Education in Flanders : balancing social and economic rationales while tackling early school leaving
Faculty of Social Sciences. Instructional and Educational Sciences
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Educação, sociedade & culturas
, p. 13-32
University of Antwerp
Tackling early school leaving is one of the main EU 2020 targets and Flanders responsi - ble for education policy in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium fully endorsed these targets. However, educational issues are often heavily politicised in Flanders, and in particular the funda - mental restructuring of secondary education is seen as one of the most salient issues. In this paper we study the tensions between a social equity and an economic rationale underlying this debate. A general finding is that the position of Flanders in the PISA rankings is often recuperated by both sides of the ideological spectrum to illustrate the need to maintain Flanders top position or to combat the large social achievement gap. This article builds upon the data collection and analysis of the policy analysis and field description work package of the «Reducing Early School Leaving in Europe» (RESL.eu) research project and more in particular draws upon the findings presented in the Country Report of the Belgian (Flemish) partner (Nouwen, Clycq, Braspenningx, & Timmerman, 2014).