Education: New report on equity in school education in Europe

Today, the European Commission’s Eurydice network has published a report on equity in school education in Europe. Equitable education systems play a major role in making European societies fairer and more inclusive. The report looks at 42 European education systems across 37 European countries and identifies which policies and structures lead to higher levels of equity in student performance. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Fairer and more inclusive societies are crucial for Europe to thrive in the future. To accomplish this, education systems must be equitable, ensuring that all young people are able to develop their talents and achieve their full potential. In this report, we see that socio-economic background continues to play too big a role for student attainment in education, which is unfair to our young people. It is important that countries learn from each other to improve equity in their education systems, and opportunities for young people.” The report highlights the large differences currently between countries in combatting inequality in education, and points to a number of ways in which authorities can improve equity in school. Improving equity aims to decouple educational outcomes from socio-economic backgrounds. This includes providing high quality early childhood education and care for all children and making sure that children and young people receive the support they need throughout their education pathway. The Commission recently set out its vision for achieving a European Education Area by 2025, with inclusion as a core tenet.