Early School Leaving in Spain 2019
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Early School Leaving in Spain 2021
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Questionnaire Results in Osnovna škola Podturen - Beginning of the project
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Questionnaire Results in Osnovna škola Podturen - End of the project
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Collaborating schools

IES Rosario Acuña

IES Rosario Acuña is a school of secondary education in Gijón (Spain) whose main concern is the well-being and growth of their students. Even though they put into practice a wide array of student-centered methodologies, activities and services, their most important approach is Service Learning, a methodology which “combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs”, in their case collaborating with an institution for the elderly in the neighbourhood.


CP Cervantes

CP Cervantes is a primary education school in Gijón (Spain), in a working class neighbourhood far from the city center. In their own words, both neighbourhood and school are two sides of the same coin, so their vision as school is mediated by a high sense of social responsibility, which permeates every educational action.
They are a very active school, using every kind of active methodologies and collaborating with many institutions in the neighbourhood and the city to put students in the center of their own meaningful learning.
Sport as a means of cohesion and the promotion of healthy habits made them achieve the EU #BeActive Education Award in 2017, and they were also part of the multi-awarded gender equality project Otras Miradas, organised and coordinated by Way Back to School‘s partner, CPR de Gijón-Oriente. Currently, they are one of the 20 Changemaker Schools in Ashoka Spain.


CP Granda

CP Granda is a pre-primary and primary education school set in Granda (Siero, Spain), very close to a Roma settlement and a Roma neighbourhood.
The school, of public denomination, progressively lost students until becoming almost a school for Roma kids, who make up around 90% of current students. This situation has led to very strong interinstitutional collaboration, and the collaboration with NGO and Roma associations to give their students a chance develop their potential and integrate in society.


Terence McSwiney Community College

Terence MacSwiney Community College, situated on an 11 acre site on Hollyhill, provides a full range of subjects at Junior and Leaving Certificate levels for the young people of Knocknaheeny and the surrounding area, one of the most disadvantaged in Cork.
In this complex and challenging situation, their mission is to foster learning, and to guide and nurture all of the students in a caring environment. They aim to fulfil this mission in a spirit of collaboration and partnership with all members of our school and local community. In order to achieve that mission, Terence MacSwiney Community College has been to the forefront of developing and implementing new programmes in response to local needs. Currently the Junior Certificate Schools Programme (JCSP), Transition Year Programme (TY), Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCA), and Leaving Certificate Established (traditional Leaving Certificate) are available to second level students enrolled at the College.
They also offer a a wide array of support for the students, such as a Breakfast Club or Homework Club; programmes like Behaviour for Learning, Home School Community Liaison to unite students, families and community, and a specific programme to tackle early school leaving, School Completion Programme.


Pedagogical approaches

Universal Design for Learning

UDL is a framework to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and challenging for all. Ultimately, the goal of UDL is to support learners to become “expert learners” who are, each in their own way, purposeful and motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, and strategic and goal driven. UDL aims to change the design of the environment rather than to change the learner. When environments are intentionally designed to reduce barriers, all learners can engage in rigorous, meaningful learning.
The UDL Principles and accompanying Guidelines were conceived with the brain in mind. Like each person’s fingerprints, every brain is remarkably unique in its anatomy, chemistry, and physiology. While there are thousands of networks specialized for different functions, some of the differences which can observed are systematic and predictable, so it’s possible to proactively anticipate and plan for those differences, allowing all students the chance to be and feel succesful, positively contributing to better engagement with the school and, thus, preventing one of the major causes of early school leave.

UDL Guidelines
The UDL Guidelines Website

Project-based learning

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.
Students work on a project over an extended period of time – from a week up to a semester – that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by creating a public product or presentation for a real audience.
As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills. Project Based Learning unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers.

Canvas for designing a project by Conecta 13

Service Learning

Service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs.
Service-learning involves students in service projects to apply classroom learning for local agencies that exist to effect positive change in the community. The National Youth Leadership Council defines service learning as “a philosophy, pedagogy, and model for community development that is used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.”

Service Learning Canvas by Ben:Edu

Cooperative learning

Cooperative learning is an educational approach which aims to organize classroom activities into academic and social learning experiences. There is much more to cooperative learning than merely arranging students into groups, and it has been described as “structuring positive interdependence.” Students must work in groups to complete tasks collectively toward academic goals. Unlike individual learning, which can be competitive in nature, students learning cooperatively can capitalize on one another’s resources and skills (asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s ideas, monitoring one another’s work, etc.). Furthermore, the teacher’s role changes from giving information to facilitating students’ learning. Everyone succeeds when the group succeeds. Successful cooperative learning tasks have been described as intellectually demanding, creative, open-ended, and involve higher order thinking tasks. Cooperative learning has also been linked to increased levels of student satisfaction.

Some cooperative learning techniques

Design Thinking for Education

Design thinking is a way to define and solve tough challenges. It focuses heavily on rapid prototype solutions and learning from mistakes. In education, a design thinking curriculum immerses students and teachers (i.e., the designers) in real-world problem solving. The journey begins with empathy work—an opportunity for understanding the needs and motivations of a group of people (i.e., the end users).
Using this data as a guide, designers then work collaboratively to define a problem. Problems take the form of a question such as, “How might we design a classroom habitat for plants and animals to co-exist?” Or, “How might we create machines based on historical models?” Or even, “How might we create a playground space for disabled students?”
From there, designers brainstorm solutions, design a prototype and test their product. The process rarely takes a linear approach. At any point in the process, designers may return to different parts of the process to fine-tune their work before eventually moving forward.

Design Thinking for Educators by IDEO

Co-Designing Schools Toolkit by IDEO

Collaborating institutions

Fundación Secretariado Gitano

Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) is an intercultural social non-profit organisation that provides services for the development of the Roma community in Spain and in Europe. Its activity started in the 1960s, but it was legally established in 1982.
Their mission is to promote the access of Roma people to rights, services, goods and social resources on an equal footing with the rest of the citizenry. To this end, FSG develops all kinds of actions that contribute to achieving the full citizenship of Roma, to improving their living conditions, to promoting equal treatment and to preventing any form of discrimination, while promoting the recognition of the cultural identity of the Roma community.


Mar de Niebla

Fundación Mar de Niebla (MdN) was born in 2004 in the neighbourhood of La Calzada (Gijón, Spain) with the goal of generating projects of social interest in the city. Their main focus was, and still is, on putting people in the center of their development, making them believe in their potential, accompanying and helping them, always with scrupulous respect for their dignity. MdN’s wholehearted task is working towards the social integration of the disadvantaged, mainly in the youth field.


Subcomisión operativa de absentismo

The Council of Gijón launched in 2002 a Project of Social-Educational Work in School Absenteeism, establishing the framework for intra and interinstitutional collaboration among the different areas of the Council (Education, Social Services, Well-being, Security…) and representatives of schools. The main objective of the Comission is tackling absenteeism in the city, introducing the necessary controls and procedures, as a means to also intervening in the early stages of a situation that can end up in early school leaving.
The Project Support Operations Subcommittee is in charge of asessment and intervention in the most complicated cases of absenteeism where regular procedures don’t work.


Save the Children Education Italy

A good quality education helps children reach their full potential; however, for millions of children and youth, it is beyond reach and many are not learning basic skills like reading and math if they do attend school.

The Global Education team works across five major areas, finding the best solutions to help children learn and thrive. Our teams are:

Early Child Care and Development: These programs are focused on children aged 0-6, a period of tremendous growth in all areas of a child’s development. Our ECCD interventions range from work with 0-6 year olds as well as efforts to enable parents or caregivers to promote brain development, health and well-being as children prepare for school.

Basic Education: Our Basic Education programs help school-age children develop vital skills to ensure their success both in school and out. Using proven approaches such as Literacy Boost and Numeracy Boost, Save the Children is ensuring children acquire foundational literacy, math and socio-emotional skills, which will prepare them for a lifetime of learning.

School Health and Nutrition: School Health and Nutrition programs help school age children be healthy to learn and learn to be healthy. We use comprehensive approaches to overcome the effects of chronic malnutrition, illnesses, like malaria and zika, as well as working to improve oral and vision health, access to water and sanitation including menstrual hygiene and road safety.

Education Research: Save the Children’s dedicated researchers, build the capacity of the organization to better understand what works for supporting all children’s learning and development.

Education in Emergencies: Save the Children’s education in emergency programs ensure children return to learning as quickly as possible after the onset of a humanitarian crisis. Children experiencing natural disasters or conflict benefit from our Learning and Well-being in Emergencies approach which provides them with essential academic and socio-emotional skills to start to recover and resume some normalcy in their lives.