Academic underachievement and Early School Leaving (ESL) are key challenges of European educational systems that impact the life trajectories of children and adolescents. The available evidence stresses that early school leaving is directly related to the students’ disengagement and underachievement, and is strongly associated with a series of cumulative disadvantages resulting from personal, familiar, socio-economic and educational factors. Secure attachment relationships play an important protective role against the intergenerational transmission of social exclusion, not only at early stages but at all school levels. LET’S CARE aims to comprehensively understand and improve the caring dimension of educational inclusion and school success.

Multilevel, multistage, and intersectional research, exploring different European educational contexts, will be implemented, including 120 schools, 18,000 students, and 2,400 teachers from 6 European countries in 4 schools stages, with special attention to multi-disadvantaged learners. LET’S CARE, supported by an expert consortium, will implement a holistic methodological approach, including co-creation mechanisms, and will translate research findings into the political approach, through the formulation of novel evidence-based policy recommendations, raising awareness on safe/caring schools, combating social exclusion of disadvantaged learners.


Our project seeks to address the causes of educational underachievement, disengagement, and school dropout by identifying key relational variables that will help to meet their needs and improve their well-being and learning process. To meet our aim we have several specific objectives:

  1. We are developing a Safe Education model that covers 4 levels of intervention (individual, relational, community, and political levels) across each educational stage (ECEC, primary, lower & upper secondary, postsecondary)
  2. We are collecting data using mixed and co-creative methodologies that link academic knowledge and give voice to the experiences of the own students, families, educators and other members of the educational communities and institutions. 
  3. We are designing tailored tools and specific training that will help teachers and schools to address educational underachievement, disengagement and school dropout
  4. We are linking a Community of Schools and a broader network of stakeholders to enhance our impact make a difference translating our findings into actual improvements for children.
  5. We are involving policy makers to promote caring schools and reverse educational inequalities, as well as formulating evidence-based policy recommendations. 



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