The Working Groups will each focus on one of the themes of common interest
- Early childhood education and care
- Schools, including a Sub-group on
- Pathways to School Success
- Education for Environmental Sustainability
- Higher education
- Vocational education and training and the green transition
- Adult learning: Opening up opportunities for all
- Digital education: Learning, training and assessment
- Equality and values in education and training
Building on the results of the ET 2020 Working Groups, as part of the new cycle of European cooperation in education and training (2021-2030), in line with the European Education Area Communication and the 2021 February Council Resolution, the Working Groups will contribute to making the European Education Area a reality. The Working Groups will continue their work until their current mandate expires in December 2025.
The focus of the Working Groups is to, as part of the mutual learning, share information about reforms of national education policies, and to inspire positive change throughout the European Union (EU). The outputs of the Working Groups will inspire inclusive, holistic and lifelong learning perspectives, and reinforce synergies between education, training and other EU policies and funding that help achieve the European Education Area.
For information on who the members of the Working Groups are or on documents, please consult the European Commission’s Register of Expert Groups.
Working Groups consist of government officials appointed by EU Member States and other participating countries. A number of representatives from stakeholder organisations and social partners are also appointed to the groups, which are coordinated by the European Commission. The groups support delivering on EU flagship initiatives in education and training to foster national reforms and offer a forum for the exchange of experiences and best practices on ways to address key challenges.
In the field of education and training, Working Groups were first established under the Education and Training 2010 work programme to implement the Open Method of Coordination in education and training. Under the ET 2020 strategic framework, Working Groups were the principal forum for mutual learning.
The new Working Groups will support the EU Member States and the Commission to make the European Education Area a reality in tune with the Digital Education Action Plan, the European Skills Agenda, and other EU policy flagships in education, training and skills.
Working Group on early childhood education and care (ECEC)
This Working Group will support Member States as they implement the 2019 Council Recommendation for high-quality ECEC systems and its main component, the EU Quality framework for ECEC. It will mainly support peer learning based on the measure, monitoring and evaluation of quality, and will follow-up on the ET 2020 Working Group, which focused on inclusion, staff professionalisation and the management of the Covid-19 pandemic in the ECEC sector.
Working Group on schools
This Working Group will aim promoting better achievements in basic skills and the successful conclusion of education and training pathways by all learners; education for the green transition; enhancing competence and motivation in the education profession.
The Working Group consists of two sub-groups
Pathways to School Success
It will support the implementation and follow-up of the forthcoming Council Recommendation on Pathways to School Success by promoting mutual learning and the exchange of best practices, including on issues related to well-being at school.
Education for Environmental Sustainability
Will support the follow-up to the Council Recommendation on education for environmental sustainability and will promote mutual learning and exchange on how education can support the move to a greener and more sustainable Europe, including the development of sustainability competences.
Working Group on higher education (HE)
This Working Group will support Member States’ and other participating countries’ reforms to maximise the potential of higher education systems. This will include the promotion of the transformation of the higher education sector, as well as the preparation of graduates for our changing societies and labour markets, and finally, the contribution to building a stronger Europe through enhancing Europe's innovation capacity on the way towards a European Education Area by 2025, in line with the forthcoming European Strategy for Universities. The Working Group will facilitate synergies between the education and the research and innovation missions of higher education institutions, in the context of the European Education Area and the European Research Area, while ensuring consistency with the European Higher Education Area.
Working Group on vocational education and training and the green transition (VET)
The main objective of the Working Group is to enable technical exchanges, which will help Member States implement the principles and objectives of
- the Council Recommendation on vocational education and training (VET) for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience
- the Osnabrück Declaration on vocational education and training as an enabler of recovery and just transitions to digital and green economies, with particular reference to the green transition
The work is in line with the European Green Deal and the European Pillar of Social Rights, as well as Action 6 of the European Skills Agenda, and priorities 2 and 5 of the Council Resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond (2021-2030).
Working group on adult learning: opening up opportunities for all (AL)
The main objective of the Working Group is to enable exchanges and contributions, which will support Member States in implementing the actions of the 2020 European Skills Agenda: re- and upskilling adults, and empowering them to continued learning throughout their lives. It will also support capacity building to achieve the implementation of the 2016 Council Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults. The work is also in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. The Working Group will focus on national skills strategies, skills for life and financing of adult learning. It will take a holistic approach to adult learning, with the aim to cover the entire adult population and all types of skills, with a view to supporting adults thrive in the labour market and in society.
Working Group on digital education: learning, training and assessment (DELTA)
The aim of this Working Group is to support Member States in the implementation of policy reforms in line with the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027, focusing in particular on fostering high quality and inclusive digital education in the EU, while taking the digital transformation as well as the implications and lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic into consideration. In line with the two strategic priorities of the Digital Education Action Plan, the mutual learning activities of the group will address two guiding questions
- How can a high-performing digital education eco-system be fostered?
- How can digital skills and competences for the digital transformation be enhanced?
Working Group on equality and values in education and training
This Working Group will focus on structural reforms to promote equality in education and training. It will build on the EU’s values (including anti-radicalisation, citizenship education and training, the European dimension in education, disinformation and inclusion of refugees and migrants in education and training). It will also examine relevant areas related to equality, bearing in mind the dual approach of inclusive education for all while targeting specific population groups. It will use both group-focused approaches (such as gender equality, anti-racism, equality of Roma, people with migrant background, LGBTIQ persons and people living with disabilities) and cross-cutting issues with societal benefits and of high importance to all discriminated and disadvantaged groups, such as fighting segregation in education, managing diversity and building a sense of belonging in a lifelong learning perspective.