Teacher training should be sufficiently addressed in social dialogue and collective agreements and lead to the increase of the status of teaching profession in the society. These are the conclusions of the third regional seminar of the ETUCE projectEducation Trade Unions for the Teaching Profession - Strengthening the capacity of education trade unions to represent teachers’ professional needs in social dialogue” which took place in Rome, Italy, on 26-27 April 2018.

Trade union representatives from Albania, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey (who were joined by the Project Advisory Group members from Finland, Germany, Poland, and Latvia) had the opportunity to examine various teacher training systems in Southern Europe and assess how different education trade unions contribute to the improvement of initial and continuous teacher training through means of social dialogue.

Representatives of the education trade unions UIL-Scuola, CISL-S, and FLC-CGIL in Italy outlined main challenges in teacher training in Italy linked to budgetary cuts and decrease of resources allocated to education, as well as wide spread of precarious employment and open-ended contracts in education. The Italian trade unions demand  full school autonomy and financial support for continuous professional development (‘teacher training bonus’) to be allocated to all education staff, not only permanent teachers. Participants also learned about the work of the IRASE Nazionale, Training Institute of UIL-Scuola, accredited by the Ministry of Education training body, which has 27 branches throughout Italy and provides individualised teacher training in blended format.

To obtain a more practical view on initial teacher training in Italy, workshop participants visited public elementary and nursery school (Scuola Elementare Statale di Padre Piemonte con annessa Scuola Maternal) in Rome where they met school mentors and student trainees, who are carrying out a practical part of their university studies.

In working groups, participants proposed solutions for strengthening the capacity of education trade unions in improving teacher training, such as the need to address and negotiate on teacher training in the framework of social dialogue, and to promote unity and solidarity among trade unions on this topic.

The project outcomes will be presented in a final conference in Brussels on 19-20 September 2018 whereto ETUCE member organisations and interested stakeholders will be invited.

See pictures of the training here.