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Educational Disadvantage Centre
Prof Paul Downes

Invited International Presentations on Early School Leaving

Professor Paul Downes

Professor Paul Downes, Director, Educational Disadvantage Centre, Institute of Education gave the keynote presentation, Key features of a multidimensional, systemic whole school approach to prevent early school leaving and promote basic skills: Prevention and early intervention issues and opportunities postpandemic at the SALAR Conference School to Work, Stockholm, April 25, 2023.

Annalisa Cannoni from the EU Commission’s Directorate General Education and Culture opened the conference, attended by Education Ministry officials from the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, as well as Sweden. SALAR is a Baltic Sea Region cooperation initiative.

Professor Downes’ keynote presentation is here:

Professor Downes’ keynote presentation built on key priorities of the EU Council Recommendation, Pathways to School Success 2022, for which he was an expert advisor, as well on his 2020 book on relational spaces, Reconstructing agency in developmental and educational psychology: Inclusive Systems as Concentric Space. New York: Routledge He highlighted the need to reconfigure spaces between health and education in schools through multidisciplinary teams and a focus on wellbeing issues including sleep and hunger, as well as on access to nature as an equity issue for education. Professor Downes also foregrounded a key message in the Council Recommendation to build integrated national, regional and local strategic bridges between school bullying and early school leaving prevention.

On May 8 2023, Professor Downes also gave an Invited Presentation, Building on the Pathways to School Success EU Council Recommendation 2022: Key Priorities for National Policy Makers and Schools Postpandemic Regarding Early School Leaving Prevention for the ADi Associazione Docenti e Dirigenti Italiani, International Webinar, At risk of Dropping Out: It is Them Who Will Succeed in Changing the School. ADi Associazione Docenti e Dirigenti Italiani is an Italian national association of teachers and principals. In this presentation Professor Downes highlighted issues of school climate as relational spaces, the need for supports for children and young people experiencing complexity and adverse childhood experiences, while recognising research on the impact of the Covid pandemic lockdown on young people’s experiences of loneliness and mental health.