Most of the stories and the described lessons learned in the final publication highlight that the project activities improved the
sensitivity of the teachers towards the problem, strengthened their skills in building the necessary trust with their students which can be understood as the first step of change in their school climate that could lead to an inclusive culture in the future.
At school and management level, we could see that the quality of leadership is a key question. So the dropout issue is highly related to leadership and their commitment and training. At the teachers and teams’ level, it was obvious from the interviews and especially from the reports that two elements are essential to start an EWS system:
- motivation from the school’s side – significant drop-out problem (which might not derive from the perspective of the students but it affects the school, the school’s operation and the staff)
- supportive leader, director
Those schools which were motivated, acknowledged ESL as a problem and were committed to reduce it were able to use their previous knowledge and tools and/or develop new ones.
Working in teams was an innovative tool for the staff. Teachers usually work alone, instead of setting up teams and solving problems together. So setting up a team for a specific problem and cooperating to solve it was a learning path for the staff.
Change can be done when there is a step-by-step methodology, ensuring external help and regular consultation. The CroCooS pilot was that kind of help with the mentoring system, with the tools, etc.
The systematic approach of the program was a great asset, together with the external mentors and the financial support. Many programs usually deal with only one or two aspects of a problem, but CroCooS tried to cover all relevant fields which can decrease dropout on school level.