This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Reducing early school leaving
WHAT DO THESE CONCLUSIONS DO?
In 2014, 11.1 % of 18 to 24 year olds (around 4.4 million) left education and training without completing an upper secondary programme (source: Eurostat, 2014). Reducing the rate to less than 10 % was one of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.
Although progress has been made, there are still too many pupils who leave education prematurely, and huge discrepancies remain between and within EU countries.
Early school leaving results from a range of personal, social, economic, cultural, educational, gender- and family-related factors, and is linked to disadvantage from early childhood.
Groups with low socioeconomic status are most affected, as well as children with migrant backgrounds, Roma children and children with special educational needs.
The quality of education can lead learners to leave education prematurely.
Completing secondary education or vocational training is one key to a successful transition from education to work or the next stages of education and training. Providing support measures to help learners complete their education contributes to breaking a cycle of deprivation, poverty and inequality.
The Council calls for an inclusive and coordinated response, promoting tolerance, respect and equal opportunities, as well as social integration, intercultural understanding and a sense of belonging in schools.
EU countries are called upon to implement the 2011 Council recommendation on reducing early school leaving, in particular by:
A collaborative approach is encouraged, for instance through:
Teachers should have skills, competences and background knowledge in classroom and diversity management (e.g. practices to ensure the inclusion of people with diverse characteristics, backgrounds and cultures), relationship building, conflict resolution, bullying prevention, and risk factors that might lead to early school leaving.
Opportunities should be provided for young people who have left education prematurely to return to mainstream education.
EU countries should also:
Council conclusions on reducing early school leaving and promoting success in school (OJ C 417, 15.12.2015, pp. 36–40)
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — Tackling early school leaving: A key contribution to the Europe 2020 Agenda (COM(2011) 18 final of 31.1.2011)
Council Recommendation of 28 June 2011 on policies to reduce early school leaving (OJ C 191, 1.7.2011, pp. 1–6)
last update 06.04.2016