The SIRIUS 3.0 second Spaces for Change session advocacy training session was held on 1st December 2023 and included partners from Croatia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Iceland, France and Slovenia. The group discussed the qualities we appreciate and need to cultivate in ourselves and stakeholders in order to achieve our policy change goals and implementation for better migrant education.
Government representatives from Iceland and Greece brought in their unique experience of being teacher-policymakers, meaning that their practical experiences of teaching in schools, and navigating within their countrys’ systems means that their approach of developing and implementing policy is different from colleagues who don’t have this unique background. As one government rep said ‘’You cannot work for a certain Ministry or Department if you have not been in the shoes of those that you are working for.’’
In addition to lived experience, we discussed understanding that our partners need to be seen legitimately, our French partner from University Montpellier III mentioning that joining the SIRIUS network, working with the European Commission and Council of Europe have been integral to moving their legitimacy forward in their national landscape. Our partner UAB talked about agency and the ability to change things. UAB has worked extensively with municipalities in shaping and informing their agendas and making sure that you are working directly with those that have the capacity to transform systems is essential. We also spoke about passion, motivation and the willingness to do things. At SIRIUS we characterize this as urgency. How urgent is an issue to you and will you work with us to reach a collaborative goal? The final discussion point was proximity or collaborators-how is your relationship? Are you building a network for people to support and witness each other? Are we together in this and how can we demonstrate that to each other.
The partners will now develop stakeholder databases of organisations that are critical to the success of migrant education in their landscapes. Recognising who they need to work with and how will be critical to making sustainable networks of involved stakeholders and making change an impactful and lasting reality.