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  • No ‘back to school’ for ‘lost generation’ of refugee children in Mideast: Europe must respond

    By Alex on October 20, 2015
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    SIRIUS Statement on Urgent Response for the Education of Refugees

    13 million children are being denied their right to an education because of the wars in the Mideast, according to the UN. In fact, 1 in 2 Syrian refugees are actually children (2.2 million). 1 in 4 schools in Syria have closed since the conflict and 52,000 teachers have left their posts. Half of Syria’s 2.2 million refugee children remained out of school in the 2013/14 school year, despite the continued efforts of UN agencies UNICEF and UNHCR. Children remain out of school because of breaks in their school career, lack of resources, lack of documents and the need to work for their family.For example in Turkey, while most school‐age children living in camps are attending school, attendance rates fall to around 1/4 for children in urban areas, where the vast majority of Syrian refugees live without full access to the education system or adequate support to learn Turkish.

    War and displacement are creating a lost generation of children in the Mideast. Without the necessary education and psychosocial support, these children will lose the chance to recover in their academic and personal development. The long‐term impact of Syrian children never returning to school has been estimated at 5.4% of Syria’s GDP, or nearly 2 billion euros, according to Save the Children.The UN is calling on donor countries and individuals to fund the 556 million euros needed for education for Syrian children. Yet only 2% of international humanitarian aid is allocated to education.

    Unfortunately, refugee children’s obstacles to an education are not confined to war‐torn countries and camps. Since refugees lack legal channels into Europe, families must undertake long and potentially deadly journeys before arriving in a country offering them a real chance for protection and integration. These children on the move usually receive no educational or psychosocial support along the way and limited support upon arrival in many reception centres and school systems in the EU, particularly in new destination countries. When parents choose to go alone and reunite later with their children, demanding requirements and procedures delay their arrival. The OECD concludes that family reunion should happen as soon as possible because its PISA study shows that every extra year spent waiting outside the country has a negative impact on immigrant children’s ability to catch up at school and learn the language.

    As the European policy network on migrant education, SIRIUS calls on the EU and its Member States to respond to the specific education needs of refugee children and students in the EU and abroad. Their right to an education is guaranteed under international law, most notably the Geneva Convention, and under EU law through the ‘Common European Asylum System’. SIRIUS’ years of research have found that, apart from a few good practices in specific schools and areas, Europe’s teachers generally lack the training and support to properly serve immigrant pupils or teach about immigration and diversity. Refugee communities are also playing their part to improve the education of their and others’ children, as SIRIUS noted for example in Bulgaria and Hungary.

    SIRIUS is recommending more concrete EU actions on refugee education, building on its 2014 comprehensive policy agenda and recommendations from stakeholders such as Europe’s teachers’ unions, and adult educators. The undersigning organisations, aware of huge challenge ahead of us to support these children, encourage the European bodies to:

    1. Create and monitor a long‐term policy on how to best use EU policies and funds to support the education of children and youngsters from refugee families in Europe
    2. Design this policy through an ‘ad hoc’ EU Committee on the education of children and youngsters from refugee families, including the relevant European and international institutions and European NGOs on migration or education
    3. Consult in this design with the European Parliament and with experts and civil society through a 1‐day European conference
    4. Substantially increase funds and set up specific budgets for the education of refugees outside the EU as a part of humanitarian aid and for the education of refugee children and youngsters as a part of asylum and integration support
    5. Increase the number of refugee children and students receiving protection‐sensitive scholarships to study in Europe, including through the EU’s Erasmus Mundus programme
    6. Evaluate the impact of reception and family reunion policies on the educational and psychosocial development of children and then propose solutions at EU level
    7. Remove obstacles and introduce support programmes for refugee teachers and professors to (re)qualify and teach in Europe
    8. Identify and support best practices on the educational and psychosocial support to refugee children and youngsters
    9. Introduce a specific track on refugee education through lifelong learning and adult education, with the support of the European Association for Education of Adults
    10. Coordinate the implementation of these measures and budgets, identify specific contact persons for migrant and refugee education within Member States’ education ministries and the European Commission’s DG Education and Culture

    This statement can be signed here.

    The German version can be downloaded here.

    Signatories - organisations
    • University of Linz
    • Freund statt Fremd
    • ComelSoft
    • Public Policy and Management Institute
    • Dutch National Centre for Mixed Schools
    • Bamberg resident
    • ADOC
    • Leiden Univerity
    • Erasnus University Rotterdam
    • Freund statt fremd e. V.
    • AEGEE
    • Erasmus University
    • Innovative Community Centres Association
    • Harmanli Refugee Camp Play School
    • Freund statt freund e.V.
    • Multi Kulti Collective
    • Forum for Freedom in Education
    • ESRI
    • University Leiden
    • European Association for the Education of Adults
    • Erasmus University Rotterdam
    • University of Western Macedonia
    • FIBB
    • erasmus university
    • Refugee Project
    • Society for Organisational Learning – Bulgaria
    • Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions – OBESSU
    • Migration Policy Group
    • Global Development Institute, Latvia
    • The National Centre for Multicutural Education (NAFO)
    • Leiden University, faculty of social sciences
    • University of California Berkeley
    • Universiteit Leiden
    • Psychologenpraktijk
    • University of Leiden
    • Freund statt fremd e.V.
    • University of Bremen
    • european forum for migration studies (efms) at the University of Bamberg
    • PPMI Group, UAB
    • Da Vinci College
    • Lifelong Learning Platform/EUROCLIO
    • Leiden University, The Netherlands
    • SIRIUS
    • UCL Institute of Education, University College London
    • Institute of Edication Sciences, University of Pécs
    • Global Vision Circle
    • PPMI
    • International Association for Intercultural Education
    • european forum for migration studies (efms)
    • European Youth Forum
    • Leeds Beckett University
    • Leiden University
    • ENAR – European Network Against Racism aisbl
    • NGO Asfiion NIKE
    • Harmanli refugee camp play school, bulgaria
    • Network of Education Policy Centers
    • Nagore
    • ding
    • Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania
    • SAPI
    • AEGEE-Europe / European Students’ Forum
    • On my own behalf
    • Risbo
    • CIIE – Centro de Investigaçºao e Intervenção Educativas, Universidade do Porto, Portugal
    Signatories - individuals
    • George Petrov
    • Gertraut Koehler
    • Raphed Quandt
    • Desislava ZLataova
    • David Garrahy
    • Stefan Huber
    • Marleen Danel
    • Board
    • Marieke Meeuwisse
    • Eliza Samaras
    • Evelien Platje
    • Sabine Severiens
    • Katharina Pittner
    • Julia Grewe
    • Lachezar Afrikanov
    • Rianne Kok
    • Knibbe
    • I. Wijngaarde
    • Aleksandra Kluczka
    • Gillian clasby
    • Andrea Oosterwijk
    • Hannah van Dijk
    • Joke van der Leeuw-Roord
    • Yvette Dijkxhoorn
    • Rianne Feijt MSc
    • Roxette van den Bosch
    • M. Prevoo
    • Georg Bachmann
    • MJ Bakermans-Kranenburg
    • Marinus van IJzendoorn
    • Brigitte Finke
    • Doreen Arnoldus
    • Nikita Schoemaker
    • Eli Pijaca Plavšić
    • Dr Michalis Kakos
    • Bistra Ivanova
    • Nadezhda Hristova
    • R. Cartiere
    • Ulrike Tontsch
    • Alan Kalil
    • Daniel Georgiev
    • Siemen
    • Lois Schenk
    • Thomas Huddleston
    • Petar Petrov
    • Dita Vogel
    • Nektaria Palaiologou
    • Lana Jurko
    • Andrea Spruijt
    • Rob Kickert
    • Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger
    • Diana Dimova
    • Haroldas Brozaitis
    • Doris Lüken-Klaßen
    • Raffaella d’Apolito
    • Alfred Walter
    • Manfred Guenther
    • Keith Welch
    • Khadija
    • Nicoletta Charalambidou, Vice-Chair
    • Toin Duijx
    • Daniel Mayerhoffer
    • Eke Krijnen
    • Dr. Merike Darmody
    • Liesma Ose
    • Lisanne Marijs
    • Claudia Koehler
    • Dr. M.J. van Dijken
    • M.C. Dekker
    • dr. Anneke JG Vinke
    • Sadie Clasby
    • Gabriela Koppenol-Gonzalez
    • Helena C. Araújo (Director)
    • Rimantas Dumčius
    • Lonneke de Meijer
    • Hilke Kaspar
    • Leslie Bash
    • Renata Weber
    • Tobias Zenk
    • Lenneke Alink
    • Hanne
    • Renee Dijkhuis
    • Sigrun Aamodt
    • Adi Yordanova
    • Sheila van Berkel
    • Gisela Hirschmann-Raithel
    • Josefine Karlsson
    • M.S. van Vliet
    • Regina Ebner
    • Linda Haunschild
    • Sahetapy
    • Abdel Amine
    • Linda van Leijenhorst
    • Else de Vries
    • Patrick Nitzsche
    • Ferenc Arató
    • Tomislav Tudjman
    • Sabrina Alhanachi
    • Hanna Siarova
    • Guido Walraven
    • Alexander Schulz
    • Zlatina Toleva
    • Ona Čepulėnienė

     

  • SIRIUS participation at the International Conference on Early Childhood Education and Care & Early Language Learning

    SIRIUS participation at the International Conference on Early Childhood Education and Care & Early Language Learning

    By Berta Espona on December 15, 2014
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    On 17th December will take place in Reggio Emilia (Italy) the International Conference on ECEC & ELL organized by the EU Italian Presidency. Miquel Àngel Essomba will be there representing SIRIUS and chairing a workshop on ECEC & migration.

  • National Meeting in Bulgaria: “Challenges in the field of education for migrants and refugees in Bulgaria”

    National Meeting in Bulgaria: “Challenges in the field of education for migrants and refugees in Bulgaria”

    By Berta Espona on December 15, 2014
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    The Bulgarian National meeting organized by Multi Kulti Collective took place on 11 November 2014 in the EU House in Sofia. “Challenges in the field of education for migrants and refugees in Bulgaria” focused on access to education and the lack of targeting integration measures for migrant and refugee pupils/students. Being an external border of the EU Bulgaria accepted more than 12.000 asylum seekers in the last 1,5 years. Most of them were granted international protection and that’s why the National meeting had a special focus on refugees as well.

    All the main stakeholders such as Ministry of Education, Regional Inspectorate of Education, State Agency for Child Protection, State Agency for Refugees, representatives of schools and universities with high concentration of migrants/refugee pupils/students, international and local NGO’s working on integration and education of migrants/refugees, migrant/refugee NGO’s, researchers participated in the event.

    Multi Kulti Collective is a new member of SIRIUS (2014) and that’s why the first National Meeting was a good opportunity to present the network in more details. The first panel focused on the the difficulties related to the integration of migrants/refugees in the educational system in Bulgaria and presenting European good practices in the field of integration of refugees and migrants in the educational system. The second one consisted of group work led by facilitators on the problems in the field of pre-primary and primary/secondary/higher education for migrants and refugees in Bulgaria. The event finished with mutual understanding for developing an action plan for next steps at national level.
  • 2nd Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round Table: “Inclusive education policy for children of returning nationals and nationals living abroad”

    2nd Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round Table: “Inclusive education policy for children of returning nationals and nationals living abroad”

    By Berta Espona on December 11, 2014
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    The 2nd Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round Table was hosted by Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science and Vilnius Lithuanian House in Vilnius, took place on the 3-4 November 2014. The topic of the round table was the Inclusive education policy for children of returning nationals and nationals living abroad.

    The round table was one of the activities organised within the SIRIUS Network (European Policy network for education of children with minority and migrant background) by Hanna Siarova (PPMI), who also act as Sirius national coordinator for Lithuania. The round table was organised as a follow-up to the 1st Inter-Ministerial Round table in Riga where participants identified specific policy topics on which they could focus further.

    The aim of Vilnius round table was to bring together different policy makers dealing with integration of returnee pupils in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania:

    • To learn and exchange knowledge on approaches towards integration of returning nationals into education in the Baltic States and to support learning of Baltic nationals living abroad. Participants of the round table were able to learn more about Lithuanian approach towards integration of returnee pupils into Lithuanian schools and support of Lithuanian citizens who live outside Lithuania outlined in the state strategy ‘Global Lithuania’. The participants also met practitioners, policy makers and coordinators of specific projects working with integration of returnees and discover good practice initiatives within Lithuanian approach, as well as assess challenges of the current policy.
    • To identify strengths of national strategies and to assess transferability of good practice measures in the neighbouring Baltic countries. Participants provided feedback and reflections on the approaches/measures learnt based on Lithuanian example, as well as contributions of other Baltic countries and shared ideas on their possible improvements and transferability to Baltic countries context.
    • To elaborate concrete steps on implementation of certain measures/policies on education of returnees in Baltic countries.

    The round table discussion was also an important contribution to the finalisation of policy paper on education of children with a migrant background in the Baltic States which was released in the second half of November this year (2014).

    Minutes of the meeting

    Presentations:

    IMG_20141105_163117

    The borders exist only in our heads

  • National Meeting in Croatia: “Education of Children with Migrant Background in Croatia: between policy and practice”

    National Meeting in Croatia: “Education of Children with Migrant Background in Croatia: between policy and practice”

    By Berta Espona on December 11, 2014
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    On 11th November took place in Zagreb the Croatian National Meeting entitled “Education of Children with Migrant Background in Croatia: between policy and practice”. It was organised by the Forum for Freedom in Education, the Ministry of Education and the Education and Teacher Training Agency. At the meeting attended policy makers, teachers, school administration representatives, CSO representatives and local authorities, totally 30 people.

    photo NM Croatia 2

    The first part of the presentations was presentation about SIRIUS project results in the last 3 years (including recommendations for improvement of education policies and practises in the field of education of children with migrant background); presentation of the MIPEX index for Croatia (with the focus on index of education). In the second part the representative of MoE presented activities of the ministry in the field of inclusive education and the representative of the Education and Teacher Training Agency presented activities of the agency in the field of teacher training programmes developed for promoting inclusive practises and multicultural competencies.

    photo NM Croatia 3

    In the third part panellist were discussing the practise from the perspective of the civil society and the role of CSO in promoting inclusive education, the representative from the Centre for Peace Studies presented project of the CSO that are focused on asylum seekers and the representative from one elementary school was presenting their challenges and their success on including children with migrant background in everyday school life.

    The discussion after the panellist had their introductory was very fruitful and most of the participants were coming from schools so they had the opportunity to share their practise and experience.

  • Second trilateral meeting on language in early school years

    Second trilateral meeting on language in early school years

    By Berta Espona on November 28, 2014
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    It was held on 23rd and 24th October in Tallinn with professionals from Estonia, Norway and Spain (Catalonia). All these countries differ in their language policies:

    • Estonia has a really multi-language orientation through their history with Russians. They providing MT education when 10 students ask. Learning languages, especially Russia is important for the development of the country (trade with Russia, etc.). There are Estonian Schools. Russian Schools and Merged Schools.
    • In Norway MT Education is seen as a way to learn Norwegian quicker, faster and better. Bilingualism of English, French is rated higher than Turkish or Pakistan.
    • In Catalonia they have many years of experience in bilingualism: Spain and Catalan. But only as an extra curricula for MT education, because migrant history is recent and policies have not adapted to that.

    A nice good practice is the Sunday Schools in Estonia: The ministry of Culture provides funds for Sunday schools with 100.000 euros per year. About 500 kids go to different Sunday schools. It’s not only language, but also culture, cooking, singing, dancing, etc. Sunday schools take place in different regions in Estonia and the languages provided Latvian, Ukrainian, Armenian, Russian, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Tartar etc.

  • Newsletters on specific topics

    By Berta Espona on November 28, 2014
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    The communication officer launched during November 4 newsletters with all the documents produced by SIRIUS during the last 3 years regarding:

  • National Meeting in Cyprus: “Enhancing sociocultural diversity through the curriculum and extracurricular activities in the Cyprus educational system”

    National Meeting in Cyprus: “Enhancing sociocultural diversity through the curriculum and extracurricular activities in the Cyprus educational system”

    By Berta Espona on November 14, 2014
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    SIRIUS National Meeting: “Enhancing sociocultural diversity through the curriculum and extracurricular activities in the Cyprus educational system” took place on 31st October 2014 in Nicosia. It was organised by Cyprus Pedagogical Institute. The national meeting brought together diverse participants: members of the CPI teaching training staff, policy makers, researchers and members of the academia, teachers and school leaders, and members of the civil society. During this meeting the SIRIUS recommendations document were discussed.

  • National Meeting in Portugal: “Knowledge Transfer and Projecting a National Network”

    National Meeting in Portugal: “Knowledge Transfer and Projecting a National Network”

    By Berta Espona on November 14, 2014
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    SIRIUS National Meeting: “Knowledge Transfer and Projecting a National Network” took place on 31st October 2014 in the Europa Room at the National Immigrant Support Centre (CNAI) located in Lisbon. The meeting, that aimed to discuss the systematization and transference of knowledge and the possibilities for the development and consolidation of a national network, ran from 14.30 till 18.30. At this event attended 25 people between academics, policy makers, students, people with a migrant background and researchers. The meeting was organised by the national SIRIUS partners – CIIE/FPCEU Porto and Choices Programme – to discuss on the challenge of how to reduce the “Migrant Gap”, especially within the Education System. And some of the topics discussed were: (i) Towards Knowledge Influence and Policy Implementation in education (ii) Key Role of Teachers and School Leaders; (iii) Articulation and transference of knowledge between policy makers, professionals, migrants and minorities and their organizations.

  • Brussels, 19-20 November 2014: “Helping Children and Youth with Migrant Background Succeed: Making schools matter for all”

    Brussels, 19-20 November 2014: “Helping Children and Youth with Migrant Background Succeed: Making schools matter for all”

    By Berta Espona on November 4, 2014
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    Transparentpnglog

    Education remains a critical element of government policy in the twenty-first century. A society with strong educational outcomes will have a better chance for economic and social development, and realize the potential of its citizens. Strong education systems allow societies to become equitable and meritocratic at the same time in a balanced way, facilitating both social mobility and inclusion. Education empowers people to participate fully in the community and strengthens democracies.

    European Union policy has underlined the importance of education, notably in its most recent EU growth and competitiveness strategy, EU2020. The strategy sets ambitious targets for the improvement of educational results: reducing school drop-out rates to below 10%, and ensuring that at least 40% of 30-34 year old citizens have completed tertiary education by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, the European Commission has developed an Education and Training Strategy (ET2020) based on strategic objectives that include promoting equity, social cohesion, and active citizenship. While European countries have well-established education systems, there exists a strong inequality of access to schooling and quality of education for socio-economically disadvantaged communities across the continent, in particular for migrant groups. Children with migrant background are disproportionally represented among dropouts and the lowest performing percentiles because they have a number of critical, and specific, education needs that are not currently met through mainstream education policy.

    A SIRIUS Conference entitled “Helping Children and Youth with Migrant Background Succeed: Making schools matter for all” will take place in Brussels o19 and 20 November 2014 in order to highlight successful strategies identified by the SIRIUS Network over the past three years to effectively implement holistic education policies with targeted measures for migrant students on a systematic level. At the local level and with a particular focus on children and youth, we will outline our suggestions for developing inclusive classrooms within schools that are open learning spaces and that develop strategic partnerships with the local community.

    EP logo19 November 2014: Making Reform happen
    European Parliament
    13:00 – 18:00

    Invited by MEP Tonino Picula in association with the Network of Education Policy Centres (NEPC), we will join together with policy makers, education and migration experts and practitioners and migrant youth representatives to look at making reform of education happen by:
    • Discussing policy recommendations to improve the education of migrant children and garnering commitment for their implementation.
    • Highlighting systematic approaches to improving equal access and opportunities to quality education for children and youth with migrant background.
    • Identifying the keys to making inclusive policy making a reality.

    20 November 2014: The schools we needCoR logo
    Committee of the Regions

    09:00 – 18:00

    Together with migrant youth representation, education and migration experts and practitioners and policy makers, we aim to:
    • Discuss state-of-art of school level approaches to improving equal access and opportunities to quality education for children and youth with migrant background, their contextual aspects and possibilities of transferability to other countries.
    • Outline good practice to support schools in addressing educational needs of children and youth with migrant background.
    • Agree on strategies to foster school/community partnerships and  increase active involvement of migrant youth and communities in school decisions.
    • Give participants the space to seek and share solutions to issues and to the challenges that this issue provides.

     

    After the conference, on 21st November, will take place at vlor headquarters the 6th SIRIUS General Meeting.

    Downloads

  • National Meeting in Ireland: “Education in Ireland – Challenges and Opportunities for Migrants”

    National Meeting in Ireland: “Education in Ireland – Challenges and Opportunities for Migrants”

    By Berta Espona on October 31, 2014
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    SIRIUS National Meeting: “Education in Ireland – Challenges and Opportunities for Migrants” took place on 23rd October 2014 in the Mansion House in Dublin. The conference ran from 11.00 am until 3.00 pm and was structured in two parts. The first half of the conference consisted of presentations and in the second half those who attended where put into three groups for discussions led by facilitators.

    photo 2In the last decade Ireland has experienced an unprecedented increase in migrant families from a number of different countries moving to Ireland with school-age children. This recent rapid immigration has resulted in diverse groups of migrant children integrating into what was almost an exclusively white Irish school population. In Ireland “inclusive, high quality education for all students” is the objective of the educational system. Understanding the needs of migrant children in the education system is essential as they form a sizable proportion of the student body and also because schools have an important role to play in supporting these students and their parents.

    The aim of the conference “Education in Ireland – Challenges and Opportunities for Migrants” was to bring together policy makers, educators, migrant grassroots organisations and parents to engage in conversations on the challenges and opportunities for migrants being educated in Ireland. The outcome of the conference was to improve structures to allow migrant grassroots organisations and parents to influence policy decisions in the education sector and to improve educational outcomes for children from migrant backgrounds.

    photo 4There were 50 people at the conference from different organisations and backgrounds such as National Council for Curriculum Assessment, Muslim Primary Education Board, Children’s Rights Alliance, Child and Family Agency, Immigrant Council of Ireland, The Economic and Social Research Institute, English Language Support Teachers’ Association, including people from different communities, school principals, teachers and migrant parents. The conference was officially opened by The Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Christy Burke.

    The first half of the conference consisted of presentations by: Caitriona O’Brien who is a representative from the Department of Education’s Office and Ebun Akpoveta who is an author, motivational speaker and migrant parent. O’Brien outlined the education system in Ireland and policies surrounding migrants in this system. Akpoveta then spoke of her own personal experiences as a migrant parent and gave her opinions on the integration of migrants into Irish society.

    In the second half of the conference those who attended were put into three groups for discussions on three topics. These topics were issues facing migrants which were chosen as they were the most relevant to the Irish situation. The topics were: language barriers, social integration, and the involvement of parents in the education system. These discussions gave everyone in attendance a platform to voice their opinions, debate issues and negotiate solutions.

    photo 3

  • National Meeting in Madrid: LOMCE consequences

    National Meeting in Madrid: LOMCE consequences

    By Berta Espona on October 31, 2014
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    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:

    1. 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.
    2. School dropout between foreign students and students with a migrant background in the region of Murcia.
    3. Adult education and vocational training in the new Education Act.
    4. The participation of the educational community after the Education Act (LOMCE).
    5. 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.
  • More than 140 participants attended at SIRIUS National Meeting in Norway

    More than 140 participants attended at SIRIUS National Meeting in Norway

    By Berta Espona on October 31, 2014
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    The National meeting in Norway, on 15th October gathered 140 participants: teachers – both from primary school and upper secondary school-, researchers, students, and representative from the SIRIUS partner institution NAFO. National meeting at Østfold University College was focused on critical multicultural education. Some of the curcial questions discussed were:

    • How do schools identify and acknowledge challenges related to equity education for linguistic and ethnic minorities?
    • How do schools respond to the challenges?
    • How may critical multicultural perspectives serve as analytical lenses to improve teaching and learning?

    The meeting was arranged through presentations of:

    1. The context for critical multicultural education in Norway, i.e. school context, political context and global context, by assistant professor Fred Carlo Andersen.
    2. Critical multiculturalism as a tool for analysis, by university lecturer Maria Gulseth Roaas

    Participants, discussed and presented examples from praxis developed by National Center for Multicultural Eduation (NAFO)

  • SIRIUS Evaluation

    By Berta Espona on October 17, 2014
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    During the period of October to December 2014, an evaluation of the SIRIUS Network and the results and impacts generated during the constitution phase (2012-2014) will be carried out. This evaluation has been commissioned to an external team with the following aims:

    • Systematize and make visible the project´s main results (products and activities) during the constitution phase (2012-2014).
    • Report back to the financing entity (European Commission), contrasting the results with the costs to reflect about the efficiency in the use of resources.
    • Get to know the SIRIUS main actors` grade of satisfaction and to see if initial expectations were met.
    • Reflect about the main accomplishments and difficulties in the development of the project, and comprehend the impacts it has generated.
    • Provide strategies and recommendations to be implemented for the project´s future improvement with better efficiency and efficacy.
    • Empower the critical agents, or stakeholder, with the evaluation and strengthen the relations through a process of mutual learning generated by the evaluation.

    The data collection will be carried out through using a mixed quantitative-qualitative methodology, with an attempt to take in account the multiple voices from the different actors involved – internally or externally – in the network. The two main sources of information for the evaluation will be:

    • On one hand, in-depth interviews with the network’s main key agents, mostly done during the Final Event in November.
    • On the other hand, an online questionnaire given to the Network’s partners.

    To achieve the mentioned aims we will need the help and collaboration of the different SIRIUS partners.

  • Second Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round Table on Migrant Education Policy Partnership

    Second Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round Table on Migrant Education Policy Partnership

    By Berta Espona on October 17, 2014
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    During the 1st Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round table that took place on the 4th of June in Riga, Latvia, the representatives of Ministries of Education, Culture and Internal Affairs of the three Baltic States identified several thematic priorities for inter-ministerial partnership. Re-emigration policy and integration of returnees in the light of increasing number of returning nationals in the Baltic States and as a consequence growing challenges for schools to address pupi ls’ additional linguistic and modified cultural needs were identified as priority topics for the follow-up round tables. In addition, the benefiits and potential of educational councelling system and support services as an effective tool to tackle uneven preparedness of schools to deal with diversity were highlighted.

    In this context, the Sirius Baltic Partnership Team is organizing the 2nd Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round table with the thematic focus on inclusive education policy for children of returning nationals of the Baltic States and Baltic nationals living outside their country of citizenship. The round table will be hosted by the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science and Public Policy and Management Institute in Vilnius and will take place on November 3-4, 2014 (download the programme). The main aims of the forthcoming round table are:

    1. To learn and exchange knowledge on approaches towards integration of returning nationals into education in the Baltic States and to support learning of Baltic nationals living abroad (with the focus on Lithuanian approach and its re-emigration strategy ‘Global Lithuania’ in particular);
    2. To identify strengths of national strategies and to assess transferability of good practice measures in the neighbouring Baltic countries;
    3. To elaborate concrete steps on implementation of certain measures/policies on education of returnees in Baltic countries.Representatives of different ministries from the three Baltic States, as well as teachers and representatives of research communities are expected to attend the round table. For more details please check the programme of the event.

    The 3rd Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round Table with thematic focus on school counselling system and support services will follow in early December and will be organised by Sirius Estonian partner PRAXIS and the Ministry of Education and Research in Estonia.

  • Trilateral meeting on Language in Early School Years in Tallinn

    Trilateral meeting on Language in Early School Years in Tallinn

    By Berta Espona on October 7, 2014
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    The objective of the trilateral meetings is to stimulate policy development in language policy in early school years for migrant children (from age 4 to 10), aiming to further improve the educational position of migrant children.

    Next trilateral meeting will take place in Tallinn, Estonia, on 23 and 24 October. 2 professionals (e.g. policy makers, experts, academics) from three countries (Spain, Norway and Estonia) will come together for a 1,5 day meeting where we can exchange and question our different positions concerning language policies in the early school years.

    On these 1,5 day language policies (f.i. mother tongue instruction, instruction in the language of the state, bilingual education, acculturation courses) will be discussed from three national perspectives that differ in terms of their language and acculturation policy contexts and the role of citizenship education in this context.

    You can find the preliminary programme below:

    Program Day 1

    09.00 – 12.00: Arrival of participants

    12.00 – 13.00: Lunch at the hotel

    13.30 – 14.00: Opening session Introduction, background SIRIUS and program outline (Chair: Drs. Tomislav Tudjman)

    14.00 – 14.15: Session 1 Mother Tongue Education: National policies & Practice – presentation results of SIRIUS survey by Dr. Ellen-Rose Kambel

    14.15 – 14.45: Presentation Piret Kärner or Tõnu Tender (language policy or Multilingualism)

    14.45 – 15.15: Discussion in groups

    15.15 – 16.00: Presentation Austria, Germany and  Netherlands

    16.00 –  16.15: Break: Coffee and tea

    16.15 – 17.15: Session 2 Mother Tongue Education:  Decision making process (Chair: Ellen-Rose Kambel)

    • presentation results SIRIUS survey by Tomislav Tudjman
    • discussion in groups

    17.15 – 17.45: Conclusions  Day 1

    19.30: Dinner at Gloria restaurant in the Old Town

    Program Day 2

    09.00 – 10.00: Session 3 Host Language: Policies and Practices (Chair: Tomislav Tudjman)

    • presentation Dr. Ave Härsing: “New immigrant students & language immersion programme”

    10.00-11.00:

    • presentation of SIRIUS survey by Ellen-Rose Kambel
    • discussion in groups

    11.00 – 11.30: Coffee/tea

    11.30 – 12.30: Session 4 Host language: Good practices and challenges in implementing policy (Chair: Ellen-Rose Kambel)

    • discussion in groups

    12.30 – 13.30: Lunch

    14.00 – 15.00: Session 5 Parental and community involvement in language learning (Chair: Ellen-Rose Kambel)

    • presentation SIRIUS survey by Tomislav Tudjman
    • group discussion

    15.00 – 16.30: Wrap up and conclusions

    16.30: End of meeting

  • Trilateral meeting on Language in Early School Years in Amsterdam

    Trilateral meeting on Language in Early School Years in Amsterdam

    By Berta Espona on October 7, 2014
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    On the 8th and 9th of September a conference on Language in early school years was hold in Amsterdam. At this meeting attended professionals (policy makers, experts, academics) from Germany, Austria and The Netherlands. The objective was to stimulate policy development in language policy in early school years for migrant children (from age 4 to 10), aiming to further improve the educational position of migrant children in the EU countries.

    Some of the issues and conclusions of the meeting are:

    • There is a great need for creating awareness among teachers of the importance of multilingualism. Creating intercultural sensitivity. Creating awareness of what language means to and for teachers themselves. Using personal experience.
    • Seeing the importance using of multilingualism in welcome classes for newcomers.
    • Multilingualism is a competence instead of a delay.
    • Importance of knowledge exchange and learn from each other.
    • Value the (linguistic) competences of the students. From Germany: Importance of a systematic strategy for newcomers and to make a policy for this and a strategy for how to deal with this theme (In Germany education policy is federal). With interest in the success of the newcomers. We shouldn’t devalue competences newcomers bring with them and language is an important competence. Valuing competences of the children is a very good strategy.
    • Focus on second language acquisition. We do it more or less in every country. We have the same starting point but operate differently.
    • Language is important for the whole education not only for language education. In Germany and Austria there is awareness that there are children for who the host language is a second language. Also in the Netherlands there is an awareness that there are children for who Dutch isn’t their first language, but since 2004 we are politically focussed on learning the Dutch language and most of the mother tongue education classes have disappeared.

    The report with the conclusions will be published soon.

  • Meeting of the European Network Education Support Projects

    Meeting of the European Network Education Support Projects

    By Berta Espona on September 19, 2014
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    The third meeting of ENESP network will take place from 25th to 27th September in Turin. During this meeting the participants will participate in a field visit to some neighborhoods and they will also have the opportunity to discuss on methodology and theoretical fundaments of mentoring.

  • Next stakeholder meeting

    Next stakeholder meeting

    By Berta Espona on September 19, 2014
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    Since 2013, MPG has organised a number of EU stakeholder meetings to discuss education policies that disproportionately affect immigrant pupils. The results of these meetings were developed into a common declaration on migrant education and a set of policy recommendations that should promote a more inclusive education system and lead to a decrease in the achievement gap between pupils with and without a migrant background. On 29th September, a meeting will take place in Brussels with the objective of bringing together European stakeholders in order to find a consensus on the declaration and the recommendations that will be presented at the Final Sirius conference in November 2014 as a set of policy guidelines upon which to start building the migrant education agenda in Europe. The declaration and the policy recommendations will soon also be sent to national partners in order to receive their feedback on both documents.

  • National meeting in Latvia “Sufficient legal provision – poor implementation”

    National meeting in Latvia “Sufficient legal provision – poor implementation”

    By Berta Espona on September 19, 2014
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    National meeting of all the stakeholders, involved in migrant education processes, policies and research was held in Riga, September 3, gathering 23 participants’ altogether. It was held in order to review policy implementation for almost 5 years, since March 2010, when amendment to Education Law, which has entitled all the children (newcomers from the third countries, refugees and asylees, reemigrees) to receive mandatory basic education (till 9th grade). During diverse presentations (policy implementation analysis, recent statistics and research results, migrant student experience, media discourse and teachers’ attitudes) and productive discussion, involving policy makers and implementers and moderated by policy analyst Maria Golubeva, conclusions and policy implications have been elaborated. They have been collected in Immigrant education Charter to be presented to Minister of Education in nearest month.

    Charter contains measures to be implemented both by Ministry of Education and schools; to name a few: mother tongue support for newcomers, introduction of customized official language exams, financial support for bilingual teacher assistants, introduction and monitoring of explicit anti – discrimination policies in education system and in every school. The most urgent and critical issue identified is the lack of basic intercultural competences among teachers – this has to be solved in nearest future. It is worth to mention, that discussion was held bilingually – in Latvian and Russian, and that the ethnic composition of participants – persons with Russian, Afghani, and Tatar among them – reflected actual multiculturalism of Latvia.

  • National meeting in France

    National meeting in France

    By Berta Espona on September 19, 2014
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    As part of the European Forum for Engaged Young People, which took place at the University of Poitiers on 27th and 28th August, the French SIRIUS partner, Association de la Fondation Etudiante pour la ville (AFEV), highlighted the issue of inclusion and exclusion of migrants in education in its SIRIUS national meeting on Migrant Education. Under the title “Integrating migrants: Our responsibility to host”, AFEV led work sessions dealing with: the state of affairs of reception and accompanying migrants in France; social marginalization and educational accompaniment – schools as the first integration lever for migrant children; what solutions exist today? Is our reception good enough? During two days, a group of 40 people met (4 sessions, 5:30 hours of work all in all). The group was mainly compound of young people committed in associations of youth and solidarity mentoring newly arrived children. They exchanged with searchers and institutional representatives among which the Ministère de l’Intérieur and the Ministry of Education. Propositions emerged concerning:

    • The necessary development of socio-linguistic workshops for newly arrived parents in order to strengthen the family-school link
    • Primary school teachers’ training in a global objective of “school inclusion”
    • The promotion and enhancement of the language and culture of the recently arrived children. Moreover, it was strongly recommended to consider these children not only through their lacks and needs but with the specific competences they have developed through their experience as migrants.
  • Poitiers, 27-28 August – European Forum for Engaged Young People

    Poitiers, 27-28 August – European Forum for Engaged Young People

    By Sarah Cooke O'Dowd on August 22, 2014
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    AFEV_logo_HDAs part of the European Forum for Engaged Young People due to take place in the University of Poitiers on 27 and 28 August next, the French SIRIUS partner, Association de la Fondation Etudiante pour la ville (AFEV), will be highlighting the issue of inclusion and exclusion of migrants in education in it’s SIRIUS National Round Table on Migrant Education.

    Under the title Integrating migrants: Our responsibility to host, AFEV will lead work sessions dealing with:

    • The state of affairs of reception and accompanying migrants in France
    • Social marginalisation and educational accompaniment – Schools as the first integration lever for migrant children
    • What solutions exist today? Is our reception good enough? What can France learn from European experiences

    Download Programme

  • Trilateral meetings on Language in Early School Years

    Trilateral meetings on Language in Early School Years

    By Berta Espona on July 28, 2014
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    On the 8th and 9th of September a conference on Language in early school years will be held in Amsterdam. In this meeting six to eight professionals (e.g. policy makers, experts, academics) from three countries (Austria, Germany and The Netherlands [maybe Belgium too]) will come together for a 1,5 day meeting where they will  exchange and question their different positions concerning language policies in the early school years and the role of citizenship education in this context.

    The objective is to stimulate policy development in language policy in early school years for migrant children (from age 4 to 10), aiming to further improve the educational position of migrant children in the EU countries.

    This conference will be led by Tomislav Tudjman (senior consultant of Risbo) and Ellen Kambel (director of the Rutu Foundation).

    Another trilateral meeting will be held on the 23rd and 24th of October in Tallinn, with participants from Spain, Norway and Estonia.

  • SIRIUS Newsletter No.12 – June 2014

    By Sarah Cooke O'Dowd on June 27, 2014
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    The SIRIUS Policy Network has published the June edition of its Newsletter. This is a unique source for monthly updates on SIRIUS,  migrant education news, events, good practices, and policy developments.

    The SIRIUS Event Reports and Policy Outreach summaries are the highlight of this month’s SIRIUS news.

    If you would like to read the Newsletter, please click here.

    To read previous Newsletters, please click here.

    If you would like to subscribe to the Newsletter, please click here.

  • Appearance of SIRIUS policy network to present more relevant network results at Catalunya Parliament.

    Appearance of SIRIUS policy network to present more relevant network results at Catalunya Parliament.

    By Berta Espona on June 19, 2014
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    On Tuesday 17 June 2014, Dr. Miquel Àngel Essomba, director of research group ERDISC (UAB) and general coordinator of SIRIUS policy network, together with Berta Espona Barcons, network manager, and Josep Guardiola Salinas, Production coordinator of ERDISC, appeared at Catalunya Parliament, in particular at Welfare, Family and Migration commission, to present the main conclusions of the first three years of SIRIUS work.

    After the explanation, took place a turn to speak for the different parliament groups that explained their ideas related to the challenges and questions presented before and at the same time formulated questions to the representatives.

    This appearance is one of the best practices that carried out by this network, which have the aim to innovate in governance processes of national education systems to guarantee the equality at school of children and youngsters with a migrant background; and it works to have an impact in the design and implementation of policies at local, regional, national and European level. The presentation of the main results in this commission is a big step to create a new policy implementation line that should be based on the transfer of knowledge that come from the practice and the academia to the decisions policy level.

    For more information the whole appearance could be viewed at this link.

  • The forum of experiences in Riga: a big step to contribute to a closer collaboration among policy makers of all over Europe

    The forum of experiences in Riga: a big step to contribute to a closer collaboration among policy makers of all over Europe

    By Berta Espona on June 19, 2014
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    The most important reason for any multicultural kid to go through the program,  FLEXid offers, is to boost their sense of who they are, become more confident in how to use their special knowledge, skills and experiences, and feel encouraged to reflect all the diversity of their identity instead of choosing one part over another. 

    Dag Fjæstad, senior adviser, NAFO, Norway

    On 5 and 6 June 2014 took place in Riga the Forum of experience of Policy makers. Forum for experiences – gathering of mission – oriented persons, working on making education policies more inclusive for children and youth with migrant descent – has contributed to the understanding and closer collaboration between policy makers from seven SIRIUS countries: Greece, Portugal, Norway, Croatia, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania were present. It has started as a series of national best practices presentations (Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Greece, and Portugal) followed by Q&A sessions. Special recognition and interest among participants have caused Programa Escolhas/Choices programme, Portugal, and FLEXid – an informal education program for multicultural kids in Larvik municipality, Norway. First was considered as potential on level EU scalable social innovation due to its holistic nature, social cohesion orientation and constant self – reflection. The second has perceived as a missing link in educational and psycho – social work with migrant youth: normalization of multicultural identities. Lithuanian multilingual web resource and potential of family group conference method in work with migrant youth and in establishing sustainable family- community – school relations (Latvia) also have gained recognition among participants.

    Second day was devoted to actual sharing and learning exercise, where representatives of new migration countries (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia)  have engaged themselves into productive conversations with representatives of old migration states (Greece, Portugal, Norway). Also, all forum participants have agreed to follow the certain structure of the national action plan on migrant education; from two options, presented by policy makers’ involvement coordinator Liesma Ose, majority have chosen existing resources based approach.

    You can download the presentations used during the forum:

    You can download the report of the forum here.

  • Teachers from migrant and/or minority backgrounds’ meeting: one of SIRIUS priorities

    Teachers from migrant and/or minority backgrounds’ meeting: one of SIRIUS priorities

    By Berta Espona on June 18, 2014
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    On 4 and 5 June in Brussels took place the meeting for teachers from migrant and/or minority background. The focus of this meeting was what it means to be teaching in classrooms with students from diverse backgrounds. During the first 1,5 days, the central topic was on the professional capacity needed for teaching in diverse classrooms:

    • What are the key competences of teachers dealing with ethnic/cultural/language diversity?
    • And what are the necessary preconditions at school level when dealing with ethnic/cultural/language diversity?

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    The underlying idea to invite teachers from migrant and/or ethnic minority backgrounds was that these teachers may potentially connect better to pupils from migrant background, and/or because, coming out of migrant communities, have specific experiences and skills that can be enriching for a team of teachers.

    During the last half day, the organizers combined forces with MPG in a joint meeting with local and European migration and education stakeholders. During that afternoon, the findings of the first 1,5 days were presented, and other relevant topics were discussed with regard to developing the professional capacities of the teaching force in relation diversity in education.

    Some conclusions

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    • Teachers agreed on the relevance of the five areas of expertise, language diversity and pedagogy/didactics being the most important.
    • Teachers agreed that more training in dealing with diversity for all teachers is needed, this implies that we need more material, in teacher training as well as in professional development programs.
    • Teachers agreed it was a good idea to start a European network for migrant/minority teachers, similar to the German network. This network could also play a role in the fact that most teachers emphasized feeling alone in their school, also in their attempts to support children from migrant backgrounds to increase their performance. This idea needs to be discussed in much more detail of course.

    Download the power point presentation.

  • SIRIUS Participation at Sixteenth Annual CiCe Network Conference

    SIRIUS Participation at Sixteenth Annual CiCe Network Conference

    By Berta Espona on June 4, 2014
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    Tozun Issa will present at the Sixteenth Annual CiCe Network Conference a paper on the findings of the SIRIUS survey report “Citizenship education and ethnic and cultural diversity” on behalf of the research team:  Tozun Issa, Jone Ordoño Olabarrieta, Sumi Hollingworth and Sabine Severiens. This conference will take place from 12 to 14 June at University of Warmia and Mazury (Olsztyn, Poland) and the name of the paper is: “Constructing the Multicultural Citizen: Education of children from a migrant background in Europe- findings of the SIRIUS survey report”.

  • First Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round Table on Migrant Education Policy Partnership

    First Baltic Inter-Ministerial Round Table on Migrant Education Policy Partnership

    By Berta Espona on May 23, 2014
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    On 4 June 2014 will take place in Riga the first SIRIUS bilateral-regional cooperation on policy implementation activity. The aim of this round table – organised by the SIRIUS partners Praxis, PPMI and GDI, and with the collaboration of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) – is to bring together education policy makers from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania to identify common challenges and solutions, while building strategic partnership in migrant education policy.

  • WP2 SIRIUS meeting for teachers from migrant and/or minority backgrounds on 4-5 June in Brussels

    WP2 SIRIUS meeting for teachers from migrant and/or minority backgrounds on 4-5 June in Brussels

    By Berta Espona on May 23, 2014
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    The focus of this meeting is what it means to be teaching in classrooms with students from diverse backgrounds. By now, we have 11 teachers from five different countries that have agreed to come.
    During the first 1,5 days, the central topic will be on the professional capacity needed for teaching in diverse classrooms. What are the key competences of teachers dealing with ethnic/cultural/language diversity? And what are the necessary preconditions at school level when dealing with ethnic/cultural/language diversity? The underlying idea to invite teachers from migrant and/or ethnic minority backgrounds is that these teachers may potentially connect better to pupils from migrant background, and/or because, coming out of migrant communities, have specific experiences and skills that can be enriching for a team of teachers?
    During the last half day, we will combine forces with MPG in a joint meeting with local and European migration and education stakeholders. During this afternoon, the findings of the first 1,5 days will be presented, and other relevant topics will be discussed with regard to developing the professional capacities of the teaching force in relation diversity in education.

  • 2014 SIRIUS National meetings

    2014 SIRIUS National meetings

    By Berta Espona on May 22, 2014
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    One of the most important activities of SIRIUS on 2014 is the National meetings that are the follow-up of the national focus groups of 2012 and the national round tables of 2013. The first of them took place in Athens (Greece) on 27 April. And these are the national meetings planned at that moment:

    • Bulgaria: organized by Multi Kulti Collective, 11 November 2014
    • Croatia: organized by Forum for Freedom in Education (FFE), 11 November 2014
    • Cyprus: organized by Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, 31 October 2014
    • France: organized by Association de la Fondation Etudiante pour la ville (AFEV), 27-28 August 2014
    • Ireland: organized by New Communities Partnership (NCP), 23 October 2014
    • Latvia: organized by Global Development Institute (GDI), 3 September 2014
    • Norway: organized by Østfold University College, 15 October 2014
    • Portugal: organized by CIIE (University of Porto), 31 October 2014
    • Spain: organized by Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), 24 October 2014

     

  • New publications about SIRIUS

    By Berta Espona on May 22, 2014
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    SIRIUS work appears also in academic publications.

    • Essomba, M.A. (2014). Políticas de escolarización del alumnado de origen extranjero en el estado español hoy. Análisis y propuestas. Revista Electrónica Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado, 17 (2), 13-27. (paper)
    • Severiens, S. (2014). Building Professional Capacity Aiming to Improve the Educational Position of Migrant Children. A reflection on the Sirius network activities. Revista Electrónica Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado, 17 (2), 45-57.
  • SIRIUS appearance in the Parliament of Catalunya

    SIRIUS appearance in the Parliament of Catalunya

    By Berta Espona on May 10, 2014
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    On 4 March 2014, the Welfare, Family and Immigration Commission of the Parliament of Catalunya approved the appearance of the SIRIUS general coordinator in the Parliament in order to present some of the most important conclusions of SIRIUS Policy Network.

  • Greek National meeting: first SIRIUS national meeting 2014

    Greek National meeting: first SIRIUS national meeting 2014

    By Berta Espona on May 9, 2014
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    The first national meeting of 2014 took place on 27 April in Athens, organized by Nektaria Palaiologou, Greece national coordinator. During the meeting, to which attended WP1 co-coordinator, Miquel Àngel Essomba, the participants discussed about the situation of children and youngsters with a migrant background in Greek education system. During next months several national meetings will take place along Europe with the aim to point out some good practices in education policy implementation for children and youngsters with a migrant background.

  • SIRIUS participation in KeyCoNet meeting

    By Berta Espona on May 6, 2014
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    KeyCoNet network invited SIRIUS to the general meeting that took place in Malta between 28 and 30 April. As associated network to KeyCoNet, SIRIUS, represented by the general coordinator, attended at this interesting meeting. One of the topics of this meeting was the education policy reform in Malta as an example of good practice.

  • SIRIUS proposals to ERASMUS+ KA2 call

    By Berta Espona on May 5, 2014
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    On 30 April, and after lot of work and effort from the responsible people of each proposal, we submitted as SIRIUS 4 ERASMUS+ proposals:

    • POLARIS – The Strategic Partnership for Policy Dialogues on Migrant Education (01/01/2015 – 31/12/2017). Responsible: Sarah Cooke. Applicant Organization: Stichting Migration Policy Group
    • NASHIRA-EPIME – European Partnership for Inclusive Migrant Education (01/09/2014 – 30/08/2017). Responsible: Rafael Sacramento and Claudia Köhler. Applicant Organization: europaisches forum fur migrationstudien e.v. (efms)
    • NAOS – Professional capacity dealing with diversity (01/09/2014 – 01/09/2017). Responsible: Tom Tudjman and Sabine Severiens. Applicant Organization: Risbo B.V.
    • YED – Youth Employment and the Development of local vocational perspectives (01/02/2015 – 31/01/2017). Responsible: Jens Schneider. Applicant Organization: verikom – Verbudn für interkulturelle Kommunikation und Bildung e.V.
  • The 5th SIRIUS General meeting: one step forward to 2015

    The 5th SIRIUS General meeting: one step forward to 2015

    By Berta Espona on April 23, 2014
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    On 3rd and 4th April took place in Barcelona the 5th General Meeting of SIRIUS Policy Network. 55 people from 17 European countries attended at this fruitful conference that was useful to plan the future of SIRIUS after 2014, when the network will start running without the European Commission support. For that reason some of the sessions were oriented to the discussion on future funding strategies.

    Moreover, the SIRIUS partners had time to discuss the organization of several activities that will take place in 2014: the national meetings, the final conference, and some activities on teacher diversity, among others.

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    During the meeting took place a parallel meeting in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat with 16 policy makers coordinated by Liesma Ose. Diana Jablonska, from the European Commission, presented briefly the key points from EC perspective about policy makers’ involvement in these networks. This meeting started with a visit to a school with an innovative music programme. After it, the policy makers had time to discuss on the strategies that SIRIUS should plan to impact at policy level.

    This 5th General Meeting was linked to a previous Thematic Workshop that took place also in Barcelona the day before, on 2nd April. The topic of this workshop was School Governance and the 24 participants could discuss about School Governance in their countries. This exchange was enriched by the presentations of four speakers: Jens Schneider, Nafisa Yeasmin, Hanna Siarova and Jordi Collet. And at the end all the participants visited a school with a learning community project (Escola Tanit).

    You can download the presentations of the thematic workshop on School Governance that took place on 2 April 2014.

    You can download the minutes and the presentations of the 5th SIRIUS General Meeting here.

    You can download the photos here.

  • In Italy a small municipality against racism

    By Berta Espona on April 21, 2014
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    On March, 21st 2014, International Day Against Racism, Trasversale (SIRIUS Member) organized a specific event in co-operation with National Office Against Racial Discrimination (UNAR) and the Municipality of Riano (pop. 9,700). The event was held at the local High School, where more than 15% of pupils have migrant background; students were asked to think over the themes of prejudices and stereotypes, leaving them aside at the end of the workshop. For more information you could visit Trasversale website.

  • SIRIUS presentation at CIES Conference, Toronto

    SIRIUS presentation at CIES Conference, Toronto

    By Berta Espona on March 21, 2014
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    Members of the SIRIUS network – Jana Huttova (Steering Committee member, also Consultant for Open Society Foundation), Guido Walraven (Urban Studies at Inholland University, also coordinator of the Dutch National Knowledge Centre for Mixed Schools), Maurice Crul (VU University Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam and City University New York) and Atika Azougaye (Verikom, Hamburg) – returned from the Comparative & International Education Society (CIES) Conference in Toronto. Unfortunately, Liesma Ose (Think&Do Tank “Global Development Institute”, Latvia, also Adviser to Minister of Education and Science on Social Cohesion matters) was not able to attend the conference due to family reasons. A SIRIUS group panel presented an opportunity to discuss the work and results of SIRIUS network over the past years. The panel generated lively discussion within a broader framework of one the Conference main themes – re-visioning education that promotes inclusion, equality and diversity. Presentations of the panel will be available at the SIRIUS website. Presentation and full text on policies and practice related to migrant and minority students’ integration into mainstream education systems in comparative prospect in Baltic States will be also included. The presentation was prepared by Liesma Ose in collaboration with partners from Lithuania and Estonia. The conference was interesting and provided good discussions.

    You can download the SIRIUS presentations at the CIES Toronto Conference that took place between 10 and 15 March 2014.

  • A new inspiring SIRIUS activity for policy makers: the Forum of Experience for SIRIUS Network policy makers (June 5-6; Riga, Latvia)

    A new inspiring SIRIUS activity for policy makers: the Forum of Experience for SIRIUS Network policy makers (June 5-6; Riga, Latvia)

    By Berta Espona on March 7, 2014
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    Forum will be organized to explore the policy implementation work: integration of children and young people with migrant background in mainstream education, formal and informal, general and vocational, in all the levels of national education systems from the kindergarten to higher education establishments. It aims to strengthen the European cooperation on migration and education across the EU, by creation of a forum for experience sharing for policy makers from all the countries involved. Event is designed as a non – conference (flexible agenda, parallel small work groups, opportunity spontaneously present own agenda). Policy makers will be able to attend “open workshops” on Effective bilingual education and CLIL, Migrant youth sensitive carrier consultations, Citizenship education in multicultural settings etc… The key activity will be bilateral consultations among representatives of old and experienced immigration countries and representatives of new immigration countries, offering mutual opportunities to comment, suggest, and learn from the open reflections on education/migration policy implementation.

  • National news_Portugal

    By Berta Espona on February 21, 2014
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    The SIRIUS national partner from Portugal, FPCE/CIIE of University of Porto, has been working to disseminate SIRIUS outputs and to strengthen SIRIUS cooperation with other institutions. Their work has focused on several issues related to migration and education policies: School Leadership (autonomy, identity, attitudes to equity and responsibilities of school leaders) and Inclusion Policies. Some of the results show that the attitude of the school leader and the influence of policymakers are important to achieve equity and inclusive societies.

  • The fifth SIRIUS Policy Network General Meeting is coming!

    The fifth SIRIUS Policy Network General Meeting is coming!

    By Berta Espona on February 10, 2014
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    The fifth General Meeting of SIRIUS Policy Network will take place on 3rd and 4th April 2014. On this occasion we come back to Barcelona where we could enjoy the springtime in this wonderful Mediterranean city. One of the changes in comparison with the previous meetings is that, in parallel to the General Meeting, a policy makers meeting will take place with the aim to strengthen their involvement in our network and to increase our impact at a policy level. This meeting will be hosted by the city council of l’Hospitalet de Llobregat as a partner of our network. You can find below a draft agenda of the meeting.

    Fifth General Meeting of SIRIUS Policy Network (draft agenda)

    3rd April 2014

    8.30 – 9.00 Registration
    9.00 – 9.30 Institutional  welcome
    9.30 – 11.00 National presentations:

    • National Round Tables
    • Work Packages activities
    • EU Policies
    11.00 – 11.30 Coffee break
    11.30 – 13.00
    Parallel discussion on 2014 activities:
    • Work Package 1 (specially national coordinators)
    • Work Packages 2 and 3
    13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
    14.00 – 14.30 Final event presentation
    14.30 – 16.00 Final event discussion in small groups
    16.00 – 16.30 Coffee break
    16.30 – 18.00 Global picture on funding strategy (HORIZON 2020, etc.)

    Policy makers parallel meeting (L’Hospitalet de Llobregat) (11.00-16.30h)

     

    4th April 2014

    8.30 – 9.00 Registration
    9.00 – 10.30 Report back session:

    • Policy makers meeting
    • Work Package 1 and final event
    • Work Package 2 and 3
    10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break
    11.00 – 13.30
    • ERASMUS + proposals in detail
    • Future
    13.30 – 14.00 Wrap up
  • Next Thematic Workshop: School Governance (2nd April 2014 – Barcelona)

    Next Thematic Workshop: School Governance (2nd April 2014 – Barcelona)

    By Berta Espona on February 10, 2014
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    We are organising a Thematic Workshop on School Governance the day before the next General Meeting of the SIRIUS Policy Network. This event will take place in Barcelona on 2nd April 2014 and it will be organised by ERDISC research team of UAB in cooperation with the regional government of Catalunya. People who want to attend should fill in this form before 17th February 2014 (participants applications will be accepted according to the order of arrival). For any other questions please contact with bertaespona@gmail.com.

    Thematic Workshop on School Governance draft agenda

    8.30 – 9.00 Registration
    9.00 – 9.30 Institutional  welcome
    9.30 – 12.30 Round Table on School Governance
    12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
    13.30 – 15.00 Discussion on the Round Table and conclusions
    15.00 – 17.00 Field visits

     

  • International Migrants Day in Barcelona

    International Migrants Day in Barcelona

    By Berta Espona on January 20, 2014
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    SIRIUS Barcelona team organized on 18th December a conference on education right of youngsters from a migrant background in a crisis context with the aim to commemorate the International Migrants Days. The conference was an opportunity to discuss some data of the latest researches on it, for example, the last PISA results. This event was also used to present SIRIUS Network in Catalan context.

  • Toronto CIES conference participation

    By Berta Espona on December 17, 2013
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    One of the activities of 2014 that appears in the activity plan of Collaborative Partners is the participation to scientific events in order to present SIRIUS work. For that reason we submitted a proposal of a group panel of our work in CIES conference that will take place on 10th – 15th March 2014 in Toronto, and it has been accepted.

  • International Migrants Day in Barcelona

    International Migrants Day in Barcelona

    By Berta Espona on December 17, 2013
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    With the aim to commemorate the International Migrant Days, SIRIUS Barcelona team organizes a conference on education right of youngsters from a migrant background in a crisis context. The event will take place on 18th December and regional authorities will participate in the opening and closure. Several migrant organizations have been invited at this conference. For more information consult here.

  • SIRIUS meetings in 2014

    SIRIUS meetings in 2014

    By Berta Espona on December 17, 2013
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    2014 will be plenty of SIRIUS activities and meetings. The first SIRIUS network general meeting of 2014 will take place from 3rd to 4th April 2014. It will be the fifth general meeting of the SIRIUS network, and it will take place in Barcelona. Before the general meeting, on 2nd April, will take place a Thematic Workshop on “School Governance”.

    Moreover, next year is the last year of SIRIUS network period 2012-2014, so we are preparing a big event to close this first period. This final meeting will take place in Brussels with the aim to exchange our findings and to disseminate our recommendations to policy makers. We have also fixed the dates, 19th to 21st November 2014.

  • The policy brief on mentoring

    By Berta Espona on December 17, 2013
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    A new SIRIUS policy brief will be released very soon. The title is Mentoring: What can support projects do what schools can’t? The authors are Jens Schneider and Maurice Crul.

  • Hungarian SIRIUS National Round Table

    Hungarian SIRIUS National Round Table

    By Berta Espona on December 16, 2013
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    The Hungarian National Round Table took place at 27th of September 2013 in Pécs (University of Pécs, Paulus Café) with participation of 45 university and civic experts, university students. In Hungary one of the purposes of organizing SIRIUS National Roundtable independently from the Ministry of Human Resources was the political double talk of the policy makers. Our strategy is to find international partners (like ministries and universities) to appeal the ministry to create a more congruent context of the migrant and Roma policy issues. Organizers planned this roundtable as a work and strategic conference with the presence of university students and lecturers. For the wider publicity they would like to organize a larger event, a conference with the participation of more network member to send clear and visible messages to the government and the society.

    This event contained two parts: a conference and a strategic workshop. Ferenc Arató the national coordinator of SIRIUS Network presented the aims and work of the SIRIUS Network in his opening. Presentations were the following:

    András Kováts, Menedék (Hungarian Association for Migrants):

    A critical analysis of the European indicators evaluating the policy framework of the education of migrant pupils.

    What are the dimensions in which we conceptualise and evaluate policy measures on the education of migrant pupils? What do these indicators measure and what not? How do Hungarian teachers assess the EU Commission’s policy recommendations on the education of migrant pupils?

    Norbert Szűcs (University of Szeged):

    Public education desegregation models in multi-school settlements

    What kind of desegregation strategies can be implemented in multi-school settlements? How can be the level of „rigid” integration exceeded? What are the main phases of desegregation process? What are the requirements of a successful desegregation? 

    Aranka Varga  (Romology Research Center, University of Pécs):

    International approach of inclusion in the historical development of the last twenty year and in social and educational context

    How the concept of inclusion has changed from disabled people in school to social inclusion of every people? How can we define inclusion in equality context? How can we characterize the concept of inclusive education nowadays?

    Sara Bigazzi, Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs:

    Multiple Me – The necessity for dialogue

    Dialogue and knowledge, dialogue and identity, dialogue and community. Obedience or dialogue? What are the conditions of dialogue? what are the conditions of intercultural dialogue in public education?

    Renata Anna Dezső, Institute of Educational Sciences, University of Pécs

    Neurodiversity.  A new approach for viewing and treating us, neurologically diverse individuals each – an emerging theory from overseas in a nutshell

    „We are all individuals! – No, I’m not!” Abnormal, atypical or simply different? Eight principles of neurodiversity! Why our disability culture needs conceptual change and that of general approaches?

    Ferenc Arató (national coordinator of SIRIUS, University of Pécs)

    Desegregation and inclusion – a subsidiary model of education system development ignored

    Do we have evidences, models for inclusion and desegregation in system level? What are the pillars of a subsidiary and cooperative model? What can we do for re-implementation of this model?

    Péter Heindl (ex-member of the Anti-Segregation Roundtable):

    Civics at the Anti-Segregation Roundtable – The necessity for collaboration

    What happened? Why we should have stepped out? Political double talk – contradiction in communication and legislation of the ministry

     

    Conclusions that came up during National Round Table strategic workshop

    • Public educational institutions need autonomy in creating pedagogical programs and curricula but desegregation needs obligatory interventions.
    • Subsidiarity and cooperative structures are key elements for effective and efficient implementation: individualization, cooperation, horizontal learning and authentic assessment are needed not only in the case of the learners but in the case of the teachers and institutions as well.
    • Subsidiary and differentiated supports, training and mentoring services for schools should be provided long lasting (independently from the actual government) and should contain quality insurance system of monitoring and mentoring. The importance of participative, horizontal learning in effective and efficient implementation is inevitable.
    • Local communities (parents, families, neighborhood, stakeholders, inter-sectorial partners etc.) should be involved structurally into the developmental process. Critical publicity of the implementation process should be part of the local, regional and policy level of the developmental process.
    • Research, development, training and practice in teacher training (pre- and in-service) recommended working together in a synergic way dislodging the academic hierarchy of these dimensions. Gaps between research and development discourses, between training and good practice discourses erode the advocacy or/and the empowerment of the teachers, developers and by this the empowerment of the learners.

    Strategies that came up during National Round Table about SIRIUS future in Hungary:

    • Hungarian NRT would like to enhance congruent discussions about the issues of inclusion in education within the policy discourse of Hungary. For this reason they would like to launch international cooperation among ministries focusing the recently hidden results of the last two decades of inclusive practices and models of the Hungarian public education.
    • Hungarian NRT would like to present of the approaches and results of the Hungarian scientific research and development discourse within the international discourse of de-segregation, integration and inclusion. For this reason we will organize a wider network of the national SIRIUS network and common projects with universities, research and development centers from the international SIRIUS network.
  • The Dutch National Round Table: an opportunity to discuss on Early School Leaving policies and exchange good practices

    The Dutch National Round Table: an opportunity to discuss on Early School Leaving policies and exchange good practices

    By Berta Espona on December 12, 2013
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    The last SIRIUS National Round Table of 2013 took place in The Hague (The Netherlands) on 4th December 2013. The topic was early school leaving and about 25 people attended, from practice, policy and research. Included were people from minority organizations and a national organization of students in upper secondary education, from local governments, schools, and special programs for early school leavers.

    Den Haag-20131204-00073

    The MoE co-hosted the meeting together with the Knowledge Centre for Mixed Schools. A senior official of the MoE welcomed everyone and explained the interest of the MoE in the meeting. The national policy of the Netherlands is a general one, that is to say it is targeted at all early school leavers. If an analysis of the regional and local situation asks for targeted measures for groups with a special background, however, national budget can be used to implement such measures. The national government facilitates the quantitative regional analyses, using  their database. At the meeting three good practices were presented targeted at students with Roma and Sinti backgrounds, Moroccan background, and teenage mothers (with different backgrounds). In the group discussions also other good practices were mentioned.

    Some of the main conclusions of the meeting were:

    • we need very good teachers, that know the students and their background, and are able to take that into account; minority background might not be the main issue, it is more about social economic status and multi problem families; therefore we need teacher training for culture sensitivity /diversity and (multi) problem backgrounds;
    • we need not only to look at the individual level but also at the school level and system level to prevent and combat early school leaving;
    • parents are important; there are activities focused especially at parents;
    • we need to share and exchange experiences in order to be able to learn from one  another, and we need to discuss how we can utilize what we know about good examples (what works, for whom and why) and at the same time adapt such knowledge to the local situation.

    Based on this meeting, SIRIUS should consider taking up the challenge of the Dutch MoE, and analyse the regional and local situation of early school leavers to see if targeted measures for groups with a minority background are necessary. If so, SIRIUS could have a direct policy impact with the support of the national budget to implement the suggested policy change.