Tag Archives: Teacher training

Improving the quality of teacher education

Improving the quality of teacher education

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Improving the quality of teacher education


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

Improving the quality of teacher education

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 3 August 2007 ‘Improving the Quality of Teacher Education’ [COM(2007) 392 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The quality of teaching is a key factor in the achievement of the Lisbon objectives for social cohesion, growth and economic competitiveness.

The teaching workforce must be capable of providing high quality teaching in order to enable EU citizens to acquire the knowledge and skills which they will need in their personal and professional lives.

Necessary skills

Existing investment in the continuing training and development of the teaching workforce is not sufficient. There is no Member State in which the minimum duration of training exceeds five days per year. Although participation in continuing training is compulsory for teachers in 11 Member States, teachers’ rate of participation in such training is too low to achieve a continuous level of development among teachers.

The teacher training systems currently in place in the Member States do not promote the acquisition of the new teaching skills which have been made necessary by the changes in education and in society in general.

Although teachers are required to impart basic knowledge, they are also called upon to ensure, among other things, that:

  • each learner’s specific needs are taken into account;
  • pupils become autonomous lifelong learners;
  • all young people acquire key skills;
  • teaching is adapted to a multicultural environment;
  • new technologies are used.

Joint action framework

The teaching profession has characteristics in common across the EU. It is therefore possible to arrive at a shared vision of the kinds of skills which teachers require, and to do so on the basis of certain principles.

The Commission is therefore proposing to the Member States a package of guidelines with a view to developing measures which seek to:

  • ensure that the arrangements in place for initial and continuing teacher training are well coordinated within a coherent system which receives sufficient resources;
  • ensure that teachers have the full range of subject knowledge, attitudes and pedagogic skills to be able to help young people to reach their full potential;
  • promote the status and recognition of the teaching profession;
  • create teacher training programmes at Master’s and doctorate level (and at Bachelor’s level);
  • encourage the practice of reflection and research by those in the profession;
  • investigate whether the level of qualifications and degree of practical experience required by a teaching post should be increased.

The Commission plans to take the following steps in order to support the Member States in their efforts to reform their teacher training systems:

  • ensure that its action programmes support the Member States in their efforts to improve the organisation and content of the teacher training system;
  • develop indicators in this field;
  • help to create and disseminate new knowledge in the teaching sector and in teacher education.

The Commission plans to measure the improvement in the quality of teacher education as part of the work programme ‘Education and Training 2010’.


The programme ‘Lifelong Learning (2007-2013)’ promotes teacher mobility (Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes) and helps to establish cooperation projects between teacher training establishments.


Education and training in the context of poverty reduction

Education and training in the context of poverty reduction

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Education and training in the context of poverty reduction


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Education training youth: cooperation with non-EU countries

Education and training in the context of poverty reduction

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 6 March 2002 to the Council and the European Parliament on education and training in the context of poverty reduction in developing countries [COM(2002) 116 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Education and training play an essential role in reducing poverty and in development.


The Commission sets out three priorities for the Community, namely:

  • basic education, in particular primary education, and teacher training;
  • work-related training;
  • higher education, in particular at regional level.

In spite of the vital role of basic education, it is also important to ensure balanced development of education, in other words improved education systems at all levels.

Priority 1: basic education

As regards the development of basic education, nine main actions are set out:

  • increasing substantially the total resources channelled into education, in particular primary education;
  • improving the efficiency of education systems by drawing up strategies that take account of the specific situation of each country;
  • improving school access opportunities and moving towards free and compulsory access to primary education;
  • gearing budgets towards the most urgent needs for poor and vulnerable population groups which have only limited access to schools.
    These groups include women, people living in rural areas, indigenous peoples, children and disabled adults, etc;
  • reducing existing gender-based inequalities in relation to access to education by promoting the participation of women;
  • placing emphasis as much on the quality as the quantity of education.
    In this context, teacher training and the availability of teaching materials are priorities;
  • paying greater attention to the impact of AIDS on education systems and improving the prevention of the disease through education;
  • protecting and restoring education in conflict and post-conflict periods;
  • increasing knowledge of education programmes relevant to development.

First of all better statistics on education are needed so that a relevant strategy can be drawn up.

Priority 2: workrelated training

Priority should be given to work-related training, in other words consideration should be given to education demand. To this end, four priority actions are identified:

  • establishing an education system which provides an opportunity to learn more technical skills through vocational training. Specialist centres and apprenticeships are some examples of services that could be created for this purpose;
  • supporting educational strategies, systems and processes that promote the demand for education and the acquisition of qualifications needed to pave the way for the country’s economic growth;
  • introducing innovative approaches that go beyond the formal education sector, focusing on women in particular. These could include promoting self-employment and access to other forms of capital (land, loans, for example);
  • introducing active policies to ensure a closer link between training and employment.

These policies could integrate job-seeking aid and direct assistance for job creation.

Priority 3: higher education

Support for higher education is particularly necessary in order to ensure successful teacher training and general institutional development. In this respect, four specific actions are identified:

  • developing information and communication technologies (Internet, telephone, etc.);
  • encouraging cooperation between European and third-country institutions, especially at regional level;
  • ensuring greater vigilance in regard to the impact on these countries of a brain drain to developed countries;
  • enhancing the institutional capacities of developing countries.


Implementation of the above actions requires substantial investment on the part of the developing countries and the European Union. European Community funding in the field of education and training will come via two main instruments: macroeconomic and budgetary support and the implementation of a sectoral approach. It is important to ensure effective cooperation and coordination among all donors. The Commission also considers that ownership of the activities and strategies in this field by the people of the developing country, and in particular the poorest and most vulnerable groups, is vital.

The Commission sets out strategic options for the implementation of the actions, in particular:

  • political and strategic dialogue with the countries and integration of the policies in this field into the development strategies drawn up for each country and the poverty reduction strategies;
  • a sectoral approach to provide a framework for the activities in this field;
  • macroeconomic and budgetary support;
  • consideration of the needs of the poor and their participation;
  • participation by education actors and civil society in the broad sense, including the private sector;
  • support for institutional development and capacity-building;
  • monitoring of activities via indicators.

In the Annexe, the Commission sets out a common framework for cooperation on higher education, a code of conduct for funding agencies and some monitoring indicators.


This is borne out by a series of initiatives undertaken at international level. The Dakar Forum (‘ Education for All ‘) in April 2000 reaffirmed and broadened the international community’s commitment in this field and the Millennium development objectives highlighted the importance of education, particularly education for girls and basic education.

As far as the European Union is concerned, the November 2000 statement on development policy identified the promotion of access to social services such as education as a priority field.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 7 October 2005 to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee – Speeding up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals – The European Union’s contribution [COM(2005) 132 final/2 – Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Staff working document – EU Report on Millennium Development Goals 2000-2004 – EU contribution to the review of the MDGs at the UN 2005 High Level Event [SEC(2005) 456 – Not published in the Official Journal]

Council Resolution 8958/02 of 30 May 2002 on education and poverty

Declaration from the Council and the Commission of 20 November 2000 concerning the development policy of the European Community, on the basis of the Commission’s Communication of 26 April 2000 to the Council and the European Parliament on the same subject.