Pre-service teacher training courses
The reformed teacher training courses started in the academic year 2019-2020. The reform of teacher training programmes was part of the Flemish Government's coalition agreement for 2014-2019 and the Education Policy Memorandum for 2014-2019. The aim of these reforms was to increase the quality of teacher education, including a strengthening of knowledge of the subject content to be taught, the necessary didactic skills, and classroom management.
Since the academic year 2019-2020, teacher training programmes have been set up exclusively by higher education institutions. Since September 2019, there are six types/types of teacher training programmes in Flanders with, in addition, the specific teacher training programme being temporarily phased out. Each teacher training programme has its own finality and is aimed at a specific group of prospective teachers:
- Educational graduate programme (non-university higher education first degree qualification) for secondary education (for VET subjects only)
- Educational bachelor's programme for pre-school education
- Educational bachelor's programme for primary education
- Educational bachelor's programme for (lower) secondary education
- Educational master's programme for (higher) secondary education
- Educational master's programme for art subjects
Staff employment conditions
The employment conditions of teaching staff are governed by different staff regulations. For nursery and primary, secondary, adult and part-time education in the arts, there are different staff regulations for community education (GO!) on the one hand and subsidized education on the other. The differences between both regulations will be gradually eliminated where possible.
Since 1 January 2018, teaching staff in adult basic education have had their own staff regulations.
In higher education, the staff regulations for university colleges are different from those for universities. Here, too, however, the aim is to achieve integrated staff regulations.
Continuous professional development
Continuous professional development is left to the initiative of teachers and schools. However, schools are required to draw up an in-service training plan after which they can draw on limited financial support for the in-service training of teachers. Each year, the government also sets out priority topics for in-service training, in which in-service training projects can be followed free of charge.
Many in-service training initiatives are offered by the network-based educational guidance services, which receive an annual budget from the government.
After the pre-service teacher training courses, various advanced bachelor’s programmes in education (including special educational needs education (SEN), special needs and remedial learning, school development) are available for further professional development and specialization of teaching staff.