European cities face higher levels of Early School Leaving (ESL) than their national averages and their corresponding European target rates. This represents a serious challenge, as ESL has significant societal and individual consequences, such as a higher risk of unemployment, poverty, marginalization and social exclusion. Tackling ESL means breaking the cycle of deprivation and the intergenerational transmission of poverty and inequality.
ESL is a specific problem, but engages a very complex field of play to solve it. It calls for a shift from implementing isolated ESL measures to introducing integrated, comprehensive policies, based on strong and continuous political commitment of all stakeholders at all levels.
The role of local authorities in developing and implementing ESL policies is crucial: they can translate European and national strategies into specific actions tailored to the local needs and coordinate cross sectoral implementation at the right level.
Stay TunED aims to reduce the high urban rates of Early School Leaving (ESL) by actively pursuing the implementation of the 2011 Council Recommendation on policies to reduce ESL. The network will capitalise on existing urban expertise and strive for improved implementation with sustainable impact. This requires changes in organisations and the mind-set of people: a systematic configuration of services, eroded boundaries between services and professions, development of synergies, clear definition of roles and responsibilities.
The network will realise this by focusing on the common challenges faced by implementing each local action plan against ESL:
- Ensuring the integrated approach in the delivery of the strategy and its related actions/projects,
- Maintaining involvement of local stakeholders and organising decision-making for delivery,
- Setting up efficient indicators and monitoring systems to measure performance,
- Moving from strategy to operational action plan.