Developing educational policies for people with a migrant background – National Roundtable for Spain 2019

The law in Spain states that the public Administration is responsible for implementing practices that promote the integration of pupils with a migrant background into the education system. Consequently, it is up to the regional governments (comunidades autónomas) to develop such integration in their contexts. The outcome of all is a heterogeneous map of 17 education programmes that implement this regulation in a diverse way. Spain hosted 797,618 pupils with a migrant background in its classrooms at all levels of education during the 2018-2019 academic course. All those students were integrated in an education system that was ruled under the principle of equity. In terms of schooling, pupils with a migrant background were supplied with full universal access to compulsory education between the ages of 6 and 16 as their native peers, with no discrimination at all, and children between 3 and 6 years attended to pre-school establishments in rates higher than 95%. However, the Spanish education system shows a significant gap in schooling from 0 to 3 years old, as well as in vocational education. This prints a significant impact on migrant population, with low rates of schooling of their youngest children. Surprisingly, the migrant population rates in vocational education are higher than the average, as this education has a low prestige in Spanish society, and it is mainly devoted for early school leavers and those without an academic accreditation. In terms of academic achievement, data show that there is still a long way to go. Recent research states that the probability of repeating a low socioeconomic quartile pupil is almost 6 times higher than that of a high socioeconomic quartile pupil. If we consider that pupils with a migrant background are mostly concentred within the low socioeconomic quartile, we easily conclude that these pupils achieve worse academic results than their native classmates in big proportions. Grade repetition rates are also higher for migrant pupils than their native peers. The policy measures for moving on equity for all (migrant pupils included) are clear: a significant budget increase, better school management, improving the curriculum model, improving the both internal and external school assessment system, improving teacher training, promoting a democratic management, introducing community education and increasing schools’ autonomy. The more the education system becomes better for all, the more the pupils with a migrant background will become more successful at school. In 2019, the Spanish SIRIUS National Round Table focused the attention on three of these measures: the promotion of a democratic school management through the improvement of migrant parents participation, the teacher training addressed to those teachers working in highly concentrated settings, and the participation of youngsters in non-formal education, especially those identified as unaccompanied minors.

A Comparative Report of 15 Multi-Stakeholder National Meetings on Migrant Education – 2018

SIRIUS builds up on the national (and regional) activities and knowledge creation that took place between 2012 to 2014 with the European Commission’s support. It is expected that the national (and regional) activities of the Policy Network on Migrant Education (SIRIUS) have a direct impact on national policy implementation across the European Union (EU) with the goal of enabling inclusive and equitable education environments for children and young people with a migrant background.

Reinforcing all key competences for migrant pupils through non-formal education: the Escolhas programme and its impact on migrant pupils – a Peer Learning from Portugal 2018

The proposed action SIRIUS 2.0 – Policy Network on Migrant Education (EAC/S28/2016) aims to promote co-operation between different stakeholders, support inclusive policy development and implementation at different governance levels and facilitate the integration of children and young people with migration background in school education.

Statement on the revision of the EU Key Competences Framework 2018

Sirius Network acknowledges the importance of the common framework of crucial competences for life across Member States, presenting a step forward to a holistic approach to education and training. However, the Network stresses the need for further synergies and a better alignment with other existing frameworks and researches, such as from the OECD and Council of Europe.

Refugee children in education in Europe. How to prevent a lost generation? 2017

Already for decades, European countries have ample experience receiving refugee children. The last peak was in the 1990s due to the civil war in former Yugoslavia, the war in Iraq and the political situation in Iran. Because of the most recent conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, between 2013 and 2015 no less than 613.395 youngsters under the age of eighteen applied for asylum (European Commission Education and Training Monitor 2016). Policy makers and practitioners across Europe are struggling to offer education to these new refugee children (EUROCITIES, 2017). Civil society organizations were often the first to provide language and educational support for refugee children. The coordination of the efforts of the different stakeholders (different local government bodies and civil society organizations) was often difficult to manage (Peer learning report Sweden). What can we learn from all these experiences, so that the children and young people arriving will not become a lost generation?