school dropout

15 May 2022

Every time a new political party has taken office in Spain in recent decades, it has fully or partially repealed the education law enacted by the previous government and, almost simultane­ously, there has been renewed talk of an educa­tional pact. However, unlike legislation, the pact never materialises, leading to disagreements within the political class and great frustration among members of the educational community.

Among the difficulties that prevent a pact from being reached, ideological and political reasons have been cited and the model of edu­cational administration has also been blamed, with claims that it interferes negatively and arguments that its decentralised nature pre­vents unity in the field of education. This article highlights some of its strengths and suggests they might be good advocates for reaching an education pact in Spain. In this respect, each autonomous community must meet certain minimum requirements as an in­termediate step towards correcting the overall data. The following reasons for an education­al pact are priorities: reducing school dropout rates, improving the number of students in vocational training, improving the figures for education spending, and, with regards to teachers, strengthening processes for select­ing students to train as teachers as well as the social status of this profession. If territorial differences are reduced by improving educa­tional indicators, it seems more likely that a consensus can be reached as a prelude to an education pact.

Please, cite this article as follows: Sánchez Lissen, E. (2022). Razones para un pacto educativo en España en el marco de una administración descentralizada | Reasons for an educational pact in Spain within the framework of decentralised government administration. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 80 (282), 311-329.

10 January 2019

The lack of education and training resulting from leaving education early might contribute significantly to high rates of unemployment and inactivity among young people. Education is also seen as a decisive means of tackling these problems. Therefore, acquiring knowledge about the conditions in which re-engagement with education occurs after it is prematurely interrupted deserves special attention. The study presented here explores the opinions of students attending a second-chance educational centre in Ceuta (where the aforementioned benchmarks have quite high levels) concerning their life courses prior to returning to education there and the impact they attribute to the centre. Data from in-depth, individual interviews were used to do this.

These were performed with 39 unemployed young people at risk of social exclusion aged between 18 and 24 (29 had left school early and 10 had not), as part of a broader case study relating to a centre selected for its relative success and its reputation in Ceuta. The information provided by the participants in the form of stories was subjected to narrative analysis, using two processes: summary biographical tables, which represent relevant events from their lives  longside their views of them, and thematic analysis of the information contained in them. In broad terms, results indicate that the life courses the participants follow are shaped by decisions they take from options shaped by personal, institutional, and social circumstances. They are, therefore, something like choice biographies.

 In this context, early school leaving and re-engagement in training are recurrent, transitory, and reversible, precisely because of the important role played by the people who experience these situations, even if they do so constrained by their institutional and social setting.


This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 272 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page umbers. Please, cite this article as follows: Portela Pruaño, A., Nieto Cano, J. M. y Torres Soto, A. (2019). La reincorporación formativa de jóvenes que abandonan tempranamente la educación: relevancia de su trayectoria previa | Re-engagement in education and training of young people who leave education early: the importance of earlier prior trajectories. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 77 (272), 103-121. doi: