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Thursday, 22. October 2020

Will Giancarlo Marcheggiano destroy European schools in Luxembourg?

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Secretary general of European school Giancarlo Marcheggiano doesn’t recognise the danger both European schools in Luxembourg are facing.

For 5 years already, the Parents’ Associations of the European Schools Luxembourg I and II have been drawing the attention of the Office of the Secretary General to the dire staffing situation in our schools. These are the result of the rapid growth in the number of both Accredited Schools and other types of schools with English, French and German sections on the relatively small territory of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is the European country with the highest teacher salaries and standard of living. These factors pose two main problems for Lux1 and Lux2:
It is becoming/has become increasingly difficult for the two schools to attract and retain locally recruited teachers given that the salary and contractual conditions are less favourable when compared to those in other schools in Luxembourg.

It has become increasingly difficult to attract seconded teachers (for example from countries such as Denmark and Germany) given that the difference between the salary in the home country and that in Luxembourg is not at a level which allows for a decent living in Luxembourg.

In December 2017, the Parents Associations had a meeting with the European Commissioner responsible for budget and human resources, Commissioner Oettinger. The problems mentioned above were discussed during this meeting. A summit on the matter was held in 2018 on the initiative of Commissioner Oettinger and a working group to delve further into the matter was created as a result. APEEEL1 and APEEEL2, together with the directors of Lux1 and Lux2, put together a detailed report on the critical staffing situation at the two European Schools in Luxembourg. A set of proposals aimed at making the European Schools more attractive to teachers was presented to the Board of Governors in December 2018.

As a result of intense discussions, the working group was asked to prepare a set of concrete proposals ahead of the April 2019 Board of Governors meeting.
Both Parents’ Associations, APEEEL1 and APEEEL2, support the concrete proposals made by the working group in full. These proposals, however, have a considerable financial impact and a real risk exists that they will be partially or totally rejected.
It is with a view to do all that is within our power that we are asking all the parents of our two schools to sign this petition in support of the proposals which will be up for discussion and approval at the Board of Governors meeting taking place on 9-12 April.

The proposals are the following:

  • To put in place an “additional special allowance” of a fixed amount for seconded teachers
  • To modify the regulations for seconded staff to allow prolongation of the maximum duration of their contract by 3 years (rather than 1 year as is currently the case) in exceptional cases
  • To align the salary of locally recruited staff to the current salary in place for staff in the national public schools
  • To allow schools the possibility of offering indefinite contracts from the start (with a probation period of 1 year)
  • To create a number of “protected” posts which will not be published for secondment for functions which require English native speakers
  • To create « ‘middle management functions » open to locally recruited teachers

We are convinced that these measures will be beneficial for the two schools and would like to give our directors the support needed to retain qualified and experienced teachers at Lux1 and Lux2, whilst also ensuring they have the means to recruit new teachers as necessary. Many teachers have already left our system and adopting measures to stop this trend is a now or never affair!

If you are willing to support this petition, please add your signature before April 4! We depend on the support of you ALL!

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Aim of the European Schools

Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.

Marcel Decombis, Head of European School, Luxembourg between 1953 and 1960