Today, 5 October 2018, ETUCE, European Region of Education International is celebrating World Teachers’ Day. This year’s motto is "The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher”.

Indeed, in Europe, the question of qualifications and training is of big concern as qualified teachers are increasingly reporting that they do not feel adequately prepared or trained. They face many demands related, for example, to competence development, individual teaching approaches for recently arrived migrants and special needs children, and teaching with new technologies.

In relation to supporting teachers’ training, ETUCE, with the help of its member organisations, has published a set of guidelines, following the final conference of its “Strengthening the Capacity of Education Trade Unions to Represent Teachers’ Professional Needs in Social Dialogue” project, which took place in Brussels 19-20 September 2018. This two-year project (November 2016- October 2018) provided space for ETUCE member organisations to discuss teachers’ professional needs and the role of education trade unions in supporting teachers professionally also in the framework of social dialogue.

The key conclusion of this project was the importance of training that equips teachers with relevant skills to deal with everyday classroom situations, to ensure that teachers are motivated and avoid work-related stress with a view to allowing teachers to evolve with the profession.

Other findings of this project include the severe teacher shortage in Europe and the difficulty that certain teachers encounter in accessing professional development courses. ETUCE and its member organisations call for national governments to make the teaching profession more attractive and to raise the status of teachers in order to combat this shortage and urge for the use of qualified replacement teachers. In addition, with a view to ensuring work-life balance for all, the guidelines stress the importance of equal access to training within working hours, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, abilities and educational needs, economic status, ethnic origin, language, religion, and migratory and citizenship status.

As Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director, remarked at the Teachers’ Professional Needs Conference, quality education, requires highly-qualified teachers. ETUCE  together with teachers across Europe and the globe supports the upskilling of teachers in order to provide the best possible education of today.

In the guidelines, ETUCE and its member organisations call for more professional support for teachers in the form of initial training and continuous professional development, more possibilities for accreditation to be exploited and the recognition of informal professional trainings abroad.

ETUCE also urges governments to provide more funding for relevant continuous professional development, which is based on high-quality research, with a view to such training enhancing teachers’ career progression. Furthermore, the guidelines demand that teacher training be both theoretical and practical so that teachers feel confident in front of a class when they embark on their career.

You can read the guidelines via the following link: https://www.csee-etuce.org/en/documents/recommendations/2763-practical-guidelines-for-education-trade-unions-on-how-to-represent-effectively-teachers-professional-needs-within-the-unions-capacity-and-social-dialogue-structures-2018 

Watch ETUCE European Director, Susan Flocken's interview by EURYDICE on the occasion of WTD2018:

Actions from Member orgnisations
Kosovo

Press conference

Germany

Joint GEW-VBE Press Release (DE)