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ECNAIS : European Council of National Associations of Independent Schools

Management Committee Meeting | Seminars

How to avoid the unification of diversity?

Vienna, Austria | 20 - 22 November 2014

“How independent schools organize themselves – and try to find their way as different and unique on one hand – and on the other hand try to unify efforts and stick together”

Taking the Oxford dictionary on-line and looking at the origin of the word unify:
early 16th century: from French unifier or late Latin unificare ‘make into a whole’

Back then, as now, one of the consequences of unification is to eliminate the individual differences and force all the variations into one single common whole.

In opposite terms, the independent educational sector is characterized in its own essence by diversity. A wide range of differentiated ethos, pedagogies and theoretical approaches are the essence of our schools, at local, regional, national or European level.

The goal of ECNAIS is to provide examples of diversity of schools in each member country, and to identify the situation concerning the political acceptance of independent schools and freedom of choice.


On Thursday the seminar will focus on the experiences and good practices with diversity in education in Austria, Switzerland and France.
On Friday in the morning there are school visits and in the afternoon we will focus on diversity within education in Turkey. The last part of Friday afternoon will be a forum for all participants about ideas for future cooperation and how to reflect and preserve diversity. For more information, please see the detailed program below.

MC meeting

The Management Committee Meeting is scheduled on Saturday 22 November from 9h00 till 12H00 (open for members only).

The venue of the Seminar

Hotel Regina
Rooseveltplatz 5
A-1090 Vienna


Registration can be done on line only, at

It is very important that we receive your registration no later than 15 October 2014, as we have to inform the hotel how many rooms we need. After this date we can’t guarantee accommodation, so please be in time!
The invoice will be sent after we have received your 0n-line registration.


Thursday 20 November 2014
09.00 – 09.15 ECNAIS registration
09.15 – 10.00 Opening of the seminar
Beatrice Lukas, chairwomen Förderverband Freier Schulen, Austria
Simon Steen, chairman of ECNAIS
Dr. Jacqueline Jürs, Ministerial Counsellor at the Austrian Ministry for Education and for Women (invited)
10.00 – 11.00 Dr. Matthias Strolz, chairman and education-spokesman of NEOS
Cooperation and Competition Parenting Social Innovation
Dialogue with the audience included
11.00 – 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 – 13.00 Austria, Christoph Chorherr and Josef Kreitmayer
How independent schools organize themselves in Austria –and try to find their way as different and unique at one hand – and at the other the way to unify?
Dialogue with the audience included
13.00 – 14.30 Lunch
14.30 – 15.15 Switzerland, Pia Amacher
How parents struggle for parent right to free school choice?
Dialogue with the audience included
15.15 – 15.45 Coffee break
15.45 – 16.30 France, Anne Coffinier
How do we keep unity in an organization based on different school values?
Dialogue with the audience included
16.30 – 18.00 Open forum where the present national positions are put into perspective in relation to today’s presentations
19.00 Dinner at Hotel Regina
Friday 21 November 2014
09.00 Leaving hotel for school visits:

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch at Hotel Regina
14.00 – 15.30 Turkey, Prof. Dr. Ipek Gürkaynak
Enabling and Restricting Potentials: Diversity of and in schools, and diversity in general in Turkey
Dialogue with the audience included
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee break
16.00 –18.00 Open forum where participants exchange ideas on future cooperation with the aim of finding a way towards a common voice and preserve our diversity
19.00 Leaving for the official ECNAIS dinner at Weingut Fuhrgassl-Huber, Neustift am Walde
Saturday 22 November 2014
09.00 – 12.00 Management Committee Meeting (open for members only)
The agenda follows separately

End of meeting


Photo by J. A. Alcaide – Licence Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic


ECNAIS Seminar / Introduction (Beatrice Lukas, Dr. Jacqueline Jürs, Per Kristensen)

Lecture of Simon Steen, read by Sofia Reis, ECNAIS Seminar 2014

Matthias Strolz: “Cooperation and Competition Parenting Social Innovation”

Christoph Chorherr: About the Ideal School

Josef Kreitmayer: “#Mapping”

Beatrice Lukas – “Freie Schulwahl”

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