To what extent is research reflected in European Union policies? Early school leaving (ESL) is broadly defined as the phenomenon of young people leaving formal education before they have successfully completed upper-secondary schooling. The European Union (EU) has identified reducing ESL as a priority for action and set a goal of reducing ESL to 10% across all member states by 2020.
Learners with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are among those who are at particular risk of ESL. This report summarises the key research literature on this group and compares its findings and implications to the positions adopted by EU policy documents.