EURYDICE has published a report on the recommended minimum instruction time in full-time compulsory general education in 2016/17 in 42 European education systems. Since 2010, EURYDICE issues yearly reports on the recommended minimum instruction time, analysing recent policy changes, the flexibility of local authorities and schools with a view to distributing the instruction time across grades and subjects, and the instruction time provided for different subjects.

With this week’s meetings confirming the  Education Ministry’s insufficient commitment to improve the situation in the education sector, two ETUCE member organisations in Portugal, Federação Nacional da Educação (FNE) and Federação Nacional dos Professores (FENPROF), announce a national teachers’ strike to be held on 21 June 2017. For FNE and FENPROF, this is an inevitable step to relaunch meaningful social dialogue in Portugal for the recognition of education personnel, including non-teaching staff.

Over the course of three days in May, participants of the annual Congress of the University and College Union (UCU) in Brighton, discussed many important issues concerning not only further and higher education and state education policies, but also issues of equality, free movement, climate change, and of course, the future of education trade unions and loss of their memberships. Trade unionists also called to campaign against the repression of university teachers, journalists, and politicians in Turkey and commented on the French elections by warning about the growth of racism and islamophobia in Europe.

The Directorate General Communications Networks, Content &Technology (DG CONNECT) of the European Commission has recently published a concept paper on ‘Digitisation, employability and inclusiveness’ (May 2017). The report deals with the impact of digital transformation on the labour market, in particular, with the challenges and opportunities of digitalisation for employability and inclusive purposes.

On 30 May 2017, at the occasion of the Conference ‘Education in Europe: Public Investment, Privatisation and Reforms: What role do education trade unions play?’, ETUCE released the research report and the practical guide for education trade unions to strengthen their involvement on the European Semester, thus concluding the two years project ‘Investing in Education: Strengthening the involvement of teacher trade unions in the European Semester on Education and Training’. The report, titled: ‘Education and Training Policy in the European Semester – Public Investment, Public Policy, Social Dialogue and Privatisation patterns across Europe’, is the result of a two years research conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, on behalf of ETUCE.

According to a study conducted upon request of the VBE, the inclusion of children with special needs into regular schools remains challenging. For the representative study, 2050 teachers in regular schools were interviewed. Teachers‘ opinions on inclusion differ greatly: while 54% of the respondents were generally in favour of inclusion, 42% found enrolling children with special needs in special schools more reasonable. The promotion of tolerance, better integration of children with special needs and the promotion of social competencies were among the arguments listed in favour of inclusion.