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Minister Foley welcomes Ireland’s Presidency of the European Schools’ system

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD is delighted to announce that Ireland has taken over the Presidency of the European Schools’ system for the 2022/23 school year. The European Schools’ system is comprised of 13 European Schools and 21 Accredited European Schools located in 16 of the 27 Member States, including Ireland. The European Schools (ES) provide children with a multilingual and multicultural education from nursery/primary to the secondary cycles, with students sitting the European Baccalaureate (terminal examination) at the end of their secondary education.


European Schools are governed and administered by a Board of Governors, which includes representatives of governments from across each of the 27 EU Member States and an executive team. The Office of the Secretary General of the ES system is based in Brussels. 

There are almost 40,000 children and young people across the ES system including approximately 400 Irish pupils. For the 2022/2023 school year, Ireland has 59 teachers seconded to teach in European Schools. Ireland took over the Presidency of the ES system from Croatia on 1 August 2022. 


Minister Foley said: “It is a great honour for Ireland, and the Department in particular, to assume the Presidency of the European Schools’ system for the next year.  It is our aim to progress some strategic aspects of the work of the European Schools, including cultivating reflective practice among teachers and active citizenship among young people.


“I am delighted that Ireland’s Presidency team has liaised with higher education institutions in Ireland to support the European Schools’ system and has sought their expertise to develop a series of interactive webinars on individual and collective reflective practice. I welcome this collaborative initiative which has great potential to strengthen synergies between school communities, teachers and school leaders.”


The rotating Presidency of the ES system provides countries with the option to identify possible priority areas for development within the system alongside the ongoing long-term work of the ES system. For its Presidency, Ireland has identified four key priority areas to support the European Schools’ system:


  • Cultivating individual and collective reflective practice among teachers in the ES system


  • Nurturing and celebrating active citizenship among young people in the secondary cycle in the ES system


  • Progressing the meaningful integration of the Accredited European Schools into the ES system


  • Furthering work already being undertaken to simplify the administrative systems and procedures of the ES system.


This work will be progressed under the direction of the Board of Governors and will be overseen by the Board of Inspectors and other adminsitrative structures within the ES system.


Two meetings of the Board of Governors will be held during the course of Ireland’s Presidency; one in December 2022 in Brussels and one in April 2023 in the outskirts of Dublin. These meetings will provide momentum and direction to support the development and implementation of the priorities for Ireland’s Presidency, thus contributing to the ongoing advancement of work already underway within the ES system.


In the period marking the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the EU on January 1st 1973, Ireland is honoured to have this opportunity to assume the Presidency of the ES system.  Taking up the baton from Croatia, Ireland is proud to lead the European Schools’ system on the next stage of its journey into its 65th year.


Notes for Editors


  • Established in 1957, the ES system operates under an intergovernmental protocol. The 13 European Schools, known as Type 1 European Schools offer a European education that meets the pedagogical requirements laid down for the European Schools’ system. These schools do not operate within a national system.
  • An Accredited European School is a school set up by a Ministry within a national system to deliver the European Schools’ system. In Ireland, there is one Accredited European School located in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath. This Centre for European Schooling (CES) opened in September 2002 to serve the educational needs of pupils whose parents work for the EU Food and Veterinary Office in Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath. The pupils in the CES are enrolled in St Seachnall’s National School and Dunshaughlin Community College and attend the CES for Language 1, Language 2 and Language 3 classes (and also European Hours and Ethics for pupils enrolled at primary level).
  • Currently, there are 48 pupils enrolled in the Dunshaughlin CES (29 in primary and 19 in secondary) with 18 teachers employed under the patronage of the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB).