On 24th October 2014 was held the 2nd SIRIUS National Meeting in Madrid. The meeting was organised by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and took place at the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education. The working group was mainly compound by experts from different fields (educational researchers and practitioners, secondary school leaders, experts in educational legislation, practitioners of city councils, school teachers and a youth representative) from the regions of Catalonia, Murcia, Andalusia and Madrid.
The main objective of the National Meeting was to analyse the consequences of the new Education Act 2013, LOMCE, in the educational process of students with a socially disadvantaged and migrant background. The Education Act 2013 for the Improvement of Educational Quality (LOMCE) begins its implementation during the school year 2014-2015 for Primary Education and Vocational Training and in 2015-2016 for Secondary and High School Education.
The main topics discussed in this National Meeting were:
- Analysis of the Education Act from a critical and legislative perspective. The LOMCE model and its consequences: Weakening of rights, privatization of education and segregation in the schools.
- School dropout between foreign students and students with a migrant background in the region of Murcia.
- Adult education and vocational training in the new Education Act.
- The participation of the educational community after the Education Act (LOMCE).
- An innovative educational experience from a public school in Almeria, called “La Chanca walks alone to school“, which obtained the Federico Mayor Zaragoza Award in 2014 in the thematic category of “Free and responsible citizens and cities”. The project is devoted to fight for reducing school absenteeism in children that are living in an area with a high risk of social exclusion.
Some of the main conclusions and proposals of the meeting were the following:
- The new education law does not attend effectively the education rights of the most vulnerable groups, promoting the privatization of education and segregation in schools. There is a cut of rights by this law, to the detriment of students with a socially disadvantaged and migrant background in different educational levels.
- Promoting an active policy for the prevention of schools that function as “ghettos” generating social exclusion.
- Promoting a teacher training education that allows addressing the current challenges of inclusion and participation of socially disadvantaged populations.
- Promoting educational policies to enhance human development aimed at the redistribution of resources, especially from the needs of students with a socially disadvantaged and migrant background.
- Designing and implement a more socially inclusive and flexible curriculum in schools that can be culturally, linguistically and experientially relevant for students.
- Developing active and collaborative participation of the entire education community in different educational projects that works toward the construction of social justice in schools and society.