Day against school dropout: actions, programs

Day against school dropout actions programs

September 21 marks the day of the rejection of school failure. Even today, many students leave the school system without a diploma, training or orientation perspective. To stem this phenomenon, many actions are carried out by the State but also by associations, sometimes in an original way, to help children likely to drop out.

[Mise à jour du 21 septembre à 16h19] This Wednesday, September 21, 2022 takes place the 15th edition of the School Failure Rejection Day organized collectively by teachers and parents of students, and sponsored by Unicef. Theme chosen this year: “Getting an apprenticeship, the best way to hang up?”. School dropout can affect all children, it can occur regardless of the age of the cherub, from primary school, college, high school and even after. With this in mind, the Vareille Foundation launched in 2015 a innovative educational program”A violin in my school”. The objective of this ten-year project? Help as many children as possible, from priority education areas and disadvantaged backgrounds, to do better at school thanks to violin lessons from the age of 4. In this, the practice of a musical instrument would have many benefits.

Music to fight against school dropout?

Questioned by the editorial staff of the Journal des Femmes, Hélène Vareille, founder of the Vareille Foundation, explains to us how this project was born and the first results that emerge. “We started from the principle that it is better to deal with the problem of school failure at a very young age. We were inspired by a school in England, which trained violinists in very disadvantaged backgrounds. The feedback was more than positive We did research and we noticed that studies show that playing a musical instrument has an effect on the brain, it’s a very effective workout. If you add to that, that the brain of children is particularly ‘plastic’, he is able to learn new things quickly, all the interest is there. We wanted to show that music is a way to raise a child’s academic level.”

We can then ask the question, why the violin and not another musical instrument, less complex and less elitist. “Don’t be mistaken! Many parents have told us ‘for once we are being offered something other than football’. Some families are extremely proud to see their children playing the violin, and the students too. It also plays an integrating role, says Hélène Vareille. Violin lessons are integrated into the school curriculum, provided by the National Education. In principle, they are aligned with the concepts that students learn in other courses (calculation, rhythm, transcribing emotions, etc.). Approved teachers give lessons to students during school hours, in small groups. The study of impact measurement is not yet complete, but the first results of this lesson are, to say the least, very encouraging. “The students are calmer, as is the atmosphere in schools in priority education areas. Other children have regained their ability to listen.” For the year 2022, the “A violin in my school” system has been deployed in 80 schools, 6,300 students benefit from it. From the start of the 2024 school year, the goal to be reached will be 10,000 students.

School dropout, what is it?

Each year, students leave school before obtaining their baccalaureate or professional diploma (BEP, CAP). This abandonment, due to a progressive disinterest of the pupil for the school, is what the Education Code called “dropout”. The objective is therefore toidentify students at risk of dropping outthat is to say who still attend their establishment, but are less attentive in class, devote less time to their homework, are subject to absenteeism, etc. “The fight against school dropout aims to reduce inequalities in access to knowledge while raising the level of qualification and skills of the entire school population.indicates the website of the Ministry of Education.

School dropout figures in France

Every year, on average 150,000 students leave the school system without a diploma, i.e. nearly 1 in 5 young people. The objective set by the European Council in 2010 was that in 2020, the average school dropout rate in the European Union falls below 10%. In this context, France has achieved the objectives because it rose to 8.2% in 2019 against 12.6% in 2010. That year, 60,000 fewer young people than in 2014 left their studies without diploma. A good start, due to better identification of young people and greater mobilization. A rate that has not changed in 2020, said the Ministry of National Education. Be that as it may, dropping out of school is still a persistent phenomenon today. It is also a national priority of the government.

Considered a national priority, the fight against dropping out school focuses on two points:

  • The preventive aspect : prevent students from falling into a stall situation.
  • remediation : Getting students who are already dropping out or considered to be at risk back on track.

In both cases, one and the same objective: “To ensure that each young person can build their professional future and succeed in their life in society”. To achieve this, national education has established the right to return to training for all young people leaving the education system without a diploma or a sufficient level of qualification (article L-122 of the education code) and the training obligation for young people aged 16 to 18 (article L-144 of the education code). Measures that should be reinforced this year by the implementation of the training obligation : all under 18 must be either in school, in training, or have a job.

What solutions to get out of school dropout?

my second chance

Is your child (at risk of) dropping out of school? Thanks to the website my second chance, you can geolocate guidance professionals and/or establishments offering a resumption of studies. Advisors are also available by chat or by phone to help you find a solution and counter this dropout.

Second Chance Schools

The Second Chance Schools (E2c) offer students who drop out without qualifications 6-month courses to bring them up to standard at the end of middle school. Socio-professional reintegration training including internship periods in companies. These E2cs, created more than 20 years ago, welcome 15,000 young people each year (aged 16 to 25) spread over a network of 46 schools throughout the territory.


Another option: The Epide (public establishment for integration into employment). It welcomes 3,000 young dropouts (in their 20 centers located in metropolitan France), without any qualifications or diplomas. They engage in a training of about 8 months with the main purpose of resocializing them and guaranteeing them a refresher course.

military services

Finally, young people aged 18 to 25 who are far from the labor market also have the possibility of integrating the SMA (adapted military service) or SMV (voluntary military service) system. They thus benefit from socio-professional integration ranging from 6 to 12 months within specific military units.

On the other hand, the hashtag #ComeBackToTrain launched by the government distills on its eponymous page all kinds of options for dropouts according to their course and their expectations.