EU Policies on TE

Education and Training is one of the policy priorities of the European Union. Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) is the framework for cooperation in this area. This framework is designed to support Member States in addressing common challenges. The quality of teachers and teacher education is one such common challenge.

Indeed, as it has been found that teachers are the most crucial factor in the learning process of pupils and students (see McKinsey & Company’s 2007 Report), a considerable amount of policy documents and recommendations have been issued on the topic of teachers and teacher education.

Below you will find links which direct you to EU policy, research and initiatives related to education, training and teachers.

  1. EU policy and initiatives in the area of Education & Training
  2. Recent publications and policy documents on teachers and teacher education
  3. The Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC)
  4. Peer learning on (teacher) education policies

Other relevant links:


Other relevant documents


In 2008, 2009 and most recently in 2013 the OECD, in co-operation with the European Commission, conducted an international study on the learning environment and the working conditions of teachers in schools which aims to fill important information gaps in the international comparisons of education systems. The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) focuses on appraisal of teachers’ work in schools, the form and nature of the feedback they receive, teachers’ lifelong learning, teacher beliefs and attitudes and school leadership and management.

OECD: Teachers Matter
This policy document from the OECD presents findings on the main elements of effective teacher policies.

ETUCE: The Quality of Teacher Education, policy paper from the European Teacher Unions
The combined European teacher unions, collaborating in ETUCE/CSEE have issued a document on teacher education in Europe.  The main message of the document is that initial teacher education should be at master level, to enable teachers to face the challenges of the 21st century. The role of teacher educators is crucial in this context, and the policy paper dedicates a separate section to address their qualifications and competences. Another key message of the ETUCE policy paper is that continuous professional development must be an integral part of a teachers’ professional life. The policy paper also advocates for a more structured induction phase for newly qualified teachers. ETUCE also recommends that measures are taken to improve teachers’ working conditions and working environment and that an increased effort is made to raise the status of teachers.

McKinsey: How the best performing education systems in the world come out on top.
In 2007, McKinsey published a study in which 25 school systems, including the ten top performing school systems, are compared. The study identifies aspects that make the top systems so successful. These aspects are very closely related to teacher quality, namely:
• Selecting the right people to become a teacher
• Improving instruction through continuous professional development
• Creating systems and targeted support to ensure that every child benefits from excellent instruction.

Eurydice: Key Data on Education in Europe (2012)
This report serves as a useful accompanying document for the 2015 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of ET 2020.