Blogs (Mentoring policy exchange)

The small and rural school Interest Group and MenSI

Following some of the discussions arising from the contributions to the MenSI Policy exchange, the small and rural school Interest Group decided to focus on small schools in rural communities with the reasoning that these schools offer education to a proportion of the young EU population that simply cannot be neglected.

The small and rural schools Interest group is composed by 13 countries (Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Serbia, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey). It is animated by European Schoolnet and INDIRE – the National Institute for Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research, which is the Italian Ministry of Education’s oldest research organisation. 

The interest group launched a set of case studies in order to highlight and share the practices of these schools. The case studies focused on: the challenges and opportunities where the school is situated; the system of the school and its innovative elements; the leadership system and its management; the practices and strategies that are being deployed, and finally the connection between the school with parents, different stakeholders and the extended community. 

The case studies are presented in English and in the native language of the school. The ultimate goal is to create a Community of Practice dedicated to the needs of small and rural schools.

Mentoring Policy Exchange

MenSI is extending its reach by inviting relevant stakeholders to participate in the project’s Mentoring Policy Exchange Mechanism. By adopting this “policy-connected approach”, MenSI has developed a new space for discussion open to educational policymakers working at both national and regional level. This new forum will continue to be offered as an on-going service to policymakers under the EUN’s independently-funded Future Classroom Lab initiative.

The Policy Exchange Mechanism is currently composed by the MenSI Advisory Members and by Ministry of Education Working groups such as the Small and Rural Schools Interest Group and the Interactive Classroom Working Group.

Following the model developed for existing EUN ministry working groups, the Policy exchange includes both regular online and face-to-face meetings. In this regard, it provides a forum within which project partners can exchange on MenSI findings and recommendations with ministries and other Advisory Members interested in the project’s work. Ministries supporting this new mechanism may also seek to involve and obtain support for additional / future work on whole-school mentoring from the 30+ industry partners currently supporting the EUN Future Classroom Lab.