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RS intends to develop this project with young people in vulnerable situations, namely: young people at risk of dropping out of school, young people from families with economic difficulties and also students from technical and professional courses (the latter often fall into the previous groups).

In Portugal, “huge social inequalities still exist” that directly influence inequalities in education. The Ministry of Education (2019) acknowledges that “there is an education system that does not respond to all those who attend compulsory school”. It is therefore important to “implement different educational approaches” to reduce these inequalities.  Statistics show that, each year, around 50,000 primary school pupils and another 50,000 secondary school pupils fail, for various reasons: lack of financial means, lack of support from families, poor dissemination of information and the alternatives they feel and their own lack of will.

And what is dropping out of school? It is a scenario in which a pupil leaves school without having completed his or her education, which in some cases can happen even before the end of the school year. It is a very complex and multifaceted phenomenon resulting from a combination of factors that can be social, economic, educational and family.

In fact, disadvantaged families have higher rates of school failure, lead and drop-out rates, which limits young people’s access to the labour market and perpetuates a weak socio-economic situation.  As a general rule, dropping out of school is the result of a long and quite visible process of failure and progressive disinterest in education. Reasons may include: health difficulties; special educational needs; personal or family problems; poor relationship with teachers; poor relationship with peers and negative school climate, e.g. bullying; dissatisfaction with the results obtained. However, it is known that there are patterns in this choice and therefore some young people are considered to be more at risk than others depending on the context around them.