1. School governance

To adequately address complex issues such as early school leaving, schools need to move beyond temporary and isolated measures to a strategic 'whole school approach'. In a 'whole school approach', schools are seen as collaborative learning environments. The entire school community (school leaders, teaching and non-teaching staff, parents and families), together with external stakeholders, take responsibility to help all learners develop to the best of their abilities.

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Please note that for the moment the content on the resource pages is available in English only.

Beda School upper secondary

This example describes innovative approaches in an upper secondary school in Sweden - Beda Hallberg. The school offers a range of programmes that provide the foundation for personal development and active participation in society. The school also aims to provide continued support to learners and reduce the risk of drop-out by working hard to minimizes the closing times of the school with the view to staying open during some longer holidays. A team of health professionals are also well represented and includes social and psychological counsellors available to support the needs of young people.

Areas: 1. School governance; 2. Teachers; 3. Support to learners

Subareas: 1.1. School culture and climate; 2.2. Teachers and their relationships with pupils and parents; 3.2. Learners' participation in school life; 3.3. Career guidance and support; 3.4. Curriculum and learning paths; 3.5. Learning and assessment

Language: BG; CZ; DA; DE; EL; EN; ES; ET; FI; FR; HR; HU; IT; LT; LV; MT; NL; PL; PT; RO; SK; SL; SV

Country: Sweden

Brave’s Club: Zero Violence from age zero

To improve the school climate, a group of schools from the Learning Communities project decided to create the Brave’s Club. It is based on a “dialogical model of conflict prevention”. Since the Club started in 2014, it has made progress in eradicating school violence in both primary and secondary schools. This strategy is making it easier to bring together effective evidence-informed practices on preventing violence in classrooms in general, and more specifically, gender violence.

Areas: 1. School governance; 2. Teachers; 3. Support to learners; 4. Parental involvement; 5. Stakeholders involvement

Subareas: 1.1. School culture and climate; 2.2. Teachers and their relationships with pupils and parents; 3.1. Well-being of learners; 3.2. Learners' participation in school life; 4.2. Parents' involvement in school governance; 5.4. Partnerships: Community organisations and civic society

Language: EN

Country: Spain

Checklist and recommendations for prevention of absenteeism and school drop-out

It is undeniable that medical, psychological, social, educational and legal interventions are required in a number of cases of truancy and early school leaving, but research also shows clearly that in all cases, school and teaching staff can have a decisive influence. This document comprises a checklist for self-assessment of schools, 59 detailed recommendations for improvement of school attendance, pupil engagement and school culture, as well as proposals for behaviour agreements and examples of questionnaires for teachers and parents. The recommended measures are primarily directed at the target group of teachers, principals and parents. The document has been translated from the manual by Nairz-Wirth, Feldmann, Diexer (2012): Handlungsempfehlungen für Lehrende, Schulleitung und Eltern zur erfolgreichen Prävention von Schulabsentismus und Schulabbruch.

Picture: Shutterstock.com

Areas: 1. School governance; 2. Teachers; 3. Support to learners; 4. Parental involvement; 5. Stakeholders involvement

Subareas: 1.1. School culture and climate; 2.3. Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development of teachers; 3.1. Well-being of learners; 3.3. Career guidance and support; 3.4. Curriculum and learning paths; 3.6. Extended and extra-curricular learning; 3.7. Monitoring learners at risk; 4.1. Communication and information; 5.2. Stakeholders' networks

Language: BG; CZ; DA; DE; EL; EN; ES; ET; FI; FR; HR; HU; IT; LT; LV; MT; NL; PL; PT; RO; SK; SL; SV

Country: Austria

Combating drop-out and early school leaving (ESL) in Serbia

UNICEF Serbia and the civil society organisation Centre for Education Policy with the support of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development Republic of Serbia  implemented the project “Combating Early School Leaving in Serbia”.

This project aimed to contribute to decreasing drop-out and early school leaving of children and adolescents through development, establishment, and implementation of the school-based model for early identification of children at risk of dropping out and intervention in situations where dropping-out is taking place.

Combating drop-out and ESL in Serbia has been recognised as a policy priority area.  The Strategy for Education Development in Serbia 2020 (SEDS 2020) calls for the provision of high-quality education for all, an increase of students’ coverage and attainment at all levels of education by maintaining the relevance of education and increasing efficiency. The Strategy implementation is primarily focused on the development of human capital in Serbia, thus underlines importance of the inclusion of pupils from vulnerable and marginalised groups (Roma and children from poor families, children with disabilities and from rural areas etc.).

Areas: 1. School governance; 2. Teachers; 3. Support to learners; 4. Parental involvement

Subareas: 1.1. School culture and climate; 1.2. School planning and monitoring; 2.3. Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development of teachers; 3.4. Curriculum and learning paths; 3.7. Monitoring learners at risk; 3.11. Targeted support - disadvantaged socio-economic background; 5.1. Multidisciplinary teams

Language: EN

Country: Serbia

CroCoos (Cross-sectoral cooperation focused solutions for the prevention of early school leaving project)

The CroCooS - Prevent dropout! project was developed in the framework of the EC proposal "Implementation of the European strategic objectives in education and training" under the Lifelong Learning Programme to support innovative policy solutions to reduce and prevent early leaving from education and training (ELET). The main aim of the CroCooS project, which was implement between 2014 and 17, was to contribute to the development of an institutional early warning system (EWS) for preventing early leaving from education and training. It also tested its applicability with national pilots focusing on contextual factors affecting the evaluation.
Regional needs addressed included: sensitizing the staff of each school on the need to address the problem of dropout; actively involving teachers in monitoring students and working with them; developing better relationships between students and teachers; strengthening pupils' sense of belonging to the class and the school; developing relationships of trust by being supportive and ensuring a safe school climate.

Areas: 1. School governance; 3. Support to learners

Subareas: 1.2. School planning and monitoring; 3.7. Monitoring learners at risk

Language: EN

Country: Hungary; Serbia; Slovenia

Danish Production Schools

The Danish Production schools were created in the 1980s with the aim of combating youth unemployment. Production Schools offer alternative education opportunities to improve labour market integration. The fundamental aim of this type of school is to create a practical learning environment to support young people to complete and earn qualifications in general and vocational upper secondary education and/or maintain a job. The students are offered the opportunity to develop professional, social and personal skills through counselling, participation in practical work experience and production in different workshops ranging from areas such as metalwork, carpentry and textile work in theatre, media and music-based workshops. The focus is on social, personal and physical skills which are complemented by more formal knowledge and skills. Learning processes are organised through workshops and classroom teaching, but every young person is free to organise an individual course where they may challenge themselves and build their confidence.
The most significant challenge for production schools is to prepare and motivate “non-academic” students for the ordinary school system. The last legislative change in 2006focused the aims of Production Schools so that its most important task has been to build a bridge to vocational education and training through relevant practical and academic qualifications. In 2009, there were over 6,000 students in production schools. The student capacity at each school can vary from 20-25 to over 200. Generally speaking the schools are small, with half of the schools accepting fewer than 50 students. Today there are 78 Production Schools in Denmark.

Areas: 1. School governance; 3. Support to learners

Subareas: 1.1. School culture and climate; 3.3. Career guidance and support; 3.4. Curriculum and learning paths; 3.7. Monitoring learners at risk; 3.11. Targeted support - disadvantaged socio-economic background

Language: EN

Country: Denmark

E-tool for preventing bullying

Swedish education is built on respect for human rights and fundamental democratic values such as inviolability of human life, equal value of all people, respect for the individual?s personal integrity and gender equality. In accordance with these values, there is a strong emphasis that all education should be inclusive and actively prevent discrimination and harassment in all forms, which includes bullying.

Areas: 1. School governance; 3. Support to learners

Subareas: 1.1. School culture and climate; 1.2. School planning and monitoring; 3.1. Well-being of learners

Language: BG; CZ; DA; DE; EL; EN; ES; ET; FI; FR; HR; HU; IT; LT; LV; MT; NL; PL; PT; RO; SK; SL; SV

Country: Sweden

Eliot Bank primary school self-evaluation

UK Ofsted (school inspectorate) presents the reasons behind continuous outstanding performance of Eliot Bank primary school. It has developed robust systems for monitoring and evaluation so that it knows what works well and what can be improved further. The school's evaluation process includes a wide range of stakeholders and strategies, but it has always remained focused on pupils achieving the highest possible outcomes. School provision is continuously modified in order to narrow the attainment gap for those pupils at risk of not attaining the levels expected for their age.

Area: 1. School governance

Subarea: 1.2. School planning and monitoring

Language: BG; CZ; DA; DE; EL; EN; ES; ET; FI; FR; HR; HU; IT; LT; LV; MT; NL; PL; PT; RO; SK; SL; SV

Country: United Kingdom

ESL - monitoring and prevention solutions (Przedwczesne kończenie nauki - monitoring i przeciwdziałanie)

The project goal is to provide a comprehensive analysis of best practices for preventing ESL in partner countries in the areas: of ESL monitoring systems; and, methods of counteracting ESL and reintegrating students.

Project partners were from Poland, the UK and Italy. Outputs include a report on ESL monitoring systems, a report on prevention and reintegration methods, and a training pack.

Areas: 1. School governance; 2. Teachers; 3. Support to learners

Subareas: 1.1. School culture and climate; 1.3. School management; 3.7. Monitoring learners at risk; 3.11. Targeted support - disadvantaged socio-economic background

Language: EN

Country: Italy; Poland; United Kingdom

Essunga Municipality Schools

Essunga, a Swedish municipality, transformed the ranking of its schools from the bottom to the top of the national school league tables between 2007 to the top in 2010. Essunga has three elementary schools and one lower secondary school (grades 6-9). With 5,500 citizens, it is one of the smallest municipalities in the country. The increase in levels of achievement is attributed to a research-based approach of inclusive education. For years, the three elementary schools in Essunga had consistently experienced low educational levels. An increasing number of students were refugees or in “family placements”. In 2007, only 76% of students were eligible for upper secondary school and 20% of these were placed in special education classes. These results compelled political and school leaders and school staff to identify targeted measures to address these challenges. The municipality focused on interventions at school and in the local community to prevent school absence and increase attendance.

Areas: 1. School governance; 2. Teachers; 3. Support to learners

Subareas: 1.1. School culture and climate; 1.3. School management; 2.1. Teacher skills and competences; 3.5. Learning and assessment; 3.7. Monitoring learners at risk; 3.10. Targeted support - special educational needs and learning difficulties

Language: EN

Country: Sweden

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