Proposed Secondary Reforms

The Board of Governors of the European Schools has mandated a Working Group to make proposals for a reform of thesecondary cycle of the European School.  If adopted, these proposals will serve as a basis for the decisions that will set the framework and conditions under which secondary school studies will take place in the following years. They are therefore of utmost importance for the future of the children studying in the European Schools system.

In the lead up to the April meeting of the Board of Governors, this working group first submitted its proposals to the Inspection Council and to the Joint Teaching Committee (JTC) which met in February.

Parents are represented at all stages of the process through ‘Interparents’.  To prepare for the JTC, our APEEE hosted the latest Interparents meeting in Laeken, at which a full day was devoted to analysing the proposals and preparing comments.

There will be ongoing discussion in the run up to the Board of Governors meeting in April and we shall do our best to keep you informed of any concrete developments. We will update this page as we receive further information.

If you have any questions about the proposals or wish to be involved in following and responding to these and other pedagogical issues please contact the Pedagogical Committee of the APEEE at

The following letter to parents from the Interparents representatives on the Secondary Reform Working Group explains some of the background and specifies which proposals will go now forward to the budgetary committee and, finally, on to the Board of Governors :


Dear Interparents, Dear Parents,

The secondary school studies working group meeting held its third meeting on 27th February. The initial radical proposals (doc 27 which many of you read) are no longer on the table and the urgency to push decisions through has calmed down.  For the record, proposals in doc 27 were by the SG office and did not reflect at all the position of the Working Group, who specifically requested that it not be forwarded to the JTC meeting.

So, the final presentation at the pedagogical committee (doc 78), which will go up to the Budgetary Committee, only addressed the introduction of 2hrs L3 in S1, at the expense of 1-hour religion/ethics, and one hour L1 (learning to learn hour). This is an attempt to address the problem experienced in languages with respect to repeat rates. The current supposition is that the language level required at the end of S5 remains the same. The Year 1-3 changes will only start in September 2014, and now this has to go to the budgets committee and the Board of Governors.

There are new proposals on the table and more being evoked all the time or inherited from the BAC and languages working group (transversal project, new marking scheme, etc), which were and will be thoroughly discussed. What is clear is that there is a far more conducive working atmosphere and the every intention of taking the time required before coming to any decisions. The excellent arguments and opinions of inspectors, directors, deputy directors, students added to ours have shown the strength of opposition to the initial proposals (also the fact that there were relatively few savings after all).

The big question now has been pushed up to the April Board of Governors on the two different visions of the mission of the European schools. Basically, is it a general education system to 16 or 18 years old? There will be a working group after that to continue the discussion on the outstanding issues, which are effectively everything other than 1-3 years. The emphasis remains on how to reduce the number of lessons being taught in very small classes, with a view to increasing the average class size, particularly in years 6 and 7.

Best regards

Ana and Rachel (Interparents representatives)

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