05 SES 14 A, Understanding the Risks to Early Leaving. Exploring the Risk and Support Factors in Europe
Early Leaving (EL) is understood as the phenomena by which young people do not complete their statutory education requirements, which for most nations in Europe now extends to the age of 18 years old. The issue of EL has been identified as of significant and enduring concern across Europe, due to the adversary impact it can be seen to exert upon young people’s educational, social and labour market inclusion (Olmos, 2014; Olmos & Mass, 2013, 2017). This paper is the first of a symposium of four papers that will consider the issue of EL from the perspective of five national contexts, as part of the Erasmus+ project Orienta4YEL. The first part of the paper introduces an analytic framework, which was developed to guide the empirical exploration of EL from an international dimension. The framework comprises five key components: personal, familial, social, institutional, and structural factors. These categories have been developed through integrating the theoretical spatial heuristic of Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory, with more recent theorisations of the binds or barriers of socio-economic disadvantage that impact upon educational achievement (Brow, 2014). In the second part of the paper, the framework is then applied to consider the risk and support factors for understanding EL, in the comparative contexts of key regions within Spain and England. This comparison is apposite in that structural factors to EL spontaneously emerged as a key focus within the empirical findings of the study in these two nations. Key findings are elicited in highlighting the points of convergence and dissonance within data patterns, in the context of a high national level of EL (Spain) and low relative EL (England). Notwithstanding the high level of interaction between personal, familial, social, institutional and structural factors, the most significant risk categories identified were ‘familial’ for Spain and ‘structural’ factors for England, while the most significant support category was found to be ‘personal’ for Spain and ‘institutional’ for England. Key differences can be partly attributed to the different vulnerability groups of at-risk (of EL) young people, as well as differences in the geographical and socio-cultural regions. There is, however, considerable convergence in findings with respect to the key structural factors seen to be barriers to EL. In particular, the impact of socio-economic disadvantage was raised as a key factor in both countries as were the challenges in relation to the educational system and education and training policies.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press Brown, C. (2014). Educational Binds of Poverty: The lives of school children. Oxon: Routledge Brown, C., Díaz-Vicario, A., Costas Batlle, I., & Muñoz Moreno, J.L. (forthcoming). Comparing Early Leaving across Spain and England: Variation and Commonality across Two Nations of High and Low Relative Early Leaving rates. Journal of Education and Work: Special Issue Understanding and Intervening on Early Leaving in Europe. Olmos Rueda, P. (2014). Competencias básicas y procesos perceptivos: factores claves en la formación y orientación de los jóvenes en riesgo de exclusión educativa y sociolaboral. Revista de Investigación Educativa (RIE), 32(2), 531-546. DOI: https://doi.org/10.6018/rie.32.2.181551 Olmos, P. & Mas, O. (2013). Youth, academic failure and second chance training programmes. Revista Española de Orientación y Psicopedagogía (REOP), 24(1), 78-92. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5944/reop.vol.24.num.1.2013.11272 Olmos, P. & Mas, O. (2017). Perspectiva de tutores y de empresas sobre el desarrollo de las competencias básicas de empleabilidad en el marco de los programas de formación profesional bàsica. Educar, 53(2), 261-284. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/educar.870
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