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Access to school and education for all children

Doc. 13934: collection of written amendments | Doc. 13934 | 28/01/2016 | Final version

Compendium index

Amendment 1 Amendment 2

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1Europe has seen significant progress in the last two decades as regards access to school and education. Such progress, however, is of varying degrees according to the different European regions and groups of population concerned. Barriers to access to school still exist in the Council of Europe member States and they deprive children of the concrete opportunity to take their place in society.
2The Parliamentary Assembly calls for these barriers to be lifted. It also underscores that the goal is not only to have all children attend school, but to ensure they can access quality education that will guarantee the development of their personal capacities and help them reach their full potential.
3Moreover, access to school and quality education is not only an issue of individual justice and of equal opportunities, it is also in the interest of our societies to make the best use each person’s talents and to avoid social costs linked to unemployment and dependency, which may be much higher than investment in education.
4The Assembly therefore calls on member States to enhance their education systems in order to ensure access to quality education for all and regular class attendance until the end of the study programme. Member States should, in particular:
4.1identify priority education zones, and design action for urban and rural environments;
4.2identify groups at risk of exclusion and develop action plans for vulnerable groups, including measures to support education of children who are at risk of dropping out of school, and bring back to school those children who left it before having finished the school programme;
4.3promote networking, exchanges and mutual learning on inclusive education between schools, and the development of relations between schools and the wider community;
4.4strengthen co-operation between public authorities and families and put in place measures to protect children and ensure their access to school and regular class attendance, if families fail to do so;
4.5improve access to pre-primary education for all children, with a special focus on children from disadvantaged families, children of migrants and those attending schools in rural areas;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 4.5, after the words "children of migrants and", insert the following words: "asylum seekers, as well as".

4.6support programmes that help children from minority and migrant communities to acquire adequate knowledge of the language of schooling;
4.7invest in programmes that support parental engagement in early literacy activities with the potential to promote literacy in the early primary grades; these programmes should be tailored to the cultural, ethnic and socio-economic contexts;
4.8encourage parental involvement in school activities, particularly in schools with a higher proportion of students whose parents have low levels of education or a low level of proficiency in the language of their children’s schooling (for example migrant families);
4.9promote academic resilience and academic success (including success “against all odds” for children from disadvantaged families), for instance by developing programmes fostering a positive school climate and motivation towards learning for socially disadvantaged students;
4.10promote the inclusion in high-profile schools of students from disadvantaged families and migrant backgrounds in order to provide an equal opportunity to achieve;
4.11enhance, through targeted training the ability of school managers to implement a policy of inclusiveness, to stimulate a democratic atmosphere in school and to further develop co-decision procedures on school matters;
4.12enhance, through targeted training, of school managers and teachers, the prevention of violence among pupils, in school and outside of it, offline and online, in order to minimise possible conflicts among and with new students;
4.13include in curricula more teaching on human rights, democracy, social justice, multicultural society, tolerance, peaceful conflict resolution and mutual respect in order to advance, in the most efficient and smoothest manner and the inclusion and socialisation of new students;
4.14enhance teachers' professional education and in-service-training to enable them to implement the above-mentioned values and to foster a co-operative atmosphere in the classroom, by acting as role models;
4.15support teachers’ continuing professional development and, in particular, implement teacher education programmes to raise teachers’ awareness of the role played by language in children’s cognitive and social development and teachers’ ability to manage linguistically diverse classrooms;
4.16foster access to pedagogical professions for students from minority and migrant families;
4.17ensure gender equality at all levels of the education system, with a special focus on disadvantaged women and girls, such as the Roma, migrants and refugees and women and girls with disabilities;

28 January 2016

Tabled by Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Ms Petra De SUTTER, Mr Mogens JENSEN, Mr Piet De BRUYN, Mr Rasmus NORDQVIST

Votes: 36 in favor 14 against 3 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 4.17, insert the following paragraph:

"ensure access by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children to quality education by promoting respect and inclusion of LGBTI persons and the dissemination of objective information about issues concerning sexual orientation and gender identity, and by introducing measures to address homophobic and transphobic bullying."

Explanatory note

The Parliamentary Assembly (Recommendation 1915(2010), Resolution 1728(2010)), the Committee of Ministers (Recommendation 2010(5)) and the Commissioner for Human Rights have all expressed concern at the problems faced by LGBTI children in the field of education. This is a very important question that should be mentioned expressly in the resolution.

4.18provide adequate financial support for programmes promoting social inclusion and access to education for all, bearing in mind not only the cost of investing in education, but also the risk of not doing so.
5The Assembly calls on member States to support actions at world level to promote access to school and education for all and, in particular, to implement the Incheon Declaration on “Education 2030: towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all”, adopted at the World Education Forum held from 19 to 22 May 2015 in Incheon (Republic of Korea), and its Framework for Action adopted at the UNESCO High-level meeting on 4 November 2015. Concerted efforts with UNESCO, UNICEF and the European Commission should assist governments and national parliaments to fulfil their duty to offer every child an appropriate education, prepare children for future challenges and give them the chance to live in dignity.
6Finally, the Assembly notes that education expenses are an investment for a better future for individuals, their surroundings and humanity worldwide. It therefore calls on governments of member States to consider adhering to the international benchmarks of 4% to 6% of gross domestic product (GDP) and/or 15% to 20% of total public expenditure for domestic investment in education. Furthermore, Europe should also reiterate its commitment to the international target of providing 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) as official development assistance (ODA) at United Nations-level.