Education trade unions should be involved in the design and implementation of the initial and continuous teacher training, concluded the participants of the first regional seminar of the ETUCE project “Education Trade Unions for the Teaching Profession. Strengthening the capacity of education trade unions to represent teachers’ professional needs in social dialogue”. The seminar took place in Warsaw, Poland, on 27-28 November 2017 and was organised with the support of ZNP, one of the Polish education trade unions, as a project partner.

Trade union representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, FYROM, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia had the opportunity to examine various teacher training systems in Central and Eastern Europe and assess how different education trade unions engage in the process of representing teachers’ professional needs in social dialogue.

Presenting the project online survey conducted among ETUCE member organisations, Professor Howard Stevenson, University of Nottingham, reported that in many countries in the region, teachers have no influence on their professional development and, as a result, teacher training is often of a poor quality, not adequate, and not valued by the employer. In working groups participants solutions for strengthening the capacity of education trade unions in improving teacher training, including exchanging good practices among trade unions, raising awareness among trade union affiliates and leaders about the importance of continuous professional development, and working with media to raise the image of the teaching profession.

Seminar participants were also presented with the strategies of education trade unions in Scotland (Educational Institute of Scotland) and Finland (Trade Union of Education OAJ) on shaping teacher training. In order to get more inside views on teacher training in Poland, a visit to the University of Warsaw was organised where participants learned about a unique initial training programme for Math and Polish language teachers ‘School of Education’, that focuses on the co-teaching, team learning, and student-centered teaching approach.

Susan Flocken, European Director, closed the seminar stating: “Education trade unions need to engage in shaping the future of education. Teacher training adopted to teachers’ needs is a requirement for quality education and a key to the attractiveness of the teaching profession”.

The next regional seminars are going to take place in Berlin (March 2018) and in Rome (May 2018). The project final conference will be held in Brussels in September 2018.

See pictures of the training here.