New Eurydice Report: Citizenship Education at School in Europe – 2017

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There has been a strong focus in recent years on the promotion of citizenship education, as a result of the increasing threats to fundamental values such as peace, equality and human rights Europe is faced with, and several countries are making changes to their policies in this area. But what is citizenship education? How is it taught? How are students evaluated? Can citizenship skills be developed outside the classroom? What training and support do teachers receive?

Eurydice’s new Citizenship Education at School in Europe – 2017 report tackles these questions and more, providing an overview of the existing regulations and recommendations regarding citizenship education in public sector schools. It outlines the state of play on four main topics, each of which is complemented by a case study:


  • Curriculum Organisation and Content
  • Teaching, Learning and Active Participation
  • Student Assessment and School Evaluation
  • Teacher Education, Professional Development and Support


The full report can be found here.

New Eurydice Reports on European Education Systems and Compulsory Education

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New Eurydice Reports

Below are short summaries and links to two new reports made by Eurydice. Eurydice is a network whose task is to explain how education systems are organised in Europe and how they work, and is co-funded under the Erasmus+ programme.

The Structure of the European Education Systems 2016/17

This report examines the structure of mainstream education in European countries from pre-primary to tertiary levels for the 2016-2017 school and academic year. Forty-three education systems are included covering 38 countries participating in the EU’s Erasmus+ programme (28 Member States, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey). In the first part of the report, the main organisational models of pre-primary and compulsory education is investigated. The latter part provides a guide on how to read the diagrams in the report. The third and final section provides the national schematic diagrams.

The Structure of the European Education Systems 2016/17: Schematic Diagrams

Compulsory Education in Europe 2016/17

 The publication focuses on the duration of compulsory education and/or training in Europe. Furthermore, it highlights the starting and leaving ages as well as distinguishes the notions of full-time and part-time compulsory education and/or training. The information in this publication is available for 43 European education systems that cover 38 countries participating in the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.

Compulsory Education in Europe – 2016/17


Effective learning throughout Europe?

EuroClio Partners
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Eurydice, a network whose task is to explain how education systems are organised in Europe and how they work, has published a report with facts and figures on Instruction time in European class rooms: “Recommended Annual Instruction Time in Full-time Compulsory Education”. The Eurydice network has been collecting data on instruction time for more than two decades and annually updated data on instruction time has been available on the Eurydice website since 2010.

The intended instruction time includes the time a public school is expected to provide instruction to students on all the subjects integrated in the compulsory and non-compulsory curriculum in the school premises or in out-of school activities which are formal parts of the compulsory programmes. This publication focuses on general education programmes in public sector schools. The number of years of full-time general compulsory education varies across European countries:
rising from eight years in Croatia and Serbia to twelve years in Belgium, Portugal, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey and the average number of hours recommended for reading, writing and literature for the whole of primary education is 958 hours, ranging from 525 hours in Croatia to 1 584 in France. In chapter 8 Eurydice explains the trend in the last five years is for instruction time in the core subject areas to increase.

The publication gives detailed numbers and figures for many European countries. It is interesting to see the differences. For example in the Netherlands the total compulsory instruction time for pre-primary and primary education (8 years) is 7 520 hours. It is to the discretion of the school how to distribute these hours over the years. In Iceland English and Danish languages are compulsory in grades 1-10 but schools are free to decide how to allocate the recommended minimum instruction time between English and Danish. In addition, in Switzerland, with the exception of a minimum number of lessons for physical education, there is no standard curriculum and no standard instruction time defined on national level.

For more facts and figures you can download the full publication below.

One year since Paris Declaration…what has changed?

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One year ago the EU Education Ministers and Commissioner Navracsics adopted the Paris Declaration on ‘Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education‘. This declaration showed Europe’s determination to stand shoulder to shoulder in support and safeguard of the fundamental values that lie at the heart of the EU: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. The Ministers and the Commissioner called ‘for renewed efforts to reinforce the teaching and acceptance of these common fundamental values and laying the foundations for more inclusive societies through education – starting from an early age.’ They agreed upon a number of actions at the national, regional and local level and on the European level. Click here to read the declaration again.

Now the question arises: how have European countries addressed the Paris Declaration objectives in their education policies?

The Eurydice leaflet offers a short overview of recent education policy developments in European countries since the adoption of the Paris Declaration. In the leaflet the positions in multiple countries, like Spain, Bulgaria and Finland, are described. The good news is that at least two-thirds of European countries have developed their education policies. How they have done this differed per country.

Helsingor Declaration

EuroClio very much welcomed the renewed emphasis on citizenship and values, which are fundamental in constructing education for key competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes), in particular social and civic competences.

On 20-25 April 2015, the Association brought together 157 history, heritage and citizenship educators, many of which being representatives of larger associations and civil society organisations, as well as experts and representatives of inter-governmental organisations from over 40 countries to draft a common response to the EU Education Ministers‟ declaration.

The occasion was the 22nd Annual Professional Development and Training Conference “Roads to Democracy: Can History Teaching Pave the Way?” in Helsingor, Denmark, which EuroClio organised together with the Danish History Teachers‟ Association.

The declaration was drafted following two preparatory conference days, including key-note lectures on responsible history education and the role of history education in advancing open and democratic societies in Europe today and practitioners‟ workshops on best practices in history and citizenship education. A full-morning world cafe session in which all participants were able to constructively analyse and discuss the ministerial statements resulted in the following identification of needs, proposal for actions and suggested ways forward.

More information about the Helsingor Declaration is available here.

Eurydice Report: Teachers’ and School Heads’ Salaries and Allowances in Europe – 2014/15

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Following several years of stagnation due to the economic crisis – or even significant decreases in some countries – teachers’ salaries and allowances have started to increase again in the majority of European countries. This is one of the main findings of the latest annual Eurydice publication on teachers’ and school heads’ salaries and allowances. You can find the Eurydice report here.

The report covers all the EU Member States as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.