Preventing School Failure: a review of the literature

Garry Squires, Anthoula Kefallinou

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


This review is one of the outcomes of the European Agency’s project entitled: ‘Preventing School Failure: Examining the Potential of Inclusive Education Policies in relation to the System and Individuals’ (the ‘PSF’ project). This project examines the evidence to suggest that inclusive education policies have the potential to prevent school failure.

In particular, the project focused on desk research incorporating two parallel strands. The first strand of the desk research analysed existing national policy measures for preventing school failure. It involved collecting information from European countries through a survey, with the aim of identifying their policy approaches to dealing with school failure. The second strand reviewed and analysed European and international research literature regarding the prevention of school failure in relation to inclusive education.

This report is the result of the second strand of the project activities. It sets out the findings of the review of the research evidence on preventing school failure in Europe and beyond. Its overall aim is to identify ways that school failure can be prevented within an inclusive education system. In particular, the review examines the available international and European literature in order to identify key concepts and themes underpinning policy and practice for preventing school failure.

This review is organised around three main sections. After a short section on the review’s methodology, the subsequent sections aim to answer the following questions regarding the issue of preventing school failure:
•How is school failure defined within the international literature?
•What ways of tackling school failure does the research literature suggest?
•What does research literature say about the relationship between preventing school failure and inclusive education systems?
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEuropean Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education
ISBN (Electronic) 978-87-7110-866-8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2019


  • inclusion
  • preventing school failure
  • Special educational needs


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