Qualifying education reform adopted by Parliament : 22/06/2023
The draft decree reforming the governance of options in qualifying education was adopted on 22 June 2023. The new system has achieved its two objectives: the programming and rationalisation of options in the provision of qualifying education. The development of the qualifying pathway (bridging with transition education, merging with vocational education, organising work placements, etc.) will continue as part of the Pact for Excellence in Teaching, in particular with the creation of a "post-common core" working group.
2nd reading for the preliminary draft decree on the support, development of professional skills and assessment of teaching staff : 28/04/2023
On 28 April, the Government approved, at 2nd reading, the preliminary draft decree on the support, development of professional skills and assessment of teaching staff. The Government confirmed that the text would comprise two distinct mechanisms, in line with the guidelines set out by education stakeholders in 2017 as part of the adoption of the Opinion number 3 of the Pact for Excellence in Teaching :
- the professional skills support and development mechanism, which is aimed at the positive reinforcement of staff members ;
- the appraisal mechanism, which can only be activated in the event of clear and repeated failure on the part of a member of staff, after all the stages of the support mechanism have been implemented.
However, a number of other changes have again been made to the text with the same objective as those previously incorporated : to provide, at the heart of the appraisal procedure, guidelines that protect the rights of members of staff at least as much as those provided for in existing disciplinary procedures. The decree will come into force on 1 January 2024, but summative assessment procedures will not be able to begin until the start of the new academic year in 2026.
Initial measures in the context of the reform of the systems and landscape of vocational education and training : 10/11/2022
Last spring, the Governments of the French Community, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region adopted a joint note aimed at defining and initiating the implementation of a transversal roadmap with the aim of structurally rethinking the systems and landscape of vocational education and training, and in particular dual vocational education. On 10th November 2022 and in line with these decisions, the Government of the French Community decided to initiate a priority action plan aimed at supporting the deployment of dual vocational education and training courses. As a reminder, the different governments had, in their joint note, defined a two-stage methodology. On the one hand, a longer-term mission was entrusted to a steering committee made up of representatives of the competent ministers and the APE association (Aides à la Promotion de l’Emploi = Aid for Employment Promotion) in order to carry out a cross-sectional inventory of vocational education and training, and in particular of dual vocational education. This inventory will serve as a basis for the governments to define and launch the implementation of a roadmap to reform and boost the dual vocational education and training sector, while making it a sector of excellence. On the other hand, a short-term approach, aimed at adopting a very concrete priority action plan in order to provide a rapid response to the problems of learners, providers and companies, all within a concerted framework shared by all levels of government. Four priority objectives have been defined :
- Promote, in a logic of articulation and complementarity between dual vocational education, training providers, social advancement education and higher education ;
- Simplify procedures and encourage the valorisation of achievements between education and training providers in order to guarantee the continuum of learning ;
- Improve IT tools to match offers and requests for work placements in collaboration with the different stakeholders ;
- Promote and deploy dual vocational education and training schemes that lead to sustainable and quality employment.
Launch of a plan to fight structurally against harassment and cyber-bullying in schools and to improve the school climate : 10/11/2022
On the proposal of the Minister of Education, the Government of the French Community approved, in second reading, the preliminary draft decree on the improvement of the school climate and the prevention of harassment and cyber-bullying in schools. This text establishes a common reference framework programme for schools to carry out coordinated, sustainable and structural actions aimed at preventing school harassment and improving the school climate. It also provides for the selection and funding of operators who will be able to offer support for the development and implementation of a school's framework programme. In addition, the decree will also provide the French Community with a School Climate Observatory, whose tasks will include :
- Research and evaluation of the structural policy on school climate, prevention and fight against harassment and cyber-bullying in schools ;
- The provision of tools and the monitoring of framework programmes ;
- Networking of actors.
The new Qualifying Education Pathway (PEQ : Parcours d’Enseignement Qualifiant) : 25/07/2022
From the beginning of the school year 2022-2023, the pathway for students in technical, vocational and qualifying education has changed. This new qualifying education pathway ("PEQ") will gradually come into force and aims to make the qualifying pathway a pathway of excellence, enhancing the value of each pupil and enabling successful socio-professional integration while simplifying its organisation.
The preliminary draft decree, which aims to redesign the pathway for pupils in qualifying education, was approved by the government at second reading.
The PEQ echoes the introduction of the reinforced common core. Indeed, the extension of the common core from pre-primary education to the 3rd year of secondary education will eventually fundamentally change the structure of education, and particularly that of qualifying education. In concrete terms, the qualification of pupils will henceforth take place over three years, from 4th to 6th secondary, and no longer from 3rd secondary.
Taking into account the organisation that this new qualifying education pathway requires for schools, its implementation is envisaged gradually :
- From 29 August 2022 for all the options currently organised within the framework of the experimental CPU scheme, as well as for the new options linked to new SFMQ profiles (profiles of professions produced by the Service Francophone des Métiers et des Qualifications);
- From 28 August 2023 for options with CCPQ (Commission Communautaire des Professions et des Qualifications) training profiles or without profiles.
Renovation of school buildings and European recovery plan: €269 million allocated to 149 schools : 23/06/2022
The Government of the French Community approved the list of files prioritised in the context of the call for renovation projects resulting from the European Recovery and Resilience Plan (NextGenerationEU).
The call for projects, launched in October 2021 among all the organising authorities, has made it possible to give priority to 149 school sites accommodating nearly 55,000 pupils who will benefit from this recovery plan.
In concrete terms, this involves 269 million euros of subsidies that will result in a total of more than 400 million euros of investment for school buildings in the French Community. In addition, the loan guarantee and the assumption of interest by the organising authorities are provided to finance the part of the investments that would not be covered by the Recovery Plan.
In order to select the renovation projects, objective criteria were used to emphasise the most qualitative files in order to contribute to the energy transition but also to the well-being of pupils and teaching staff.
European recovery plan: 35 million euros will be invested in university buildings : 05/05/2022
The Government of the French Community has validated the list of projects that will be supported via the European Recovery Fund (Next Generation EU) and dedicated to the renovation of ten university buildings on French-speaking campuses. These sums will make it possible to modernise existing infrastructures in a sustainable manner, to make French-speaking campuses more attractive to students and to contribute to the necessary energy transition.
In concrete terms, it is currently planned that at least 34,000 square metres of buildings will be renovated by 2026. Half of this area will have to reduce its primary energy consumption by 30% and the other half by at least 15%. The renovations will make it possible to offer buildings that are welcoming and in line with changing educational practices (digital evolution, accessibility of public buildings to all). Financial resources are also provided for renovations at universities, art colleges and social advancement education institutions as part of the school buildings project.
Note on the methodology : transversal reinforcement of qualifying education and vocational training, in particular work-linked training : 28/04/2022
On 28 April, the Governments of the French Community and the Walloon Region adopted a joint note on the methodology to be implemented with a view to a transversal reinforcement of qualifying education and vocational training, in particular work-linked training. A reflection was therefore initiated in order to make the development and optimisation of vocational education and training a major issue at the end of this 2019-2024 legislature.
The shared objective is to raise the level of skills in French-speaking Belgium and thus enable everyone to integrate qualitatively into society and the labour market, to have access to the skills needed to evolve, while exercising their active citizenship. It is also a question of better meeting the skills needs of employers, or even anticipating them, with a view to economic and social development.
This process is part of a positive outlook in terms of emancipation for many young people, but also of an increase in the employment rate and economic redeployment, through sustainable, quality jobs. It is also consistent with all the projects being carried out by each of the Governments.
Thus, the Governments intend in particular to carry out an in-depth reflection on the links between education, training and employment, and, in particular, to reform "dual vocational education" to make it a pathway of excellence.
The joint note aims to set out the methodology and identify the short- and medium-term objectives for achieving these ambitions. It is based, on the one hand, on a cross-sectional and factual inventory of vocational education and training and, on the other hand, on the identification and definition of various actions to be carried out together, but also separately, in the short, medium and long term in order to boost dual vocational education.
European Recovery Fund : 21 million euros for digital development in higher education and social advancement education : 21/04/2022
On 21 April 2022, the Government of the French Community validated the list of projects that will be supported, via the European Recovery Fund, and devoted to the development of the digital strategy in higher education and social advancement education.
These amounts will make it possible to support and strengthen the efforts already undertaken by institutions, for example in terms of overall digital strategy, the loan of equipment to students and training - in particular through the hiring of techno-pedagogues.
Almost 19 million euros (€18,643,716.82) will be allocated to higher education. For social advancement education, more than €2 million (€2,250,260.34) will be allocated to the 123 participating institutions. In addition, a call for collaboration, with a budget of €131,009.20, will make it possible to increase the number of online teaching resources available and to ensure that they are shared between social advancement education institutions. 41 projects will be supported in this framework.
An initial estimate indicates that more than 180,000 students and learners will benefit from the European funds provided for the digital transition.
Draft decree on the adaptation of annual school rhythms : 24/02/2022
The Government definitively approved, in 3rd reading, the draft decree on the adaptation of annual school rhythms, from the start of the 2022-2023 school year, also in Social Advancement Education. This text sets out the various provisions necessary to ensure the practical implementation of the reform of annual school rhythms and establishes the principles that will govern the organisation of the school year and school holidays in the future. It also establishes the calendars for the next two school years. The draft decree also includes a series of adjustment measures for out-of-school care and will be accompanied by additional measures for the youth sector to ensure a harmonious and coherent application of the reform. The text also presents transitional mechanisms allowing to favour as much as possible the convergences between the school calendar of the French Community and those of the other Communities, without however derogating from the essential principles of the reform. The philosophy of the reform, designed to better respond to the well-being of the learners, is to follow the "7+2" model, alternating 7 weeks of classes followed by 2 weeks of holidays.
Granting of reconditioned PCs : 13/03/2021
Dozens of schools in the compulsory education and social promotion sectors received reconditioned PCs in recent months thanks to the mobilisation of the Administration's services. In total, more than 3,500 computers were distributed and made available to pupils to combat the digital divide.
This action was set up by the French Community to help pupils from the 3rd year of secondary education onwards and students in social advancement education to follow courses online. In total, almost 3,500 computers were distributed by the French Community since the beginning of the health crisis thanks to the excellent collaboration between the teams.