Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This material reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

Lifelong Learning Project - School Inclusion - Preventing Early School Leaving

Database delle pubblicazioni


The social impact of early school leaving


Marinella Sibilla


Aracne Editrice


Rome, July 2004






The selected report deals with the analysis of the “early school leaving” problem according to a systemic model and not to a deterministic”cause-effect” one. To look at this phenomenon the author adopted a sociological point of view, through which she writes in general terms about the multiple causes for this problem. The present document starts with a linguistic reflection on the definition of “scholastic drop out” which has developed throughout the years. The analysis lists also the possible consequences, in terms of anti-social behavior, that the early school leavers can have. Particular attention has been given to the psychological factors that are in action when a student decide to abandon school before finishing his / her cycle of studies; in this case the author mentions the possible incidence of psychological pathologies. The socio-familiar context, the relationship with teachers and class-mates are all factors that should be taken into account to give a more exhaustive interpretation of the phenomenon. A joined program of intervention by all the groups involved is the proposal contained in the report and presented as an indispensable mean through which a remedy to this problem can be find. The author gives the readers some examples of intervention plans adopted by national and international authorities, that testify the beneficial effects that these tools had in helping the awkward people. The last chapter focuses on the possible prevention means and on the several levels of action that could contribute to decrease the number of early school leavers: these require the active and constant involvement of the scholastic environment and sustaining actions to students in difficulties, especially in the very moment of the development of one’s personality.


Following a very classical scheme of analysis, the author analyses the “drop out problem” and its causes in a coherent and precise manner. The origins of the phenomenon that she underlines are releated, besides to the familiar context, also to the social one and this allows the reader to enlarge the analysis perspective on this theme. The wish for a synergic action between actors and institutions involved is sharable and really appropriate to the situation. The interpretation that the author provides to explain the function of schools (defining them as an “emotionally relevant world”, you can deduce that the psychological well-being of the student considered “at risk” of dropping out largely depends on the goodness of the relationship between school, family and territory. Understanding such a complex structure of actors involved in the phenomenon helps in undoing the knots of the early school leaving problem. Of vital importance is the reflection that is contained in the last part of the report , that concentrates in the possible preventative strategies that have been adopted or should be implemented within the schools. By reading this analysis you can perceive the emergency and the risks that this phenomenon brings to the whole society; finding an alternative solution to the drop outs is not only a matter for the subjects involved in this process, but also for the families, the institutions and the territory. The negative consequences for the new generations are likely to have an enormous social impact if we don’t contrast this problem, that’s why a prompt and effective intervention is so important.


Sara Ciabattini


Pixel Association


Project Assistant

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15 November 2012

Stay@School at the Future of Education Conference

The Stay@School projet will be presented at the third edition of the “Future of Education” international conference, held in Florence, Italy, on 13 - 14 June 2013. Over 250 participants from all over the world will attend the conference. The conference participants belong to the sectors of higher education, school education, vocational education and training as well as adult education, therefore representing all of the target groups of the Stay@School project.

School Inclusion - Copyright 2008 - This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

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