Plenary sessions

  • We had two Plenary Sessions during the eTwinning Annual Conference 2017, both on day one: Thursday, 26 October. 

    Official opening recording. 



    Day 1 - 26 October

    Programme of the day

    14:00 – 14:45 Plenary Session I Welcome to the Conference

    •  Welcome Address by the Member of the Cabinet to Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Rodrigo Ballester
    • Opening speech by the Maltese Minister for Education and Employment, Evarist Bartolo
    •  Greetings from National Representatives

    14:45 - 15:30 Plenary session II Keynote address

    •  “The meaning, philosophy and practice of inclusion in a digital age”, by Mark Penfold, Lead Teacher for Ethnic Minority Achievement, Babington Academy Leicester
    19:00 – 21:00 Prize Award Dinner



    Day 3 - 28 October

    9:30 - 11:00 Workshop Session IV

    11:00 - 11:30 Networking Break Coffee

    11:30 – 12:45 Panel discussion: eTwinning a factor for inclusion, how to enlarge its influence

    12:45 – 13:00 Closing by Michael Teutsch, Head of Unit “Schools and Educators; Multilingualism”, DG Education and Culture, European Commission


    Keynote address: Mark Penfold

    Mark Penfold has a first class degree in modern languages from University College Cardiff. He has been teaching since 1978 and for 17 years has specialised in inclusion with a focus on delivering the secondary curriculum to pupils who do not speak the language of instruction.  He has published The EAL Manual and researched and written a report on improving education outcomes for pupils of Roma heritage for The British Council. The school where he works has been recognised as “Outstanding” by the Department for Education in the UK, is a national support school, has the Equality award and has been designated a centre of excellence for inclusion. Mark was a co-recipient of the inaugural European Roma Spirit Award for Europe in October 2016. He has contributed to several EU and Council of Europe sponsored projects.



    Opening speech: Evarist Bartolo 

    Evarist Bartolo is currently Minister for Education and Employment since 2013. 
    Education: In 1975 Bartolo graduated from the University of Malta with a B.A. degree in English Literature. In 1984 he was awarded a scholarship for a diploma course in journalism at Stanford University. He then read for a Master’s in Education at the University of Cardiff which he completed in 1986.
    Career: Bartolo spent three years teaching at De La Salle College, another four years at the national broadcasting station and then a further ten years as the editor and head of news of the Labour Party media. 
    He currently lectures in Communication Studies at the University of Malta. He has been a member in parliament since 1992, working mostly in education, European affairs and tourism. Between 1996 and 1998 he served as Minister of Education and National Culture under a Labour Government. 


    One of the conclusions that gave me great satisfaction and pride at the Education Council held in Brussels recently, was the resolve to invest in Europe’s youth through ‘inclusion in diversity’. The decision as such, only highlights the needs and direction that the EU must continue working on. We must continue with the efforts that we have been relentlessly harping on and ensure that we turn policy into practice.



    Rodrigo Ballester 
    Rodrigo Ballester is a Member of the Cabinet to Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Rodrigo Ballester
    Education and Training 2020 Framework
    Schools and teachers
    EU country-analysis in education
    Education data and analysis
    Inclusive education
    Teaching entrepreneurship
    Virtual exchanges
    OECD / UNESCO/COE  (Education)
    Coordination with other Commission policies
    Employment, Social Affairs, Skills & Labour Mobility
    European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
    Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship
    Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights
    Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality
    Security Union