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Education and childcare

The Brussels Government wants to focus on the specific educational needs in Brussels in close cooperation with the French and Flemish Communities (objective 2.4_Region and Communities).

The Brussels Government wishes to conclude a cooperation agreement with the French Community, the COCOF, the Flemish Community and the FCC to strengthen the commitments made jointly by the Region and the Communities to meet the specific educational needs in Brussels.   

In the same context, it confirms that the school facilitator service at is mandated to play a guiding role as a connecting partner for all initiatives developed by the Region to support education while respecting the competences of the parties involved.   

The Brussels Government will also ask the Communities and the federal government to conclude a cooperation agreement to better organise the teaching of French and/or Dutch and other languages within the current competence framework to improve bilingualism and multilingualism in Brussels. 

Who was the key authority?

Shared priority 

Initiating Minister(s): Minister-President (COCOF fellow responsible for Education and Childcare)  

Associate Minister(s):   

  • Brussels-Capital Region: Minister responsible for the Promotion of Multilingualism (FCC College Member responsible for Education and School Construction); Minister responsible for Employment and Vocational Training, Digital Transition and Local Government; Minister responsible for Mobility, Public Works and Road Safety (Chair of the FCC College, responsible for Family Policy and Health Promotion); Minister responsible for the Environment; Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities (College Member responsible for Social Cohesion and Sports Infrastructure); Secretary of State for Economic Transition (Minister-Chair of the COCOF College); Secretary of State for Town Planning and Heritage (FCC College Member responsible for Youth and Sports).   
  • French Community: Minister of Education; Minister of Child Welfare; Minister of Higher Education, Education for Social Promotion, Youth Assistance, Youth Affairs and Sports; Minister of Equal Opportunities, Supervision of WBE (Wallonia-Brussels Education) and School Infrastructure and Buildings.   
  • Flemish Community: Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Education and Training; Minister responsible for Brussels Affairs and Youth; Minister responsible for Families and Poverty Reduction.  

Partners: Brupartners, FCC administration and COCOF (Education and Vocational Training), education administrations of the French Community and the Flemish Community, (school service, BISA), Bassin EFE, BANSPA, Bruxelles Formation, VDAB Brussels, COCOF, Syntra, academic pool,, Brussels Environment, Brussels Mobility, and the various education networks.  

Steering Committee: initiating Minister, associated Ministers, and Partners. 

Discover the commitments of the Brussels-Capital Region and the Communities

    1. Building, renovating and opening schools

    Respond to the demographic challenge: build new schools, renovate existing schools and open them up to the neighbourhood.  

    Construction of new schools and renovation:   

    • facilitating role for the school service (obtaining planning and environmental permits, etc.),   
    • development of a toolbox (SCHOOL TOOLBOX) for the construction or renovation of schools,   
    • further monitoring the need for additional school places,   
    • opportunity study on developing a network and/or social economy structure for renovation work.   

    Quality of life of pupils and teachers, opening schools to the neighbourhood:  

    • Continue to implement school contracts;  
    • Organise project calls to renovate the schools' playgrounds and open them to the neighbourhood;  
    • Support the schools in drawing up a mobility plan;  
    • Explore the construction of school streets. In particular, considering the needs of special education and technical and vocational education.   

    Evaluate the regional employment and training policy instruments that address the shortage of teachers in Brussels to improve them and support the Communities' policies in this regard.  

    Steering body(ies): School Service, Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA) for the estimation part. 

    2. Combating school absenteeism and school segregation

    Preventing troubled young people from dropping out of school and combatting school segregation. 

    Consulting with the Communities on the coordinated strategy to combat school absenteeism in the BCR, noted by the BHR on 26 April 2018. In consultation with the Communities, develop new statistical indicators on school absenteeism.   

    Strengthening the coordination of regional policy instruments to combat school dropout (PSF, PBSB and gpS - formerly pillar ‘prevention of school absenteeism’ of the LPBP). 

    Incorporating the principles of the coordinated strategy to combat school absenteeism in the BCR into the Region's project calls, paying particular attention to the following aspects:  

    • projects aimed at supporting and guiding school attendance, in-service training and learning French and Dutch;  
    • focusing resources on schools with pupils/young people in difficulty, who often come from the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. 

    Attention will also be paid to bullying at school with the help of a prevention campaign, appropriate training and specific facilities (e.g. playgrounds).  

    The call for gpS projects to be launched in 2021 will define some basic tasks of the municipalities.    

    Bringing together the various bodies working on the prevention of school absenteeism in the Brussels-Capital Region in a network:  

    • further develop online via the site and the knowledge centre on school absenteeism in the Brussels Capital Region;  
    • organise theme days to exchange views on topics that are part of the prevention of school absenteeism, such as bullying at school;  
    • creating a knowledge centre on combating school absenteeism.    

    Implementation of the extraordinary measures taken in light of the health crisis under the Recovery and Redevelopment Plan (strengthening PSV and gpS).   

    Steering body(s): School department. 

    Combating child poverty and deprivation

    Providing support for Communities initiatives that aim to:   

    • provide every child with a free hot meal based on healthy, organic and local produce, access to childcare, free quality school support and free tutoring;  
    • expand the offer of branch schools and the organisation of cultural and sports activities at schools after school hours;  
    • ensure that school materials and equipment are free of charge.  

    Steering body(s): School department. 

    4. Create a revolution in language teaching

    The Brussels Government will ask the Communities and the federal government to make a cooperation agreement to better organise the teaching of French and/or Dutch and other languages within the current competence framework to improve bilingualism and multilingualism in Brussels. For example: encourage teacher mobility between Communities; continue training bilingual teachers by encouraging Dutch- and French-speaking colleges to work together around a common curriculum and bidiplomacy.   

    Promote language learning in schools among others by:  

    • focusing more strongly on language baths: setting up a working group to identify obstacles to language baths in a multilingual setting in Brussels and propose incentives to promote the development of language bath schools;  
    • launching the project ‘Be Talky for a multilingual and vibrant Region’, targeting Brussels schools;  
    • supporting schools wishing to participate in the European eTwinning and Erasmus+ programmes. Strategic initiative related to yard 2.3.4: ‘Strengthening language learning based on a commitment to multilingualism’.  

    Steering body(ies): School service, Brussels Regional Public Service. 

    5. Provide a specific approach to childcare

    Creating extra places in nurseries. 

    • Monitoring the need for additional childcare places in the BCR in collaboration with Communities and Community Commissions, taking into account a segmented study on the supply of and demand for childcare places in the BCR (income-related places; late hours; part-time places; specific target groups such as jobseekers, single-parent families). This monitoring will be disclosed to stakeholders.  
    • Facilitating the construction of nurseries through the school service and an expert committee to be set up to ensure that permits are obtained within a fixed and reasonable timeframe (see policy site 1 for schools).   

    Projects selected by ONE and Child & Family should target areas with the lowest coverage. The cooperation framework with the French and the Flemish Community should be revised so that the Region is more involved in deciding on the suitability of projects to be supported.  Monitoring the Communities' regulations and, in particular, assessing the impact of reforming reception structures on the reception offer in Brussels. 

    Steering body(s): School department. 

    6. Support the digitisation of Brussels schools

    Continue and expand the Fiber to the school project launched in 2014 to connect all primary and secondary Brussels schools to high-speed Internet via the Irisnet broadband network (at least 100 Mbps). 

    Invest in the material equipment of schools to meet the needs determined by the Communities based on joint action plans = cooperate with the French Community's digital education strategy and the Flemish Community.   

    Implementing the extraordinary measures taken in light of the health crisis as part of the Recovery and Redevelopment Plan.   

    CIBG will manage all this for the Region, in close cooperation with the school service of CIBG will also provide technical support to the schools (helpdesk). 

    Steering body(ies): School department, CIBG (Centre for Informatics for the Brussels Region). 

    7. Revalue vocational education

    Strengthen the systems that allow vocational education to make shared use of the equipment, resources and pedagogical expertise of adult education. The reverse logic will also be defended.   

    Propose the alignment of language teaching in the vocational courses of Brussels schools with the professional world through digital tools such as Brulingua, following the successful experience in adult vocational training. Support investment in the equipment of schools for technical and vocational courses offering job opportunities (equipment fund).   

    Reflect on the yards related to vocational training and multilingualism of Objective 2.3 ‘Strengthening the crossed policy initiatives work-training’.  

    Steering body(s): School service.