Thriving Through Change

Parents International has been part of the Education Policy Reform Dialogues organised by OECD since 2018. After a longer break, representatives of OECD Member governments and key stakeholders have met again for a 2-day discussion on 22-23 November 2021 in Ghent, Belgium. As countries focus on recovering from a profound global
crisis and building a better normal, it was the right moment to imagine a future in which education systems can adapt
more nimbly to uncertain times – and to dare to make it a reality. The event provided a forum in which senior policy makers can come together with their international peers and OECD experts to shape a clearer vision of a responsive and resilient future for education, and identify smart strategies that will bring it to life. Parents Intenational was represented by its Director, Eszter Salamon.

The event coincided with the launch of the Education Policy Outlook’s Framework for Responsiveness and
Resilience in Education Policy
. Building on analysis of international evidence and examples collected across
OECD and non-OECD countries, this framework offers an integrated vision of how existing and emerging policy
efforts can come together to underpin education systems’ capacity to thrive in ever-changing local and global
contexts. It has the ultimate aim of nurturing education systems that bring together resilient learners, resilient
broader learning environments and resilient systems. We were happy to see that throught this review of evidence even the OECD started to promote the importance of engaging parents. The numbers presented clearly show that parents are already deeply involved in the education of their children. Now it is time to engage them in desiging and implementing change.

This and the next edition of the Education Policy Reform Dialogues (EPRD) are also aiming at supporting countries’ preparations for the upcoming EDPC Ministerial Meeting, to take place in December 2022, which will look into the topics of: Resilience, Equity and Lifelong Learning. Therefore, adopting the framework as key substantive background, the EPRD 2021 will explore the ways in which policy makers can create the conditions to nurture resilient learners through an education which focuses on the whole child and adopts a whole-of-society approach, brought to life by empowered, multi-dimensional professionals. While encouraging ambitious thinking, discussions will be grounded in the political economy of reform, taking into account participants’ realities at a critical moment of recovery and recalibration following a period of prolonged global crisis.

In the interactive event, participants discussed the following questions presenting inspiring practice and looking into what national education policy should focus on:

  • Which education policy successes, from the pandemic period and before, should education systems retain and strengthen beyond 2021?
  • How can policy makers best approach their systems’ purpose, people and processes to create the conditions for change to take hold?
  • What practical steps should education systems now prioritise as catalysts for change, based on international evidence?

We were invited to inspire by appraoches that work, so – among others – we presented the municipal education council model from Hungary and the Parent’R’Us coaching and mentoring approach to ensure all parents are engaged.

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