SIRIUS Watch 2020: Taking Stock of SIRIUS Clear Agenda and New Developments in Migrant Education

    Loes van der Graaf
    Justinas Didika
    Cosmin Nada
    Hanna Siarova
    Bistra Ivanova
    European Commission

    Following the outbreak of the “Arab Spring”, the European Union faced an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. While the arrival of refugees itself was no new phenomenon, the increased number of refugees arriving within a short period of time required the EU as well as individual Members States to act quickly and facilitate their arrival and proper immediate placement into reception centres and support their further integration.

    The outbreak of the crisis highlighted the importance of effective policies and strategies to ensure refugee (and migrant in general) children’s right to education, which were not always in place.

    A variety of factors hindering (or supporting) quality education provision for migrant children were already identified in the years before. Over the period of 2013-2014, the SIRIUS Network carried out extensive research and stakeholder consultations to identify which policies and practices facilitate the education and integration of different groups of migrant children. The SIRIUS Clear Agenda for Migrant Education built on Europe’s experience with different migration flows and types throughout recent history, recognising that migration is a dynamic concept, and its directions, content, and scope are evolving throughout the years. Therefore, the goals and recommendations highlighted in the Agenda remained relevant regardless of migration trends, pointing out to the need for sustainable policy frameworks embracing the dynamism of migration.

    The landmark year of 2020 presents the six years’ anniversary of the SIRIUS Clear Agenda for Migrant Education, as well as the five years’ anniversary of the refugee crisis and the focus on new developments influencing migrant education, such as COVID-19 and continuing digitalisation of education.

    Therefore, the current report takes stock of the achievements that have taken place across the SIRIUS Members’ countries and the innovations introduced to promote and facilitate inclusive education for migrant children. SIRIUS Watch 2020 will reflect on what has/has not been done both at EU and national levels, indicate successful reforms and pressing issues to be addressed, and underline new/ emerging issues to be dealt in the new education agendas.

    The analysis provided in this report is based on literature review, exploratory teacher survey and contributions of SIRIUS national partners. In each of the 17 EU Member States covered by this report, researchers and experts from SIRIUS partner countries carried out desk-based research and interviews with relevant stakeholders to explore the recent developments in migrant education policies and emerging policy and societal trends that are likely to affect the provision of inclusive education in the years to come.