The number of senior teachers in the countries participating in this study (Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden) is relatively high. On average, 27 % of primary and 34% of secondary school teachers within the European Community are aged over 50. It is estimated that by 2015 over a million primary and secondary education teachers will have to be recruited and trained. In Germany, for example, the number of senior teachers retiring in the next few years is especially high. In other European countries (e.g. Finland), a significant number of novice teachers leave their profession during their first years, due to various reasons, such as disciplinary problems, increased workloads, excessive demands by both the schools and parents and low incomes. This situation creates a difficult problem in education: a shortage of educational personnel and deterioration of the educational quality in Europe. This requires new and continuously developing knowledge and skills among teachers.