The students are exposed to many challenges that can distract them from finishing school and getting a qualification in big cities as Amsterdam.
Preventing drop out of students and leave the school without qualification is one of the core responsibilities of the education department of the municipality of Amsterdam.
In order to reduce the number of early school leavers the municipality works together with secondary schools and vocational schools as well as youth care and the labour market to prevent students from dropping out.
- Help in preventing truancy, together with school and youth care
- Motivation to finish their study and getting a degree.
- Policy advice to school boards.
- Facilitate implementing monitoring program in schools.
- Connect and work together with all schools as well as youth care and the labour market.
Policy advisors belong to a team with a joint responsibility for advising the attendance officers and the alderman. The attendance officers work in teams spread over the city.
From the municipality policy advisors are involved to work together with the schools’ boards and introduce the program. Local businesses are connected to inform students on the labour market possibilities.
Target groups are students that have a high percentage of absence, who are at high risk of dropping out and students that are in the phase of making a choice for intermediate vocational.
10 years ago the Ministry of Education introduced a program called “Attack on dropping out”. The program enforced the school boards of secondary education, vocational education and municipalities to work together to tackle the issue of ESL. The ministry provided the financial background of the program . As school boards and municipalities decide together on how the money is spent, it gave a big impulse to the cooperation and helped to have a more horizontal, complex approach on helping the students to get qualification.
By introducing the program as well as providing facilities to the schools to execute it changed the students’ mindset on the importance of choosing the right education.
The collaboration between secondary schools and intermediate vocational education resulted in better informing the students on their learning possibilities. Also by involving the labour market we have been able to inform the students better in what possibilities they have in life which helps them choose the right education and motivates them to finish their education.
This program has resulted in a 16% decrease of drop outs in the Amsterdam region.
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Target group of good practice:
Edith van Rossum policy advisor