16:00h - 18:30h

An unsolved problem: How to adress early school leaving?

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What is the situation of early school leaving from education and training (ELET) in Europe? What policies are being implemented to address them? What conditions do ensure the success of these policies? What role is played by characteristics of European education systems in explaining the ELET?

On 26 October at 18:00 h and concerning the publication of CEDEFOP Leaving early education report: putting vocational education and training centre stage, we invite you to discuss the issue of early school leaving in Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site.

As is clear from the report, early school leaving is a reality that affects, although in different intensity and forms, all EU countries and, despite the effects of the crisis, it is still persisting hard. The report identifies the ELET factors, analyses the personal and social consequences and establishes a comprehensive framework of policies to deal with them, including prevention, intervention and compensation.

Also, this report, together with other international reports that have been published recently on the subject, contribute to note that ELET is not only threatening the chances of socio-economic development of the country but also is questioning the foundation of social cohesion itself. ELET is intrinsically linked to the characteristics of students in terms of gender, socioeconomic status and ethnic origin or immigration and, therefore, it arises issues of key issues about social equity and education.

ELET is also closely related to some characteristics of European education systems and, therefore, is not only explained by the structure and incentives of the labour market but also the structure and educational practices. This is what is known as push factors, which are internal factors that contribute to explain early school leaving. Among these factors there is the especially pernicious impact of grouping students by level, early itinerary or grade repetition. School segregation is also identified as a key factor to explain ESL, especially to ensure the social heterogeneity of the centres for benefit of the educational success of all students.

Finally, international reports have attributed a key importance to the role played by the post-compulsory education (its offer, structure, prestige, etc.) in the fight against ESL. In particular, in November 2016 CEDEFOP has published a report (volume 1 and volume 2) on the specific role of vocational training in this process that we discussed in depth in this event.

Some of the questions that will guide the discussion are the following:

  • Why leaving education early matters?
  • What is the role of vocational education and training?
  • What role local authorities assume to tackle early leaving?
  • Contributing to developing comprehensive data collection and monitoring systems 
  • Acting as agents of change and boosting policy learning and communities of practice
  • Ensuring policy commitment over time
  • What are the remaining challenges? To obtain conclusive evaluations on what works and why / To empower the role of local authorities
  • What are the factors that explain ELET and how are they expressed in different stages of education, both compulsory and post-compulsory?
  • What are the best strategies, policies and measures to combat ELET at different educational levels? 
  • What role do play the structure of the educational system, the characteristics of the offer and schooling conditions in the dynamics of school leaving?


- Irene Psifidou, education policy analyst, European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP).

- Aina Tarabini, professor of Sociology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and member of GEPS (Globalization, Education and Social Policy) and GIPE (Interdisciplinary Group for Educational Policy) research groups

- Francisco Luna, coordinator of Teaching Team of Basque Institute for evaluation and non-university educational research (ISEI-IVEI). Expert assessor and coordinator of several studies on the effect of grade repetition and school leaving 


Free entry

The debate will be broadcasted live by streaming via the web and also via Twitter with the hash tag #abandonament and @FundacioBofill.

Are you failing to arrive on time to the debate? No problem! You can recover viewing here.

With the support of the CEDEFOP, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union and Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site.




An unsolved problem: How to adress early school leaving?
Site Art Nouveau Sant Pau


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