How to tackle early school leaving: policy, projects, best practices and some reflections

Early school leaving is a complex phenomenon that often appears as a combination of individual factors, personal history, and the cultural context. Moreover, this phenomenon impacts the individual's paths, choices, quality of life and the social and cultural capital of the country in which they live. Actions to tackle early school leaving, therefore, promote, on the one hand, the improvement of individual life paths and, on the other, the promotion of conditions for the cultural and economic progress of the social context. The primary purpose of the paper is to describe intervention strategies to fight school drop-out in Italy. It focuses on the different levels of intervention used both inside and outside of schools to contrast school dropout. It briefly presents several research projects conducted at different times and within different contexts. It focuses on tackling early school leaving during the Covid-19 time. Through the experiences reported, the aim is to present, synthetically and without claiming to be exhaustive, the variety and the heterogeneity of contexts, tools, objectives, of the intervention areas. This is an opportunity to take stock and to share some reflections on the persistence of the early school leaving phenomena, which endure notwithstanding the multiplicity, across time, of measures and interventions to fight it. What are the possible reasons for this?