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Act on regional registration centres for premature school leavers (RMC)

Country of implementation
The Netherlands
General short description of the innovation
The innovation consists first of all of the obligation for 39 regional registration and coordination centres that have existed since 1994 to register all early school leavers under 23 years without sufficient qualifications (minimum of two years of secondary vocational training). Secondly, this law stimulates the cooperation between various organizations to realize integrated, multi-disciplinary services to these young people to reach a reduction of school-dropouts by at least 40% or, according to the most recent target, a maximum of 25.000 drop-outs in 2014/2015
Target group
Policy Field
  • education
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
The centres exist since 1994, but the law on the coordination centres became effective in 2002.
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: around 71.000 drop-outs at the start of the act
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The act aims to coordinate the regional policy efforts towards prevention of school-drop outs and to register the results. Early school-leaving is considered to be a big problem for both the youngsters involved as well as the for the overall quality of the labour force and youth unemployment. Although the coordination centres already existed, this act demanded stricter efforts of these centres and the participating municipalities and (predominantly vocational) schools for secondary education. In each of 39 regions one municipality has the responsibility to organize a network of organisations to offer services that can cope with various problems of drop-outs, to achieve that they go back to school or do not drop-out at all and may achieve the qualification of two years secondary vocational education (mbo-2) which is considered a minimum to be competitive in the Dutch labour market. Also, all drop-outs have to be registered. In 2007/2008 and in 2012/2013 a convenant between the ministry and each region was realized to develop a more intensive strategy, including funds to realize these strategies. In 2014/2015 the aim is to reduce the number of drop-outs to 25.000, which was 71.000 when the act became active.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
this is a structural law to prevent early school-leaving
Type of innovation
  • new/changed output and/or outcome
New outputs
  • governance (the act is basically a governance act, obliging regions to organize and coordinate services by involving all organizations related to education and well-being of young people)
  • services (the act intended to intensify services to cope with early schoolleaving)
Intended target group
Young drop-outs (under 23) of school who have not reached a sufficient qualification level of at least two years of secondary vocational education
Working age population
  • educational level (low/medium/high) (Low)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • central state (regulation)
  • municipal government (Muncipalities participate in the regional organization and coordination of services)
  • private not-for-profit organisations (e.g. Third Sector organisation or NGO) (Secondary (vocational) schools and welfare organizations, regional coordination centres)
Clarification of the role of various actors
The act aims to stimulate development of networks of relevant organizations in the regions that can confront the problem of school drop-outs. This may be different for each region, but normally municipalities, schools, the coordination centres and welfare organizations are involved.
Intended output
  • governance (new and stronger networks of organizations involved in combatting early school-leaving, under coordination of the regional centres for early school-leaving (RMC))
  • others (prevention of early schoolleaving)
Intended and unintended outcomes
The number of drop-outs has reduced from 71000 in 2002 to 36.250 in 2011/2012, according to figures of the minister of education
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
Since 2002 the number of school-drop outs has decreased, especially in the first years. The most recent monitor report (2012) observes that the reduction during the last years has slowed down and is lower than what was aimed for. There are large differences between the regions, which can mostly be explained by variable personal characteristics of the students and the educational level. The same report concludes that it is hard to prove a relation between the development in these figures and the policies of the regional centres. A probable positive relation though is found between the quality of regional cooperation and reduction of the number of school-leavers. The networks of organizations invest in analyzing their regional problems and in making plans for cooperation and policies. The report also observes problems, such as the fact that teachers in the schools are often not aware of the agreements and policies. To sum up, the centres are still in their developmental phase and a direct relation with prevention of early school-leaving is hard to prove. It seems that improving cooperation in networks does contribute to better results.
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