Reducing Early School Leaving with Practice Enterprise

A major funding project accepted by the European Commission Executive Agency for research and piloting of the following: Reducing Early School Leaving in Upper Secondary school using the PE concept and methodology.

Reducing the average European rate of early school leavers to less than 10% by 2020 is one of the education headline targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy. In 2011, the Education Council adopted a Recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving (ESL), focusing on prevention, intervention and compensation.

The main goal of our project is to prevent ESL in the later years of secondary school – a target group often overlooked when discussing ESL, as the legal definition of early school leaving refers to non-participation in school before reaching the age of 16 years or before completing 3 years’ post-primary education, whichever is later. Our project aims to continue the successes of our previous project to tackle ESL at the earliest stages of secondary school, by evolving and modifying the schools’ practices and innovative methodologies of learning and teaching designed to reduce ESL of upper secondary students through the approaches of the Practice Enterprise (PE) methodology.

The project aims to study, design and create a Practice Enterprise model that will contribute to the development of social, ICT and entrepreneurial skills in upper secondary students aged 16-19 years with a high risk of becoming early school leavers. The outcomes of the project are to be applied on a European and international scale.

Unemployed young people show a high level of de-motivation towards education and are not very interested in continuing with their education. It is necessary to increase motivation to avoid more early school leavers, not only by offering them a range of education options, but also other measures to interest them and increase their motivation to continue their education.

Taking into account current unemployment rates and the profile of unemployed people, it is clear that we need to offer education and employment programmes that improve competences and skills of these target groups. The partnership intends to lay down the groundwork for adapting the PE concept that usually runs in the VET system to school needs. Through the participation of groups managing Practice Enterprises and schools, the project will define a framework for using the PE methodology for reducing upper secondary ESL through curriculum design, modules development, pedagogical team roles, the tutoring system and the evaluation and assessment system.

Further information on this project is available at the RUSESL website which is regularly updated.

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