According to the Thematic Working Group survey on Early School Leaving (2012), there are 3 key issues to consider in creating an ESL prevention mechanism:
(1) The importance of the role of teachers;
(2) the importance of individualised support and counselling;
(3) co-operation between schools and other key stakeholders involved in the lives of young people. We built our intervention strategy on these very pillars.
The same groups suggest that an ESL prevention mechanism should operate through a three-step process:
a). an (ongoing) assessment and identification of the ESL signals with constant revision and adaptation over time;
b). development of systems and practices within schools and authorities that enable school staff and other relevant professionals to review ESL related data and identify those students that show distress signals/ are at risk of ESL.
c). assessment of problems/support needs of students at risk and then responding to those needs before the students make the ‘cumulative decision’ to leave school early.
In developing our intervention plan, we have closely followed these recommendations.
The scope of our project is to empower the school to trigger a cooperative reaction and action with the earliest warning signs of risk of ESL and effectively reach out to the other relevant stakeholders in the community in order to get them involved in preventing ESL.
Our first objective is to determine the early warning signs and patterns of risk of ESL. We will continue by developing teachers’ skills to react to the early warning signs of ESL and to cooperate in multidisciplinary school teams, in target schools. Our teams will, then, act towards bolstering cooperation and communication between schools and the other community stakeholders to address issues of ESL, in target communities. Our last objective is to disseminate the intermediary and final project findings, best practices and experience.
All project partners will ensure contribution to and measure the achievement of the project results using the qualitative and quantitative indicators.