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European Education Area

Quality education and training for all

Quality assurance

Why is quality assurance in school education important? 

Quality assurance involves the systematic review of educational provision to maintain and improve its quality, equity and efficiency. It encompasses school self-evaluation, external evaluation (including inspection), the evaluation of teachers and school leaders, and student assessments.

Developing strong quality assurance systems is crucial to support high-quality, inclusive education across a European Education Area. It is also important to support the implementation of the 2018 Council Recommendations on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning and on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching.

Furthermore, quality assurance is vital to create the conditions for facilitating student mobility across Europe, in particular through enhanced transparency and trust. Quality assurance also plays a key role in supporting the mutual recognition of upper secondary qualifications and the outcomes of learning periods abroad.

What is the EU doing to support quality assurance?

The Commission assists EU Member States in further developing their quality assurance systems through the activities of the Education and Training ET 2020 Working Group on Schools. This Group is composed of experts from EU national governments and stakeholder organisations. 

The group meets regularly to examine specific aspects of policies linked to quality assurance in education, to discuss shared challenges and to exchange best practices. The Working Group has provided guidance for policymakers on quality assurance for school development. It has also produced a report on supporting school self-evaluation as a key mechanism for school development.

The Commission has produced the expert report Better learning for Europe's young people: Developing coherent quality assurance strategies for school education.

Furthermore, in its Communication on school development and excellent teaching for a great start in life, the Commission has outlined areas for action to improve school education, including through the development of quality assurance systems.

The accompanying Commission Staff Working Document provides research and evidence supporting the recommendations contained within of the Communication, as well as results of work at the EU level to develop school education policies.