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The Guiding Cities model



Guiding Cities aims to create a model of guidance to promote coherent policy and strategic planning and to respond to the complex needs in the fight against early school leaving.


Policy makers

Date of creation of toolkit and periodicity of updates


Purpose of the toolkit

Guiding Cities joins together policymakers and stakeholders within the fields of education and guidance to create a model which responds to the complex needs and promotes coherent policy and strategic planning in the fight against Early School Leaving (ESL). Guiding Cities offers benchmarking and planning tools for communities in order to improve the quality, innovation and access to guidance services in the prevention of early school leaving.

Description of each of the tools

The Guiding Cities consortium developed two strategic reflection tools: the Guiding Cities Model and the Guiding Cities Checklist.

It attempts to foster an integrated system of guidance focusing on a lifelong learning perspective, where guidance can play a central role in increasing individuals’ engagement with learning, making clear pathways through learning and work, and supporting the acquisition of career management skills. This collection of parameters serves as guidelines or directions to the creation of a “guiding city”.

The Guiding Cities Model is composed of building blocks that when put together by the diverse actors within guidance (schools, local administrations, universities, companies, unions, parents’ associations, foundations, NGOs, etc.) they construct a city or community that works together to guide its citizens and reduce early school leaving.

The tool for organisational diagnosis is the Guiding Cities Checklist. The tool is a collection of thirty-four statements which a professional in the field of guidance answers about his/her organisation. It covers the following topics:

  • Governance and coordination
  • Accessibility and awareness of services
  • Methodologies of provision
  • Measures to promote lifelong guidance and learning
  • Empowerment of choice and personal development
  • Competences for practitioners
  • Common professional framework and quality standards

The results give the opportunity to analyse areas for improvement based on the eight parameters of the Guiding Cities Model and to connect with best practices collected from different countries and contexts that are distributed among the different aspects of the Model. The Checklist was not developed to be a test or certification of services, but rather as a tool for reflection that hopes to give a diverse range of organisations ideas and support to strategically plan, revise and expand their guidance services.

Source of information of the different tools

The Guiding Cities Model was developed as part of an Erasmus+ Strategic partnership with the objective of improving guidance services of municipalities and communities with benchmarking and strategic planning tools.

Link/s to the toolkit and further information

Related resources


The Guiding Cities model