Network of experts on the social dimension of education and training (NESET) 2017

Social inclusion, in and through education and training, is of the utmost importance when it comes to laying foundations for the development of more prosperous and more cohesive European societies. All Member States face challenges in ensuring equal access, quality and effective governance within all levels of education, from early childhood education and care (ECEC) and compulsory schooling through to vocational education and training (VET), higher education, and adult learning. Action was necessary to advance European-level policy development and cooperation in education and training, in order to support Member States’ efforts to modernise and improve their education systems, and to make them more equitable and inclusive.

PPMI mapped and created a network of experts working on the social dimension of education and training (NESET II), which currently unites 55 members and 86 affiliated experts. NESET II is an advisory network of experts that provides reliable, independent and rigorous scientific support, country-specific expertise and advice to the European Commission, in relation to the equity and social aspects of all types and levels of education and training. To name a few key deliverables, PPMI produced reports on education policies and practices to foster tolerance; on respect for diversity and civic responsibility in children and young people; on the prevention of bullying and violence in schools; and on the professionalisation of childcare assistants in ECEC.

The conclusions of the NESET II reports were considered by the European Commission when forming a new Working Group on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education. The NESET II report on the professionalisation of childcare assistants in ECEC raised the issue of the ‘invisibility’ of the ECEC assistants in policy documents, and mapped out pathways for such assistants to improve their qualifications. By publishing ~10 reports annually, NESET II continues to inform and contribute to the formulation of more inclusive education and training policies.

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