Inf4All Welcomes European Recommendation on Informatics Education at School

By Michael E Caspersen 

On 23 November 2023, the Council of the European Union has adopted a set of recommendations on digital skills and education. The Informatics for All Coalition, a consortium formed to promote informatics education across Europe, of which CEPIS is a founding member, has endorsed the bold recommendations outlined in the new Council report.   

The recommendations of the Council reflect a timely and ambitious approach towards the development of digital competences. With this package, the Council is addressing the need to make education fit for a genuine digital transformation and able to keep pace with the times, while providing the necessary skills and competences that are – and will be – necessary in this new reality. Importantly, the new set of recommendations defines informatics as a distinct scientific discipline. 

The Council Recommendation on improving the provision on digital skills and competences in education and training recommends that Member States support high-quality education in informatics at primary and secondary levels of education. 

In particular, Member States are recommended to 

  • foster the provision of high-quality informatics education from the start of compulsory education, with clear learning objectives, dedicated time and structured assessment, with the aim of offering all learners the opportunity to develop their digital skills and competences through scientifically sound pedagogical methods; 
  • ensure that teaching and learning of informatics is provided by qualified teachers with access to quality and accessible learning resources and with the appropriate assessment of learning outcomes. 

With this recommendation, the European Union realises the need for all Member States to establish informatics as a fundamental discipline in general education. 

An earlier report Informatics education at school in Europe, published by the European Commission in September 2022, demonstrates that some European countries are well on their way with this agenda while others are still in the earlier stages of establishing informatics as a fundamental discipline for the 21st century. 

In partnership with these efforts, the Informatics for All coalition has developed Informatics Reference Framework for School to ensure a coherent vision and shared terminology related to providing informatics to all pupils in Europe. 

Moving forward, the European Commission will: 

  • develop guidelines for teachers and educators on quality education in informatics and 
  • encourage Member States to support the recruitment, training and retention of specialised teachers and trainers in informatics. 

The Informatics for All Coalition continues to work for compulsory and high-quality informatics education at school, and we continue to offer our expertise and broad network to the European Commission on the way ahead. 

Formed in 2018, Informatics for All is a coalition whose aim is to establish informatics as a fundamental discipline to be taken by all students in school. The Informatics for All initiative deploys a two-tier strategy at all educational levels: informatics as an area of specialization, that is, a fundamental and independent subject in school; and the integration of informatics with other school subjects, as well as with study programs in higher education. The constituent organizations that make up the Informatics for All coalition include the ACM Europe Council of the Association for Computing Machinery; CEPIS, the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies; Informatics Europe, the association of European Informatics university departments and industrial research labs; and the International Federation for Information Processing, the federation of computer societies and associations worldwide. 

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