Who wants more Success in School – A new Success Story in two Parts

Schulerfolg

The beginnings!

In many districts in Vienna, young people who are in danger of dropping out of school [1] and their parents require intensive, regular as well as professional support and advice [2] in the difficult phase when decisions have to be made regarding further education and choice of Job [2].

In particular, young people from other cultures, who are not so familiar with the Austrian labour market and the possibilities for further education, and young people with learning difficulties can discover their potential by means of targeted support and can demonstrate their abilities quicker.

As a result of our experience of many years with pupils of the WIENER LERNTAFEL, the alarming results of various studies [3] and in cooperation with the Ministry for Social Affairs, we have been successful in launching a further social project with a focus on preventative interventional measures for this target group. At the same time, with this cooperation, the financial support has been safeguarded to 90% until the end of 2018.

Who is the target group?

The target groups of our project are young people from the 9th school year (in Austria, children aged 14) until the age of 18 who did not receive sufficient support from the education system and who have deficiencies as regards school-related skills. In the 21st and 22nd districts of Vienna, these young people usually attend a polytechnic and either want to reach the next school level or wish to continue with further education or, upon completion of compulsory education, want to successfully take the next step into the world of work.

Considering the current developments in schools, it is necessary to offer increased preventative support. In order to truly realise the preventative idea, early intervention is important, i.e. this should not take place shortly before a young person drops out but rather before an unsuitable decision has been made as regards further education or possible employment. This requires contact to the young person already at the beginning of the obligatory ninth school year so that the planned one-year guidance can take place.

Our Aims – First Part: Space for Youths!

Our support in the form of tutoring should provide socially disadvantaged young people with more stable participation in matters relating to school, jobs and society. The starting basis for our projects is an evaluation of the learning status of the pupils. The individual scholastic level of the young people in German and Maths is assessed which enables the most suitable support to be found quickly for the respective youth.

Taking the results of the evaluation of the learning status as a starting point, the intensive support follows in groups of four in a double lesson whereby all project participants receive one to two double lessons in the group every week or have additional individual lessons in particular cases. Further the young people can do their homework under supervision. Initially, 100 – 150 youths in danger of dropping out can participate in this model project.

As soon as the current adaptation work, e.g. the installing of an acoustic ceiling, the laying of a floor and the paintwork executed in accordance with the psychological effects of colours has been completed in the new learning centre in the 22nd district of Vienna in Donaufelder Strasse, the move can begin. If everything goes according to plan, we will open our doors at the end of January 2017.

Our Aims – Part Two: Space for Parents!

After the new learning centre has opened, we will start with the planning, organisation and realisation of the first „Parents-Learning-School“ in Austria, which will start operating in the second quarter of 2017. In principle, this initiative is directed at all parents (legal guardians) of pupils between the ages of 6 and 18.

Existing Situation

In Vienna there are approx. 50,000 parents (this figure also includes all single parents) whose children are experiencing problems in one or several subjects at school. Of these, 5-10% would be prepared to participate in a special support programme [4].

Many studies have already shown that the involvement of parents in the area of support at school is a key factor for the later success of children at school. Close cooperation between the family home and the school enhances children’s performance at school and is an important precondition for the successful completion of school and education.

What we offer

Our concept of „space for parents“ is an innovative model project and a ground-breaking educational programme with a greater impact in terms of family, education and employment policy, in which parents, as „learning guides“ of their children, are regularly supported for a whole school year with the result that the children’s learning conditions improve, the educational opportunities open to children increase and it is easier to achieve educational qualifications as well as to have a higher chance of success in terms of integration in the labour market.

[1] In the EU there are approx. 5.5 million drop outs from school; according to Statistik Austria, in Austria currently 7 out of 100 of those aged 18 to 24 drop out of school.
[2] IHS-Study, 2013, by order of the BMASK, Evaluierung „Jugendcoaching“ – Endbericht
[3] See https://www.bmb.gv.at/schulen/unterricht/ba/schulabbruch.html
[4] Result from a survey of the parents of pupils from the WIENER LERNTAFEL (2015)

Translation German-English: Donna Stockenhuber

Credits

Image Title Author License
Schulerfolg Schulerfolg Jim Cianca CC BY-SA 3.0