Preventing dropout from youth education in the Øresund region

The Preventing Dropout project created a platform for some 100 Danish and Swedish teachers and student counsellors in the Øresund region to exchange knowledge and develop methods for preventing young people from dropping out of education and training. The project set up research circles to investigate what motivates students to finish their education with a view to implementing findings in schools and counselling services.

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Preventing Dropout teaching activities at an upper secondary school in Malmö. © Pelle Jeruryd Preventing Dropout teaching activities at an upper secondary school in Malmö. © Pelle Jeruryd

" The main lesson from the project is that it is in the classroom where you convince students to choose education. Teachers really make a difference when they meet each student at his or her level as regards things like language skills. The involvement of academic researchers is probably why many of the processes started within Preventing Dropout are still used in our schools. The scientific approach guaranteed quality throughout the project. "

Katarina Falk, Swedish coordinator for Preventing Dropout

The circles were based on five themes: language improvement, classroom management and student health and well-being, inclusive teaching, the future of guidance and counselling and leadership. Practitioners worked with researchers to reflect on their practice, exchange ideas and develop methods and best practices to motivate and teach students at risk of dropping out.

The next phase involved implementing and refining the methods to meet challenges faced by each partner. The partners chose the methods they wanted to implement and the research circles developed relevant teaching material. Films and articles were produced and presentations and conferences held to communicate the methods and conclusions.

Positive external evaluation

An external evaluation concluded that language improvement work impacts on students’ academic level and improves chances of students with low language skills of completing school. Classroom management and focus on student well-being improves quality and activity in lessons while strengthening social relations and learning.

Inclusive teaching helps motivation, learning and absence and dropout rates. Work on the future of guidance and counselling improves students’ social and personal skills, while leadership work increases the effect of the methods.

The project has had an impact on educational and counselling methods used in the region by schools and universities and on a strategic level. The methods developed are used in other projects and several networks continue to refine and implement them.

The materials remain available for free download at the project website. Sustainability is ensured by the networks that have been created by the project and implementation of the methods in schools. The Malmö municipality has also increased emphasis on reducing dropout rates.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Preventing drop out” is EUR 2 016 156, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 008 078 from the Operational Programme “Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date