Reducing Early School Leaving with Practice Enterprise

RUSESL is a major funding project accepted by the European Commission Executive Agency for research and piloting of the following: Reducing Upper Secondary Early School Leaving using the Practice Enterprise 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 has been 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 continued 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 methodology.

The project studied the situation of ESL in the respective countries and Europe, designed and created a Practice Enterprise model that contributes 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 have been applied on a European scale and will be shared and applied on an international scale following the succesful end of the Erasmus Plus project.

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 lays down the groundwork for adapting the Practice Enterprise concept that usually runs in the VET system to school needs. Through the participation of groups managing Practice Enterprises and schools, the project has defined a framework for using the Practice Enterprise 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 specifically designed RUSESL website.

The RUSESL Piloting Application Guide is available in English, Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian and Lithuanian.

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