Council of Europe Standing Conference of Ministers of Education

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1 MED April 2013 Council of Europe Standing Conference of Ministers of Education Governance and Quality Education 24 th session Helsinki, Finland, April 2013 Information on the objectives and the organisation of the Conference

2 I. Introduction 1. The 24 th Session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education will take place in Helsinki, Finland, on the 26 th and 27 th of April Conference venue: Finlandia Hall Mannerheimintie Helsinki Finland Tel.: Fax: The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe took note of the venue, date and theme of the Conference at its 1146 th meeting that took place on the 20 June The following are the theme and sub-themes of the Conference: Main theme: Sub-theme A: Sub-theme B: Governance and Quality Education Decentralisation, social participation and empowerment of local authorities in the Governance of Education; Ethics and integrity in education (with special focus on the ethical behaviour of teachers and the integrity of higher education and research); Sub-theme C: Parents, teachers and student involvement in educational Governance and management and Quality Education. 4. Objectives This 24th Session will provide ministers with the opportunity to focus on the roles and responsibilities of public authorities and gain knowledge and share effective results of policies, local contribution and international co-operation in ensuring good governance and quality education for all. The event will enable participants to steer the development of the forthcoming Council of Europe programme of activities for education and to explore possible co-ordinated actions at international level beyond the Council of Europe framework. It should also impact on future developments at national level. 5. Outcomes All outcomes of the Conference should contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Council of Europe programme on Democratic governance through education, culture and youth policies and would contribute to "quality education" as defined by the Council of Europe. 5.1 Long-term outcomes To influence reforms to be carried out by national and local authorities, non-governmental organisations and international organisations for the: 2

3 promotion of new standards for governance and quality education as defined by the recent work of the Council of Europe and based on its values; awareness raising on the human rights-based approach to governance and quality in education; development of new opportunities for synergy between the various stakeholders in the education sector; promotion of a set of examples of good practice at policy level for appropriate future reforms. 5.2 Short-term outcomes to explore the feasibility of setting up, at European level, a co-operation scheme regarding integrity and quality issues in education (specific focus on integrity in higher education); to explore the preparation of human rights-based indicators for measuring parents participation (involvement) in education; to start the development of a European code of ethics for the teaching profession. 6. Outputs The Conference is expected to result in several concrete outputs for member States and the Council of Europe such as: the publication of a background report on contemporary challenges on governance and quality education in Europe; a website dedicated to the challenges addressed during the Conference, exposing past national activities and promoting examples of good practice; the adoption of a final ministerial declaration on governance and quality in education; the publication of the Conference proceedings. II. Participation in the Conference 4. In accordance with the Resolution CM/Res (2011)7 invitations are sent to: a. the Ministers of Education of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe; b. the states party to the European Cultural Convention which are not members of the Council of Europe (Belarus, Holy See, Kazakhstan); c. the Chair of the Committee of Ministers, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the Chair of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe; the Chair of the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ); the Chair of the Advisory Council on Youth; the Chair of the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS); d. the European Union; e. the following non-member states which hold observer status with the Council of Europe : Canada, Japan, Mexico, the United States of America; f. the following non-member states and international governmental organisations, as observers: Israel, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 3

4 Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Nordic Council of Ministers; g. the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), as observer ; h. the European Training Foundation (ETF), as observer; i. the following INGOs, as observers: the Conference of European Churches (CEC);- Education International (EI);- European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE);- European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (EURODOC);- European Cultural Foundation (ECF);- European Federation of Catholic Universities (FUCE);- European Science Foundation (ESF);- European Students Union (ESU); European University Association (EUA); the European Wergeland Centre; the International Association of Universities (IAU); III. Organisation of the Conference 5. The order of business will be as per the agenda which will be distributed separately and the draft programme. A. Official opening of the Conference Election of the Chair (Friday April 26 th 2013, early afternoon) 6. Official opening of the Conference: Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr Jukka Gustafsson, Minister of Education of Finland Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe The session is open to the press. 7. The Conference Chair will be elected immediately after the address of the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. It is customary to elect the Minister of Education of the host country as chair of the Conference. Two vice-chairs will then be elected. It is customary to elect the Ministers of Education of the country which hosted the previous session and of the country which will host the next session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education, i.e. the Minister of Slovenia (host country of the previous session) and the Minister from the host country of the next session (to be confirmed). 8. After the elections, the agenda will be adopted. 4

5 B. Plenary session 1 (Friday April 26 th 2013, afternoon) 9. Keynotes will be given by: M. Eero Heinäluoma, Speaker of the Parliament Ms. Androulla Vassiliou, EU Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth The main key questions for further discussions on the theme and sub-themes of the Conference Governance and Quality Education will be introduced by Mr. Germain Dondelinger, Vice- Chair of the CDPPE. C. Groups sessions (Friday April 26 th 2013, afternoon) 10. Plenary session 1 will be followed by discussion in working groups in which the ministers or heads of delegation will take part. Prior to the Conference, the Delegations have the possibility to submit to the Secretariat written communications regarding the main theme and/or the sub-themes of the Conference. Written communications have to be submitted via the Internet website of the Ministerial Conference at the following address: 11. The working groups will meet from 3.15 to 5.45 pm. 12. The working group sessions will discuss (on the basis of Guiding questions distributed by the Secretariat) the following sub-themes (each working group will discuss each of these subthemes): Sub-theme A: Sub-theme B: Decentralisation, social participation and empowerment of local authorities in the Governance of Education; Ethics and integrity in education (with special focus on the ethical behaviour of teachers and the integrity of higher education and research); Sub-theme C: Parents, teachers and student involvement in educational Governance and management and Quality Education. 13. The ministers (or heads of delegation), international organisations and observers will have the opportunity to take the floor during the working group meetings. Their contributions should be relatively short, no more than five minutes, and should raise points that might lead to concrete political decisions, which could be reflected in the text adopted. D. Plenary session 2 (Saturday April 27 th 2013, morning) 14. The second plenary session will begin at 9.00 am with a panel discussion, followed by a discussion in which all delegations will be able to take part. E. Plenary session 3 (Saturday April 27 th 2013, morning) 15. The third plenary session will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of the developement of the Education programme of the Council of Europe (for ), as well as to the adoption of the Final Declaration. 5

6 Delegations have the possibility during the first day of the Conference to submit amendments to the Draft Final Declaration (a separate form for submitting amendments will be distributed by the Secretariat) The preparatory group and the Secretariat which constitute the group responsible for drafting the declaration will examine all amendments and prepare the final text on Friday April 26 th 2013 (in the evening). The project for the declaration will be available for the delegations on Saturday 27 th 2013 at 9 am, in order to be adopted at the end of the Conference. F. Closing session 16. Following the adoption of the declaration presented to the Conference, the closing session, which will be open to the media, will include an address by Ms. Snežana Samardžić- Marković, Director General of Democracy at the Council of Europe and Mr. Jukka Gustafsson, Minister of Education for Finland. G. Press Conference 17. Following the closing session, a press conference will take place to present the adopted text(s), which will be made available to the press. IV. Documentation 18. At the Conference, each participant will receive a conference file containing the following documents: a. Working documents MED-24-1 MED-24-2 MED-24-3 prov MED-24-4 Introduction to the main theme and sub-themes - Draft programme and Agenda Information on the organisation of the Conference Draft declaration on the theme of the Conference Guiding questions for the working groups discussions b. Background documents MED-24-5 MED-24-6 Governance and Quality Education - General report from the Prague Forum held on the th of October 2012 Competences for a culture of democracy and intercultural dialogue: a political challenge and values - General conclusions from the Andorran Conference held on the 7-8 th of February 2013 Recommendation CM/Rec(2012)13 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on ensuring quality education and its Explanatory Memorandum Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)6 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the public responsibility for higher education and research and its Explanatory Memorandum 6

7 Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)7 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and its Explanatory Memorandum V. Practical arrangements of the Conference 19. A specific website was created to facilitate the registration process, the information workflow and the submission of contributions from national delegations. By going to the following address, you can register to the Conference, book your hotel accommodation and submit written communications: To enter the website and register, you will need the following access code: 8GDwjAT$X H. Registration of participants 20. After having received the invitation letter and the access code, all members of each Delegation (max. 3 people) should individually register online to the following address: Please note that the persons who accompany a participant to the Conference must also register via the electronic form on the Conference website. I. Hotels 21. The delegations can make a reservation directly with the hotel of their choice. Special room rates have been negotiated with Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, Sokos Hotel Presidentti, Scandic Continental and Hotel Crowne Plaza in Helsinki. For more information about hotel accommodation and to make a reservation, please go to Conference website. J. Local transport 22. The local embassies will provide transport for their respective ministers. 23. The host authorities will organise the transport of all other delegates from the airport to the hotels, and from the hotels to the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki. An information point will be set up at Helsinki airport. In order to facilitate the organisation of local transport, please provide the details of your travel itinerary through the Conference website (section Travel ). K. Visa 24. The procedure for obtaining a visa for Finland is on the Internet website of the Conference. If you need a visa, please fill in the necessary fields on the electronic form (section My profile ). The Finnish authorities will subsequently issue a 'note verbale' for the applicants, as well as the Finnish Consulate in the countries concerned. L. Publication of the documents 25. The Conference documents will be available in English and French, the two official languages of the Council of Europe, and on the Internet site of the Council of Europe. M. Interpretation 26. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided to and from English, French, Finnish, German, Italian, Russian, and passive Spanish during the plenary session of the Conference. 7

8 27. Interpretation will also be provided during the working group meetings in some of these languages, depending on the participants command of languages. N. Departments responsible for the organisation of the Conference At the Council of Europe Mr Villano QIRIAZI Head of Division Secretary to the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education Education Policy Division DGII - Democracy F Strasbourg Cedex Tel.: (0) Fax: Ms. Stefania KRUGER Administrator Secretary for the Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE) Education Policy Division DGII - Democracy F Strasbourg Cedex Tél. : (0) Fax: Ms. Mireille WENDLING Administrative Assistant Education and Language Division F Strasbourg Cedex Tél. : (0) Fax : (0) Ms. Anne-Cécile DEQUEN Trainee Education for democratic citizenship and human rights Division Tél. : (0) In Finland Ms. Helena Lalu-Toivio PR Coordinator, International Relations Ministry of Education and Culture P.O. Box 29 (Meritullinkatu 10) FI Government tel , mobile

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