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Second Chance School - Luxembourg

Good practice


The Second Chance School in Luxembourg (E2C) aims to re-engage early leavers back into education. The education/personal well-being and development of the learner is at the heart of the E2C pedagogy.


Early school leavers, aged 16 to 30, who dropped out of school or failed to find an apprenticeship.


Education level and sector

Upper secondary and adult education

Type: general education, Vocational Education and Training (VET) (school-based).

Type of policy/initiative



Level of implementation / Scope

Local (there is one second chance school in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg)

Stage of implementation

Pilot in 2011-12 – mainstreamed since 2012

Aims of policy/initiative

Re-engage early school leavers back into an education system and support them to reintegrate into mainstream education system.

Features and types of activities implemented

The E2C has been an integral part of the public school system since September 2012, it offers 3 strands of education and training:

  • general secondary education
  • technical secondary education
  • training for adults: courses for qualification of educators

The school offers opportunities to catch up, obtain qualifications, change to a new educational pathway and to grow as an individual.

The E2C provides both general and vocational training, extracurricular activities and comprehensive socio-pedagogical support.

Students are placed in different educational branches, and hands-on practical learning is provided through traineeships in private enterprises.


Resources allocated to the E2C have consistently increased since its launch as a pilot project in March 2011. At present, 225 students attend the school. It is estimated that the E2C will reach a maximum capacity of 300 students in the future; beyond this number, the quality of the personalised pedagogy may be affected.

The E2C is currently funded by the National Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, la Jeunesse et l’Enfance - MENJE). 

Evaluation of the measure

The pilot phase of the E2C (March 2011-July 2012) and its effect on the 47 students who took part in the pilot classes have been evaluated. Since 2012, the E2C is monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. There is also a monitoring system in place that tracks students’ activities for 2 years after they left the E2C.

Evidence of effectiveness of the measure

Pilot project evaluation: 47 students were involved in the original pilot project. 81% made a ‘positive’ transition right after leaving the school by either) reintegrating into mainstream education system or entering employment.

90% of all students completed their studies at the E2C and successfully reintegrated into mainstream general and VET education, or found a job.

Longitudinal evaluations show that 2 years after they left the E2C, 70% of all students are in a ‘positive’ situation so either reintegrated into education or entered employment.

Success factors

The following success factors are based on the testimonies of participants in the measure interviewed for the Cedefop study:

  1. Student motivation: the selection procedure ensures school placement to students showing the highest motivation and who are, therefore, most likely to benefit from the personalised pedagogy provided by the school.
  2. Personalised pedagogy: the students’ education and personal wellbeing and development is at the heart of the E2C pedagogy. This pedagogy is supported by a high educator/teacher-student ratio which allows for a personalised support of students.
  3. E2C’s size and decision-making autonomy: a purposeful policy is to keep the size of the school below 300 students (225 students attended the E2C in 2014-15), and simultaneously ensure the school’s decision-making autonomy. This small size serves 3 important purposes; it allows the school to:
    • identify challenges as well as areas/means of improvement
    • be more rapidly responsive
    • support the personalised pedagogy
  4. Students’ autonomy and responsibility: prospective students are informed about their rights and obligations within the school and once a place has been offered to a student, he or/she will be asked to sign a contract, in which he or/she commits to actively and assiduously participate in classes, respect the discipline of the school, as well as his or/her timetable. This pedagogical rigour provides students with a structured environment, which they often lack at home.
  5. Sense of cooperation and mutual support among students: students are encouraged to cooperate and support each other. This sense of togetherness is instilled by putting an emphasis on team work (in practical workshops and classes) and encouraging students to help each other.
  6. Collaboration and diversity of professional backgrounds among E2C staff: a diverse mix of professional backgrounds among E2C staff brings a richness and diversity to the pedagogy of the school and allows for holistic solutions in how challenges and supporting students is approached.
  7. Student financial support: since the average E2C student is 21 years old, many no longer live with their parents and cannot rely on financial support from their families to return to school. Consequently, 25% of E2C students receive financial support which covers their basic living costs. This financial support is provided by the school and awarded based on each individual’s family and financial situation.

Contact details for further information

+352 26 6503 50-1/ +352 26 65 03 50-23

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