School Contract

The School Contract is a regional urban renewal programme aimed at improving the school environment in the Brussels-Capital Region and strengthening the relationship between schools and their neighbourhoods.

    How it works

    How it works

    Coordinated by' School and Student Life Service, the School Contract programme works to improve the urban integration of schools, with the aim of opening them up to their immediate environment and neighbourhood. It targets schools with vulnerable pupils located in the Zone for Urban Regeneration (ZUR).

    A win-win situation for schools and neighbourhoods

    The School Contract benefits both the school involved and its neighbourhood. It enables a school to obtain regional support to improve the quality and safety of its environment (safe, high-quality school surroundings, green spaces, etc.). It also opens up the school to the neighbourhood, for example by making its facilities (sports hall, auditorium, playground, etc.) more accessible to associations and residents outside school hours.

    Schools, a priority for regional development in Brussels

    As a place for intercultural and intergenerational exchange, schools play an essential role in urban development. Improving the school environment and integrating schools into their neighbourhoods is therefore a priority of the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development and the Go4Brussels2030 Strategy (Brussels programme for education and childhood, objective 2.4 - Axis 2 of the 2030 Strategy).

    The School Contract has a threefold objective

    • to improve the urban integration of schools ;
    • to increase the range of community facilities available to local residents by opening up schools outside school hours: access to sports facilities, access to the refectory, opening up school playgrounds, etc.;
    • encourage the school to open up to the neighbourhood through socio-economic initiatives and the redevelopment of public spaces.

    The principles of the School Contract

    The School Contract is a partnership between the Brussels-Capital Region, a school, its organising authority and the municipality where the school is located. It also involves neighbourhood associations, residents, school users and managers of community facilities.

    The School Contract sets out a programme of investments and actions to be carried out in and around the school over a four-year period, with a maximum budget of €2.5 million per contract.

    In practical terms, a School Contract programme is designed to enable the Region to finance :

    • investment projects aimed at building, rebuilding, maintaining, rehabilitating, expanding, sanitizing or improving the school and its immediate environment, in order to make it available to local residents and schoolchildren;
    • operations designed to improve the quality of public spaces by improving their surroundings or improving access to schools;
    • socio-economic initiatives to promote social cohesion, in particular by providing community facilities and encouraging residents to get involved;
    • actions to coordinate projects under the School Contract programme by hiring a neighbourhood school coordinator.

    The ordinance of 16 May 2019 on the School Contract is the legal text that sets out the objectives and framework of this urban renewal policy in the Brussels-Capital Region.


    The steps of the School Contract

    The School Contract is a two-phase programme.

    The first phase is a study lasting around a year, carried out by a consultancy firm and steered by the School and Student Life Service, which analyses the school's environment in order to draw up a diagnosis and a School Contract programme.

    The study is a participatory one, involving the various players in the school and the neighbourhood. The programme includes a description of investment projects and socio-economic initiatives, as well as a financial plan and a 4-year schedule. The programme must be approved by the Brussels Regional Government in order to release a budget for its implementation.

    The second phase is the operational phase, which consists of the practical implementation of the School Contract projects. For each School Contract, a coordination post is also budgeted to support implementation and work on the school-neighbourhood link.

    Ongoing School Contracts

    Ongoing School Contracts

    Call for applications

    Call for applications

    Every two years, a call for applications is launched for the selection of new School Contracts.

    This call for applications is aimed at the organising authorities of schools that meet compulsory schooling requirements and are located within the Zone for Urban Regeneration (ZUR) and cater for a vulnerable school population.

    The ZUR can be seen on the "School Contracts" map above.
    After the School and Student Life Service has analysed the applications and a selection committee has met, the Brussels-Capital Region Government selects the schools that will benefit from a School Contract.

    The schools selected for the same year are part of a series (series 1, series 2, etc.).

    As the call for applications is issued every two years, the Brussels Regional Government selects schools for two consecutive series of School Contracts.

    Regional financial support is a maximum of 2,500,000 euros per School Contract.

    The School and Student Life Service is launching the next call for applications in the 2nd quarter of 2023.


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