Early school leaving (ESL) is a significant concern and challenge for all partners as their policies aims to improve the welfare of their citizens, their full integration in society and the economic development of their territories. ESL clearly put at risk the success of these policies as :
ESL is a fundamental contributing factor to social exclusion later in life. Predictions of future skills needs in Europe suggest that in the future, only 1 in 10 jobs will be within reach of an early school leaver. Young people who leave school early are also more likely to have lower incomes or to be unemployed.
ESL can also generate large public and social costs in the form of lower income and economic growth, reduced tax revenues, and higher costs of public services such as healthcare, criminal justice and social benefit payments. ESL in fact has enormous financial implications, generating major social and economic costs for both individuals and society.
PESL cities are convinced that cities with high levels of ESL will struggle to maintain high levels of employment and social cohesion in their territories.
- How to build sustainable partnership with parents in the prevention of ESL ?- How to involve parents in building educational activities offers outside school ?
- How to bring educational stakeholders to better involve parents and recognize their skills, how to better coordinate local stakeholders ?
- How to share a common understanding of the issues and elaborate in a participatory process a common response ?
- How to build a strategy with all stakeholders ?
These common challenges will be worked out in the project considering the specific needs and priorities identified by each partner.
To name only a few, for example, in Nantes, one specific difficulty for early school leavers and their families is to benefit fully from the educational services proposed by the city and other stakeholders which could help in the prevention of ESL.
In Sofia, it is the high level of ESL in the Roma neighbourhoods or caused by migration of parents within the country.
In Stockholm, specific challenges related to early school leavers with an immigrant background in economically and socially deprived areas and those who run the risk of developing (or already have) psychiatric disorders.
In Gijon, it is the need for an integrated approach to ESL combining various elements as the territorial dimension and the community.
In Antwerp, it is the high level of double grading which needs specific attention and responses.
Each partner city has already started to develop responses to these questions. However, there is still a lot to learn and exchange, analyse, transfer and implement in each territory in order to improve our policies, strategies and concrete actions plan to reduce ESL.
This is our aim to be more inclusive cities !
We first want to exchange good practices which are quite different in each city, despite the fact that we share the same objectives. However, our main motivation is to implement local recommendations, which will be included in the Local Action Plan.
Our approach will be both theoretical through the exchange of transnational examples and very practical. Bringing these two aspects together is in fact the most exciting challenge of the "Urbact adventure" for each of us.
The context of education is largely defined in a collective framework, economic, legal and social. Therefore, to face all educational needs of their children, the parents of disadvantaged families need to be helped by persons with appropriated skills. A co-educational approach is then implemented to state that parents are the first educators and to recognize their place in the implementation of the proposed actions to their children, from conception to evaluation In these situations all the actors (parents, professionals and volunteers) must recognize reciprocal and complementary skills to the success of educational pathways and dropout prevention.
All these stakeholders must get a benefit from our program but of course first the parents.