Social Inclusion of Students/Learners with Special Needs into Mainstream VET and Labour Market

13 Participating countries:
Start: 01/11/2011
Project Reference: 517736-LLP-1-2011-1-DK-LEONARDO-LNW
EC Grant: 491792.0 EUR
Part of :

Education and training\Life long learning (2007-2013)\LEONARDO DA VINCI\Networks


VET providers all over Europe experience the same problem: students leave education or training without completing it. Most of these early school leavers struggle with social, mental or learning problems and many end up being not in education, employment or training (NEET). In a society with lurking demographic challenges and economic and social problems NEET is not a solution, neither to the young people categorized as such, nor to society.

Knowledge and good experiences are needed in order to succeed. The VET system needs well proven methods that can help teachers to successfully approach these students, the world of work needs knowledge that can help them to understand needs and skills specific for these young people, and the students need a ‘system’ that sees them as individuals with specific needs, strengths and potentials.

SOS-Network – SOcial inclusion of Students with special needs into mainstream VET and world of work - unifies Europe in its quest for responding to the problems of early school leaving. By focusing on social inclusion of students with special needs into mainstream VET the network provides knowledge, well proven methods and access to experienced practitioners from all over Europe. 14 partners from 12 countries have united in order to find the best practices, methods and approaches that work.

Moreover, by involving the world of work as well as students in local reference groups the network ensures a tripartite approach to the issue of social inclusion thus pointing at sustainable and innovative solutions to the benefit of VET, the students and the world of work.

Among key outputs are:

- SOS-Portal, European One-Stop Shop for all interested in work with students with special needs;
- SOS Mapping of students with special needs – European survey on perceptions of students with special needs;
- SOS Catalogue of interesting cases from all partner countries – at least 50 cases;
- 15 SOS-Recommended Methods and Tools



The SOS-network is being established due to the need for instant and relevant help and inspiration for teachers/trainers, employers, counsellors and others working with social inclusion in vocational education and training and at the labour market.
The SOS-Network has two main objectives: One is to reduce early school leaving and the second is to ensure a good transition between education and employment. The main target group is teachers and trainers in vocational education and training working with students/learners with special needs on a daily basis, but also employers and counsellors who meet these young people in their transition to the labour market. The students/learners with special needs have prior to the project start been identified with reference to four categories of problems that may cause early school leaving or difficulties entering the labour market. They are 1) students/learners with medical diagnosis; 2) students/learners with social problems; 3) students/learners with literacy and numeracy problems (learning difficulties not due to a medical diagnosis); and finally 4) students/learners with immigrant background.
The SOS-Network unites 14 vocational education and training institutions, job centres, higher education institutions, employers’ organisations and others working with social inclusion in education and training from 12 different European countries. Each of these has specific competences and experiences in working with students with special needs. For instance, one partner is specifically experienced in working with student/learners with special needs in mobility projects; another has special competences in dealing with young people with Aspergers’ syndrome; and others are experienced in guidance issues or are working specifically with teachers within special education needs. In total, the consortium represent a wide range of experiences and competences that cover all the aspects of the social inclusion being dealt with in the SOS-network.

This Progress report will shed light on what have been achieved so far.

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Typology: Product 1 - Reports and studies

The catalogue provides professionals with an extensive overview of methods and tools for teaching and working with students with special needs.

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Typology: Product 5 - Guidance material to new approaches and methodologies

The leaflet provides an overvieew of the SOS-Network project.

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Typology: Product 8 - Material productions out of events projects publications, CD-Rom, CDs, DVD, tapes, artistic products etc

Newsletter concerning the Network

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SOS-Network newsletter concerning the network

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SOS_Network_2nd newsletter.pdf
Typology: Product 1 - Reports and studies

SOS-Network newsletter nr. 3

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SOS 3rd newsletter.pdf
Typology: Product 1 - Reports and studies

Article about the SOS-Network and how the network can support social inclusion in Europe

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Midterm report on the SOS-Network project

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