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Support measures to keep children in school


Project publicity
© The Social Inclusion Office, Puglia

The region of Puglia in Italy has taken steps to tackle school drop-out rates and raise levels of educational attainment – especially among disadvantaged children.

“Diritti a Scuola” established a range of measures to help primary school children and youngsters in their first two years of secondary school. Full and part-time teaching staff joined head teachers in delivering the project to the classroom.

The key objectives were to improve the study of linguistics and science at primary level and to raise standards for the teaching of Italian and mathematics in secondary schools.

The project also provided counselling, vocational guidance and intercultural mediation services to the children and their families. These services were particularly focused on helping pupils from poor backgrounds and those from migrant communities.

In addition, a Help Desk was established to deliver the counselling and information services. This proved to be a popular initiative, one which was used by more than 50 000 pupils and 10 000 families.

Diritti a Scuola reached 200 225 children and can claim to be making a positive contribution to their schooling. The school drop-out rate in Puglia decreased from 30.3 % in 2004 to 19.5 % in 2011 (the national average is 17 %). Early figures also suggest that reading skills are steadily improving. For example, the proportion of 15-year-olds with higher reading skills has increased from 4.2 % in 2009 to 6.1 % in 2012.

The project has won the Commission's 2015 RegioStars award in the category "Inclusive Growth".


Project name: Diritti a Scuola
Area of activity: Opening Doors to Learning
Project duration: 2009 – July 2015
ESF contribution: EUR 75 234 327
Total budget: EUR 140 485 130
Participants: 200 225
Country: Italy
Organisation: Social Inclusion Office, Puglia
Contact details: Giulia Veneziano
+39 080 5404454