Early childhood education and care (ECEC) can bring a wide range of benefits – for children, parents and society at large. However, these benefits are conditional on “quality”. Expanding access to services without attention to quality will not deliver good outcomes for children or long-term productivity benefits for society.
This series of country reports focuses on quality issues. Each report tackles a specific theme that was selected by the country reviewed. These reports suggest strengths and point to areas for further reflection on current policy initiatives.
Vocational education and training (VET) programmes are facing rapid change and intensifying challenges. How can employers and unions be engaged? How can workbased learning be used? How can teachers and trainers be effectively prepared? How should postsecondary programmes be structured? This country report on the Netherlands looks at these and other questions.
By international standards, immigrant students in Ireland, on average, perform as well as their native peers at age 15. However, non-English speaking immigrants face particular challenges and do less well. Ireland is undertaking measures with a focus on language support and intercultural education. There is scope to improve access to quality early childhood education and care for all, especially for immigrant children; strengthen learning opportunities for language support teachers; concentrate efforts on mainstreaming language support and intercultural education into regular curriculum, teacher education and research; enhance capacities of teachers and school leaders to be more responsive to the growing linguistic and cultural diversity of students; ensure access to school, home and community liaison services for immigrant families; collect better data to further encourage schools to adopt diversity and inclusive education; and set up a framework for continuous feedback embedded in policy evaluation and school inspection.
By international standards, Norway has an inclusive education system. However, immigrant students, on average, have weaker education outcomes than their native peers at all levels of education. Norway is undertaking universal and targeted measures to improve the situation of immigrant students. There is scope to improve access to quality early childhood education and care, especially for immigrant children; enhance capacities of teachers and school leaders to be more responsive to the growing linguistic and cultural diversity of students; mainstream language support into curriculum, teacher education and research; provide more support in vocational education programmes such as technical language acquisition and career guidance; compensate for the gaps in learning environments at home through extending school hours, assisting with homework, providing mentors from immigrant backgrounds and supporting migrant parents; manage regional variations by strengthening accountability of schools and promoting knowledge sharing; and monitor progress and use formative evaluation at all levels.