The Cross-sectoral Cooperation Focused Solutions for Preventing Early School Leaving (backronym: CroCooS – Prevent Dropout!) was an international project implemented between May 2014 and April 2017 financed by the European Commission, under the scope of Lifelong Learning Programme. The general aim of the CroCooS project was to contribute to the specification and the applicability of an institutional early warning system (EWS) for preventing early leaving from education and training, by identifying elements of EWS. It also tested its applicability with national pilots focusing on contextual factors affecting the evaluation.
Actual fieldwork was preceded by empirical and theoretical background research. Accordingly, the project products supporting the pilots were partly based on findings of a complex research activity including desk research, the creation of country reports and the comparative analysis of them, and study visit reports, the conducting of online questionnaires in the three piloting countries, and the making of interviews.
The methodology of the piloting was developed in order to support the introduction of an early warning system (EWS) for schools intended to be tested in 15 institutions in the piloting period. During the three years of collaboration, between September 2015 and December 2016, pilots were carried out in Hungarian, Serbian and Slovenian secondary schools. Piloting schools were supported by mentors in the building of EWS teams, and provided with an educational toolkit as well as institutional guidelines to facilitate the monitoring of distress signals, the creating of protocols for intervention on the school level, the use of personal development plans, and the enhancement of cross-sectoral co-operation.
The main, implicit aims of the development according to the regional needs were the followings:
The development activities covered the preparation of the Toolkit and Guidelines for the school level implementation. Research results were gathered in a Resource Pool, which 3 elements are linked by a massively coherent tagging system on the project website. The aim of these products was on the first place to feed the pilot process, nevertheless to contribute to awareness raising and knowledge management towards the wider public after the project. The Guidelines for schools on how to build and EWS on an institutional level and the online Toolkit and community supporting interventions on individual level are available in English and in the national languages (HU, SI, SER) on the project website. The online Resource Pool is also implemented to support academically the implementation of the pilot and to support the further development of early warning systems in schools after the project.
With downloading the CroCooS poster launched at the CEDEFOP 2017 conference (find below) you can find more summarized information about the project as a whole.