05 SES 08, Preventing Early School Leaving and Affirmative Pedagogies
Data on educational attainment by the European statistical agency Eurostat show that, in 2011 overall around 13.5% of the EU population had left school below the age of minimum compulsory education. However, national dropout rates vary widely from 4.2% inSloveniaand 23.2% inPortugal, for example. It is also estimated that more than one third of young people aged 15 to 24 are classified as NEET (i.e. ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’). Whilst more than 50% of young Europeans between 25 and 29 have completed Upper Secondary Education and 29% Higher Education, less than one third of young people, often from a disadvantaged socio-economic background, complete Upper Secondary Education. Figures from the renewed Social Agenda classify around six million as ‘school dropouts’.
Against this background, the main aim of the ‘Reducing Early School Leaving of Young People’ (RESLEA; http://www.reslea.eu) project, co-funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) of the European Commission, is to develop an innovative and integrated delivery model and toolkits which can be used in different countries and learning settings to reduce the number of Early School Leavers (or ‘dropouts’) aged 15 to 19. The aim of the project is closely related to the European 2020 strategy, which highlights the EU’s target to reduce the percentage of early school leavers to no more than 10% and increase the number of young people in higher education or equivalent vocational education to at least 40%. It is recognized that the cooperation among EU member states is particularly important to achieve these targets, in particular in supporting the national reforms of lifelong learning and the development of common European instruments promoting quality of education and mobility.
RESLEA aims to develop, pilot and validate an innovative model of addressing the issue of early school leaving across Europe, by drawing on existing knowledge and examples of good practices and success factors in helping young people to complete their education. This has resulted in the development of a RESLEA prevention model consisting of five highly practical toolkits to identify young people at risk of dropping out and to plan intervention methods to prevent early school leaving.
Council of the European Union (2011). Council Recommendation of 28 June 2011 on policies to reduce early school leaving. (2011/C 191/01), Official Journal of the European Union. Eurofound (2012). NEETs. Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe. Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. European Commission (2010). Early School Leaving. Lessons from research for policy makers. An independent expert report submitted to the European Commission. Network of Experts in Social Sciences of Education and Training (NESSE). European Commission (2011). Reducing early school leaving. Accompanying document to the Proposal for a Council Recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving. Commission Staff Working Paper, Brussels, SEC(2010). European Commission (2011). Tackling early school leaving: A key contribution to the Europe 2020 Agenda. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Brussels, 31.1.2011. COM(2011) 18 final. European Commission (2012). Conference Report: Reducing Early School Leaving: Efficient and Effective Policies in Europe. Brussels, 1 and 2 March 2012. Directorate-General for Education and Culture; Lifelong learning: policies and programme; School education, Comenius. Fischer, T. & Cullen, J. (2010). Links-up - Learning 2.0 for an Inclusive Knowledge Society - Understanding the Picture. Final Report. Erlangen: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Lern-Innovation (ILI). Hawley, J., Nevala, A.-M. &Weber, T. (2012). Recent policy developments related to those not in employment, education and training (NEETs). Comparative Study. Dublin: European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC). INMAD (Eds) (2012). Preventing School Dropouts (PRESOUT). Transnational Report. Vienna: International Institute for Managing Diversity. Spielhofer, T., Benton, T., Evans, K., Featherstone, G., Golden, S., Nelson, J. & Smith, P. (2009) Increasing Participation: Understanding young people who do not participate in education or Training at 16 or 17. London: DCSF.
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