Cedefop research key for EU action to keep more learners on-board

Cedefop’s systematic work on tackling early leaving from education and training is at the heart of a renewed strategy by the European Union towards the European Education Area and beyond (2021-2030).

On 28 November, the European Union ministers of education agreed on measures to reduce the share of those leaving education and training early and to bring down under-achieving in reading, mathematics and science, issuing a recommendation to the European Commission (EC) and Member States.

The recommendation invites governments, by 2025, to develop, or, where appropriate, further strengthen, an integrated and comprehensive strategy towards school success, including prevention, intervention and compensation measures for learners requiring additional attention and support.

Furthermore, suggests that Member States pay special attention to well-being at school, given that research indicates that emotional, social and physical well-being is important to enhance children and young people’s chances of succeeding in education and in life.

The recommendation further invites governments to back school leaders, teachers, trainers and other staff by helping them to acquire knowledge, skills and competences and providing support for continuous professional development, as well as adequate time, space and support to work effectively with all learners, including those at risk of exclusion, underachievement and early leaving.

This latest recommendation replaces a 2011 Council recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving. Since 2010, the rate of early leavers has decreased by 3.9 percentage points. However, at 9.7 % in 2021 across the EU on average the share is still above the EU’s 9% objective, while the underachievement rate stands at 22.5% in reading, 22.9% in mathematics and 22.3% in science.

Cedefop’s work to tackle early leaving


Monitoring and collecting quantitative and qualitative data at national, regional and local level is an essential condition for designing and rolling out the new strategy, and this is where Cedefop’s research work comes into play.

A valuable source of support to policy makers and education and training providers, Cedefop’s VET toolkit for tackling early leaving provides 20 key intervention approaches and around 300 resources, including good practices and tools. Thus, the toolkit has become the main reference point for policy makers and VET practitioners in Europe.

According to the recommendation, resources available in Cedefop’s VET toolkit for tackling early leaving can be utilised to promote networking between schools, as well as multi-professional learning communities at local, regional, national and international level to promote mutual learning.

Moreover, the Recommendation acknowledges the crucial role of Cedefop’s ambassadors for tackling early leaving in identifying and sharing successful practices.

Source: Cedefop

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European Higher Education Organization

European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe. The EHEO general plan stresses that: Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected. The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders. Thus, EHEO plans: improve academic and scientific interaction of universities; protect the interests of universities; interact more closely with public authorities of European countries; popularize European higher education in the world; develop academic mobility; seek funding for European universities.

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