Approach and structure

The main approach of CroCooS project was based on the conviction that early school leaving is a complex phenomenon that can only be tackled by a wide, intersectoral and horizontal cooperation. The field experimentation contributed to the formation of an early warning system on the institutional level by testing different methods and supportive tools in the schools. Based on the evaluation process and monitoring reports the results are completely transparent so that possibilities for upscaling reveals as well in the policy recommendations. 

The main steps of the project work were as follows:

#1 / The project started with knowledge sharing and peer-learning directed by the partners responsible for knowledge transfer. Each partner had a country presentation of their early warning systems highlighting data collection and linking measures of interventions. It was all gathered into country reports following the same structure to enable a comparison. 

#2 / Research focused on the good practices outside of the pilot countries and their practice towards tackling early school leaving. Furthermore European policies and overseas research results were overlooked and a survey was as well realized among teachers and outside of the school experts in the pilot countries. Four study visits were made in Germany (Berlin and Potsdam), Sweden, Croatia and Portugal. The conclusions of the research were presented easy-to-understanding way in an online Resource Pool available also on the project website.

#3 / Based on the results gathered in the first phase of the project the EWS methodology of CroCooS project was proposed and was tested during 1,5 year months in 3 countries (HU, SI, SER), in 15 schools. Guidelines and Toolkit were prepared as a tangible support for pilot activities in the pilot schools and control1 schools and mentors were also selected and trained for supporting the teachers’ work in the pilot schools. To facilitate knowledge sharing among the 6 mentors (2 in each country) two further workshops were organized by the pilot leading partner and two mentors of mentors were in supervisor role for helping them continuously. PLAs were organized for the pilot schools on national level to learn from each other and share the experiences.

#4 / The main steps of the pilot process:

  • Publishing a call for schools with specifying the school characteristics and selecting schools randomly from the applicants.
  • Selected schools created an EWS team of 3-4 members, the leader of it was responsible for the implementation of the pilot in the school (colleagues were selected by the leader to collaborate amongst whom there might be a responsible person for the liaising with children, or other responsibilities could also be shared, but basically the collaboration was not characterised by allocation of the roles). 
  • Piloting schools got guidelines on how to build EWS and the access to the online tools; control1 schools got the same but without the personal support of mentors and no grant. Control2 schools didn’t get any support but were involved in filling the evaluation forms. Piloting schools were mentored to find institutional aims which supposed to be enabled them to build and operate an early warning system with using the materials they were given. The primary role of the mentor was to facilitate the school teams in orientation towards the recommendations of the guidelines and using the tools.
  • The proposed process started with the identification of the students at risk, then selection of a small group out of them, who would face individual intervention. The school EWS team’s responsibility was following the effect of the interventions, watching the appearance of new students at risk, and to a certain point – for a longer term not only during the project phase – glancing on the achievements in a self-reflective way.

The evaluator was responsible for designing the assessment methodology of the pilot and for summarizing the assessment results. The Final Report on CroCooS    synthetizes all the result of the lessons learned from the implementation summarized in school and mentor reports and the evaluation findings as well.

The pilot results and the experiences of the implementation were used to finalize the proposed EWS and the online available Guidelines and Toolkit and it was a massive contribution to compile the policy recommendations. 

Extensive and varied forms of dissemination    took place during the entire lifetime of the project (such as knowledge sharing fora about research results, newsletters, articles, online media releases and activities; also face-to-face events: workshops, presentations at conferences, international final conference, PLAs workshops, final conference, experts’ meetings). Follow-up activities are also planned after the closing of the project.

The quality assurance of the project management processes is cared for the form of self-assessment, satisfaction surveys, external evaluations. During the 7 face-to-face partner meetings all realized actions were presented, evaluated and discussed, furthermore the massive number of thematic Skype meetings was extremely useful for discussing further steps and opportunities. 

ESLplus - European Learning Space on Early School Leaving

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