On 18 May, the ETUCE Bureau adopted a statement as a contribution to the Public consultation on Revision of Key Competences.

From ETUCE’s perspective, challenges remain regarding the design and application of the Key Competences Framework. One of the obstacles to implementation is the lack of a clear audience of the Key Competences Framework: who is the target group (national governments, policy makers, school heads, teachers or any other actors of the education sector)? ETUCE regrets that the Key Competences Framework is not tailor-made for the different actors, for example it does not provide guidance to national policy-makers how to adapt the Framework to national/local requirements and how to implement it. One of the reasons for it is a lack of research-based information on common competence mainstream status, challenges and opportunities in EU member states and on effective assessment of transversal competences.

Another challenge of implementing the Key Competences Framework is that some key competences are either subject based (maths, foreign languages), or assessable/measurable (literacy in mother tongue), while others are transversal (e.g. social and civic competences). From ETUCE’s perspective, the Key Competences Framework should not be considered as a target only of the formal education and training but also as part of non-formal and informal learning and the competences should be acquired in all aspects of life. For example, some competences such as creativity and ethics should be addressed across the whole Key Competences Framework, while environmental awareness and sustainability should be added to the list of competences.

ETUCE also stresses that social dialogue and sustainable public investment in education and training are essential for skills and competence development and in order to better introduce the Key Competences Framework into national systems. Additionally, the education authorities should provide information sessions to educational actors (such as school leaders, teachers, parents, students) on the Key Competences Framework, and training to teachers and school leaders on how to integrate it into their teaching, as well as to learners on how to self-assess their learning outcomes.

While the recent Key Competences Framework has not been fully implemented in many countries, ETUCE is concerned that the revision will contribute to new, unnecessary educational reforms and the revision of the National Qualifications Frameworks. Therefore, ETUCE strongly believes that the Key Competences Framework should remain only as a guidance to national and local education actors, and it should be broad and flexible enough to tailor it to national and local circumstances and to different types of learners (e.g. refugees, socio-economically disadvantaged, learners with special/additional needs, etc.).