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Antwerp

Antwerp's total population is 507,007 (December 2011), making it the largest municipality in both Flanders and Belgium in terms of its population. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,449 km2 with a total of 1,190,76 inhabitants (January 2008). The inhabitants of Antwerp are locally nicknamed Sinjoren, after the Spanish honorific señor. It refers to the leading Spanish noblemen who ruled the city during the 17th century.Antwerp has long been an important city in the Low Countries both economically and culturally, especially before the Spanish Fury (1576) in the period of the Dutch Revolt. It is located on the right (eastern) bank of the river Scheldt, which is linked to the North Sea by the estuary Westerschelde. The city has one of the largest seaports in Europe.

The mission of the Antwerp General Education Policy department is that ‘Every person in Antwerp gets and takes the opportunity to obtain a qualification that gives access to higher education or the labor market and that leads to an active and responsible citizenship and to a broad personality formation’.
A key action of the department is the reduction of ‘stay back a class’ and ‘unqualified school leaving’. It strongly believes that parental involvement is one of the keys.

It wants:
•to develop a vision with local stakeholders, schools, parents, … on parental involvement,
•to create tools for schools to stimulate parental involvement,
•to create tools to support parents in being involved in school,
•to learn how we can stimulate Roma parents to be involved in school.

It wants to learn by the experience of other cities and to share its experiences with them.

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