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Education of children from migrant backgrounds

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Education of children from migrant backgrounds

 

SUMMARY OF:

Council conclusions — educating children with a migrant background

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE CONCLUSIONS?

  • The document sets out the issues in relation to the education of children with a migrant background*. It is important in forming a cohesive society and for individuals to become active and successful citizens and to develop their full potential.
  • It invites EU countries and the European Commission to pursue a series of measures to achieve these aims.

KEY POINTS

  • Education is important to the integration of migrants into EU society. At every level, targeted measures and greater flexibility are needed to cater for learners with a migrant background, to provide support and opportunities to develop to their full potential.
  • Education systems which place a strong emphasis on both equity and quality, favouring inclusive approaches at all levels, prove the most effective in responding to the needs of pupils with a migrant background.
  • Cultural diversity should be welcomed as a source of vitality and enrichment. Promoting intercultural education, while respecting host country identity, sharing knowledge and deepening understanding of one anotherʼs cultures, as well as building mutual respect and combating prejudice will provide lasting benefits for all.

EU countries’ responsibilities

Each EU country should take action at local, regional or national levels, including:

  • develop an integrated policy approach to achieve these objectives;
  • set up or strengthen anti-discrimination mechanisms with the aim of promoting social integration and active citizenship;
  • make education more accessible by removing barriers within school systems;
  • improve quality in schooling, including efforts to attract and keep the best teachers and strengthen leadership in underperforming schools;
  • increase access to highquality early childhood education and care;
  • offer more personalised learning and individual support, particularly for the children of migrants who have low educational attainment levels;
  • provide specialised training in intercultural competences and managing linguistic and cultural diversity for school leaders, teachers and administrative staff;
  • develop policies for teaching the host country language and considering possibilities for pupils with a migrant background to maintain and develop their mother tongue;
  • ensure high-quality curricula relevant to all pupils, irrespective of origin, and take into account the needs of children with a migrant background in teaching methods and materials;
  • develop partnerships with migrant communities and step up efforts aimed at improving communication with parents with a migrant background;
  • provide targeted support for pupils with a migrant background who also have special needs;
  • collect and analyse data to inform policymaking;
  • share good practice at the appropriate level to improve policies and actions;
  • use the lifelong learning programme, the European Social Fund and other resources such as the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund , to support intercultural education projects and the education of learners with a migrant background.

European Commission responsibilities

The Commission, for its part, should:

  • support cooperation among EU countries on the issues raised in these conclusions, including sharing experience and good practice and using existing EU programmes;
  • consider how the objectives of the directive on the education of the children of migrant workers can best be achieved in the evolving context of migration;
  • monitor the achievement gap between native learners and learners with a migrant background, using existing data and indicators;
  • cooperate closely with other international organisations on issues relating to education and migration, such as the Council of Europe, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD);
  • ensure that migration-related issues are adequately reflected in relevant EU programmes and other education and training initiatives, including in higher education;
  • ensure that issues relating to the education of children with a migrant background are reflected in the social protection and social inclusion process.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

with a migrant background the children of all persons living in an EU country where they were not born, irrespective of whether they are non-EU nationals, citizens of another EU country or subsequently became nationals of the host country.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Council conclusions of 26 November 2009 on the education of children with a migrant background (OJ C 301, 11.12.2009, pp. 5-8)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Directive 77/486/EEC of 25 July 1977 on the education of the children of migrant workers (OJ L 199, 6.8.1977, pp. 32-33)

Green Paper — Migration and mobility: challenges and opportunities for EU education systems (COM(2008) 423 final, 3.7.2008)

Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the Green Paper — Migration and mobility: challenges and opportunities for EU education systems (OJ C 218, 11.9.2009, pp. 85-90)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — Action plan on unaccompanied minors (2010-2014) (COM(2010) 213 final, 6.5.2010)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — The protection of children in migration (COM(2017) 211 final, 12.4.2017)

last update 14.11.2017

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