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Helping drop-out prone students stay the course


Students at the new school in Kungsbacka © Beda Hallberg's Upper Secondary School
© Beda Hallberg's Upper Secondary School

Students who leave secondary education without a diploma risk exclusion from the labour market. In Sweden, a project co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) is taking a comprehensive approach to tackling this issue.

The Plug In initiative combines personal follow-up with actions targeting municipalities, schools and society at large to improve the educational context in a sustainable way.

One important element of Plug In is the Pluginnovation platform where research, intervention methods, statistics and innovations related to the issue of school drop-outs are gathered.

In Kungsbacka, one of the fifty or so municipalities involved in Plug In,a new upper secondary school was opened as a result of this innovative approach to early school leaving.

Its 27 students are all former drop-outs who now have the chance to continue at a smaller school with individually adapted studies.

“We work hard to make sure that all students find their own learning style and pace of study,” explains head teacher Frida Fogelmark. “We start every day with a shared breakfast and plan the day. We then have an inspirational session on a variety of themes."

The project has the ambition of combining all efforts in the Baltic Sea area to curb school drop-out rates. This large-scale initiative, which will become a flagship project within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, will involve participants from around 30 organisations and 7 EU countries.


Project name: Plug In
Area of activity: Opening doors to learning
Project duration: 2012-2015
ESF contribution: EUR 10 930 000
Total budget: EUR 14 570 000
Participants: Around 50 municipalities
Country: Sweden
Organisation: Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions SALAR (SKL)
Contact details: Gunnar Anderzon