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School’s back


Kassel is showing how to convince school drop-outs to return to the classroom

The town of Kassel in central Germany is celebrating the success of its ‘Truancy – a second chance’ project that has delivered consistently falling truancy rates over recent years. In 2005, some 97 youngsters abandoned school early without a leaving certificate. By 2012, this number had fallen to 39 – 2.4% of all school leavers in the municipality. In the ESF co-funded project, social workers and youth services have built pathways back into school for 12- to 15-year-old truants, helping them reintegrate and get the all-important school leaving certificate that can open more doors to work. Clear evidence of the project’s successful track record is that 94% of pupils who take part in the programme remain at school afterwards. For the next ESF programming period, Germany is planning to devote €41 million to roll out such a programme nationwide.