In 2020, the European Commission launched the European Education Area (EEA) initiative to organise collaboration between Member States and stakeholders in order to build more resilient and inclusive national education systems. The initiatives will focus on finding solutions to remove barriers to learning and to address the pressing educational challenges related to underachievement and early drop-out from education and training within the EU.
With the support of the European Recovery Plan (NextGenerationEU) and the Erasmus+ programme, the European Education Area (EEA) aims to improve the quality of education (especially digital and basic skills), make schools more inclusive and gender-sensitive, and increase educational success.
Between May and November 2021, the European Commission conducted a study on Erasmus+ projects (2014-2020 period) focused on promoting educational inclusion. The aim was to identify and show successful approaches and to support the development of European policies in this field through specific recommendations drawn from the real experience of practitioners in the field.
Among the thousands of Erasmus+ projects falling under the key actions KA1 (Learning Mobility of Individuals) and KA2 (Cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices) and related to the target sectors school, university, vocational education and training, adult education, youth, the European Commission selected 120 good practices from which it chose 15 projects to be examined as case studies for their relevance. These case studies represent learning approaches and methodologies useful for developing and supporting European policies for social inclusion.
The final report of the research “Data collection and analysis of Erasmus+ projects – Focus on inclusion in education” includes 2 projects from CESIE, included among the 15 case studies for their focus on:
- The creation of safe and supportive learning environments for students low-achieving and at risk of dropping-out of education;
- Collaboration in and around schools with stakeholders and the wider community.
SSaMs: Training sports students as mentors to improve educational attainment of boys and young men
SSaMs contributes to reducing early school leaving among young men. To achieve this goal, the project has developed a Module for university courses in Sports Science that want to provide their students with mentoring skills specifically for boys.
The package consists of a Needs Analysis on Gender-Oriented Mentoring and Early School Leaving, SSaMs Learning Materials to train students on Gender-Oriented Mentoring and tackling Early School Leaving, SSaMs Train the Trainer Materials and finally a Project Dissemination Report.
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BYMBE: Bringing young mothers back to education
BYMBE has produced a training package to support the work of social workers, teachers and trainers to support young mothers aged 15-25 years in going back to education and training. The objective is to tackle school and training drop-outs of a particularly fragile group in order to allow them better access to the world of work.
The training package offers a Report on Support Services for Young Mothers, a Handbook on Motivational Communication Campaigns, a Set of Methods to Involve Young Mothers, an Orientation Pack, an Empowerment Pack and a Support Pack.
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The results of these projects showed that
- Stimulating learning environments can have a significant influence on the well-being and self-image of students. Adapting learning environments to the needs of students is a vital factor in improving school inclusion.
- Cooperation in and around schools and the involvement of stakeholders in the community are crucial when it comes to developing innovative and lasting approaches to inclusion and improving the well-being of students.