Early school leaving
Reducing early school leaving to less than 10% across EU Member States by 2020 is one of the EU’s priorities in the field of education. The Commission is working with Member States to implement comprehensive strategies to prevent early school leaving and to engage early school leavers in education and training.

What's the problem?

Early school leaving is linked to unemployment, social exclusion, poverty and poor health. There are many reasons why some young people give up education and training prematurely: personal or family problems, learning difficulties, or a fragile socio-economic situation. The way the education system is set up, school climate and teacher-pupil relations are also important factors.

Since there are often complex, interconnected reasons for children not completing secondary schooling, policies to reduce early school leaving must address a range of issues and combine education and social policy, youth work and health-related aspects. Some of these challenges are outlined in an infographic provided by the Commission.

What has been done so far?

  • EU countries have committed themselves to reducing the average share of early school leavers to less than 10% by 2020. The annual Education and Training Monitor provides data and analysis of early school leaving trends in the EU and in all the Member States.
  • EU education ministers adopted a Council Recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving, which set out a framework for coherent, comprehensive, and evidence-based policies. They agreed to collaborate to exchange best-practices and knowledge on effective ways to address early school leaving
  • A working group on early school leaving looked at examples of good practices in Europe and exchanged experiences in reducing early school leaving. The final report outlines 12 key messages for policymakers and translates them into practical tools through a checklist of comprehensive policies and an annex with examples of best practices from several EU countries.
  • The Commission organised a conference on policies to reduce early school leaving. One year later, policy developments in eight EU countries were reviewed.
  • The Working Group on Schools Policy created a set of policy messages identifying key conditions for implementing a whole school approach to tackling early school leaving, as well as an online European Toolkit for Schools.
  • The Council has also adopted Conclusions on reducing early school leaving and promoting success in school.

The European Commission has published an assessment of the effectiveness of policies and practices developed since 2011 at the EU and national levels to tackle early school leaving in 37 European countries.

The study shows that the impact of EU policy instruments is largely positive across the countries examined. On average, the rate of early school leaving decreased from 13.4% in 2011 to 10.6% in 2018 across Europe.

However, considerable differences still exist between countries and demographics with people of a migrant background, young men and those living in rural areas being more likely to end their education before compulsory school leaving age.

Further action is, therefore, required to tackle this complex and evolving trend. The study compares a selection of good practices at the national level and provides a series of recommendations to inform future policy development in this area. For more information, see the executive summary of the study and the School Education Gateway video on early school leaving.

European Toolkit for Schools

The European Toolkit for Schools offers policymakers and practitioners a wealth of resources and practical examples of effective practices to promote educational success and to prevent early school leaving.

The Toolkit is organised around five thematic areas which are key conditions for a whole school approach to early school leaving. Each area is further elaborated in the Toolkit and complemented with practical examples and measures. You can find more information on the Toolkit in the infosheet.

Number of events: 21
28Jan2021
New Erasmus+ app launch event
Online event
Save the date: January 28 2021
10Dec2020
Third European Education Summit: Digital Education Transformation - Building Resilience in the European Education Area
Online
Third European Education Summit: Digital Education Transformation
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28Sep2020
European Day of Languages 2020
Online

To celebrate the 2020 European Day of Languages, you are warmly invited to join us for an online conference from 10:00 until 12:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time).

European Day of Languages 2020. Education begins with language
09Sep2020
New Digital Education Action Plan: public consultation official closing event with EU Executive Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager
Online

 

    Public Consultation Closing Event - Digital Education Action Plan with EU Executive Vice-President, Margrethe Vestager
    14Jul2020
    New Digital Education Action Plan: Live chat with Commissioner Gabriel
    Online
    Digital Education Action Plan: Live chat
    09Jul2020
    Young people shaping the future of education in Europe: Video conference on the European Education Area
    Online

    On 9 July, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, will host a video conference with youth representatives from across Europe on the future of education.

    Tune into the discussion to discover the vision of young people helping to shape the European Education Area!

    We want to know the views of the European youth on

    12 - 13Nov2019
    Supporting Key Competence Development: Learning approaches and environments in school education
    Hôtel Le Plaza, Boulevard Adolphe Max 118-126, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
    07Nov2019
    European Universities Initiative
    Brussels, Belgium
    European Universities are transnational alliances promoting European values, and working to revolutionise the quality and competitiveness of European higher education. Through the initiative, the Commission is making a key contribution to building the universities of the future.
    24 - 25Oct2019
    8th European University Business Forum
    Brussels, Belgium
    The Forum brings together policymakers, representatives from higher education, business and other stakeholders to discuss and debate the role of university-business cooperation for innovation and sustainable development.
    03 - 04Oct2019
    DigiEduHack: let’s act together for the future of education in the digital age!
    Europe and beyond

    24-hour contest brings teams from Europe and beyond to solve educational challenges in the digital age.

    As part of the Digital Education Action Plan of the European Commission, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) organises a 24-hour Digital Education Hackathon (DigiEduHack) on 3 October 2019.

    technology, DigiEduHack, digital