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Belgium-French-Community:Reforms in School Education

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Overview Belgium (French Community)

Contents

Belgium-French-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-French-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-French-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-French-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-French-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-French-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-French-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-French-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-French-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-French-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-French-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-French-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-French-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-French-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-French-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-French-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-French-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-French-Community:Legislation

Belgium-French-Community:Glossary

2015

1. Within a provision of the decree on various measures in education adopted 14 July 2015, the number of half-days of legally unauthorized absence, from which the directions of secondary education must report the students concerned to the Administration, changed from 20 to 9 half-days. This measure is accompanied by mobilizing existing school dropout services, that can be strengthened.

15 million will be allocated to the call for projects on the fight against early school leaving under the European Social Fund program to schools and organizations of the Youth Aid and additional resources will be allocated to support additional devices. A partnership agreement may be concluded between school dropout services and an agency whose main moral object is the fight against school failure and dropout, which will enhance the number of supported cases. These measures represent the first steps in the context of a broader plan against school dropout that will be discussed in the context of the Teaching Excellence Pact’s work


2. Within the Decree program, further steps with regard to guidance and support of integration for students in specialised education were adopted by Parliament July 14, 2015 to meet particular the observation that our ordinary education is not inclusive enough and sometimes too easily relegates to specialised education.

Redefining orientation conditions to specialised education

New rules are planned for decisions on orientation of a student to specialised education. A lack of teaching language proficiency or coming from a poor social environment will not be - alone - a valid reason for orientation to specialised education any more. In case of orientation to specialised education, for students who fall under type 1 of specialised education (for students with mild mental retardation), under type 3 (for students with moderate or severe mental retardation), or under type 8 (for students with learning disabilities), the enrollment report will now describe support and reasonable accommodation in place in ordinary education and demonstrate that they have proved inadequate to ensure learning appropriate to the specific needs of the student. This will avoid too systematic orientation to specialised education and strengthen the inclusive aspect of ordinary school.

Steps are also being taken for integration in specialised education. It is only if integration is not possible in ordinary education that the student is orientated to specialised education. In total permanent integration for each student in primary education and in the first two degrees of ordinary secondary education, 4 periods for supported students will be granted, provided by specialised education staff. Strengthening support for students with learning disabilities in ordinary education The new measure aims at standardizing the periods granted under permanent total integration, now providing four periods for supporting students for the integrations organized in ordinary primary and secondary education.

In the third stage of secondary education, only students under type 4 of specialised education (for students with physical disabilities), under type 5 (for the students supported in terms of their a health by a hospital or a medical social institution recognized by public authorities), under type 6 (for students with visual impairments and / or functional impairment of vision) and under type 7 (for students with hearing impairments and / or a significant lack of communication), may still benefit from the 16 periods for supporting students. Based on the means made available, 450 additional support periods may be granted on a proposal of the General Council of specialised education, particularly in the specialised education institutions organizing an adapted pedagogy or particular projects.


3. The Parliament of the French Community of Belgium voted, July 14, 2015, the full renewal of additional budgetary means for the differentiated support.

The differentiated support policy and the differentiated funding add human and financial resources to institutions that enroll students from socio-economically lower environments. In 2009, in an effort to empower disadvantaged youth, the French Community introduced this differentiated support regime, which now benefits a student out of four. This effort to “disadvantaged” schools materializes in two ways: on the one hand, more teachers in the schools concerned, representing an effort of 48 million euros a year now, and on the other hand additional means up to nearly 14 million euros a year, which 25 % are used to hiring additional support staff.

The Government decided that 25% of these additional resources will have to be allocated to pay staff involved in the fight against failure. With this 25% minimum, it will therefore be intended to strengthen both the means for additional staff and the capacities of mobilizing additional periods for remediation, supervised study, support in learning, educational counseling, continuing personal development, mentoring, etc.


4. Fight against harassment at school

A set of coordinated measures to fight harassment among students in schools was adopted by the Government for the school year 2015 - 2016. Six axes are privileged to fight harassment and will be implemented in mid-September 2015:

- Inclusion in the school plan of a prevention device

- Launch of a major action research for the years 2015-2018

- Launch of a structured network of prevention and of support for harassment for the years 2015-2018

- Creation of a platform containing all the resources in this area, online in mid-September

- Student engagement in the fight against harassment: launch of a call for projects for a campaign to fight against harassment with students in secondary education and dissemination of a support program for students

- Call for projects for a "peer" training with the 5th and 6th students of primary education and of the first stage of secondary education.


5. Given the changes made to the timetable in the 3rd year of vocational education and the concern to fight against excessive repetition, the possibility is given in a decree adopted by the Government and to be voted in September 2015 at the class council to orientate a student coming from the second differentiated year, not having the CEB into the 3rd year of vocational education, which was no longer possible and braked the progression of the students to whom vocational education better suited.


6. Experiments in different jobs in the 3rf year of secondary education, during the second half to strengthen orientation.

A call for projects will be launched in late September 2015 to all socio-economic operators in order to host students of the 3rd secondary education in the second half of this year to allow them to have information, training courses, immersion, an experience in the socio-professional world to enhance his/her knowledge on the possibilities and his/her orientation.


7. July 14, 2015: Decree establishing an exemption arrangement for the lessons of religion and ethics in the education organised by the French Community and in grant-aided public education.

The decree gives the opportunity to students of public education, to ask, without motivation, for the exemption to follow a lesson in the religion of one of the recognized religions or ethics. In addition, it organises an alternative educational support (EPA : Enseignement pédagogique alternatif) during two hours in the student's weekly timetable. This EPA will deal with subjects such as education to democracy, education to philosophical questioning, education to wellbeing and to knowledge of oneself and others.


8. Significant progress for vocational education (VET)

The implementation of the 10 qualifying education-training-employment fields (collaboration between the French Community, the Walloon Region and the French Community Commission) for this autumn. The inter-networking steering instances of qualifying education (IPIEQ) allowed the adoption of the very first innovative redeployment plans of the rewritten, optimized offer, with fewer and better options in tune with the partners of education. They are valid for 4 years.

The implementation of the "dual vocational cooperation agreement" (collaboration between the French Community, the Walloon Region and the French Community Commission) allowed the creation of the OFFA as well as the development of a single contract for dual vocational education. The training courses and the immersion into businesses significantly improved. Training courses became mandatory in some options. The experiments of immersion into businesses will be multiplied.

A training course for teachers into businesses is created: teachers of technical and vocational courses familiarise with working conditions in eight participating businesses. The work with professional sectors and the SFMQ is amplified. 12 jobs are in a process of transformation into certification profiles. The procedures at SFMQ are accelerated in order to have more profiles (changing of the cooperation agreement with the Walloon Region and the French Community Commission (COCOF)).

In terms of equipment, 30 Centres of Advanced Technology were finalized and an agreement with FEBIAC (Belgian Federation of the car industry and the cycle) will be implemented so that the schools can have new vehicles for learning car mechanics.

The promotion of technical professions and sectors is provided through a website and the publication of information sheets on options (and therefore on jobs), for the educational staffs and the PMS centers. To improve the Jury of the French Community, a jury "CE6P" (Certificate of the sixth year of vocational secondary education) will be created. New provisions will integrate the sectoral test results in the elements that may be considered by the Qualifying Jury for issuing the qualification certificates.

Immersion in businesses will be expanded significantly: call for projects in 2015-2016, implementation of a support committee and adoption of decrees.


2014

- On 17th October 2014 : Proposal decree, treated by the Education Commission (2014-2015) to fight against school dropout.

Absenteeism is one of the main causes of dropping out. However, the Decree 'Missions of the school' allows students to be absent during 20 half days without having to justify to the school headmaster. Yet, legal absent grounds provided by the "Missions" Decree are broad enough to cover all situations of daily life. On this basis, the proposal removes the possibility of absence with unjustified reason. In addition, it extends to the whole of compulsory education, the obligation of the headmaster to report to the Counsel of Youth Welfare, the minor subject to compulsory education he feels in difficulty or he fears that his health or safety are in danger, or that its education conditions are compromised by his behavior, that of his family or his relatives, especially in cases of suspected truancy.


- 11/04/2014 Decree amending the 30th June 2006 Decree on organization of the first stage of secondary education.

This decree aims at bringing flexibility in organizational and pedagogical levels, ensuring the autonomy of schools and at limiting the number of possible routes, which makes it a more readable system for both teachers and students and their parents.

In the course of 2013, following an action-research and various pilot-projects, the government has established an action plan aiming at adjusting and deepening the reform of the first stage of secondary education. This plan will be implemented in two steps: schools can participate on a voluntary basis from September 2013, and by 2015 all schools will integrate the project and adopt the whole device experimented by the pioneer schools. Two sets of measures aim at strengthening the common core curriculum until 14 years. These measures include an increased focus on pupils profiles' diversity inside each class or school, differentiating learning rhythms and paths for the benefit of all pupils, including those with specific needs, by articulating cooperative approaches between pupils and individual support, and also by valuing different ways of pupil's expression.

The measures are part of a plan to improve the success of the first degree in two years, reinforcing the logic level, opening up new possibilities for remediation, for Guidance and the Council class.

The individualized learning plan (PIA – Plan Individualisé d’Apprentissage) takes into account the specific learning difficulties and special needs of students from special education or integration.

The PIA is developed by the Class Council for a student who is experiencing difficulties, gaps, delays in the acquisition of the skills expected. It will allow students to fill the identified gaps and to appropriate more effective learning strategies.


- The decree reforming teaching titles and functions was adopted in January 2014.


2013

- Reform of the initial teacher education : the reinforcement of the training will be gradual, and care will be taken to ensure that it remains accessible to all. In order to work out the concrete details of this overhaul of initial teacher training, a qualitative, participative and prospective evaluation, commissioned from the Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis, was realized in 2011. In early 2012, the results were made public and were then used by the Minister to prepare an orientation note approved by the Government in July 2013, after being submitted to all stakeholders in the same participative mindset as the 2011 evaluation process.

The proposed measures deal with three major concerns: reinforcing the current training of all teachers, redefining its objectives and contents, and, in the future, reorganizing its structure. Three measures are set as prioritary for 2013-2014: the information of all stakeholders about the work plan and the decision process, the training of teacher educators and the evaluation of their own training.


- Two decrees, one intersectoral and the other sectoral, dealing with school reintegration; violence prevention and guidance on courses were adopted in November 2013. They aim at better interfacing the policies of compulsory education and of youth support services. For example, a regional platform including 10 local cells entrusted with preventing early school leaving will be set up in Brussels. Moreover, a decree on school structures helping developing social skills was adopted; these structures are meant to help young people with structural behavioural and/or personality disorders.