About the Open School Doors training framework

About the framework

The Open School Doors training framework started out with the priority of encouraging self-reflection amongst teachers, practitioners, and leaders. Our initial data collection highlighted across the five partner countries that teachers and practitioners felt unequipped in dealing with many of the complex issues which newly arrived families are faced with. Teachers felt that they had not been given sufficient support or input in their initial teacher training to know how to deal with such issues in the classroom.

A space for reflection

As the Open School Doors project covers the voices of primary and secondary schools across five EU countries, as well as the voices of individuals working in advocacy for those from forced migration contexts, we were aware when developing the framework that challenges varied across international contexts as well as individual school contexts. Therefore we do not try to provide a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the training. Rather, we start with the individual and ask you to think and reflect on different aspects of your communication and work with newly arrived children and parents.

We ask you to challenge your own pre-conceptions, and to consider your own ‘positionality’ and how that can influence behaviours or interactions. We want you to consider your own position in terms of gender, class, race and religion amongst others and challenge yourself to think about how any of these aspects intersect with the experiences or barriers of newly arrived families.

Using the framework

The framework starts with a ‘Thinking and Exploring’ section which you can work through individually- there is no set requirement, you can take part in as little or as much as you want or have time for. From our data collection we identified 3 main themes for schools to work across, ‘Spaces and Places’, ‘Literacies and Digital Literacies’ and ‘Communities and Cultures’. This is a multimedia framework which incorporates ideas, resources, sound extracts from teachers and parents, videos, presentations, and inspiring practice examples. There are different ways to use the themes- for individual staff development as well as a whole-school approach in which schools could utilise some of the ideas and activities in their staff training days.

Take action

Finally we invite you to take part in the ‘Taking Action’ process, based on a participatory action research approach. Here we ask schools to choose a priority or priorities that they would like to carry out in their school to encourage an inclusive equitable and welcoming environment for newly arrived migrant families. We hope that this will become an ethos of the culture of all schools and that all of the schools that take part in the Open School Doors project will become and inspiring practice example for other schools.