Education International (EI) second World Education Support Personnel (ESP) conference, Building Union Power: Defending the Rights and Status of Education Support Personnel, took take place in Aveiro, Portugal on 16-18 May 2023.
The conference, co-hosted by EI member Federação Nacional da Educação (FNE), brought together education union activists from around the world to exchange ideas, join together in solidarity, and build power across the globe to defend ESP. The conference opened on the evening of 16 May with a reception to celebrate World ESP Day and ended in the afternoon of the 18 May.
EI’s first ESP conference, in 2018, adopted the Education International Declaration on the Rights and Status of Education Support Personnel. The Declaration underlines that ESP play a crucial role in providing quality education and calls on governments worldwide to value and respect these professionals and guarantee their decent working conditions.
Five years later, at the second Conference, we took stock of ESP’s rights and status in the context of the current multiple intersecting crises that impact the policy landscape - the COVID-19 pandemic, education budget cuts, and increasing education privatisation. We strategised together to accelerate progress towards reaching the vision defined in the Declaration and celebrated the power of the education union movement to make a difference for ESP, adopting the Aveiro Statement - Go Public: Fund Education Support Personnel.