schools across Europe are seeing a rise in the number of children born and raised in a different country. This can place strain on language teaching capacity and many immigrant children lag behind in academic achievement. In fact, students born outside the EU are twice as likely to leave school early. At the same time, increased diversity is an opportunity to make schools more inclusive, creative and open-minded.
What has been done so far?
In November 2015, the Commission launched a survey to having a better picture of what was happening in the field and encourage the sharing of good practices. 256 participants from around 15 countries answered the survey. The results of the survey were published in a list of existing initiatives.
EU Member States have the opportunity to call for a peer learning activity (PLA) on challenging issues. With support and funding through the European Commission, a working meeting is organised with a group of representatives of ministries and Government organisations from selected countries with a special need to discuss how to successfully integrate migrant children through education. Peer learning can help Member States put in place efficient structures for receiving and including newly arrived children, based on an exchange of good practices and with the help of available research. One such peer learning activity took place in Sweden in April 2016 (DE FR SV) and a second one in Saxony, Germany in June 2016.
The following on-line platforms can provide support for teachers and school leaders who work with large numbers of newly arrived migrant pupils:
- eTwinning is a platform where school staff (teachers, head teachers, librarians…) meets to communicate, collaborate and develop projects and virtual exchanges together with their students. With a strong focus on intercultural learning and active citizenship, the eTwinning community can inspire teachers working with migrants.
- School Education Gateway (SEG) - Presented in 23 European languages the School Education Gateway is an online platform for teachers, schools, policy makers and other stakeholders. It presents European education policy developments together with news, expert articles, examples of good practices and additional resources for teachers and school leaders. Resources and articles relevant to the teaching and learning of students with a migrant background are available by searching on the SEG homepage.
The Commission also monitors the achievement gap between local and migrant children in the EU school systems: Progress towards common EU education & training objective – migrants (see chapter 3).
Study on educational support for newly arrived migrant children
The Commission has financed school projects for migrants under the lifelong learning programme, for instance, EDINA - Education of International Newly Arrived migrant pupils (NAMS).