4. Annexes: Associated resources for policy makers

This table collates the sources consulted for the information presented in Figure 1.2 (Delivery methods for the second half of 2020 (primary and secondary education)) and Figure 1.3 (Delivery methods for the second half of 2020 (post-secondary education)) of Lesson 1. The sources pertaining to post-secondary education generally refer to higher education, however, some relate to post-secondary, non-tertiary institutions. The date refers to the date of publication or, where this is not available, the date the information was accessed.

Due to the rapidly changing nature of the current situation, some of the information in this table may be subject to more recent updates. Figure 1.2 and Figure 1.3 are therefore best interpreted as representing the intended or preferred mode of delivery from September 2020.

This table collates the sources consulted for the information presented in Figure 1.4 (Education systems’ efforts to adapt pedagogical practices in the current academic year: Mapping according to the main guidelines produced by ministries for education delivery). The sources selected for analysis are system-level guidelines, in place at either primary, secondary or post-secondary level, which have a pedagogical focus. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the current situation, some of the information in the guidelines may be subject to more recent updates.

This table classifies information presented in the main system-level guidelines selected for analysis in Lesson one according to the Education Policy Outlook’s Framework of Responsiveness and Resilience in Education.

Documents were identified for 37 countries; a full list of sources consulted is available in Annex 2. An overview of the Education Policy Outlook’s Framework of Responsiveness and Resilience in Education is presented in the Introduction to the Handbook.

The OECD’s Future of Education and Skills 2030 has supported education systems to work together to co-create a vision of the future of education (OECD Learning Compass 2030) and to specify what types of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values students need to thrive in and shape their future. The project currently focuses on how education systems can enable schools, teachers, other stakeholders and students themselves to be ready to make this future vision a reality. For this, the project takes an eco-system approach to curriculum redesign and delivery.

This box provides insight into a key relevant finding of the project during the COVID-19 crisis.

The OECD’s Implementing Education Policies project aims to help countries and jurisdictions close the gap between educational aspirations and performance by providing strategic advice and support in the design and implementation of specific reforms or policies at school level.

This box provides an insight into a key relevant finding of the project during the COVID-19 crisis. It offers further substantive background to the Education Policy Reform Dialogues 2020 Session 1 – Schools, higher education and Vocational Education and Training (VET): Making the most of resilient approaches in education for a better new normal.

This annex provides descriptions and evaluative findings for the policies from the pre-crisis period that were selected for analysis in lesson two. The information comes from previously published material from the Education Policy Outlook which was drafted in consultation with participating education systems. The policies selected focus on professional learning for educators, show evidence of having made positive progress towards policy objectives and make use of key policy levers for educator resilience and responsiveness.

In the province of Ontario, the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) aims to support the growth and professional learning of new teachers. It builds upon the first step of initial teacher education and is the second step of on-the-job learning along a continuum of learning and growth for new teachers. The NTIP consists of the following induction elements: 1) orientation for all new teachers with information about the Ontario curriculum and context, and their specific school; 2) professional development and training in areas such as literacy and numeracy strategies and classroom strategies; and 3) mentoring for new teachers by experienced teachers. In addition to the NTIP induction process, new permanent teachers are evaluated twice within their first 12 months of employment through the Teacher Performance Appraisal process. Upon completion of two satisfactory evaluations, a notation reflecting completion of NTIP is placed on the teacher’s certificate of qualification and registration that appears on Ontario College of Teachers’ public register (OECD, 2019[1]).

Progress or impact: Since 2009, the New Teacher Induction Program has been providing support for first-year, long-term occasional (LTO) teachers with assignments of 97 days or longer. In 2018, the scope of NTIP was expanded to enable school boards to support any teacher in their first five years of practice. The inclusion of these teachers in any of the NTIP induction elements is designed to provide boards with flexibility to respond to local hiring realities and to potentially support new teachers for a greater length of time. Boards may decide to include an entire category of NTIP eligible teachers or base the support they offer on a case-by-case basis. Overall, each year, approximately 8 000 new hired teachers access NTIP support. Including second-year teachers and mentors, the total number of teachers participating in NTIP exceeds 18 000 annually. The results of longitudinal research from 2012 to 2015 show that new teachers have made meaningful and sustained improvements in all four of the core goal areas of NTIP (confidence, efficacy, instructional practice and commitment to ongoing learning) (OECD, 2019[1]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Christine Frank & Associates (2020), Beginning Teachers’ Learning Journeys Longitudinal Study: Year 4 Report, Christine Frank & Associates/Cathexis Consulting Inc., Toronto, https://www.teachontario.ca/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadBody/11955-102-1-18891/BTLJ-y4-report-final+Eng.pdf (accessed 19 November 2020).

Ministry of Education, Ontario (2019), New Teacher Induction Program: Induction Elements Manual 2019, Publications of the Government of Ontario, Toronto, http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teacher/pdfs/NTIPInductionElements2019.pdf (accessed 19 November 2020).

The establishment of a national corps of learning consultants (around 40) to support municipalities and schools in enhancing the quality of instruction, beginning in 2014, has been key in the Danish approach to school improvement. They work with schools and municipalities on a host of themes depending on the school year, through webinars or other events, or through intensive counselling and development targeted at schools’ specific circumstances – such as in support of the agreement to “fight parallel communities”. Under the 2014 Folkeskole reform, Learning Consultants also sought to strengthen learning environments and classroom management, through support for teachers, school leaders and municipalities, also with the assistance of various Ministry-developed materials and other networks. Additionally, in 2016 the MoCE allocated DKK 23 million to employ learning consultants from 2016-2019 to support ECEC facilities with a high share of disadvantaged children (OECD, 2020[2]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Bjørnholt, B. et al. (2019), Evaluation of the Ministry of Education’s Learning Consultant Programme and Activities: Efforts in Primary and Lower Secondary Education, Vocational Training and Upper Secondary Education, Knowledge for Welfare – The National Research and Analysis Centre for Welfare (VIVE), Copenhagen, https://www.uvm.dk/-/media/filer/uvm/aktuelt/pdf-19/191029-evaluering-af-buvm-laringskonsulentforlob-og-aktiviteter.pdf.

OKM committed to developing a network of tutor-teachers for basic education. The role is carried out by a teacher who embraces new pedagogies and promotes the digitalisation of teaching. Actions may include organising training on digital pedagogy, conducting competence surveys, providing technical guidance or networking with peers. The initial plan committed to having 2 500 tutor-teachers in schools, providing EUR 23 million to train and support them between 2016 and 2018. A survey of tutor-teachers (2017) concluded that the project had a highly positive impact. A total of 2 289 tutor-teachers were operating across 90% of municipalities by 2018, over 80% of whom had been trained via the government’s discretionary transfers. Ongoing challenges include demand for a more regional focus to the tutor network, guidance from OKM as to the competences tutor-teachers should work on and securing a long-term funding strategy. The model has expanded to upper secondary schools, with a focus on supporting the implementation of reforms, including curricular reform. An EC report (2019) found considerable improvements in teachers’ digital competencies but ongoing disparities in the integration of digital tools in the classroom. As Finland moved to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, this policy may have proved beneficial in both having raised digital competencies among teachers and providing an established support network within and between schools (OECD, 2020[3]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) (2018), Tutor Teacher Activities in Basic Education in Finland, Facts Express 3C/2018, EDUFI, Helsinki, https://www.oph.fi/sites/default/files/documents/ 195451_oph_faktaa_express_3c_2018_englanti_sivut.pdf.

France is divided into 30 education academies (or administrative districts) directed by rectors, who implement the national education policies at the regional level and interact with regional stakeholders that share legal educational responsibilities with the Ministry of Education. The digital education advisers advise the rectors of each academy, liaise with local authorities and companies on digital education matters, and lead actions and networks around the uses of digital tools in education. Beyond advising the rectors, they develop projects, actions and training, as well as sharing and mobilising knowledge for teachers to become more active in the use of digital tools for learning. During the COVID-19 crisis, the network of digital education advisorsadvisers worked to ensure the quick transition from in-person to online distance schooling with no day of interruption by:

  • working with local authorities to lend and deliver computers and learning worksheets to all students;

  • mobilising existing repositories of curated online resources (notably the Digital Educational Resources Platform [BRNE], Eduthèque and Canotech);

  • providing online training to teachers and school principals about the availability and use of digital resources for pedagogical practice;

  • sharing and promoting of teaching and learning practices adapted to educational continuity and progressive school reopening;

  • working with other public education partners on the deployment of their education continuity initiatives, notably the National Centre for Distance Education (CNED) and public TV and radio channels.

The originality of this initiative lies in the mobilisation of a network of education advisors with a good knowledge of past initiatives and strong relationships with all major stakeholders in the field, enabling quick negotiations with partners, rapid communication, and an understanding of the peculiarities of the various local contexts over the French territory (Vincent-Lancrin, 2020[4]).

The Centre for School Leadership (CSL), a partnership arrangement of the Department for Education and Skills, the Irish Primary Principals’ Network and the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, has aimed to develop a coherent continuum of professional development for school leaders, initially focusing on coaching, mentoring and pre-service qualification. A postgraduate diploma in school leadership (2017) had 239 graduates in the first cohort and steadily larger annual intakes subsequently. An evaluation of the CSL (2018) found greater recognition of the profession, its role and importance. Beneficiaries of the services reported enhanced confidence, resilience and reflective thinking. Coaching is available for up to 400 principals and leadership teams a year, and every newly-appointed principal can receive mentoring (OECD, 2020[5]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Fitzpatrick Associates (2018), School Leadership in Ireland and the Centre for School Leadership: Research and Evaluation – Final Report, Fitzpatrick Associates, Dublin, https://cslireland.ie/images/downloads/Final_CSL_Research_and_Evaluation_Final_Report__Feb_2018_.pdf.

The National Professional Development Framework (2016) for all higher education teaching staff aims to encourage engagement in professional development, guide CPD choices and support quality assurance. An evaluation of the pilot (2018) commended the transformative potential of engaging with the framework and emphasised the importance of providing staff with space and time to engage in CPD, as well as strong leadership (OECD, 2020[5]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Donnelly, R. and T. Maguire (2018), Ireland’s National Professional Development Framework: Summary Findings from the Initial Implementation, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Dublin, https://www.teachingandlearning.ie/wp-content/uploads/PD_Framework_2018_AW_Web.pdf.

In 2014, New Zealand introduced Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoLs) as part of the Investing in Educational Success initiative, which aimed to raise educational achievement by improving the quality of leadership and teaching to spread best practice across the school network. This new structural approach to education in New Zealand adopted a networked approach, bringing schools at different levels of the education system together to establish a clearer learner pathway. This approach has aimed to help to overcome issues of school isolation and a lack of collegial networking, previously identified within the school system. The model also aimed to bring together schools to share challenges and goals and to enhance teaching practice and leadership through opportunities for collaborative enquiry and knowledge sharing. Three new professional roles have been introduced: Community Leader, Across-Community of Learning Teacher, and Within School Teacher. These new roles work across and within the community to support and share effective teaching and leadership practice. Since 2014, the Education Review Office has released a range of resources to support the establishment and progress of CoLs (OECD, 2019[1]).

Progress or impact: As of 2018, New Zealand had implemented 214 Communities of Learning, which catered to 1 761 schools, 495 early learning services and 11 tertiary education providers. This constitutes the majority of New Zealand’s schools and more than 610 000 students in total. An initial progress report found growing momentum for the establishment of CoLs and high levels of shared purpose and commitment, as well as recognition for the importance of collaboration among professionals. At the same time, a more recent comprehensive consultation process across the education system also collected feedback on a difficulty for schools to step away from the former model that had them in competition with each other. Often, the success of a CoL is highly dependent on the level of skill and commitment among the leadership. As such, experiences are highly varied (OECD, 2019[1]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Ministry of Education of New Zealand (2016), Uptake and Early Implementation: Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, Ministry of Education of New Zealand, Wellington, https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/181551/Uptake-and-earlyimplementation-Communities-of-Learning-Kahui-Ako.pdf.

In Norway, the Advisory Team Programme (2009) was incorporated into the Follow Up Scheme in 2017 as part of the new competence development model for schools. The programme provides support to schools and school owners that face special challenges in core areas such as quality, literacy and numeracy, and need guidance for school improvement. The programme recruits experienced school leaders and administrators from local governments to support schools and municipalities. It is led by the Directorate of Education and Training, and national partners include the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS), county governors (who manage national education offices at the county level), the higher education sector, consulting groups and practitioners. School owners manage school development. Others, including principals and local support groups, may also participate depending on the subject (OECD, 2019[1]).

Progress or impact: After an initial pilot in 2009-10, the first regular portfolio of the Advisory Team started in 2011. By 2014, the programme’s activities covered 429 municipalities in 18 counties (the whole country except for Oslo). As of 2013, almost 30 municipalities had 80-100 schools in each portfolio, receiving guidance for 18 months. By the end of 2013, the Advisory Team had offered guidance to all municipalities in the country. Initially, many in the education sector viewed the initiative as controversial and resisted the measure: this included school owners, universities and colleges, and public administration. Prior to the Advisory Team, the Directorate of Education and Training and local authorities reportedly did not rely on national guidance as a tool for local development work. Reducing the risk of resistance subsequently required a constant emphasis on the voluntary nature of the initiative. School owners seeking counselling were reminded that their intentions were courageous and beneficial for local education. From the point of view of public administrators, the Advisory Team represented an unnecessary interference of state authorities at the local level. In the higher education sector, the initiative came across as professional competition. Support grew mainly due to its centralised, tight management and the government’s efforts to familiarise all actors and stakeholders with the strategy’s different aspects. Only advisors who achieved all competency requirements following an obligatory training programme were engaged for the initiative’s consultations. By 2013, resistance had almost disappeared at all levels. Support from public administration and the higher education sector increased, and both sectors integrated the initiative into their professional and organisational activities. School owners having received counselling report satisfaction. Advisors also reported satisfaction in seeing the guided municipalities making progress and earning valuable experience and development competence in their own municipalities and schools. Since the incorporation of the Advisory Team Programme into the Follow Up Scheme, in 2017 and 2018, 66 municipalities were selected based on criteria, including standardised tests in literacy and numeracy, final grades after secondary school and results from the Pupil Survey concerning well-being, bullying and motivation. In response, half of the municipalities decided to receive guidance from the Advisory Team Programme, while the other half chose to receive support from other measures. The next selection of municipalities is planned for 2020 (OECD, 2019[1]).

For more information on progress or impact:

OECD (2019), Improving School Quality in Norway: The New Competence Development Model, Implementing Education Policies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/179d4ded-en.

Much of the ongoing teacher professional development in Portugal is carried out by the 91 School Association Professional Development Centres (Centros de Formação de Associação de Escolas, CFAE) in place across the country. Decree-Law 22/2014 and Decree-Law 127/2015 were passed to clarify the role of the CFAE as formal institutions in order to support the implementation of the new lifelong training framework. This included giving the CFAE greater autonomy in working with local schools and school clusters to determine training needs. These are then integrated into annual or multiannual training plans for the centres which are accredited by the Scientific-Pedagogical Council of Continuing Professional Development. The CFAE recruit a cohort of volunteer teacher-trainers from local schools and tertiary institutions. The OECD (2018) praised the locally responsive nature of the CFAE but found that impact is restricted as too few teachers take advantage of the training, and the offer needs to be better aligned to the priorities of schools and teachers (OECD, 2020[6]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Liebowitz, D., et al. (2018), OECD Reviews of School Resources: Portugal 2018, OECD Reviews of School Resources, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264308411-en.

Sweden has introduced pedagogical training initiatives structured as collaborative research-based learning. These “Boost” programmes, for teachers of mathematics, reading and science were launched with a budget of EUR 28 million. The Boost for Mathematics (Matematiklyftet) programme (2012), for example, is available to all mathematics teachers, tutors and school principals. Materials are produced in collaboration with over 20 Swedish universities and colleges and published on line. Materials are organised according to year groups and school type, and all follow a four-part structure supporting teachers to: 1) prepare independently, using the materials provided to them; 2) meet colleagues to discuss what they have read and collaboratively plan a lesson; 3) teach the lessons in their own classrooms; and 4) reconvene to evaluate and discuss their experiences. Weekly discussion meetings focus on didactic questions and are moderated by mathematics tutors trained by national authorities. During the programme, teachers exchange learning materials, ideas and experiences and enter into professional dialogue. The programme fosters collaborative teaching and enhances teamwork. School principals are also involved (OECD, 2019[1]).

Progress or impact: A final evaluation report (2016) from the Swedish National Agency for Education found that this collegial training model has had a positive impact. Over 35 000 teachers were found to have participated in the mathematics training, which corresponds to 75% of all mathematics teachers in compulsory and upper secondary education. The training is also available to tutors (1 668 had participated by 2016) and school principals (2 961 had also participated by 2015). Participants reported feeling more confident and secure in their classrooms, and their teaching was more varied and student-centred. In 2017, the total cost of the programme was estimated at EUR 56 million. The evaluation did not take into account the impact of the programme on students’ learning outcomes, however. As of 2018, new mathematics modules are available on the Learning Portal, which aim to provide teachers, specialist teachers or specialist support teachers with tools to develop teaching for students with additional needs. During 2018/19, supervisors can take part in a web-based supervisor training to acquire the skills to supervise participant teacher groups (OECD, 2019[1]).

In 2015, The Literacy Boost (Läslyftet, 2015-20), was launched to provide teachers in Sweden with an in-service training programme in literacy. The programme is also now being offered to preschool teachers as part of a broader effort to strengthen the educational mission of preschools and also to promote the teaching of Swedish at an early age for, among others, children whose mother tongue is not Swedish. The Swedish Government allocated about SEK 50 million per year to The Literacy Boost programme during 2017-19 and about SEK 75 million in 2020. Furthermore, The Literacy Boost has been extended to 2021 (OECD, 2019[1]); (National information reported to the OECD).

Progress or impact: According to the final evaluation from 2020, about 25 percent of all teachers and preschool teachers have participated in the Literacy Boost (Läslyftet). The final evaluation of Läslyftet (2020) found that two key goals have been met: developing different teaching methods for language development, and developing a collaborative teaching culture (National information reported to the OECD).

For more information on progress or impact:

Österholm, M. et al. (2016), Evaluation of the Mathematics Boost: Final Report (Utvärdering av Matematiklyftets Resultat: Slutrapport), Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre, Umeå, https://www.skolverket.se/getFile?file=3706.

Wales has made a concerted effort in recent years to promote collaborative working and learning across the school system. The establishment of the Pioneer Schools Network (2015) has placed school-to-school collaboration at the core of the design, development and implementation of a new curriculum for Wales. The regional consortia look to nominate schools that exhibit, among other things, excellent leadership, a passion for innovation and creativity and a commitment to professional development as Pioneer Schools. All Pioneer Schools are expected to work with each other, other schools, the consortia, the Welsh government and wider stakeholders as part of an all-Wales partnership. Pioneer Schools meet regularly at the national and regional level, both face-to-face and on line, to share experiences of innovation and learn from one another. The first wave of Pioneer Schools focused on the development of the Digital Competence Framework. Curriculum Pioneers, who looked at content and assessment of learning and New Deal Pioneers, who focused on reforms related to practitioners’ professional development, joined these Digital Pioneers from 2016 onwards. The Welsh government brings together quality assurance partners, including HEIs and other experts to review and provide regular feedback to the Pioneer Network (OECD, 2019[1]).

Progress or impact: As of 2018, around 94 primary and secondary schools had been appointed Curriculum Pioneers, 83 as New Deal Pioneers and 13 as Digital Pioneers. In 2017, the OECD found that Pioneer Schools played a pivotal role in driving the development of new curricula and student assessments. Furthermore, a 2018 evaluation found that the Pioneer School model is an innovative approach to reform in Wales, representing a new way of working for all partners and demonstrating a clear commitment to empowering and supporting teachers. This has helped establish an enthusiasm for reform and a clear sense of ownership among Pioneer School representatives. However, this evaluation also emphasises that the complex change management model inevitably means that there are significant risks regarding coherence and consistency. Some of these risks have been mitigated across implementation phases by clarification of expectations, outputs and timescales and the strengthening of monitoring and accountability mechanisms. Finally, Pioneer Schools are obliged to cascade learning and experiences to their assigned Partner Schools. However, the evaluation found that this activity has been relatively limited across the network. New mechanisms are being put in place to address this (OECD, 2019[1]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Arad Research and ICF Consulting (2018), Formative Evaluation of the Pioneer School Model: Final Report, Welsh Government, Cardiff, https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/31270/.

This annex provides further descriptions of current policy initiatives selected for analysis in lesson two. The policies selected are examples of professional learning initiatives that aim to strengthen educators’ professional skills and knowledge and that also make use of key policy levers of educator responsiveness and resilience. These policies were developed in response to the new demands placed on educators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has developed a regulatory strategy for 2020-22 based on responses from consultations with stakeholders. The strategy takes a risk-based approach, identifying the system- and provider-level risks to the delivery and quality of VET and taking regulatory action to address the most serious among those identified. As such, this strategy considered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the VET and international education sectors. System-level risks include: providers adding training programmes to meet changes in demand without sufficiently engaging industry experts; providers transitioning to online or other distance modes of delivery without providing adequate student support or the means to validate assessments; and providers being unable to place learners in workplaces to fulfil assessment requirements. To help minimise these risks, ASQA publishes general information and guidance to the sector on related issues and collates further information on a dedicated webpage with advice for providers on how to manage their own risks (e.g. information on distance and online delivery methods, webinars on key risk areas). ASQA also offers targeted advice for individual providers moving to online delivery. Finally, ASQA will also commence a strategic review of online learning in the VET sector. This will engage with key stakeholder groups and providers to understand the benefits, opportunities and risks associated with the transition to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the areas where providers may still face challenges, and where ASQA can provide further support (ASQA, 2020[7]).

In June, as part of the Learning Recovery Plan, Chile launched an online learning portal for teachers to support them in delivering the new Prioritised School Curriculum, which was prepared by the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) after the suspension of in-person classes. The portal houses more than 20 000 pedagogical resources, including learning guides, videos, guidelines and assessment tools. Resources are organised by subject and education level. There is also a bank of past and upcoming events and webinars carried out by the Curriculum and Evaluation unit of MINEDUC (MINEDUC, 2020[8]).

Normally supporting schools through in-person visits, Chile’s Education Quality Agency has adapted its work, developing a programme of remote mentoring for management teams. The Agency conducts three video calls with participants. The first is to identify the main needs in areas such as learning assessment, socio-emotional support, and adapting pedagogical resources. Based on this, the second call discusses and explains specific tools and guidance. Finally, the third call is used to share experiences and analyse results. After the first two months of the programme’s implementation, the Education Quality Agency had conducted more than 700 distance mentoring sessions in establishments across the country. Early data suggested that the areas of greatest need among management teams were formative student assessment and socio-emotional support (Education Quality Agency, 2020[9]; Education Quality Agency, 2020[10]).

Within the framework of the Let’s all Learn programme (Programa Todos a Aprender), Colombia is carrying out online training and guidance for teachers in 4 500 primary level institutions across the country. Programme tutors accompany teachers of mathematics, language and early years education to adapt their practice for distance education, and advise those teachers who need to strengthen their skills. The Ministry of Education has also developed the Contact Teacher platform, through which teachers and school leaders can continue their process of professional and personal training, and share information and teaching experiences (Ministry of Education, Chile, 2020[11]).

France’s All Mobilised in Higher Education (SupSolidaire) campaign seeks to promote initiatives set up in higher education institutions in France both during lockdown and for the new academic year. HEIs submit their initiatives that are then centralised on an interactive map via the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation’s website. The themes covered include: distance learning and working, support for students or staff with disabilities, guidance and professional integration initiatives and support initiatives for teachers in distance education. By sharing knowledge in this way, France aims to disseminate best practice and inspire action at the institutional level (Ministry of Higher Education, 2020[12]).

Ireland is introducing a range of measures to support school leaders and teachers in the new academic year. Prior to schools reopening, all staff must complete COVID-19 Induction Training that will ensure that staff have full knowledge of the latest public health advice and guidance and an outline of the COVID-19 response plan. The Professional Development Service for Teachers has developed an interactive resource bank for teachers to support teaching, learning and assessment. Moreover, at primary level, Ireland is providing funding to allow school leaders and some deputy school leaders who also have teaching hours to have one release day per week during the next academic year. At secondary level, 1 080 additional teaching posts, including 120 guidance posts, have been introduced to support schools in managing the extra workload resulting from efforts to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (Department of Education and Skills, Ireland, 2020[13]).

Ireland’s National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, the national body responsible for strengthening teaching and learning in higher education, carried out a comprehensive feedback exercise to help inform the new academic year 2020/21. In order to identify key lessons from the period of institutional closures, the National Forum approached key contacts across the sector with one question: What do you know now with respect to teaching and learning that you wish you had known before this all began? The National Forum received individual and collective responses from 28 higher education institutions, as well as from the Union of Students in Ireland and the National Student Engagement Programme. These responses took various forms, including extensive written documents, brief reflective paragraphs, recorded conversations, bullet lists and collated responses from colleagues across an institution. In June, the National Forum published a report, Reflecting and Learning: the Move to Remote/Online Teaching And Learning in Irish Higher Education, summarising the key insights and contextualising them within international and national evidence on the enhancement of teaching and learning. The report also identified key practices and outlooks to maintain when planning the new semester, and the challenges that require attention if the increase in online/remote teaching and learning is to be sustained, even partially, over the longer term (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 2020[14]).

Korea established an online community of 10 000 representative teachers, one from almost every school across the country, to promote the exchange of good practice in online education, and to give advice to help address any issues colleagues encounter. The community provides a real-time, interactive communications channel among 17 Provincial Offices of Education, the 10 000 representative teachers nationwide and other relevant institutions, including the Ministry of Education. As well as supporting teachers during the crisis, the community has a longer-term function: based on successful outcomes of this initiative, the Ministry of Education will continue the support for a cohort of educational innovators, who will become the driving force behind artificial intelligence and future-driven education (Ministry of Education, Korea, 2020[15]).

Alongside the online community, Korea has also launched the Knowledge Spring online platform for teachers, an autonomous and personalised remote teacher training system. Teachers and instructors can flexibly organise and operate teaching materials, content and training time to suit their identified needs. This differs from the existing institutional-led training models that may be less individualised (MOE, 2020[16]).

For the academic year 2020/21, Turkey is promoting distance and blended learning approaches in higher education. New regulations enable HEIs to deliver 40% of all formal programmes offered through distance education while also introducing the expectation that at least 10% of all formal programmes will be delivered through distance education. To support institutions in capitalising on these new regulations, public universities will be assigned additional staff and research assistants to work in new or existing Distance Education Centres. Following the establishment of 20 new Distance Education Centres, every public university in the country now has one; the government also recently passed a recommendation to establish these Centres in all foundation universities. These Centres support institutional practices for distance education and conduct related research. The Higher Education Council is also implementing a training programme to raise the competencies of staff in these Centres (Higher Education Council, Turkey, 2020[17]).

The OECD’s Teachers’ Professional Learning (TPL) Study aims to help countries develop efficient, equitable and sustainable teacher learning systems at both system and school level. The project covers the full cycle of professional learning, from initial education and induction to continuing professional learning, and works with volunteer countries to build resilient TPL systems, with a strong focus on peer learning.

Ensuring the continuity, timeliness and relevance of teachers’ professional learning has been a priority for many countries during the COVID-19 disruption of schooling. This box provides an insight into a key finding of the project during the COVID-19 crisis. It offers further substantive background to the Education Policy Reform Dialogues 2020, Session 2 – Schools (general instruction and VET): Strengthening professional learning for educators and closing learning gaps in an academic year of more flexible schooling.

This annex provides further descriptions and evaluative findings for the policies from the pre-crisis period that were selected for analysis in lesson three. The information comes from previously published material from the Education Policy Outlook, which was drafted in consultation with participating education systems. The policies selected focus on recovering and mitigating learning gaps, show evidence of having made positive progress towards policy objectives, and make use of key policy levers of learner and system resilience and responsiveness.

Since 2007, the National Indigenous Reform Agreement, also known as Closing the Gap, in Queensland has aimed to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students achieving Year 12 Certification. Measures were taken at the central, regional and local level. For example, in the state of Queensland, the central office’s Department of Education provided each region with disaggregated data to quantify increases in certification for which they should aim. This helped regions to visualise the objectives. Other measures included raising awareness of the importance of change among school leaders and regional staff, through workshops and leadership sessions. In addition, Queensland’s educational regions provided support to schools (for example, by appointing coaches for the Queensland Certificate of Education), and schools set up multi-disciplinary case-management teams to aid students (OECD, 2018[21]).

Progress or impact: The government reports that between 2006 and 2015, the proportion of Indigenous 20-24 year-olds with Year 12 or equivalent attainment increased from 45.4% to 61.5%. Improvements were also identified in the retention rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in high school in Queensland. In 2015, almost 60% of Indigenous students stayed in school until Year 12. Improvements were also identified for preschool enrolment, which had increased to 87% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children by 2015. The number of Indigenous students with a Year 12 Certification increased from 42.1% in 2008 to 97% by 2016. The success of the programme to reduce the gap can be attributed to the alignment across schools, regional offices and central office; a clear line of sight to individual schools and students; and intensive case management (OECD, 2018[21]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2019), Closing the Gap Report 2019, Australian Government, Canberra, https://antar.org.au/sites/default/files/2019_ctg_report.pdf.

In Australia, the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme (HEPPP) aims to ensure that Australians from low socio-economic backgrounds who have the ability to study at university have the opportunity to do so. Through its Participation and Partnerships components, HEPPP provides funding to assist universities to undertake activities and implement strategies that improve access to undergraduate courses for people from low socio-economic backgrounds, as well as improving the retention and completion rates of those students. Partnerships are created with primary and secondary schools, VET institutions, universities and other stakeholders to raise the aspirations and build the capacity of disadvantaged students to participate in higher education. Funding for these two components is provided to universities based on the number of enrolled students from low socio-economic backgrounds. The third component, the National Priorities Pool, funds projects that target and support building an evidence base for future equity policies, testing new equity interventions at the national and institutional levels, and improving implementation of HEPPP at these levels (OECD, 2018[21]).

Progress or impact: A 2016 evaluation found that HEPPP is positively influencing the quantity and rigour of higher education equity activities and policies overall. It concluded that HEPPP has provided wide-ranging support to a large number of students and institutions between 2010 and 2015. Some 2 679 projects were implemented at the 37 eligible universities. Over 310 000 students have participated in HEPPP projects, with additional students supported in schools and other institutions. At least 2 913 partner organisations participated in HEPPP outreach activities (OECD, 2018[21]).

For more information on progress or impact:

ACIL Allen Consulting (2017), Evaluation of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programmes, Report to the Department of Education and Training, Melbourne, https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/final_heppp_evaluation_report_2017.03.16_0.pdf.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment 2020, ‘Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program’, Commonwealth of Australia, https://www.education.gov.au/higher-education-participation-and-partnerships-programme-heppp.

The Schools Plus programme, launched in 2008 in the province of Nova Scotia, is an interagency approach to support children and families by appointing the school as the centre of service delivery. The programme’s core focus continues to be the creation of “communities of care” to help students foster resilience and prevent more children, youth and families from becoming at risk. Ultimately, the programme aims to reach and support the 5-10% of children and youth in Nova Scotia who are at risk of marginalisation. The policy has expanded every year, with sites in all eight education entities (formerly school boards). Each education entity now has a Schools Plus facilitator and Community Outreach Workers who act as the liaison between the school and the community, and each education entity has established a Schools Plus Advisory Committee, which identifies opportunities to enhance and expand the array of services and programmes for children, youth and their families (OECD, 2018[21]).

Progress or impact: A 2013 report highlighted that the Schools Plus programme had achieved provincial coverage, after establishing 95 sites in all eight school education entities. Although the service provided by the programme had resulted in an increase in interdepartmental service co-operation and the introduction of mental health services, the report suggested that a “mid-term correction” should be made to ensure that the policy achieves its ultimate goal. However, the report states that the programme has been more successful at “co-ordinating existing public social services” than achieving its original mission (OECD, 2018[21]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Crinean, K. et al. (2012), Evaluation of Schools Plus – Year Three Final Report, Collective Wisdom Solutions, Halifax, https://www.ednet.ns.ca/schoolsplus/en/files-schoolsplus/sp_evaluation-year3-final-september24.pdf.

Through the Preferential School Subsidy (Ley de Subvención Escolar Preferencial, SEP) in Chile, primary schools receive additional funding for enrolment of socio-economically disadvantaged students. These funds are in addition to the baseline funding that public and government-subsidised private schools receive for each enrolled student. In 2008, the introduction of the preferential education subsidy modified this scheme to make it more equity-oriented. It allocates a large share of expenditure on a per-student basis (topping up the flat-rate voucher) and provides an additional amount for schools that enrol a significant proportion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Acceptance of these funds is voluntary. Concretely, schools that receive the supplement have to sign an agreement, elaborate a plan for education improvement, set objectives and define measures to support students with learning difficulties. Schools are categorised as autonomous, emerging or recovering, based on criteria such as their results in the national standardised assessment of student performance (Sistema de Medición de Calidad de la Educación). Depending on their category, schools either design their own educational improvement plan, receive support from the Education Ministry to draft their progress plans or get external technical assistance. Struggling schools that fail to improve after receiving assistance risk losing their licence or their eligibility for the subsidy (OECD, 2018[21]).

Progress or impact: SEP resulted in important changes in the Chilean school system. Although the programme is voluntary, around 85% of the 9 000 eligible schools participated in 2011. All municipal schools and about 66% of private subsidised schools are actively engaged. This high coverage has changed the relationship between schools and the Ministry of Education and has helped improve its regressive funding structure. Although some schools were reticent to accept the conditions imposed by the agreement, most schools have welcomed the new resources, as well as the clear pedagogical goals and diagnostic tools tailored to help meet them. Studies show positive effects on student performance. In 2015, SEP served 94% of all municipal schools (including 99% of those providing basic education) and 50% of private subsidised schools (including 75% of those providing basic education). It is not possible to convincingly estimate the effects on student learning in public schools, since participation in SEP is almost universal. However, research has found some positive effects of SEP on private subsidised schools, such as an increase in standardised student assessment scores on average and larger increases for schools with more significant enrolment of low-income students. In recent years, the SEP Law increased its resources by 20% for the education of the most vulnerable students of the system (defined as "priority students"). In addition, the preferential school subsidy was created for "preferential students". Schools that are in SEP and do not charge a co-payment receive it for each student who belongs to the poorest 80% of the country and is not "priority" (OECD, 2018[21]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Irarrázaval, I. et al (2012), Evaluation of the first years of Implementation of the Preferential School Subsidy (Evaluación de los primeros años de Implementación del Programa de Subvención Escolar Preferencial, de la Subsecretaría de Educación), Centre for Public Policy, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320735176_Evaluacion_de_los_primeros_anos_de_Implementacion_del_Programa_de_Subvencion_Escolar_Preferencial_de_la_Subsecretaria_de_Educacion?enrichId=rgreq-7866d6507a522842331bcfed8e20ebf8-XXX&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzMyMDczNTE3NjtBUzo1NTU4OTM2NDExODMyMzJAMTUwOTU0Njc4MDEwOA%3D%3D&el=1_x_2&_esc=publicationCoverPdf.

A network of Pathfinder (Rajaleidja, 2015) centres, co-ordinated by the Innove Foundation, provide educational counselling services to parents, teachers, and other adults working with young people between the ages of 1.5 and 18. Pathfinder centres identify the young people’s learning and behavioural needs, and direct them towards additional support from specialists such as psychologists or speech therapists. During recent school closures, the Pathfinder centres continued to provide remote counselling and support to schools and families (OECD, 2020[22]).

For more information on progress or impact:

CIVITTA (2017), Mid-term Evaluation of the Study and Career Guidance Programme: Final Report (Õppe-ja Karjäärinõustamise Programmi Vahehindamine: Lõpparuanne), CIVITTA – The Challenge Advisory, Tartu, https://www.hm.ee/sites/default/files/aruanne_1.pdf.

In 2015, Finland implemented the National Core Curriculum for Instruction Preparing for Basic Education, to respond to the need to better integrate immigrant students. It outlines key strategic areas in education, including securing equal opportunity in education and culture and promoting participation and inclusion. At least 32 500 refugees arrived in Finland in 2015. By the end of that year, almost 3 500 students were attending preparatory courses for basic education. To respond to the needs of this new refugee population, the government established 50 new groups of preparatory studies for basic education in municipalities. In 2015, at least 200 immigrant students were preparing for upper secondary education. Students have access to courses in either Finnish or Swedish, or they can attend classes in their native language. Students age 6-10 receive at least 900 hours of instruction, and older students are eligible to receive at least 1 000 hours. However, no national syllabus has been designed for the curriculum. Students who are able to keep up with the instruction are eligible to transfer to basic education regardless of whether they have completed the required hours. In 2015, the government also implemented the National Core Curriculum for Instruction Preparing for Basic Education, the National Core Curriculum for Instruction Preparing for General Upper Secondary Education, and Preparatory Education for Vocational Training. These three policies include measures for students from immigrant backgrounds originally included in the National Core Curriculum for Instruction Preparing Immigrants for Basic Education (2009), which has been discontinued (OECD, 2018[21]).

Progress or impact: As of 2016, around 12% of immigrant students had classes in Finnish or Swedish as a second language, while 25% did not have separate language classes. The 2016 report by the working group of the Ministry of Education and Culture on immigrant issues states that it is important to their language development to grant separate Finnish or Swedish language classes as well as to aid the development of immigrant students’ mother tongues. In fact, in 2014, more than 16 000 students participated in courses taught in their own mother language, resulting in a total of 53 different languages being taught (OECD, 2018[21]).

Updated information: To strengthen the integration of immigrants, a revised National Core Curriculum for Preparatory Instruction in Basic Education (2015), emphasising Finnish or Swedish as a second language and mother-tongue instruction for other subjects, was introduced. Students receive up to 1 000 hours’ instruction (900 hours maximum for 6-10 year-olds); transition to mainstream education occurs flexibly. Preparatory studies also exist for general upper secondary, VET, and adult basic education. According to a report from the Ministry of Education and Culture (2016), by late 2015, around one-third of young migrants arriving in 2014/15 attended such programmes. An evaluation (2018) found the programme inclusive and integrative, but quality varied by teachers’ skills or attitudes. The OECD (2018) also called for greater consistency across municipalities (OECD, 2020[3]).

For more information on progress or impact:

OECD (2018), Working Together: Skills and Labour Market Integration of Immigrants and their Children in Finland, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264305250-en.

Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland (2016), The Educational Tracks and Integration of Immigrants – Problematic Areas and Proposals for Actions, Publications of the OKM, Helsinki, https://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/64986/okm6.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.

Finland’s Student Welfare Act (2013) guarantees students access to services including psychologists, social workers and healthcare. Taking a preventative approach, it promotes well-being at schools and individualised support built on collaboration between professionals, students and families. A 2018 evaluation concluded that a more systematic, multi-disciplinary approach has been implemented, but with inconsistencies across providers. The OECD (2019) reported that the share of students in compulsory education receiving support doubled to 17.5% between 2013 and 2017. Finland maintained these services during school closures for the COVID-19 pandemic (OECD, 2020[3]).

For more information on progress or impact:

FINEEC (2018), “Extensive evaluation: pupil and student welfare has been enhanced after the enforcement of the Pupil and Student Welfare Act, but the development work is far from over”, FINEEC – News, FINEEC, webpage, https://karvi.fi/en/2018/03/14/extensive-evaluation-pupil-student-welfare-enhanced-enforcementpupil-student-welfare-act-development-work-far/ (accessed 02 October 2020).

Since 2013, Education Alliances (Kultur macht stark – Bündnisse für Bildung) have supported out-of-school programmes in Germany for educationally disadvantaged children and teenagers. Starting in 2013, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) allocated annual funding of EUR 30 million for this programme, to be increased to EUR 50 million in the following four years. The Education Package (Bildungspaket) (by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, 2011) aims to give 2.5 million children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to participate in activities such as school excursions, sports, and musical and cultural activities, to boost their motivation and sense of belonging (OECD, 2018[21]).

Progress or impact: A 2016 evaluation found overall positive results for the policy. By 2016, 11 500 measures had been taken, and 4 700 alliances had been funded across the country. The main target group of educationally disadvantaged children and teenagers benefitted from at least 90% of the measures taken. Between 2013 and 2016, 223 000 children and teenagers as well as 28 000 relatives benefitted from out-of school programmes. The main geographical focus is on regions with a high percentage of the main target group. Success factors identified include easy access to the programmes for children and teenagers, as well as content tailored to conditions on the ground. Other factors are the possibility to gain social and cultural awareness and skills: 90% of the alliances include volunteers. An important target is also the establishment of long-term co-operation. Of the co-ordinators interviewed, 65% stated they intended to reapply for funding. In addition, 90% of the alliances anticipated continuing the co-operation independently of the federal programme. The programme will be extended from 2018 to 2022, and interested local partners can begin applying for 2018 funding at the end of 2017 (OECD, 2018[21]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Prognos (2016), Culture Makes you Strong: Education Alliances Report on the Evaluation Period 2014-2015 (Kultur macht stark: Bündnisse für Bildung: Bericht zum Evaluationszeitraum 2014-2015, BMBF, Freiburg/Düsseldorf, https://www.prognos.com/publikationen/alle-publikationen/657/show /78f89294c67ee434a07bc2dc0dee73d0/.

The Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) Plan 2017 has been the main policy initiative tackling educational disadvantage. It builds on the DEIS Plan for Educational Inclusion (2005), which provided a range of targeted support to the most disadvantaged schools. From 2017, 79 schools were added and 30 received enhanced support, including programmes targeting transition, well-beingwellbeing and teachers’ professional development. New targets were also introduced for student retention and progression, as well as initiatives to improve adult and family literacy. The Educational Research Centre (2017; 2018) found that achievement and attainment gaps between DEIS and non-DEIS schools have generally narrowed at both primary and post-primary levels, but remain significant. In the same way, student retention, literacy and, to a lesser extent, numeracy, have improved (OECD, 2020[5]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Weir, S. and L. Kavanagh (2018), The Evaluation of DEIS at Post-Primary Level: Closing the Achievement and Attainment Gaps, Dublin, Educational Research Centre, http://www.erc.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Weir-Kavanagh-2018-DEIS-post-primary.pdf.

Kavanagh, L., S. Weir and E. Moran (2017), The Evaluation of DEIS: Monitoring Achievement and Attitudes among Urban Primary School Pupils from 2007 to 2016, Educational Research Centre, Dublin, http://www.erc.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DEIS-report-2017.pdf.

The Certificate of Practice Scheme (Praksisbrev) is an alternative VET pathway aimed at students who are struggling in mainstream VET. Its aim is to improve completion rates among these students. The scheme was piloted between 2008 and 2011 and was adopted as a permanent arrangement in 2016. Whereas most VET programmes in Norway involve two years of school-based learning before beginning a two-year apprenticeship period, certificate of practice candidates alternate between school-based training and training in enterprise. At the end of the programme, students can transition to the journeyman’s certificate (a formal VET qualification) or continue their training in a particular trade. An evaluation by the Norwegian Research Institute (NIFU) found that 49% of Certificate of Practice students obtained an apprenticeship after completing the programme, compared to 29% of students in mainstream VET. The evaluation linked the success of the programme to the degree of work-based learning, which was a better fit for some learners than school-based learning. Giving students the opportunity to establish contact with enterprises early in the programme also meant that these students were more likely to secure an apprenticeship with the same employer (OECD, 2020[23]).

For more information on progress or impact:

European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (n.d.), Certificate of Practice (Praksisbrev), CEDEFOP, Thessaloniki, https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/printpdf/toolkits/vet-toolkit-tackling-early-leaving/resources/certificate-practice-praksisbrev (accessed on 02 October 2020).

Portugal has introduced a comprehensive national strategy with a focus on combating school failure and grade repetition, the National Programme to Promote Educational Success (Plano Nacional de Promoção do Sucesso Escolar, PNPSE). The Plan takes a preventative approach, promoting academic success and the improvement of learning, particularly in the early years of schooling. It supports schools to develop improvement plans, based on the principle that educational communities best understand their contexts, difficulties and capabilities and are better prepared to design plans for strategic action. The Plan also aims to examine individual students’ competences more comprehensively across a range of disciplines, including the introduction of a basic student profile, and to support students who have already repeated grades through additional tutoring. School autonomy is also reinforced, especially on pedagogic issues, through the Curriculum Flexibility and Autonomy programme (OECD, 2018[21]).

Progress or impact: The coverage of the PNPSE is high, with 663 schools developing a strategic plan around the framework for their schools. The PNPSE, combined with the schools that are already participating in similar activities through the Third Generation of the Education Territories of Priority Intervention Programme (TEIP3), now covers almost 99% of Portugal’s 811 schools. According to a recent European Commission report, the success of the plan in raising performance will depend on capacity to provide technical support and ensure regular monitoring of actions and overall coherence of the different projects (OECD, 2018[21]).

Updated information: The National Programme to Promote Educational Success (Programa Nacional de Promoção do Sucesso Escolar, PNPSE, 2016) is a comprehensive strategy to combat school failure and grade repetition. PNPSE takes a preventative approach, promoting academic success in the first cycle of primary education via enhanced classroom interactions, early-intervention, teacher collaboration and comprehensive evaluation of student competences. There has been strong emphasis on building capacity for teachers and school leaders; PNPSE supports schools to develop improvement plans for their context and by 2018, 663 schools had done so. PNPSE also supports municipalities to develop local projects aligned with school actions; by 2018, 2 915 different actions had been defined locally, then disseminated nationally. However, the European Commission found that ensuring technical support, ongoing monitoring and overall coherence remain challenges (OECD, 2020[6]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Verdasca, J., (n.d.), National Programme for the Promotion of School Success: Presentation Note, Website of the PNPSE, Ministry of Education, Portugal, https://pnpse.min-educ.pt/programa (accessed on 02 October 2020).

In 2008, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports in Slovenia, with the help of the European Structural Funds, implemented the Project for the Successful Integration of Roma Students in Schools (2008-15). It aimed to share national best practices of inclusive teaching among kindergartens and schools and teachers in areas with little or no such experience. One of the most important measures was providing a Roma assistant in Roma settlements and schools attended by Roma pupils. Following promising results of this policy, the government later implemented a series of projects to expand support to Roma communities. The project on Raising the Social and Cultural Capital in Areas Inhabited by Members of the Roma Community (2011-13) aimed to work with Roma children, youth and parents in Roma settlements to increase the participation and success of Roma children in education. More recently, the Together for Knowledge (2016-21) programme aims to supply educational support in preschools for Roma communities through the inclusion of Roma parents in educational activities, as well as coaching sessions and after-school activities for children (OECD, 2018[21]).

Progress or impact: The Project for the Successful Integration of Roma Students in Schools was identified by the Council of Europe as a demonstrated good practice (observing the Municipality of Murska Sobota). As reported by the Roma Union, results achieved by the end of 2010 included higher attendance of Roma children in educational institutions, improved co-operation between Roma parents and educational institutions, increased awareness among Roma of the importance of learning and education, and more successful co-operation between teaching assistants, teachers and Roma parents in the education of Roma children. The Council of Europe also identified the importance of the project on Raising the Social and Cultural Capital in Areas Inhabited by Members of the Roma Community (2011-13), particularly its contributions to the design of innovative and creative educational practices in Roma communities (OECD, 2018[21]).

For more information on progress or impact:

Council of Europe (2017), Fourth Report Submitted by Slovenia Pursuant to Article 25, Paragraph 2 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, National Minorities (FCNM), Council of Europe, Strasbourg, https://rm.coe.int/16806d3fbc.

This annex provides further descriptions of current policy initiatives selected for analysis in lesson three. The policies selected are examples of initiatives to recover and mitigate learning gaps and also make use of key policy levers for learner and system resilience and responsiveness. These policies were developed in response to the challenges facing learners and education systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chile’s Tutors for Chile (Tutores para Chile) network brings together participants of initial teacher education to facilitate tutorials for school students that support schools and teachers in the provision of distance learning. The nature of these tutorials is determined by the host school, in liaison with the teacher training institution and the trainee teacher. Tutorials may be carried out online or in person (once schools reopen) but a supervisor must be present to monitor the work, and give a final evaluation. The tutorials will cover a period of three to four months and will focus on critical levels in education, such as final-year or transition-year students. They will last one hour and take place weekly with one tutor supporting up to three students. In this way, tutors will support the work of schools in helping students overcome learning gaps created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.  At the same time, the tutors are able to continue their own training, gaining the practical experience and professional guidance required for qualification (MINEDUC, 2020[24]).

Chile has introduced a Curricular Prioritisation support package for schools to identify the educational objectives considered essential for learning. The resources support schools in balancing the various curricular areas, ensure coherence and progression across the school year, and provide the skills and knowledge necessary for successful transition to the next school year. The tools cover all levels of schooling and all subjects with an additional differentiated plan for vocational training. Curricular Prioritisation is based on the three basic principles of security, flexibility, and fairness, and will last two years (2020 and 2021), allowing for a gradual transition towards the current general curriculum. These two years are considered as spaces for the recovery and consolidation of essential learning, with flexible criteria on the curriculum and assessment. To support schools and teachers, the Ministry held a virtual conference about curricular prioritisation and, from June, made online training available, with a focus on practice within the classroom and teacher well-being. Other supporting resources include teaching guidelines for the prioritised objectives, with accompanying teaching strategies, resources or students, formative evaluations, videos and digital platforms aligned to the Curricular Prioritisation. The process is not mandatory, and schools have the autonomy to adapt the process to their own context. To facilitate this flexible approach, the government has introduced amendments to legislation (MINEDUC, 2020[25]).

To support schools in the reopening process, Chile’s Education Quality Agency developed the Comprehensive Assessment of Learning (DIA). This assesses students’ socio-emotional state and their learning in areas such as reading and mathematics, helping schools to identify the gaps that may have resulted from emergency distance education. Schools that resume in-person teaching must register on the DIA platform. The tool is flexible, with schools able to administer the assessments when they want and receive result reports immediately. The platform offers three types of assessment tools: those collecting information on the socio-emotional well-being of students and some socio-emotional skills essential to face this period of crisis; for younger students, an Interactive Diagnosis which generates evidence through participation in the activity; and for older students, short self-report questionnaires which generate a report at the course level. The latter comes with guidance for a follow-up workshop. The Education Quality Agency also provides video mentoring to management teams to support with implementation. The Agency will carry out a sample evaluation at the end of 2020 to determine the status of student learning and the impact of the pandemic (MINEDUC, 2020[26]; MINEDUC, 2020[27]).

To support schools in diagnosing learning needs on the return to in-person education, France is directing schools towards several methods. National benchmarking tests, in place since 2017 for students in the first two years of primary education, will take place in September, with a follow-up mid-term assessment in January 2021. National assessments in mathematics and French for students in the first year of lower secondary education will also take place in September, having been further developed to better identify students’ needs and offer results that are more useful. These students will also take a new reading fluency test in their first days back at school. France has simplified the procedure for French and mathematics placement tests for students in upper secondary school this year, and introduced new literacy and numeracy tests for those in the first years of the professional vocational education track (CAP). For students in all other levels, teachers will use new short and one-off tests to instantly measure the mastery of fundamental skills and identify priorities for each student. France has identified priority educational objectives for French and mathematics at every level of education. These are accompanied by resources for teachers and must be the focus of teaching and learning during the first weeks of the school year (Ministère de l"Éducation Nationale et de la Jeunesse et des Sports, 2020[28]; Eduscol, 2020[29]).

To support schools in redressing learning gaps, the Ministry is mobilising other additional resources. France is increasing the hours of support available in the first months of the school year through the educational assistants (assistants d’éducation) and through the Homework Done (Devoirs Faits) initiative, which offers students personalised support and homework help, respectively. Following the health crisis, the government has doubled its previous commitment and is creating 8 000 new support posts for students with disabilities (accompagnement d’élèves en situation handicap). There will also be an additional 1 248 new teaching posts in primary education as a direct result of the health crisis (Eduscol, 2020[29]).

Japan committed considerable extra resources to support the reopening of schools after the initial lockdown measures. Firstly, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) reinforced human resources for schools that were dividing classes for staggered attendance. Additional teachers enabled multiple smaller classes to run among students in the final years of primary and lower secondary education in order to allow them to receive a sufficient amount of in-person teaching. Between one and three extra instructors were employed per school to assist classroom teachers and, in regions with a high infection rate, school support staff were assigned to schools to support lesson planning, parental contact and COVID-19 related administrative tasks. Finally, school counsellors and social workers were assigned on a school-by-school basis. Japan recruited these extra staff from the pool of retired teachers, tutors, university students and other education-related staff or actors in the community. To facilitate the process, Japan eased qualification requirements for instructors, recognising temporary, special licenses (MEXT, 2020[30]).

The Netherlands is investing almost an additional EUR 500 million in education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of this amount, EUR 244 million will fund a subsidy scheme for primary and secondary general education, and secondary VET to provide extra support to students. Schools can apply for subsidies to run voluntary catch-up programmes between summer 2020 and 2021. These may take the form of after-school programmes, catch-up programmes during school holidays or extra support during the school day. Students from teacher training courses and pedagogical studies can assist teachers in delivering these interventions. The Ministry provides schools with research summaries to support programme design, as well as concrete proposals as to how to select students, prioritise learning goals and monitor students’ progress. Eligible students include: those with learning gaps caused by school closures; those who have experienced delays in their studies or practical training as a result of COVID-19; and those who do not speak Dutch in the home and may need language support. A further EUR 3.8 million has been allocated for the new school year to provide digital equipment to students forced to study at home who do not have a laptop or tablet. All students in VET and higher education programmes who, unable to graduate in 2019/20 due to institutional closures, and who need to re-enrol and graduate in the next academic year will receive funding for approximately three months of tuition fees (Ministry of Education, 2020[31]).

Portugal has directed schools to focus the first five weeks of the new school year on learning recovery. All schools must develop an Action Plan for the Recovery and Consolidation of Learning that guides teaching and learning throughout the year, intensively so in the first weeks, and should be flexible enough to withstand possible future closures. To support schools, the government has produced a set of guidelines for the organisation of the school year, along with a comprehensive roadmap for recovery and consolidation, which includes example activities and learning tools and approaches for schools. Specific support measures include an increase in hourly credits – the time allocated to schools for non-teaching related activities including management, student pastoral care and personalised learning, as well as teacher planning and collaboration – for the academic year 2020/21. The extra time must be used exclusively for activities related to learning recovery and consolidation. Portugal has also extended the Specific tutorial support programme- originally reserved for students in secondary education who have repeated a year twice- to all students who did not pass the school year in 2019/20. All schools must also establish a peer mentoring programme in which volunteer mentors from the student body are paired with student mentees (Ministry of Education, Portugal, 2020[32]).

The work of the latter two schemes is overseen by the school’s pedagogical council. Portugal encourages all schools to carry out assessments to identify all students’ needs to enable a more personalised approach to learning recovery. Schools should begin with an assessment of students’ digital skills and the digital resources available to them, then use curricular documents and essential learning objectives to map where the students’ gaps in learning are. Through this, school teams should determine individualised learning paths for students. The process should involve students as much as possible. Schools should take advantage of an increase in support offered by the multi-disciplinary inclusion support teams. Portugal also committed EUR 125 million euros for extra human resources in educational institutions. This will cover new teaching posts, as well as additional positions for non-teaching staff, and 800 specialists such as social workers and psychologists (Ministry of Education, Portugal, 2020[32]).

In England, the government has committed GBP 1 billion to fund educational catch-up initiatives. This includes a one-off, universal catch-up premium for the 2020-2021 academic year which provides primary and lower-secondary schools with an extra GBP 80 per student to ensure that schools have the sufficient resources to help all students make up for lost teaching time. Special education institutions, or alternative settings for children unable to attend mainstream school due to exclusion from education, illness or other reasons, receive GBP 240 per student for the academic year. Schools will receive funds in three instalments across the academic year and are encouraged to pool funds to prioritise support according to student need. Schools should implement specific activities in line with both guidance on curriculum expectations for the next academic year and the Education Endowment Foundation’s evidence-based support guide for schools and quick guide to implementation (Department for Education, United Kingdom, 2020[33]).

To target support towards disadvantaged and vulnerable students specifically, England has allocated GBP 350 million for a National Tutoring Programme. This decision is based on extensive high-quality evidence demonstrating the potential of one-on-one and small-group tuition, delivered in partnership with schools, as a cost-effective way to support pupils who are falling behind. For primary and lower-secondary students, this entails the provision of high-quality tuition from November. The Department for Education will curate a list of approved tuition partners, from which schools can select the appropriate service. The Education Endowment Foundation is supporting the implementation of this programme, including impact evaluation. Schools in the most deprived areas will employ in-house academic mentors to provide small-group tuition. Teach First is leading the recruitment, initial and ongoing training, and placement of these mentors, who are likely to be graduates with some experience in education or of working with pupils. Some may be working towards an initial teacher training qualification. Both types of provision will be subsidised by the government, and schools can allocate further funding from the Catch-Up Premium to these programmes. For students in upper secondary and vocational education, schools can provide small group tutoring activities (Department for Education, United Kingdom, 2020[33]).

Wales is recruiting 600 extra teachers and 300 additional teaching assistants throughout the academic year 2020/21. These additional staff will be directed towards supporting students at the end of upper secondary school, as well as disadvantaged and vulnerable learners of all ages. This will support learners taking national end-of-cycle examinations in 2021 and those known to have been affected most while many schools have been closed since March. Professional learning resources will be provided to support new and existing teachers. Staff will be recruited on a one-year fixed-term contract and are expected to move into educational roles in the following school year. The support package, provided at a school level, could include extra coaching support, personalised learning programmes, and additional time and resources for exam year pupils (Welsh Government, 2020[34]).

The OECD’s Strength through Diversity: Education for Inclusive Societies project aims to identify how education systems can be equitable and inclusive by supporting the learning and well-being outcomes of diverse populations, and ensuring that all individuals are able to engage with others in increasingly diverse and complex societies.

This box provides an insight into a key relevant finding of the project during the COVID-19 crisis. It offers further substantive background to the Education Policy Reform Dialogues 2020 Session 1 – Schools, higher education and Vocational Education and Training (VET): Making the most of resilient approaches in education for a better new normal

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