The European Schools are official educational establishments controlled jointly by the governments of the Member States of the European Union. In all these countries they are legally regarded as public institutions.
The European Schools began in October 1953 in Luxembourg, on the initiative of officials of the European Coal and Steel Community, with the support of the Community’s institutions and the Luxembourg Government. This experiment in education, side by side, of children of different mother tongues and nationalities quickly took shape as the six different governments and Ministries of Education co-operated in matters of curricula, appointment of teachers, inspection and recognition of levels attained.
In April 1957, the signing of the Protocol made the Luxembourg School the first official European School. The first European Baccalaureate was held there in July 1959 and the qualification was recognised as fulfilling basic entrance requirements by all the universities of the member states.
The success of this educational experiment encouraged the European Economic Community and Euratom to press for the establishment of other European Schools at their various centres.
Today there are 14 traditional European Schools in 7 different countries , with a total of approximately 24,000 pupils on roll.
|Luxembourg I||Luxembourg||1953||first Baccalaureate 1959|
|Brussels I||Belgium||1958||first Baccalaureate 1964|
|Mol||Belgium||1960||first Baccalaureate 1966|
|Varese||Italy||1960||first Baccalaureate 1965|
|Karlsruhe||Germany||1962||first Baccalaureate 1968|
|Bergen||The Netherlands||1963||first Baccalaureate 1971|
|Brussels II||Belgium||1974||first Baccalaureate 1982|
|Munich||Germany||1977||first Baccalaureate 1984|
|Culham||United Kingdom|| 1978||first Baccalaureate 1982|
|Brussels III||Belgium||1999||first Baccalaureate 2001|
|Alicante||Spain||2002||first Baccalaureate 2006|
|Frankfurt||Germany||2002||first Baccalaureate 2006|
The mission of the European Schools is to provide a multilingual and multicultural education for nursery, primary and secondary level pupils.
Based on the recommendation of the European Parliament, the European Schools have opened up their curricula and European Baccalaureate since 2005 for national schools.
Accredited European Schools are schools which offer a European education that meets the pedagogical requirements laid down for the European Schools but within the framework of the national school networks of the Member States and hence outside the legal, administrative and financial framework to which the European Schools are compulsorily subject.
At present there are 8 Accredited European Schools and other ones are planned to be open.
Aims of the European Schools
The words which express the essential aims of the European Schools have been sealed, in parchment, into the foundation stones of all the schools:
|Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.|
- to give pupils confidence in their own cultural identity – the bedrock for their development as European citizens;
- to provide a broad education of high quality, from nursery level to university-entrance;
- to develop high standards in the mother tongue and in foreign languages;
- to develop mathematical and scientific skills throughout the whole period of schooling;
- to encourage a European and global perspective overall and particularly in the study of the human sciences;
- to encourage creativity in music and the plastic arts and an appreciation of all that is best in a common European artistic heritage;
- to develop physical skills and instil in pupils an appreciation of the need for healthy living through participation in sporting and recreational activities;
- to offer pupils professional guidance on their choice of subjects and on career/university decisions in the later years of the secondary school;
- to foster tolerance, co-operation, communication and concern for others throughout the school community and beyond;
- to cultivate pupils’ personal, social and academic development and to prepare them for the next stage of education.
- to provide Education for Sustainable Development with a cross curriculum approach in line with European and international documents.
- Basic instruction is given in the official languages of the European Union. This principle allows the primacy of the pupil’s mother tongue (L1) to be safeguarded.
- Consequently, each school comprises several language sections. The curricula and syllabuses (except in the case of mother tongue) are the same in all sections.
- The conscience and convictions of individuals are respected. Religious education or education in non-confessional ethics is an integral part of the curriculum.
- To foster the unity of the school and encourage genuine multi-cultural education, there is a strong emphasis on the learning, understanding and use of foreign languages. This is developed in a variety of ways.