Early school leaving is a complex phenomenon, and it remains one of the major challenges in education policy. It is considered as highly complex since each case has a distinct history with interconnected causes in the background. Research shows that there is a strong link between early school leaving, social disadvantages and low levels of parental education, with low socio-economic status also being one of the key factors increasing the risk of early dropout. The educational system and relevant stakeholders have an essential role in tackling the problem and in providing the necessary support for students at risk of early school leaving. In line with an EU definition, we are talking here about early school leaving in the cases of young people who are between the ages of 18 and 24 who have not receiving any formal education or training and who may have obtained a maximum of ISCED3c (short) level of education.
Early school leaving results in a range of negative consequences, such as significant disadvantages on the labour market and unemployment, social exclusion, and as a possible effect, physical and mental health problems, or reduced participation in society. Measures to reduce early school leaving include prevention, intervention, and compensation.