Second chance school of Gaia provides a solution which fits the needs of the students for whom school was not the right fit, and which facilitates the achievement of their goals towards educational success.
The training that is offered by the Second Chance School of Gaia (SCSG) is a one-of-a-kind programme made specifically for early leavers aged 15-18). This programme helps learners develop the skills they need to become entrepreneurs, to run a social business and to work in the field of hospitality and in restaurants. Through the development of practical work routines, learners can bridge the gap between school and the workplace.
This exclusive education and training programme includes school subjects, musical training, practical work simulations and outdoor experiences based on shadowing real workers. All students have the support of the school counselling and guidance team.
SCSG has also partnered up with companies to bridge the gap between school and the workplace.


  • Family learners
  • Teenagers (aged 15-18) who have an early school leaving background:
    • Teenagers who engage in risk behaviours (e.g. drug use, criminal activity)
    • Teenagers who reside in foster homes
    • Teenagers that come from migrant backgrounds
    • Roma teenagers


Education level and sector

Type of policy/initiative


Compensation/Psychosocial support.

Level of implementation / Scope

Since 2019.

Aims of policy/initiative

The aim of SCSG is to reintegrate teenagers into a training course, leading to a qualification or directly into employment, and to foster their social and professional integration.

Features and types of activities implemented

  • The SCSG is run by a consortium that consists of the City Council of Gaia, the Ministry of Education (DGesTe) and IDIS (NGO) that supports school activities.
  • An exclusive education and training programme that includes school subjects, artistic training, practical work simulations, and outdoor experiences based on shadowing real workers.
  • Strong partnerships with companies to facilitate the switch between school and the workplace.
  • Students have access to educational support, psychosocial intervention and social support that extends to close family and relatives.


  • Human resources (teachers, psychologists, social workers, and education experts) provided by the Ministry of Education, the City Council of Gaia and IDIS.
  • Physical location provided by the City Council of Gaia and IDIS.
  • Material resources provided by the City Council of Gaia and National / EU funds.
  • Awards from companies / Social responsibility.

Evaluation of the measure

An external entity has conducted an evaluation of the effects of attending SCSG by measuring social impact of the programme on the teenagers, their families, and legal guardians. The study shows that, between the moment of entry and the end of the curriculum, there were significant changes on a social level, in all three of the aforementioned populations.

Evidence of effectiveness of the measure

49 teenagers attended programmes provided by SCSG;
An average of 93% of attendants have successfully concluded the programme;
79% of participants have found stable employment in the year following conclusion of the programme;
An average of 8% of participants have transitioned into institutions of secondary education.

Success factors

Successful partnerships with several institutions within the community, namely: other schools, the City Council, corporations, and foster homes.

An informal approach, geared towards creating an environment where all learners may express themselves freely and be fully integrated in the group.

Intercultural openness and the inclusion of culturally diverse dynamics in the daily life of the school.

Highly specialised staff, with extensive experience in working with the target population.

Contact details for further information

Contact name
Joana Vieira
Contact telephone
+351 220 994 068
Contact email