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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Teachers and education staff

Belgium - French Community

9.Teachers and education staff

Last update: 4 March 2024

The professionalisation of the childcare sector is relatively recent, but initial training for childcare workers is now a requirement, and a continuing training programme has been introduced. Childminders now have their own professional status.

Separate employment statuses regulate the employment conditions and careers of teachers at pre-secondary, secondary and higher non-university level. These statuses depend on the network that employs the teacher, although much of their content is shared.

The decree of 7 February 2019 defining Initial Teacher Education (ITE) covers long-term studies organised by higher education establishments for students intending to become teachers in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, whether ordinary or specialised, full or part-time, in social advancement secondary education and in part-time secondary arts education.
It is part of a vast project to improve the education system of the French Community of Belgium.
This decree, issued in 2019, is subject to prior evaluation and adjustments before its implementation, which has been postponed to the start of the 2023-2024 academic year.
The reform is linked to the work carried out under the Pact for Excellence in Teaching, the aim being to make compulsory education more effective and more equitable.
And because the quality of an education system depends above all on the quality of teachers' practices, the reform of Initial Teacher Education is described as a "prerequisite" for the success of the Pact.

The main measures of the decree, which imply important changes within higher education institutions, include the following :

  • The creation of a master's degree in education for all future teachers, including the transition from a professional baccalaureate to a transitional baccalaureate, possibly followed by a master's degree, for pre-primary, primary and lower secondary teachers ;
  • The creation of a section 4 master's degree in education to replace the current Initial Teacher Education for upper secondary teaching diploma holders and the extension of the upper secondary teaching diploma’s training ;
  • The strengthening and broadening of the content of teaching ;
  • The creation of a master's degree in training teacher trainers ;
  • A joint degree programme between Universities, University Colleges and/or Arts Colleges ;
  • The development of research in education sciences ;
  • The possibility of gateways for existing teachers wishing to acquire an advanced  Master's degree of Education.

Since September 2023, some trainings have been organised and will lead to a Master's degree of Education from section 1 to section 3 (240 ECTS - level 7 of the European Qualifications Framework) in 2027. These studies are organised on a joint degree basis by institutions that were accredited to award an academic degree and to teach the relevant courses corresponding to the degree for sections 1 and 2 and to the disciplinary component (artistic or non-artistic) for section 3.

Upper secondary teacher training is organised as part of a 2nd cycle course : Master's of Education section 4 or 5 (120 ECTS - level 7 of the European Qualifications Framework). Its aim is to enable teachers to acquire skills in didactics, pedagogy, communication and social skills.

Transitional measures stipulate that the former bachelor's programmes for pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education will end in 2026-2027 at the latest.

All teachers at the ordinary or specialised pre-secondary and secondary levels must attend continuing training.