Italy: Education trade unions fight for free high quality public education to remain the priority on the government’s agenda


UIL-Scuola and FLC-CGIL in Italy renounce the Italian authorities intention to give  Italian non-state schools wider access to funds made available under the Italian National Operational Programme on Education for the implementation of the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the period 2014-2020.

ETUCE reminds the Italian authorities that in accordance with the National Operational Programme on Education 2014-2020, such funds should promote efforts to narrow the equality gaps in access and learning and to enhance the provision of high quality public education for all, regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity or economic status. Indeed, increased promotion of private actors in education governance - through funding, management or policy-making – as well as the diversion of funding and support for State funded schools to schools already funded by households and private providers, contributes to exacerbating socioeconomic inequalities, ethnic and religious segregation and undermining social solidarity.

Addressing the European Commission, Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director points out that “Supplementary funding from EU-funds such as the ESF and the ERDF must respect the right to free quality education for all, and in no way should such funding lead to further privatisation of education”.

ETUCE calls on the Italian authorities and the European Commission need to further contribute to promoting active involvement of education social partners in all stages of programming, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and financial allocation with regard to the EU structural and investment funds in education to ensure the effectiveness of the expected outcomes and high quality public education for the benefit of all students in Italy.