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Thursday, 1 December 2011 - Brussels
Tackling early school leaving

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on tackling early school leaving (2011/2088(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular Articles 23, 28 and 29 thereof,

–  having regard to Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an action programme in the field of lifelong learning(1),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication on equity and efficiency in European education and training systems (COM(2006)0481),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Youth on the Move: An initiative to unleash the potential of young people to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the European Union’ (COM(2010)0477),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Tackling early school leaving: A key contribution to the Europe 2020 Agenda’ (COM(2011)0018),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving (COM(2011)0019),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Early Childhood Education and Care: Providing all our children with the best start for the world of tomorrow’ (COM(2011)0066),

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020’ (COM(2011)0173),

–  having regard to the Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 21 November 2008 on preparing young people for the 21st century: an agenda for European cooperation on schools(2),

–  having regard to the Council Conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (‘ET 2020’)(3),

–  having regard to the Council Conclusions of 26 November 2009 on the education of children with a migrant background(4),

–  having regard to Council conclusions of 11 May 2010 on the social dimension of education and training(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 1 February 2007 on educational discrimination against young women and girls(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2008 entitled ‘Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child’(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 September 2008 on improving the quality of teacher education(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2010 on key competences for a changing world: implementation of the education and training 2010 work programme(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2010 on an EU Strategy for Youth - Investing and Empowering(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2011 on the EU strategy on Roma inclusion(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 May 2011 on early years learning in the European Union(12),

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A7-0363/2011),

A.  whereas young people, if they are to participate fully in society and achieve self-fulfilment as individuals and citizens, must possess a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills essential for their intellectual and social development, including the ability to communicate effectively, work in teams, solve problems and critically evaluate information,

B.  whereas for young people education promotes values such as personal development, better social integration and a greater sense of responsibility and initiative,

C.  whereas rates of early school leaving (ESL) vary across EU Member States, as well as between towns and regions and between the socio-economic categories of their inhabitants, and are influenced by a range of complex factors,

D.  whereas one of the five Europe 2020 headline targets is to reduce the proportion of early school leavers to less than 10 % and to increase the share of the younger generation with a degree or diploma or equivalent level of education to at least 40 %,

E.  whereas the 10 % target was agreed by Member States in 2003, but only seven of them have managed to reach this benchmark, and whereas in 2009 the average ESL rate stood at 14,4 %,

F.  whereas, despite the steady decline in ESL rates in the last decade, most Member States still have a fragmented and inadequately coordinated approach to tackling the problem,

G.  whereas 24,1 % of all 15-year olds in the Member States are low performers in reading literacy,

H.   whereas reading is a basic tool for all young people, indispensable to making progress in any school subject and to becoming integrated into the world of work, understanding and analysing information, communicating correctly and participating in cultural activities, and whereas specific measures should therefore be taken to remedy deficiencies in reading skills,

I.  whereas ESL has severe consequences for the EU's social cohesion, and not just for economic growth, the European skills base and social stability, as it damages the career prospects, health and well-being of young people, a low level of education also being a key cause of poverty and negative health outcomes,

J.  whereas ESL is a fundamental contributing factor to unemployment, poverty and social exclusion,

Characteristics of ESL

1.  Emphasises that the foundations for a child's future educational path and well-being are laid in the early years of childhood and can help to instil the idea of lifelong learning, and that early childhood is a time when receptiveness, language learning and the ability to form social contacts – attributes that will be essential in tomorrow's society – should be encouraged so as to facilitate the child's integration into both school and society from an early age, thus combating ESL; reiterates the call contained in its resolution on early years learning in the EU for the development of a European framework for early childhood education and care services from as early an age as possible, particularly through the development of free public crèche and day-care facilities;

2.  Notes that ESL is particularly pronounced among children from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds and children from migrant families and is frequently linked to poverty and social exclusion;

3.  Proposes that linguistic support should be provided for students from a migrant background;

4.  Stresses, in that connection, that steps must be taken to enable Roma children and children with no identity papers to attend school;

5.  Notes that among Roma children 20 % are not enrolled in school at all and 30 % are early school leavers; emphasises that although ESL is more common among boys than girls, traditional Roma communities are a special case, in that, owing to the custom of early marriages, ESL is more frequent among young girls and happens at an earlier age (around 12-13 years) than for boys (around 14-15 years); points out that in the case of traditional Roma communities there is a need for additional positive measures to overcome the ESL which results from these harmful traditional practices;

6.  Notes that ineffective work-life balance policies increase the prevalence of ESL and academic failure in general and that there is a need to step up efforts to improve such policies;

7.  Notes the existence of an intergenerational cycle, i.e. the strong tendency for children of early school leavers to become early school leavers themselves; stresses that family structure has a significant influence on children's ability and motivation to succeed at school;

8.  Notes that, with regard to early childhood care, the role of the family and of close relationships between children and parents during the early years of life are of vital importance for ensuring proper integration at school;

9.  Warns of the impact of specific learning difficulties and related problems, which increase the risk of the children affected leaving school;

10.  Encourages the Member States to provide extracurricular and out-of-school activities for pupils with learning difficulties, to enable them to develop the key skills clearly needed on the labour market;

11.  Points out that ESL can have a detrimental effect on access to high-quality lifelong learning;

12.  Draws attention, in this regard, to the OECD's PISA studies, which show that students in educational systems with a lesser degree of vertical and horizontal differentiation are less likely to repeat a year or to be expelled; highlights the OECD's finding that students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds suffer most from having to repeat a school year or from being expelled;

13.  Highlights the OECD's finding that early selection of students for different educational pathways increases socio-economic inequality in terms of educational opportunities without effecting any improvement in average performance in the educational systems in question;

14.  Draws attention, in this regard, to the OECD's finding that the comparative performance of school systems in the PISA studies is negatively affected by the practices of moving students from one school to another on account of poor results, behavioural problems or specific learning difficulties and of streaming students in all subjects on the basis of ability;

15.  Points out in this regard that, according to the OECD, socio-economically disadvantaged students are often at a double disadvantage because they attend schools affected by various types of socio-economic disadvantage and in which there are fewer and less well-qualified teachers;

The need for a personalised approach

16.  States that equality of opportunities and choice in education, and access to high-quality education for individuals from all social, ethnic and religious backgrounds, regardless of gender or disability, is vital for creating a fairer, more equal and inclusive society that is vibrant, innovative and cohesive; stresses the role played by public services in that regard;

17.  States that school education is one of the best ways of giving everyone an equal chance of success and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills which enable them to become integrated into the world of work, thus breaking the inter-generational cycle; calls for the educational support on offer to be better coordinated and made more accessible and for the provision of social services and family support to be extended;

18.  Calls for a personalised and inclusive approach to education, beginning with early school education and care, which includes targeted support for individuals at risk of ESL where necessary, particularly for children and young people suffering from a disability;

19.  Calls for greater efforts to be made to ensure that this personalised approach specifically benefits those pupils suffering from learning difficulties caused by dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, attention deficit or hyperactivity, for example;

20.  Notes that problems leading to ESL often have their roots outside school and that these must be identified and addressed;

21.  Suggests that secondary and vocational schools provide counselling staff, separate from teaching staff, so that students with problems can talk them through in confidence; stresses that staff providing counselling must have appropriate training and, with that aim in view, have facilities for ongoing training in specific skills;

22.  Encourages an early response to emerging learning difficulties, and suggests that efficient early-warning mechanisms and follow-up procedures be put in place to prevent problems from worsening; points out that, in order to achieve this, multilateral communication and closer cooperation between schools and parents and community leaders are crucial, as are local support networks with the involvement, if necessary, of school mediators;

23.  Considers that parental advisory services should be offered, in view of the influence that the family has on the educational and social development of pupils;

24.  Stresses that a frequent reason for failure among children and young people is that school curricula are ill-suited to the needs of children's lives and their socially-conditioned interests; points out that an excessively rigid and uniform education system makes it hard to individualise school work and difficult to link education with everyday needs;

25.  Advocates better careers guidance and high-quality work-experience schemes, as well as cultural and educational visits and exchanges, organised by schools, including exposure to entrepreneurialism, in order to demystify the world of work, thereby ensuring that students are in a position to make informed career choices; stresses that careers guidance counsellors must receive appropriate and ongoing training so that they can proactively engage with potential early school leavers;

26.  Recognises the need for clear-cut policies to integrate students with sensory disabilities in ordinary schools, and calls on the Member States to abandon policies based on separate special education;

27.  Reiterates the crucial role played by the voluntary sector in promoting social integration, and calls on Member States to make the widest possible use of the European Voluntary Service as a factor in personal, educational and professional development;

28.  Recommends that mentoring schemes be set up in schools to provide pupils with exposure to former pupils in particular in order to exchange views on possible study and career options;

29.  Recognises that year repetition can stigmatise low achievers and does not necessarily lead to better results; stresses that limiting year repetition in Member States where it is widely practised and replacing it with individual flexible support is a more effective way to tackle ESL;

30.  Points out that information and communication technologies (ICT) can have positive effects under structured teaching conditions and can encourage motivation and learning; suggests that Member States promote and enhance pupils' access to ITC from their first years at school and set up training programmes for teachers;

31.  Notes that social and financial pressures on disadvantaged families can force students to leave school early in order to enter the labour market and supplement family resources; calls on Member States to consider introducing a system of means-tested financial support for those who need it in order to combat this problem; calls on the Member States to provide financial support for parents who devote time and love to bringing up young children and provide future benefits to society by investing in a human capital whose value is often underestimated;

32.  Suggests that other redistributive measures be introduced, such as the provision of free school meals, school books and essential sports equipment, to reduce the impact of social inequality while also combating the risks of stigmatisation these pupils face;

33.  Points out that additional support should be offered to persons with disabilities, in order to reduce the risk of their leaving school early and ensure that they obtain a proper qualification;

34.  Emphasises the crucial importance of state education systems of the highest quality, where learning is free and accessible to everyone and takes place in a safe and enabling environment;

35.  Calls for special efforts to be made to prevent and address bullying and violence at school;

36.  Recalls the importance of increasing the number of pupils finishing the first part of secondary education, thereby promoting the achievement of basic competence;

Shared responsibility

37.  Emphasises that there are many actors who can take steps to prevent children from leaving school prematurely; points out that these include not only parents and all those involved in education, but also public authorities, at both national and local level, and calls for closer cooperation between all these actors, together with local health and social services; notes that a ‘joined-up’ approach can be effective in helping the individuals concerned to overcome multiple barriers to educational achievement and employment; in this connection, stresses the importance of student grants which enable children from disadvantaged backgrounds to enjoy the same opportunities as others;

38.  Encourages Member States to take measures to counter the stereotypes held by people from the most disadvantaged socio-cultural backgrounds, which steer them at an early stage towards short vocational training courses, despite their children's educational achievements;

39.  Suggests that ESL strategies should take as their starting point an analysis, to be led by relevant authorities at local and regional level, of the main reasons behind ESL, encompassing different groups of pupils, schools, regions and municipalities;

40.  Stresses the need to strengthen the special relationship between parents and children, since it is vital to children's development and future stability and their smooth progress through school; stresses that looking after young children represents an added value for society and makes it possible to cut costs related to juvenile delinquency, crime, depression and other problems caused by the loss of stability which leads children to drop out of school;

41.  Stresses that young people, including early school leavers themselves, must be involved in discussions about the design and implementation of ESL policies and programmes; notes that active participation of students, for example via student councils, can motivate them by enhancing their feeling of being ‘included’ in debates revolving around the issue of their own academic success;

42.  Stresses the need for a detailed examination of the effectiveness of current national strategies as a possible source of information for an exchange of experiences and best practices between Member States;

43.  Suggests that Member States should make parents responsible for their children's education until the latter reach their 18th birthday, thus extending compulsory school attendance by two years from the child's 16th to his or her 18th birthday or up to the end of secondary education;

44.  Recognises that mapping the interventions provided in Member States by different actors can be difficult, but should be encouraged with the aim of exchanging good practices; stresses the need for better EU-wide coordination between these various services, as well as better coordination within Member States between national, regional and local authorities;

45.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to create and develop policies that would make for early identification of those most likely to be affected by ESL;

46.  Notes that the targeted provision of high-quality early childhood education and care by highly trained professionals leads to a reduction in ESL;

47.  Encourages Member States to invest in teacher training and qualified staff for both pre-school and compulsory education, and regularly to review and update educational systems and programmes for the continuous development of teachers' skills; stresses the importance of children entering a school environment from an early age and suggests that teaching assistants be employed in schools to work with struggling pupils and to assist teachers in their work, along with auxiliary staff to help disabled pupils in their schooling in standard educational establishments or in those that cater for their disability;

48.  Stresses the fundamental importance of supplementary remedial teaching in assisting pupils with learning difficulties and of encouragement and support for pupils who feel let down and abandoned by their schools and families; urges the Member States to invest in training and social assistance for parents who decide to stay home and look after young children;

49.  Reminds Member States of their obligation to submit national action plans, and calls on the Commission to present a survey, assessment and evaluation of these action plans to Parliament within one year;

50.  Emphasises that positive relationships between teachers and students are vital in engaging young people in the process of learning; therefore encourages Member States to invest in appropriate training for teachers to ensure they have the skills to engage with and motivate their students;

51.  Calls on teacher training institutions to draw up programmes for the continuous development of teachers' skills, incorporating work with the ‘at risk’ group of pupils, who have a high level of absenteeism and a lack of motivation to learn, into pedagogical, psychological and methodological activities, and to make more methodological manuals available to teachers and parents;

52.  Points to the need to use educational interaction therapy in order to address the causes and symptoms of children's learning difficulties, with the help of educational and teaching resources, the aim being to eliminate educational failure and its consequences;

53.  Recognises that teachers need the social skills and time required to recognise and support different learning styles, as well as the freedom and space to adopt different teaching and learning methods in agreement with students;

54.  Notes that students must be made aware as early as possible of the range of career options open to them and suggests that schools and universities forge partnerships with local authorities, organisations and associations, enabling pupils to meet professionals from different fields and also to learn more about entrepreneurship;

55.  Highlights the importance of appropriate class and group sizes and a stimulating and inclusive learning environment for young people;

56.  Points out, further,that frequent changes in class teachers, the use of a two-shift school system and poor timetabling also have an adverse effect on students' ability to learn effectively and encourage a negative attitude to compulsory schooling;

Diverse learning approaches

57.  Recognises the universal entitlement to lifelong learning, which includes not only formal but also non-formal and informal learning;

58.  Calls on Member States and regional governments with powers in the area of education to recognise and validate knowledge acquired in a non-formal and informal way, thereby facilitating peoples' return to the education system;

59.  Recognises the benefits of sport, cultural activities, volunteering and active citizenship in providing a forum for non-formal education and lifelong learning;

60.  Stresses the importance of varied educational pathways for schoolchildren, combining general and vocational training, and is convinced that it is a judicious blend of the two, based on a pupil's age and strengths, that offers them the best chance of a securing a high-quality job; points out, in this respect, that it is important to promote bridges between the education system and the world of work, as well as between training systems; stresses, further, the importance of opportunities to learn a second European language, in order to facilitate youth on the move and to motivate young people to develop interests and perspectives outside their own narrow environment;

61.  Emphasises the added value of initiatives and programmes intended for parents that enable them to take a lifelong-learning approach to improving their education and so strengthen teaching and learning at home with their children;

62.  Calls for school resources to be updated to exploit the potential benefits of digitised teaching methods and for attention to be paid to qualifications such as language proficiency or digital literacy, which are necessary for the jobs of tomorrow;

63.  Calls on Member States to take account of the requirements of the labour market and to take steps to raise the status of vocational qualifications, while also strengthening cooperation between vocational institutions and businesses, so that the former are seen as a viable option for students of all abilities;

64.  Stresses that the principle of ‘learning to learn’ should be at the heart of all school curricula; notes that active teaching methods are crucial to engaging more young people in the process of learning and encouraging them to expand their knowledge, and recommends the incorporation of new technological applications, such as those offered by the Internet of Things, with a view to increasing motivation and output;

65.  Stresses the importance of developing and supporting activities outside the education system; considers that access for all to extra-curricular activities, be these sports, cultural or simply leisure activities, can reduce rates of truancy and ESL and are very important for the children's development;

66.  Emphasises that extra-curricular activities should be developed within schools, as this helps to create a ‘positive’ image of the school environment; acknowledges that giving pupils more incentives to go to school is a way of preventing ESL;

67.  Recognises the role that youth organisations play in preventing ESL by offering non-formal education, which provides young people with important competences, a sense of responsibility and increased self-esteem;

68.  Recognises that in all EU Member States adequate levels of literacy and numeracy are rarely reached by all school students, which contributes to ESL; emphasises that Member States should, as a matter of urgency, set targets to ensure that all pupils leave primary school with the ability to read, write and perform arithmetic at an appropriate level for their age; takes the view, moreover, that Member States should also establish literacy and numeracy schemes to allow students who have missed out on these essential skills during their formal education to catch up as quickly as possible;

Second-chance solutions

69.  Calls on Member States to find ways of reintegrating early school leavers into the school system by implementing suitable programmes, such as ‘second-chance’ schools, which provide a suitable learning environment that enables young people to rediscover confidence in themselves and in their capacity to learn;

70.  Notes that in order to ensure that these reintegration measures reach out to those most in need appropriate arrangements should be made to identify and monitor the pupils concerned, raise awareness and measure outcomes;

71.  Stresses that the highest reintegration rates are achieved by programmes which address the individual needs of early school leavers; calls on educational institutions to respect the needs and rights of individuals in developing programmes for them;

72.  Emphasises the need to organise activities at local level to encourage people to return to school and to promote a positive environment for people who left school early and intend to return;

73.  Notes that very few evaluations have been carried out of the various reintegration measures in Member States; calls, therefore, on Member States to monitor and assess their reintegration programmes and to set targets for improvement;

74.  Stresses the need to analyse the phenomenon of repeating a school year and its impact on ESL rates, highlighting the importance of individual programmes for individual pupils;

75.  Urges Member States to set up more second-chance schools, strengthening the content of their curricula and their material and technical equipment and boosting the capacity of the teaching staff available, given that these schools are emerging as an important tool for the reintegration of individuals who have slipped through the net of the formal educational system;

Education system and employment

76.  Notes that a reduction in ESL to no more than 10 %, meeting the EU 2020 headline target, would have an effect in reducing youth unemployment and in improving the employment rate, since currently 52 % of school leavers are unemployed and, according to academic estimates, the number of jobs available for low-skilled or unskilled labour will decline even further in the coming years; points out that reducing the ESL rate by only 1 % could boost the number of qualified potential employees by 500 000;

77.  Takes the view that ESL translates into missed opportunities for young people and a loss of social and economic potential for the EU as a whole; emphasises the fact that, in addition to the impact of current demographic changes, European countries cannot afford this enormous waste of talent, and stresses that this trend should be seen against the background of a labour market and a level of EU competitiveness that will both tend to favour holders of higher education qualifications; points out that improving educational attainment will thus help to reverse this trend in that higher skill levels will make for ‘smart growth’ and that tackling one of the main risk factors involved in unemployment and poverty will pave the way to ‘inclusive growth’;

78.  Highlights the link between ESL and youth unemployment; notes that more than half of early school leavers in the EU were unemployed in 2009 and that ESL can lead to an overdependence on precarious jobs, as well as exacerbating the problem of structural unemployment in the broader population;

79.  Notes that early school leavers are less likely to be actively involved in social and economic entrepreneurialism, which has negative consequences for the economy and society;

80.  Stresses the importance of combating ESL, not least in view of demographic trends in the EU;

81.  Notes that the long-term economic and social effects of ESL create a significant risk of poverty and that combating ESL is a way to prevent social exclusion among young people; therefore considers reducing the number of early school leavers to be a key measure in reaching the target, under strategies at both national and European level, of lifting at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty, and urges the Member States not to reduce the statutory school-leaving age;

82.  Calls on employers, where possible, to encourage young workers who have not gained higher secondary education qualifications to become qualified, by introducing in-house policies enabling staff to combine study with work; notes, in that connection, the need to promote the participation of learners in the Leonardo da Vinci programme;

83.  Calls, therefore, on the Member States to draw up policies as quickly as possible with a view to creating new jobs based on new skills;

84.  Stresses the need to adapt education systems to meet the requirements of the labour market; points out that in a situation where it will be rare, in future, to spend one's entire working life in a single sector, pupils need to acquire a broad range of abilities, such as creativity, creative thinking, general skills and the ability to adapt quickly and flexibly to changing conditions and requirements;

85.  Urges Member States, assisted by the Commission, to act effectively to record the phenomenon of NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and tackle it;

86.  Proposes expanding the scope for taking company traineeships in parallel with continuing school education;

87.  Emphasises that the Member States should further improve their education and training systems in order to better match the needs of the individual with those of the labour market, including by tackling the problems of basic skills (literacy and numeracy), promoting vocational education and training and taking measures to ease the transition between education and the labour market;

88.  Notes that boys more often leave school early and that we are at risk of creating a lower class of young, unemployed men with little or no education and poor chances of becoming a part of the labour market and society in general; urges the Member States to pay special attention to boys who have difficulties adapting to the school environment and not to lower the compulsory school-leaving age;

89.  Bearing in mind that instances of short-lived and insecure employment are higher among persons with little education, calls on the Commission to ensure that efforts to enable early school leavers to return to the labour market invariably go hand in hand with additional training programmes to improve their future employment prospects;

90.  Points out that investment in retraining and in the modernisation of vocational training courses is essential in order to help early school leavers integrate into the labour market;

91.  Highlights the need to upgrade the skills provided in technical vocational training and more effectively to match the specialisations offered with labour market requirements, since linking education and employment is an integral part of tackling ESL;

92.  Considers that, to combat ESL, education policies must be linked to policies aimed at promoting economic recovery and hence at creating permanent jobs and averting any dropping-out of education, short-lived and insecure employment and a speeding-up of the brain drain;

93.  Recommends that training in NITC (new information and communication technologies), as well as in language technologies, should begin at an early age, given that these are particularly useful means of communication which young people have the ability to master quickly;

EU policies

94.  Welcomes the Commission proposal for a Council recommendation on policies to reduce ESL, which proposes a framework for comprehensive policies in this area, an analysis of the underlying reasons for ESL at national and local level in each Member State, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the existing measures and the integration of the prevention, intervention and compensation measures to combat this phenomenon;

95.  Believes that, while respecting the principle of subsidiarity, a European framework for comprehensive strategies to tackle ESL could provide a useful guide for Member States in ascertaining the correct approach to upgrading existing policies and developing their National Reform Programmes;

96.  Warns that the possible public spending cuts in the education sector on account of the economic crisis and the budgetary austerity policies being implemented in Member States will have adverse effects, in that they will further increase the numbers of early school leavers in the EU;

97.  Stresses that investing more money in combating ESL can have the long-term effect of preventing young people from becoming dependent on social security;

98.  Advocates, in the context of the 2012 EU budget, the proposed ‘Pilot Project on Youth’ with the objective of providing a guarantee to integrate young people, and in particular early school leavers, into the labour market;

99.  Advocates the targeted, efficient and coherent deployment of the Structural Funds, especially the European Social Fund, with a view to the full implementation of the Youth strategies, in particular for early school leavers, in order to promote social inclusion under specific programmes in each Member State, ensure high-quality education for all and prevent ESL and truancy;

100.  Notes that the nature of the problem of ESL varies from country to country and also within regions and that there is therefore no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to it;

101.  Welcomes and endorses the plans announced by the Council regarding the social ‘mapping’ of early school leavers through the compilation of data from all the Member States; calls on the Commission to support this initiative;

102.  Urges the Member States to carry out an in-depth analysis of the problem of ESL, while taking due account of data protection requirements, in order to identify the root causes at national, regional and local level;

103.  Notes, however, that in order to analyse the fundamental reasons for ESL more comprehensive, consistent and coherent data from Member States is needed;

104.  Calls for more funds and improved accessibility for the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme, which increases pupils' and teachers' mobility, enhances the exchange of best practices and contributes to improving teaching and learning methods; calls for more effective use to be made of the finance provided by the EU's Structural Funds to implement measures for preventing non-attendance at school;

105.  Stresses the importance of the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme and its four sub-programmes, Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig, with Comenius in particular playing a key role in combating the problem of ESL;

106.  Calls on the Commission to promote the visibility of the Comenius action programme on individual pupil mobility, which can contribute to reducing ESL;

o   o

107.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 327, 24.11.2006, p. 45.
(2) OJ C 319, 13.12.2008, p. 20.
(3) OJ C 119, 28.5.2009, p. 2.
(4) OJ C 301, 11.12.2009, p. 5.
(5) OJ C 135, 26.5.2010, p. 2.
(6) OJ C 250 E, 25.10.2007, p. 102.
(7) OJ C 41 E, 19.2.2009, p. 24.
(8) OJ C 8 E, 14.1.2010, p. 12.
(9) OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 8.
(10) OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 21.
(11) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0092.
(12) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0231.

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