The Commission has approved €100 million of EU funding to support over 50 new European projects and networks to help drive up standards in school education.
In all, nearly 500 organisations across the 31 countries now participating in the EU education programme Socrates will implement the new initiatives. Through its support for school partnerships, teacher training, and school education networks, the Comenius programme will reach more than three-quarters of a million pupils and over 100,000 teachers this year, involving over 11,000 schools across Europe.
Ten million euros have been earmarked for the 46 new European cooperation projects selected, each of which has a lifespan of 2-3 years and a grant averaging € 220,000. The projects are for the professional development of teachers, producing curricular materials and new methodologies for in-service and initial training of teachers, and developing in-service training courses for teachers, or exchanging initial teacher trainees.
Two million euros have also been awarded to six new 3-year Comenius networks that will be concerned with such varying but essential themes as how to involve parents more effectively in school education, improving career guidance in schools, promoting active citizenship, furthering intercultural education and improving the educational use of computers in the classroom and the training of teachers.
Taken together, the new projects and networks will be a source of innovation and good practice, the results of which will feed into the EU’s Education and Training 2010 initiative, a key component of the Lisbon strategy to make Europe the world’s most dynamic, knowledge-based economy.