School's Cool - Mentorship
Professional support makes school (more) fun again - Nijmegen
The social objective of School’s Cool is to prevent pupils from leaving school early by having the children supervised by a mentor in their school activities for a period of 1.5 years. Each week, the mentor gives his personal attention to the child at home, focusing on school skills, school subjects and social-emotional skills.
Heart of the Matter
Due to an underprivileged situation – the home situation, the child’s surroundings and/or character – the transition from primary school to secondary school or the speed of teaching in secondary education can be too overwhelming for the child to handle on his or her own. A fall in self-confidence, dropping out of school prematurely and not earning a basic qualification for the job market can be the results. Children cannot always be supervised by their immediate family. As a result, the risk arises that their talents and opportunities will be insufficiently utilised. School’s Cool addresses this dilemma with active mentorship. In addition to the attention given to the child, the parents and the contacts at school are consulted. School’s Cool Nijmegen is one of the current 15 locations of School’s Cool in the Netherlands.
At the end of 2012, the Central Planning Office wrote that: "...intensive coaching of pupils in senior secondary vocational education is reducing the school dropout rate and this could save society 27 million euros. The effect of one year of intensive coaching appears to be substantial. After one year of coaching, the chance of a pupil leaving school early has been reduced by over 40%." At the same time, the research report 'Through Mentoring to the Top' was published by the University of Groningen. The report’s conclusion sounds the same note: mentor projects strengthen the natural defences of vulnerable young people, provided they are sufficiently supervised by their mentor and are properly guided by the organisation.