Across Europe, the concept of 'key competences' has gained importance in recent years both at policy and school level. Key competences are considered essential skills and attitudes for young Europeans to succeed not only in today's economy and modern society but also in their personal lives. They are defined at EU level and comprise the following: 1) ability to readily and easily communicate in the mother tongue, 2) the ability to speak foreign languages, 3) mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology, 4) IT skills, 5) social and civic competences, 6) sense of... initiative and entrepreneurship, 7) capacity to learn to learn, and 8) cultural awareness and expression. European countries have made significant progress in incorporating these key competences into national curricula and other steering documents, a fact that demonstrates commitment to make the skills taught to young people at school more relevant for their lives and societies. However, challenges remain – especially in regard to the practical implementation of the reformed curricula. This brochure highlights some of the main achievements and challenges regarding the development of key competences at school in Europe. The status of all key competences listed above, with the exception 'learning to learn' and 'cultural awareness and expression', are taken into consideration. The report covers compulsory and secondary general education levels in 31 European countries (EU member States, Croatia, Iceland, Norway, and Turkey) for the year 2011/12.