The European Commission Advisory Committee on equal opportunities for women and men has recently published two opinions, regarding future gender equality policy after 2019 and new challenges for gender equality in the changing world of work.In its opinion on future gender equality policy after 2019, the Advisory Committee calls for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by all Member States, the re-establishment of gender equality as a priority issue for the EU, and the adoption of a high-level intersectional gender equality strategy 2020-2025 by the European Commission.

Access to education and training for children with migrant background is not sufficient if it is not combined with quality education and learning which meets students’ learning needs and aspiration, concludes the Eurydice report on “Integrating Students from Migrant Backgrounds into Schools in Europe: National Policies and Measures” published on 17 January 2019. The report offers a comparative analysis of the policies and measures on integration of migrant students in education in 42 education systems (in 28 EU member states), including such areas as access to education, language, learning and psycho-social support, and support for teachers and school heads.

Standing Committee for Equality members gathered for another productive annual meeting in Brussels on 7-8th February 2019. The theme of this year’s meeting was ‘Education Trade Unions for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, it is time to take the lead!’ which focused on the inclusion of migrants, refugees, and ethnic minorities into education, and the teaching of citizenship and transmission of democratic values across Europe. In addition to the main points of discussion, the delegates addressed the digital gap, given the increasing digitalisation of our societies and the opportunities and risks new technologies can bring in terms of equality and inclusion.

On 20 June 2018, the Executive Board of the Greek Primary Teachers’ Federation (DOE), one of the ETUCE member organisations in Greece, submitted to the European Parliament Petitions Committee a petition No 0580/2018 referring to the issues of non-recruitment of permanent teachers and to the absence of provisions in national legislation on the protection of substitute teachers, in particular, in accordance with the Directive 1999/70/EC and Directive 91/533/EEC, pointing out the important distinction between permanent and substitute teachers.

Tomorrow on 9 February 2019, ETUCE member organisations in Italy - FLC-CGIL, CISL Scuola and UILSCUOLA- are to protest against the Budget Law 2019. The Law that has been drafted without the legitimate consultation of the social partners and, in consequence, risks to expand the existing inequality, in particular, in education in Italy.

Education trade unions, education employers, and school leaders have a key role in promoting democratic citizenship and social inclusion in diverse educational contexts and learning environments. This emphasis on the importance of citizenship education and social inclusion was highlighted in the first training workshop of the joint ETUCE, EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and ESHA (European School Heads Association) project EU CONVINCE (EU Common Values Inclusive Education), which took place in Rome on 31st January 2019.