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Column Ton Duif

Children and the economy.

What is good education? Is it about reading ad writing skills? Or, is it about meeting standards set by governments? Is it about social behaviour and exploring the myriads of cultural challenges we face in our school communities? It is common when speaking with policy makers that they would like schools to focus on reading, writing and math skills - all easily measureable outcomes. They think of children as economical capital and only important for the welfare of their country in the short to mid term future. I am convinced that that is why standardized testing is invented so education could easily be judged and compared. They often are not interested in the social and cultural aspects of education and of course, these areas are hard to measure on a simplistic scale. One of my fellow country men once told me that investing in education should be moderate and appropriate.  Perhaps that is why we still have more than 25 children in a class room of 7 by 7 metres. Buildings designed in Victorian times to suit an agenda for education in a bygone era! We educators understand that education is far more than what policy makers want us to focus on. We should consider children as individuals at the beginning of their life journey while contributing to the future society is important because they too will be part of that society. Who can predict how the future society will look like in 10  to 20 years? ...  That is why we all are on a journey in life and let's walk this journey together as children, parents, educators and policy maker. ESHA participates in the European Policy Nework on School Leadership: an EC program that recognises the importance of policy makers, researchers and practitionners. We are evangelizing our view that education should support the long term goals for a healthy society in tomorrow's future. That is why we remain committed to the more pedagogical aspects of education. Researchers could bridge that gap. There is still a lot of work to do for all of us!!!        







Watch Ton's welcome video

Latest news

ESHA has published the web site for the BIENNIAL conferenceAll information about the conference in Dubrovnik is available at

Etuce and ESHA have published their joint research into distributive leadership in Europe. The publications can be found on the ESHA Community Portal .

The EC launches an electronic platform for projects funded in the areas of Education and Culture: . This site includes findings of most EC funded education research projects.

No more bullying. ESHA strongly believes that schools should offer a safe and pleasant learning environment. This responsibility is not limited to the school premises. Please take a look at the best practices at our web page and : Great resources to reduce bullying in schools.

Quality approach in Finland. At the leadership conference in Islamorada Florida, the president of the Finnish Association of Small Secondary Schools presented the Finnish vision of quality management. Read the hand outs at our community portal 

European Commissioner Vassiliou on leadership in schools: The EU must invest in innovative leaders in schools 

The ESHA Biennial Conference will be organized in Dubrovnik, Croatia from October 26 to October 29th 2014. The conference aims at bringing school leadership together.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Consumer Education web site launched: Consumer Education is concerned with teaching people the skills, attitudes and knowledge required for living in a consumer society. More information can be found here .

The LLWings project: On March the 18th, LLWings is organising a seminar aiming at the lauch of a European Teacher Qualification for lifelong learning. More information can be found here .

The LLWings consortium has been working at finalizing its online learning system for teachers aimed at acquiring and consolidating competences in the field of students’ motivation and learning to learn. ESHA encourages school heads in Europe to test the system. More information can be read here.


The Fly Higher project aims to bring awareness to careers in the field of Aeronautics and to motivate young Europeans to embrace future career paths in this field. ESHA would highly value your input about the education system in your country. Please fill in this questionnaire.  More information about the Fly Higher project can be found at

The ESHA 2012 conference videos of the keynote sessions and summaries of the workshop presentations are available online at:

ESHA is proud to announce that the ESHA magazine is now available in English, Italian Spanish, german en FrenchPlease sunscribe to the magazine here

Pearson Foundation publishes a video series profiling policies and practices of education systems that demonstrate high or improving performance in the PISA tests. Watch the videos at this site

EC Commissioner Vassiliou talks about the work of ESHA. Watch the video here

Eurydice publiced the annual update of teachers' and school heads' salaries and allowances in Europe 2011/2012. Read more about it here 

US Congress agrees to cut 2.2 billion USD to education. 80.000 Education jobs at risk. Read more about it here.

ESHA participates in EPNoSL. ESHA participates in the European Policy Network on School Leadership. Read more about it here .

ESHA is a partner in the Lifelong Learning Program. The European Commission has awarded ESHA an operational grant under the Lifelong Learning programme. Read more about it here  

Survey on long term mobility.  Principals, teachers and other school education staff are invited to complete a short survey about a potential new long-term mobility action. Read more about it here.

Energy Education. Education Challenge yourself, become a champion in energy education! Primary and secondary schools across Europe are invited to participate in this exciting competition! Click here to read more about it

Keydata on education 2012. In Belgium the Executive agency in charge of culture and education is running a report linking the 37 countries in Europe and their educational developments and challenges. Read more about it here

ESHA 2012 Conference. The ESHA bi-annual conference will be held from 29-31 October 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Click here to go to the conference site.

the European Intervisitation Program. From April 20th to 25th this event will take place in the city of Leiden, The Netherlands.  Click here to read more

Grading teachers. On the ESHA portal, we have posted an interesting article on Grading teachers . Please read it and give your feedback on the article on our community site.

Collaboration is key in the commercial world. The report "every classroom its own site " enables every teachers to collaboratively work on assignments. And it is free!
Educators advocate: Education for every child! The mission of the World Education Forum is to increase the number of children which do gain access to education. ESHA is in close cooperation with the and fully supports its activities
ESHA announces that the following persons have been appointed as subject matter experts within ESHA. These persons will lead the communities with the aim to build the  knowledge base and share best practices
  • Geert Govaert: Adminstrative Workload
  • Chris Harrison: Autonomy of schools
  • Andre de Best: Leadership
  • Clive Byrne: Quality of education
  • Greg Dempster: Reduced Budgets
  • Fred Verboon: ICT @ School

CBE in The Netherlands announced its "Making Shift Happen Congress" in Amsterdam. On October 11th and 12th, CBE will bring together the most inspiring speakers like Michael Fullan (develop a culture of change), Andy Hargreaves (High Performance Networks) and John West Burnham (Increase your value). There are still places available on October 12th. For more information, please visit

25 Major stakeholders in education and training adopt a common position paper on their vision for the future of education, training and youth programmes. Read the paper at: news.aspx

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ESHA launches it's community portal to facilitate the exchange and creation of ideas between school leaders. Watch Ton Duif's welcome video .

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