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“NET-OR-NEET – multi-stakeholders NETwORks prevent early school leaving and reduce NEETs promoting innovative integrated education techniques” was an Erasmus plus project of Mobility for youth workers that took place in Sandrigo (Vicenza – Italy). The project is rooted in the previous project “T-TRUST” which allowed understanding more deeply, which are the causes of Early School Leaving (ESL) also confirmed by recent analyses at EU level. We identified them in: families frailty; presence of situations of psychological, social and cultural distress; mismatch between the methodologies used in formal education systems and the needs of minors/youth; the poor attention for the development of social and relational skills; the changes in the labour market and the inadequacy and scarcity of alternative routes and support networks for those excluded from formal education by choice or by chance. We also understood that children at risk of ESL are generally identifiable by schools between 11 and 14 and prevention could start at this point with positive effects. In particular, one type of prevention is the empowerment of orientation services for children between 11 and 14, to reinforce their self awareness and allow them to select in a better way their school carrier. This enhances motivation and allows reducing the risk of ESL but also requires strong networks with other actors (schools, enterprises, local artisans, etc.).

From this analysis, the project partners decided to:

* Act to foster the creation of new networks in support of children and youth (11-14) between organizations active in the youth field and other stakeholders at different levels (involving schools, social services, SMEs, etc.)

* Promote the adoption of new methodologies in youth organizations and schools, which includes non-formal education instruments and the dialogue with external actors.

* Spread information about ESL and continue the research about the issue

Reaching these objectives the project contributed to prevent ESL specifically during (and after) the transition of pupils from the middle to the high school (11-14 age groups).

The project allowed the realization of a 5 days seminar. It involved 30 participants and supported their professional development while promoting the creation of new collaborations and the exchange of good practices. The methodology used tried to value the contribution of each participant and the learning through the analysis of real cases.

The participants were “educators” coming from 8 countries (France, Spain, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania, Poland, and Italy) where for educators we intend all those different professional and non-professional figures working with and in support of young pupils.

The main result we achieved is that the competences acquired by participants translated in the creation of local and international networks of stakeholders and institutions working to prevent ESL through the integration of formal education with non-formal education techniques and methodologies. It will be a basis for future projects aimed at developing and testing new working methodologies, connecting organizations and institutions at different levels.

We hope that this manual will be also a step forward in favouring the amplification of these results at different levels and also with non-involved partners.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To foster the exchange of good practices in the field of ESL prevention, which relies on the involvement of local/international networks.
  • To foster the creation of new collaborations and networks working on ESL prevention, which includes organizations active in the youth field, schools and local services/institutions.
  • To promote the adoption of new methodologies in youth organizations and schools, which integrate non-formal education tools.
  • To promote the professional development of those working in the fields of education, training and youth.

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