In recent years, the rise of migration and other socio-economic tendencies across Europe has changed the experience of education for students, teachers and parents, leading to the stronger ethnic, cultural, religious and socio-economic diversity in the classrooms. A recently published OECD paper on ‘The lives of teachers in diverse classrooms’, focuses on the challenges experienced by teachers who are working in diverse classrooms and their solutions.

The fourth EU Roma Week took place from 18-21 March 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. The week was jointly orgnaised by several Members of the European Parliament as well as, the EU Commission and the UN Human Rights Office in Brussels and civil society organisations.Some of the Roma Week events included: A panel discussion on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as a tool to support the fight against anti-Gypsyism and how to use the 2030 Agenda for Roma inclusion.

The ETUCE Bureau confirmed its unwavering solidarity with the Independent Trade Union of Primary Education Workers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ITUPEWBH) following a fact-finding mission on 13-15 February 2019. In the wake of this mission, the Office of the Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) had circulated a letter to the ILO, ITUC, the EU-Delegation to the FBiH and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in BiH, containing false information about the statement of the European Director which she gave at the press conference during the ETUCE mission in Sarajevo in February 2019.

In 1979, the first of its kind in Germany AG Schwule Lehrer (Berlin gay teachers’ group) created by ETUCE member organisation GEW in 1978, succeeded in persuading the national education authorities to abolish the law which previously had allowed the dismissal of homosexual teachers. This March, the GEW is widely celebrating this and many other achievements of the ground-breaking group.

Education trade unions should raise awareness about the interconnection between the work-life balance arrangements and gender pay and pension gaps and promote working time models which cater for teachers at different stages of their lives. This conclusion was reached by the participants of the final regional seminar of the ETUCE project Social dialogue and gender equality: Empowering education trade unions to address gender equality in the teaching profession through social dialogue, which took place in Munich on 28-29 March 2019.

A high-level conference entitled “The Nordic Way – Early Childhood Education & Care” was organised on 26-27 March, 2019 in Oslo in cooperation between the Ministry of Education of Norway and Norwegian trade unions, supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The participants were policy makers and teachers from 47 countries.