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Document 31997Y1004(02)

Council Conclusions of 22 September 1997 on safety at school

OJ C 303, 4.10.1997, p. 3–4 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

In force

31997Y1004(02)

Council Conclusions of 22 September 1997 on safety at school

Official Journal C 303 , 04/10/1997 P. 0003 - 0004


COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS of 22 September 1997 on safety at school (97/C 303/02)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

1. Having regard to the provisions of Article 126 of the Treaty establishing the European Community which assigns to the Community the role of contributing to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action.

Having regard to the fact that safety at school can be viewed as impinging on, as well as being a condition for, quality in education, because sufficient quality in education cannot be expected without an open and safe climate in the school, in which pupils/students and teachers can learn and teach without fear of being intimidated, bullied or abused.

2. Taking note that the Member States are increasingly concerned with problems relating to safety at school and that within the Member States a need for action can be discerned, both at Member State and European level.

Taking note that the Member States have already introduced many actions and projects in order to make schools safer which provided experience on what works and what does not work in various circumstances concerning the fostering of safety at school.

Having regard to the Council conclusions of 23 October 1995 on social participation in education and to the Council conclusions of 21 November 1996 on school effectiveness in which social participation in education and home/school/community links are stressed as being important for a successful school, and noting that it is important to involve parents, pupils/students, teachers, headteachers and local agencies and their organizations at European and Member State level in activities in this field.

3. Having regard to the fact that the growing attention paid to safety at school reflects developments in society and that safety at school encompasses aspects of the relationships among pupils/students and between pupils/students and teachers within school, as well as relationships between the school and its social environment. Taking note that fostering safety at school may include strategies to prevent and to combat intimidation, bullying and abuse (for pupils/students as well as teachers).

Having regard to the fact that, inter alia, gender studies on social relations at school as well as gender-related pilot projects could offer valuable contributions to the search for the causes of violence, to the prevention of violence and to strategies for creating a safe climate at school.

4. Taking note that there is a rich diversity of practices and a variety of approaches to the fostering of safety at schools in the Member States but that Member States are however faced with the same kind of problems concerning safety at schools. Taking note that first steps at European level have been taken to explore these problems in the Member States.

5. Having regard to the fact that, while safety at school is clearly within the competence of the Member States, the European dimension could provide added-value in this area. Stressing that there can be relevant advantages in the exchange of information and learning from experience in the field of safety at school and that, to be as fruitful as possible, the exchange of information and learning from experience should be organized in a structured way,

ADOPTS THE FOLLOWING CONCLUSIONS:

1. An ad hoc expert group at European level could be supportive in the development of a framework in which the activities mentioned below can take place. These activities may also comprise the fostering of research in the field of safety at school as well as the organizing of European conferences on safety at school. The expert group could comprise representatives of the Commission, national representatives to be designated on the basis of proposals forwarded by Member States as well as representatives of European organizations of teachers and parents. Other relevant European organizations could be consulted by the expert group where appropriate.

2. Ensuring that there is, at European level, a specific exchange of information and experience, could contribute to fostering safety at school. This exchange would, with the involvement of the export group, aim at collecting, sorting out and disseminating information about qualitative and quantitative data, practices, policies and research results on safety at school in the European Union. This could be realized, for example, by using information technology networks between institutions in the Member States involved in the fostering of safety at school.

3. The launching of transnational pilot projects at European level could make a valuable contribution to the further development of actions aimed at fostering safety at school. These pilot projects should inter alia aim at testing promising approaches concerning the fostering of safety at school. Such pilot projects should be organized 'bottom up`. Initiatives should be taken by Member States and schools. The expert group will be closely involved in the implementation of the pilot projects. In this way a variety of approaches and experiences can be guaranteed. Specific attention should be paid to preventive and curative aspects of safety at school as well as to the development of explanations of violence at schools and to the school in its environment. Measurement and evaluation of added-value of different approaches should be implied in the setting up of pilot projects,

CALLS ON THE MEMBER STATES:

4. To continue and where necessary improve their activities in fostering safety at school,

To stimulate participation in cooperation at European level in the field of safety at school by participating in the specific exchange of information and experience and in the setting-up of pilot projects and the setting-up of a group of experts, as well as taking part in European conferences on safety at school,

CALLS ON THE COMMISSION IN COOPERATION WITH THE MEMBER STATES AND ON THE BASIS OF THE EXISTING BUDGETARY FRAMEWORK AND THE EXISTING COMMUNITY INSTRUMENTS,

5. To set up an expert group on safety at school. This group will exist till the end of 1999,

To support the specific exchange of information and experience concerning safety at school,

To support transnational pilot projects and conferences in the field of safety at school,

To report to the Council on the results of these activities not later than 30 June 1999, in order to facilitate an overall evaluation of the results of these activities by the Council.

Done at Brussels, 22 september 1997.

For the Council

The President

F. BODEN

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