TOO YOUNG TO FAIL
Date du début: 1 sept. 2014,
Date de fin: 31 août 2016
Early school leaving is the result of a mix of individual, educational and socio-economic factors. Many triggering effects make ESL a complex multisector phenomenon: school failure (disengagement, low achievement, transition between schools and school levels), pull effects from labour market, social and family situation. If it differs from country to country and from region to region, there are some recurrent features: children from vulnerable groups are more likely than others to leave the school system early. Boys are more affected than girls.
Thanks to the constant work on drop out preventive and intervention measures carried out by all TO_YOU TOO YOUNG TO FAIL partners, the partnership has pinpointed the need to FOCUS ON A SPECIFIC AGE FRAMEWORK (10-15 years– including both Middle school, and moments of transition between school levels) in a broad number of regions, to tackle the issue, and potentially intervene when the problem starts arising. TO_YOU leading idea is that, if the causes of school failure and dropout can have roots in the pre-teen years, middle school - a potentially powerful learning time – becomes a critical “make or break” period.
TO_YOU has identified 3 core needs and objectives and designed associated actions.
Need 1 - to
- provide a cross-sectorial platform of exchange of experiences and practices between partners with excellence initiatives in this area and of different backgrounds and missions, thus fostering a mutual learning process.
- grant access to a wide menu of consolidated comprehensive and cross sectorial prevention and intervention strategies tailored on the specified age group (best practice collection – innovative feature).
- promote focused research on the broad issue of relationship/ social capital (peer-to-peer relationship, school leadership and family engagement) and on its potential impact on drop out measures (innovative feature).
The school cannot and must not address independently the broad range of social, emotional and personal needs that affect the academic performance of children. A process is needed for the school and community to avoid isolation, develop a common vision, and build long lasting commitment and collaboration from policy makers, society, family and other stakeholders.
A first important step in building such cohesive vision is to provide institutions' leaders with the essential content knowledge and materials necessary to develop successful school/community collaborations (reliable, flexible, adaptable and appealing awareness raising /advocacy tools)
Need for a continuous professional development and empowerment of teachers and school management, need for school staff to gain a deep understanding of ESL, enhance awareness on their own role in preventing it and to develop the skills to work with other professions and partners, in a “whole school approach” (design, development, testing and sharing of specific training modules and support multimedia tools)
The two level focus on management/strategy (advocacy tools for school leadership) and education/ pedagogical tools (teachers/educators) represents an innovative feature.
Another innovative element of the project is the type of partnership. All 9 partners have a sound regional experience in tackling early drop out. 2 have furthermore participated in ESL related EU projects.
TO_YOU brings together players with different backgrounds, missions (4 schools, 1 municipality, 2 non profit foundations, 1 employers association, 1 higher education body), geographic and social focus (IT, NL, ES, PT, UK).
Moreover most partners have the means to share project outcomes with a significant number of local school communities, and stakeholders (e.g. public administrations, foundations/donors, education practitioners, academia and other stakeholders), well beyond the project boundaries.
All 4 schools (IT, UK, PT, NL) have experience in dealing with drop-out preventive and intervention schemes and are currently involved in relevant projects wit very different social, geographical and cultural contexts (ranging from excellence situations to highly critical environments). All school projects address the identified relevant age bracket. In TO_YOU the schools will play a strategic role in the definition of research/ advocacy needs and topics, training priorities and multimedia tools design.
The 2 non profit foundations (IT, PT) the municipality (NL) and Politecnico (PT) have an extensive, sound experience in supporting complex educational projects in specific geographical school/educational contexts, in line with their overall mission of fostering the implementation of sustainable and innovative educational models.
They will associate with the teachers employers association (ES) to ensure that the expected impact will be granted beyond the project time/geographic boundaries and also in non strictly school related contexts (e.g. donors, public administrations, research & academia.
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