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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 28 November 2023

Cross-sectorial cooperation

Administration and Governance at Federal, Regional and Community level

Most powers related to education are exercised by the French-speaking Community according to the study “the French-speaking Community indicators 2017” (La Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles en chiffres 2017 p 123). However, specific aspects concern others level of power: 

The Federal State is still responsible for defining:

-    when compulsory schooling begins and when it ends;

-    the minimum requirements for issuing diplomas ;

-    the pension scheme. 

Those prerogatives are part of the Constitutions. 

The French-speaking Community 

The Government and the Parliament of the French-speaking Community are responsible for policy on pre-school, primary, secondary, higher education, specialised education, social advancement education and distance education.

The Minister of Education is the member of the Government in charge of education policy. 

Within the Ministry of the French-speaking Community, the General Administration of Education (AGE) implements ministerial decisions. It is also involved in the technical study of new regulations (laws, decrees, etc.).

6 general services compose this administrative body: 

1.    The Administrator’s General Service 

2.    The General Service for the Steering of the Education System 

3.    The General Service for Education organised by the French Community 

4.    The General Directorate for Compulsory Education 

5.    The General Directorate for Non-Compulsory Education and Scientific Research ; 

6.    The General Inspection Service. 

There are 10 advisory bodies for compulsory education. 

Their main mission is to issue notices to the Government on educational policies orientations regarding their field of action. 

1.    General Council for Pre-Secondary Education ; 

2.    General Council for Dialogue in the Ordinary Secondary Education ;

3.    High Council for Specialised Education ;

4.    General Council for Dialogue in the Specialised Education ;

5.    High Council of Centres for Psychological-Medical-Social Services ;

6.    « Instances Zonales de pilotage inter-réseaux de l’enseignement qualifiant » 

7.    Schooling Mediation Council (Conseil de la médiation scolaire) ;

8.    Commission related to compulsory schooling ;

9.    Commission designated by article 41 and 42 of the School’s Pact – advertisement at school (Commission issue des articles 41 et 42 du Pacte Scolaire – Publicité à l’école) ;

10.    Positive discriminations Commission (Commission des discriminations positives). 

The Region’s powers relate to:

- School’s transport; 

- Adult training and apprenticeships operators;

- School buildings (shared responsibility with the French-speaking Community). 

Regions are also responsible for vocational training policy. It is provided by 2 public bodies: 

-    IFAPME in Wallonia (Walloon Institute of Dual Vocational Education and Training for Small and Medium-size Enterprises) ;

-    SFPME in the Brussels-Capital Region (Small and Medium-size Companies Training Service). 

Regions are also in charge of adult’s training outside school system

-    “Forem” in Wallonia ;

-    “Bruxelles Formation” in the Brussels-Capital Region. 

Administration and Governance at local level 

Education networks

According to Eurypedia, the education system is made up of 3 major categories of educational institution, called ‘education networks’ (as well as a number of private schools). These education networks are either completely funded by the Community or either grant-aided. Each educational network consists of one or more controlling authorities, each of which runs one or more schools. 

Education institutions

Every school has a local committee. Its distinctive features and missions depend on the education network the school belongs to: 

-    A local consultation committee in the public education institutions ;   

-    A local joint committee in the grant-aided public education institutions ; 

-    A work council, a local consultation body or a trade union delegation in the grant-aided independent education institutions. 

Participation councils were created in each pre-secondary and secondary school in the different networks following the decree of 24 July 1997 on the missions of school. It gathers pupil’s representatives, parents, schools and local actors. 

A number of councils exercise various responsibilities in higher education institutions.


Many collaborations exist between the sector of education and others sectors such as culture or youth welfare