ESPIL- European School Psychologists Improve Lifelong Learning

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1 ESPIL- European School Psychologists Improve Lifelong Learning Final Report Public Part

2 Project information Project acronym: Project title: Project number: ESPIL European School Psychologists Improve Lifelong Learning LLP BE-COMENIUS-CAM Sub-programme or KA: Project website: Comenius Reporting period: From 01/11/09 To 31/10/10 Report version: 1 Date of preparation: December 22, 2010 Beneficiary organisation: European Federation of Psychologists Associations EFPA Project coordinator: Project coordinator organisation: Marianne Kant-Schaps EFPA Project coordinator telephone number: Project coordinator address: This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein Copyright Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency. The document may be freely copied and distributed provided that no modifications are made, that the source is acknowledged and that this copyright notice is included. 2

3 Executive Summary The ESPIL project addressed psychologists and their associations, European, national, regional and local authorities involved in youth related to education, health, social affairs and important stakeholders in education. The ESPIL Project strived for -Raising awareness among Psychologists in the Educational System for EU Policies in Education/Training and to encourage them to study the implications of these policies on their professional education/ training and service delivery. -Developing jointly policy recommendations related to Lifelong Learning Policies: Improving the quality of School Psychologist s (SP) education/ training Improving the quality of SP services in lifelong guidance/ counselling. In order to share information and to debate relevant topics, the project gathered in two conferences representatives of 25 national psychology associations across Europe, the European Federation of Psychology Students Associations and the International School Psychology Association, the European Commission, the European Parents Association, European Teachers (ETUCE), European Youth Forum, Educational Ministries as well as other important stakeholders in education, e.g. representatives of the European Agency for the Development of Special Needs Education, EUN, COE, International Institute for Child Rights and Development. On the basis of conference results, an ESPIL questionnaire and shared best-practice examples a joint status report on education, training, professional profile and services of SPs was developed in an English, French and German language version including an EFPA policy statement and recommendations for European, national, regional and local authorities active in the area of youth health and education (downloadable at and The report has been sent in paper versions to all EFPA Member Associations, all project participants and to representatives of Educational Ministries across Europe. Additionally a video film on European School Psychology was produced on the basis of 18 contributions received through the European wide ESPIL video clip contest Psychologists in schools- what do they do? The film is available at with English subtitles. The film production intended to support the development of a realistic picture in society of psychological work within lifelong learning processes. National Psychology Associations were requested to disseminate and promote the EFPA policy paper. EFPA. will continue to promote the ESPIL recommendations through further networking and common activities with their members. During the project lifetime promising synergies to improve lifelong learning have been built among psychologists and relevant partners, such as the development of a future certificate European Master in Educational Psychology, an EU project on mental health education in nurseries and primary schools, cooperative projects on prevention of cyber bullying of teachers, ICT implications for nursery and primary children, and a project proposal on child rights education for health and educational professionals working with youth. The ESPIL film has been ordered by several psychology faculties in order to serve as a form of career guidance tool for psychology students. 3

4 Table of Contents 1. PROJECT OBJECTIVES PROJECT APPROACH PROJECT OUTCOMES & RESULTS PARTNERSHIPS PLANS FOR THE FUTURE CONTRIBUTION TO EU POLICIES EXTRA HEADING/SECTION... 4

5 1. Project Objectives The project intended to -Raise awareness within the Network of European Psychologists in the Educational System- N.E.P.E.S. for the impact of developments in EU policies in education/training during the last decade -Encourage its member associations to study the implications of these policies on education/ training/service delivery of School Psychologists (SPs) including professional profiles, competences, qualifications within new paradigms of LLL -Develop jointly policy recommendations on the basis of the debate results concerning two important areas in LLL: Improving the quality of SP s education/ training Improving the quality of service delivery in lifelong guidance/ counselling, including the viewpoints of stakeholders in education. This project also intended to prepare National Associations of Psychologists in the Educational System to play a proactive role in the implementation of EU recommendations in education/training at national level. In order to support this purpose 2 conferences with representatives of these associations and important stakeholders were organized as well as the production of a video film on European School Psychology and of an EFPA Policy Paper on Reforms in Education, Training and Service delivery of SPs including best practices in reforms. 5

6 2. Project Approach In order to share information and to debate relevant topics, the project gathered in two conferences (January, July 2010) representatives of 25 national psychology associations across Europe, the European Federation of Psychology Students Associations and the International School Psychology Association, the European Commission, the European Parents Association, European Teachers Union (ETUCE), European Youth Forum, Educational Ministries as well as other important stakeholders in education, e.g. representatives of the European Agency for the Development of Special Needs Education, EUN, COE, International Institute for Child Rights and Development. The national psychology associations were requested to nominate 2 representatives, one covering the topic of education/training and the second one covering expertise of psychological practice in education. On the basis of conference presentations, debates, feedback results of the ESPIL questionnaire 2010 requesting relevant data on school psychologists has been distributed to all 35 EFPA member organisations and conference participants and was made available on the EFPA/N.E.P.E.S. website collected best-practice examples in form of filled in templates available on the N.E.P.E.S. website or free formulated text on education/ training, professional activities, service quality a joint status report on education, training, professional profile and services of SPs was developed in an English, French and German language version including recommendations for European, national, regional and local authorities active in the area of youth health and education (download available at and and an EFPA political statement paper. The first draft of the report has been discussed during the second project conference and was also made available on the N.E.P.E.S. website. National Psychology Associations were requested to add modifications and to agree formally to the content of the report including recommendations. The report has been sent end of October 2010 in paper versions to all EFPA Member Associations and to all participants in the project activities with the request to forward it to National Educational Ministries. Additionally an ESPIL video film on European School Psychology was produced on the basis of 18 contributions received through the European wide video clip contest Psychologists in schools- what do they do? (available at with English or French subtitles or as CD- ROM attachment to the status report). The announcement of the contest addressed to students, parents, teachers and psychologists, has been translated into 24 languages in order to be able to cover experience in a great variety of European countries, made available on the N.E.P.E.S. website. EFPA Member Associations, the conference participants and relevant partners have been asked to disseminate the contest announcement through their various communication channels. The contest ran from The contest winner, Irena Gudule from Latvia, was awarded a prize at the second ESPIL conference. With the help of a documentary film professional, the contest contributions were rearranged and 6

7 integrated into an entire video film on European School Psychology. It was intended to support the development of a realistic picture in society of psychological work within lifelong learning processes. 7

8 3. Project Outcomes & Results The project has produced an extensive ESPIL Paper on the status quo and recommendations for the future development of education, training, professional profile and services of Psychologists in the European Educational Systems on the background of European Lifelong Learning Policies including an EFPA Policy Statement and a political EFPA statement. This product is available in three language versions (D, EN, F) online ( since as well as in paper version from the EFPA Head Office. Additionally a European wide video contest Psychologists in schools- what do they do? has been run February-May 2010, which resulted in 18 video clip contributions. These video clips have been integrated into a 35 minutes video film The European School Psychologist, which is available online and included as a DVD in the EFPA paper with English or French subtitles. The project has resulted in a visible improvement of European cooperation of Psychologists in the Educational Systems: - 4 concrete European project proposals have evolved and have been promoted throughout the project lifetime (Spanish proposal for a European Master School Psychology, a German proposal on mental health promotion in preand primary schools and a Swedish proposal on child rights education for health professionals working with youth, study visit program for school psychologists) - A European Training Centre for School Psychologists has been founded in the Netherlands in November Several School Psychology Associations have started to dialogue with national authorities in education on improved lifelong learning strategies. - The user list of the N.E.P.E.S. website has tripled since the first ESPIL conference - Motivation for further European cooperation has increased among Psychologists; one concrete result of this new enthusiasm is the N.E.P.E.S. song, which a Spanish School Psychologist composed during the project lifetime to enhance the network s corporate spirit; another important result are the requests from a series of university psychology departments to present the video film on European School Psychology as a tool for professional guidance of psychology students - N.E.P.E.S. has created and established cooperation with a series of relevant partners; concrete results are o an improved training offer by the Council of Europe for psychologists in the Educational System; o closer collaboration with the European Teachers Union ETUCE related to specific projects, such as teacher s stress management and cyber bullying 8

9 o closer cooperation with the European Parents Association related to specific projects, as visions of optimal educational models and social emotional learning in school environments o closer cooperation with the European Schoolnet related to specific projects, as improved digital literacy of pre-school and primary school students, e-safty label for schools. o first steps to develop further cooperation with the European Agency for the Development of Special Needs Education on inclusive education. o Support for the development of a national school psychology association in Georgia. 9

10 4. Partnerships The possibility for leading school psychologists to meet colleagues from 25 different European countries in two conferences was a very fruitful, teambuilding and enjoyable event. For many of them it was the first time in their professional life to meet colleagues from another country. The positive feedback from the conferences confirmed the necessity and motivation to strengthen European cooperation among psychologists in the educational system. Also the production of the film on European School Psychologists contributed to raise awareness of differences and common traditions. The ESPIL project has definitely contributed to build bridges among school psychologists across Europe showing in the creation of partnerships for European project proposals and mutual invitations for national professional conferences. The invitation of important partners and stakeholders (youth, parents, teachers, EUN, COE, Agency for the Development of Special Needs Education, etc.) on a European level was a new experience for psychologists in the educational system. The sceptical attitude in the beginning of the first conference turned into a motivation for cooperation as common objectives became evident. The project approach has contributed to raise awareness of the role of school psychologists in lifelong learning and to improve cooperation among school psychologists and important partners and stakeholders in the educational system. 10

11 5. Plans for the Future 1. EFPA will continue to streamline policies of national psychology associations according to the ESPIL recommendations 2. EFPA will facilitate and enhance further dialogue among psychology associations and European, national, regional and municipal authorities in the health, educational and social sector on the recommendations developed throughout the ESPIL project. 3. EFPA will promote further development of a European Training Centre for School Psychologists as recommended in the ESPIL Paper. 4. EFPA will promote responses in line with the ESPIL recommendations 5. EFPA will facilitate and promote further development of European projects related to lifelong learning and evolved during the project lifetime and recommended in the ESPIL paper. 11

12 6. Contribution to EU policies The ESPIL report and recommendations indicate concrete proposals, how to improve the quality of education and youth health in the European Union through improved school support services. The ESPIL project has definitely contributed to awareness raising of European Policies among Psychologists across Europe by organizing two conferences and by developing common perspectives for further contributions to European Policies in form of approved recommendations. This shows in o a visible increase of demands for EFPA to facilitate European projects in the area of lifelong learning and mental health as well as in concrete project proposals ( e.g. development of competence based curricula and specialized education according to European quality standards requested by EuroPsy, improved training of psychologists including the development of quality standards and the application of ECVET) o Increased amount of invitations for EFPA by national psychology associations to present the recommendations of the ESPIL Paper at various conferences also in the presence of political authorities. 12

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