In the city of Hasselt in Flanders (Belgium) data on school absenteeism is used to inform school-specific action plans.
Why is this approach useful?
VET providers may collect data on drop-out, absenteeism and other phenomena related to early leaving from education and training. This data helps providers respond to the following questions:
- Is early leaving from education and training a problem in our school/training centre/company?
- Is the risk of early leaving higher in some programmes or for some learner groups?
- Are the measures in place to tackle early leaving achieving their intended results?
Why is it a quick win?
National or regional authorities, local authorities, or VET providers themselves often already collect data on indicators related to early leaving from education and training (e.g. drop-out, absenteeism, year repetition). Sharing this data (as far as possible according to data protection legislation) so that it can be used to inform decision-making by providers is relatively low cost and generates a greater return on the effort of data collection already in place.
How to make this approach successful?
Data related to early leaving can be useful to VET providers if:
- The indicators used are simple to understand, interpret and use, and are presented in a user-friendly way.
- Comparable data for a number of years is provided.
- Data is contextualised by using relevant comparators such as the regional average, or the average of ‘similar’ schools, e.g. schools with a similar socio-cultural background.
- Data is further analysed by the VET provider, taking into account the qualitative inputs of staff and learners.
Data is, in this case, used for formative purposes, to help VET providers make decisions related to tackling early leaving. It is advisable to keep this process distinct from the use of data for evaluation purposes.