Early School Leaving and Learners with Disabilities and/or Special Educational Needs

Garry Squires (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


Early School Leaving (ESL) is broadly defined as the phenomena of young people leaving formal education before completing the upper secondary schooling. The European Union has set reducing ESL to 10% across all member states by 2020.
The first part of the project involved a review of the literature to explore peer reviewed research undertaken in Europe. It became apparent that the literature reporting research in Europe was scarce and a decision was made to include literature from around the world, mainly the USA and Australia where ESL has a longer political history and focus of concern. Although the literature linking ESL to Learners with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) is not well developed, it is clear that learners with SEND are particularly at risk of ESL. This led to the production of the first project report which outlined how the literature review was undertaken and the main findings (EASNIE, 2016).

The second part of the project involved comparing European Union policy with the established literature and the second report explored the extent to which European Union policies reflected the evidence found in the literature (EASNIE, 2017). The second report concluded that policy is broadly in line with the research findings.

The review of the literature and how it is envisaged in policy led to a blending of the two approaches and development of a model that can be used across member states to understand what is happening within each state or it can be used locally to help decision makers involve stakeholders and develop policies to reduce ESL. This approach overcomes variations in definitions of ESL and SEND and allows for consideration of the transferability of research findings that might be specific to the locality in which the research was conducted.

In this final summary report, the key evidence and ideas are summarised and the model for thinking about ESL that has evolved from the first two reports is re-presented along with the main recommendations for policy makers
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOdesnke, Denmark
PublisherEuropean Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education
Commissioning bodyEuropean Agency for Special Needs Education and Inclusion
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7110-663-3
ISBN (Print)978-87-7110-662-6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Early School Leaving and Learners with Disabilities and/or Special Educational Needs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this