SIRIUS Newsletter for November 2016
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Dear Reader,

Sirius has arrived to a crucial point of its life: on the 2nd of December old and new partners will gather to sign the constitutive act of SIRIUS – Policy Network on Migrant Education as a Belgian not for profit association. Everyone is very excited that the adventure started in 2012 with a European project is today becoming a solid and committed organisation.
All partners and organisations involved are very glad and proud of this important step and we look forward to tell you about future projects.

This Newsletter is full of useful information of what's happening at European level but also contains links to reports, videos and material you can surely use in your daily work. We wish this will be useful and that you will want to share with us your work. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any valuable report, research, study that you want to share.

Best Regards,
Flavia Buiarelli
SIRIUS Coordinator


The Education and Training Monitor

The Education and Training Monitor is an annual publication of the European Commission that captures the evolution of education and training in the EU.
This year’s Education and Training Monitor explores societal challenges in more depth and addresses migration, demography and the key competences that education should help develop. The Monitor analyses progress in raising educational outcomes — by reducing early school leaving and underachievement and increasing tertiary educational attainment — at EU level and in individual Member States. Finally, via the cross-national comparison of education systems and in the country analysis, the report presents and examines plenty of policy initiatives that can help make education more responsive to societal and labour market needs.

The launch conference took place on the 7th November in Brussels; SIRIUS Coordinator, Flavia Buiarelli, participated at the panel discussion on migrant education. Her main messages concerned the need that all integration policies are designed together to stimulate inclusion and integration and avoid segregation and discrimination; the importance of appropriate funding for schools and training of teachers; the crucial role of cooperation of all actors at all level: starting from school and community, to the European level.

UNHCR report on refugee education

According to the report on refugee education published by UNHCR, "refugees are five times more likely to be out of school than the global average. Only 50 per cent of refugee children have access to primary education, compared with a global average of more than 90 per cent. The gap widens as these children become older, with only 22 per cent of refugee adolescents attending secondary school compared to a global average of 84 per cent. At the higher education level, fewer than one per cent of refugees attend university, compared to 34 per cent at global level."

Report from Sirius Members

Improving Education for Migrant-Background Students: A Transatlantic Comparison of School Funding, By Julie Sugarman, Simon Morris-Lange, and Margie McHugh - Migration Policy Institute.
This report focuses on four countries—Canada, France, Germany, and the United States—shedding light on supplementary funding mechanisms targeted to migrant-background students, and some of the key challenges and strategies decisionmakers are wrestling with as they attempt to ensure that additional resources are used effectively.

CEDEFOP Seminar - Promoting quality in learning delivery: the way ahead

On 15th and 16th of September Cedefop hosted a Workshop on “Promoting quality in learning delivery: the way ahead” in Thessaloniki, Greece. The workshop was organised as a follow-up of the outcomes of the previous seminar (December 2015) and in the perspective of supporting the development of an active community for quality culture among EU learning providers, the workshop will reflect on a joint work programme between learning providers and Cedefop for the period 2017 to 2020. It aims to promote quality in learning delivery further, following the directions set out in the 2015 Riga conclusions of the EU Council. Four areas for reflection and action were considered: 1. Learning providers and labour market needs: creating sustainable connections; 2. Learning providers and societal values: promoting soft skills, European citizenship and democratic values; 3. Learning providers in Europe and beyond: internationalisation of VET and education; 4. Learning providers and the challenge of technology-enhanced learning (TEL): enhancing teachers’ skills. During several of the presentations and discussions there was a particular focus on the educational and labour market challenges related to the recent refugee crisis in the EU and Turkey, as well as on promoting the inclusion of immigrant youngsters in education and employment. Ward Nouwen (University of Antwerp) participated in the Seminar as a member of the SIRIUS Policy Network.
Check out the Cedefop website for additional information:




On 26th and 27th September 2016 on the occasion of the European day of languages the European commission organised an experts’ meeting on multilingualism: 40 experts from 18 countries participated in the seminar, including delegates from the ELINET and SIRIUS policy networks, alongside staff of the European Commission and the EACEA Eurydice Unit. The meeting focused on language hierarchies and linguistic discrimination and creating inclusive learning environments.

Resources on multilingualism:

Website of European Day of Languages
The European Language Label
Interview with Dr Dina Mehmedbegovic, UCL, London: this is a short interview with a researcher focusing on bilingual children. It highlights cognitive benefits of bilingualism and importance of first language maintenance.
And now I feel myself English”: this is a conversation with 8-year-old bilingual children about what helped them when they were new to English. These children were not prepared for the discussion or the task they were given: to produce a set of guidelines for teachers and other children wanting to help new arrivals.
Funded by: LUCIDE  (LANGUAGES IN URBAN COMMUNITIES INTEGRATION AND DIVERSITY FOR EUROPE) funded by the EU Lifelong learning programme in 2010.


Lifelong Learning Week 2016

The Lifelong Learning Platform organised a series of events in Brussels (debates, conferences, hearings) on lifelong learning from the 10th to the 13th of October. The event, at the 6th edition, gathered about 200 participants among policy makers and stakeholders. You can read the main conclusion of the LLLWeek2016 here.
SIRIUS Chair, Thomas Huddleston, participated to the policy debate on “The Migration challenge: turning commitment to inclusive education into reality”, with Michael Teutsch (EU Commission), MEP Teresa Cacha, Ildiko Pathova (SK PRES) on the 11th of October. He presented main figures on migrant education and pointed that segregation in education systems is a major obstacle for integration and inclusion.
The Lifelong Learning Platform recently published a policy paper on migrant education “Integrating refugees and migrants through education” that, along with Sirius position, calls for policy makers to implement concrete actions.
Over the years Sirius has produced high level material with best practices and recommendations on migrant education; please see here two major documents from Sirius:
A clear Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe, 2014;
SIRIUS Statement on Urgent Response for the Education of Refugees, 2015.


Civil Society Day - 19th October 2016

Organised by the European Commission DG Education and Culture, the meeting of civil society organisations took place on 19th October in Brussels. Over 70 participants from 40 organisations representing schools, higher education, adult and distance learning and vocational education and training came together to discuss the role that civil society organisations can play to foster inclusive education as well as citizenship and EU fundamental values.
The discussion focused on Learning objectives, content and methods; Role of educators and school leaders; Formal learning environment and its links with the non-formal sector; Governance, funding, structural issues. SIRIUS Coordinator, Flavia Buiarelli, participated to the meeting highlighting that talking about inclusive education especially means fighting segregation of schools and disadvantaged pupils and pupils with a migrant background.

Education Training and Youth Forum 20th – 21st October 2016

This year's Forum focused on how to best deliver on the New Skills Agenda for Europe adopted by the Commission on 10 June 2016. The New Skills Agenda aims to ensure that people develop a broad set of skills and competences from early on in life in order make the most of Europe's human capital, as well as to improve employability and competitiveness. Improving skills levels, educational attainment and promoting key competences, including transversal skills, are essential to improving people's employability, their chances in life as full citizens and creating fair, inclusive and sustainable societies.


Revision of the Key Competence framework

In the Communication “A new skills agenda for Europe” published on the 10th June 2016, the European Commission announced the revision of the key competence framework adopted in 2006 with the goal of developing a shared understanding of key competence and foster their introduction in education and training curricula.
SIRIUS contributed with the active participation of two experts to the dedicated meeting organised by the European Commission, Sofia Marques da Silva from the University of Porto and Ward Nouwen from Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies of the University of Antwerp.

Here the European documents on key competences:
Recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning
and if have missed the Communication “A new skills agenda for Europe”, here you can finally read it.


Integrating Newly Arrived Migrant Students in Schools – 28th November

This course, produced by School Educational Gateway, will explore the practicalities of integrating newly arrived migrant students in a school community and will look at how teachers can work at a very practical level with such students in their classrooms. 
The course will continue the work started by participants in course 2 of building a support infrastructure that can assist them
beyond the course with guidance and resources.
By the end of the course, participants should have an understanding of different organizational models of how newly arrived migrants can be integrated into teaching and school life as well as understanding of different pedagogical models of how newly arrived migrants can be integrated into teaching and school life. Participants should also have an understanding of important requirements and strategies to support students who do not understand or speak the main language of instruction.


10th European Forum on the rights of the child: the protection of children in migration

The European Forum on the rights of the child is an annual conference organised by the European Commission. It gathers key actors from EU Member States, Ombudspersons for children, international organisations, NGOs, practitioners, academics and EU institutions to discuss and promote good practice on the rights of the child. It will take place on 29th and 30th November 2016 in Brussels. For more information, click here.

Great start in life! The best possible education in early years - 30th November - 1st December, Brussels

The purpose of the conference is to discuss some of the latest research findings in early childhood education and care sector and primary schools. There will also be the occasion to share knowledge and experience from practitioners to inform researchers and policy makers about best practices and future research needs. This conference will help to further improve ECEC and primary school policies in EU countries as well as to shape future research projects. Particular attention will be given to the inclusion of migrants.
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