Following the very successful conclusion of another European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) project, ETUCE presents now the final report and a declaration following the recently finalised project on "Professional Autonomy, Accountability and Efficient Leadership and the role of employers' organisations, trade unions and school leaders". The one-year project was conducted jointly by the European education social partners, ETUCE and  EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) with the support of the European Commission.  It was presented at the ESSDE Plenary Meeting 2014 and at the ETUCE Committee meeting in  March 2015.

Within the ESSDE it has been important to discuss the establishment of a strong and effective leadership in European schools to support necessary educational development  for high quality education systems which can meet the current economic and social challenges such as the European economic recovery and social cohesion.  For both social partner organisations, school leaders have always been  an important stakeholder group as the link between school management and teachers, between different levels of education and training, families, the local community and the labour market. School leaders also have a crucial responsibility in ensuring the creation of a safe and conducive environment for teaching and learning and student success. According to international studies, school leaders are expected to play a key role in the maintenance and improvement of educational quality. Therefore, the increased recognition of the responsibility of school leaders for school quality and performance were important starting points for this project as presented in this report.

The research work  and the peer learning visits in the Netherlands, Malta and England showed  that the dialogue between and among teachers and school leaders, between trade unions and employers, between schools and their direct community is of upmost importance in guaranteeing strong school leadership, in enhancing mutual trust and good-will in striving for education quality. This is why the European Social Partners in education, ETUCE and EFEE, emphasize together that this work topic remains a key priority for their member organisations.

The project results as part of the important work within the ESSDE aim to support teacher trade unions and their social partners in enhancing the effectiveness and accountable autonomy of education institutions and school leaders.  ETUCE and EFEE have therefore committed themselves to actively promote their social dialogue and this declaration at all possible levels. ETUCE European Director Martin Rømer states: "The years of work on the establishment and development of the ESSDE are beginning to bear fruit and lets us hope for more to come. Cooperation in terms of social partnership at European level becomes more effective on several topics of joint interest. ETUCE remains committed to enhance the European sectoral social partnership in education and I believe that our strong engagement in European education policy shaping has been visible here again. It remains to be wished that our work results will be useful and implemented at national level."

Read the final project report and the ESSDE Joint Declaration