Affiliation(s)/ Institution


Email addresses

Project funded by

Ajuntament de la Garriga amb suport de Diputació de Barcelona

Promoter name and country


Type of provider


Area of implementation

  • urban
  • local

Context and motivation of the project - legislative background/obligations, institutional policy, institutional structures

The ACADA project was created in 1998 to help students in the upper years of compulsory secondary education (ESO) who have difficulties adapting to the traditional school environment and are at risk of dropping out, who at the same time have an interest in more practical learning. It is the result of joint efforts between secondary schools and La Garriga Council, the EAP (psychopedagogy assessment and guidance team) and the area inspector, with the aim of achieving a series of objectives that are described in the next section. The success of the programme and the demand for support from schools have led to the project running continuously over the past 18 years.

Aims of the project

Preventing early school leaving and making it possible for students to obtain a compulsory secondary education diploma. Helping students to continue their educational pathway through access to vocational training.

Target group

  • students

Description of the target group

Students in the fourth year of compulsory secondary education in the municipality’s three secondary schools (Institut Vil•la Romana, Institut Manuel Blancafort and Escola Sant Lluís) who experience difficulties in obtaining a compulsory secondary education diploma. The profile is diverse: young people with learning difficulties, a lack of motivation to study or a personal or family situation that affects their studies.

Staff (selection, evaluation, training, promotion)

The project team consists of: From La Garriga Council’s Department of Education: Teachers, support staff for the workshops and a coordinator from the Municipal School of Education. From the secondary schools: tutors and psychopedagogy team. External personnel: Person from the partner organisation responsible for overseeing the students on the work experience activities. The overall management of the project also involves participation by: The head of the Public Services Department and the Education Councillor from La Garriga Council. Head teachers from the secondary schools. Representative from the EAP of the Department of Education. Area inspector.

Methodological approach, activities implemented

ACADA is a schooling project implemented jointly by the secondary schools in which an adapted curriculum is taught and the Municipal School of Education (EME), which is responsible for giving the manual workshops and organising the work experience activities carried out in municipal bodies and external companies. The students change workshop and company every three months so that over the academic year, they have all been in a primary school, a municipal facility and a private company. Great importance is given to activities that place the project within its local setting, such as the Solidarity Workshop (in which the students create wooden pieces that they then donate to a charity) and the Environment Workshop (where they create an art workshop for primary students). For two years now, we have been carrying out exchanges with students from Segpa, a project similar to our own, in the region of Gironde, France.

Results and impact - data of program internal/ external evaluation, beneficiary satisfaction, the impact of the didactical practices at individual and institutional level

The project assessment is carried out in accordance with the ISO 9001:2008 standard. Quantitative data are collected regarding the number of students who obtain a compulsory secondary education diploma or register for vocational training, as well as qualitative data regarding the students’ level of satisfaction and evaluations from the work experience companies and workshop instructors. Monitoring meetings are held on a monthly basis by the EME personnel and the secondary schools to assess the students’ progress on an individual basis. A general meeting is held each year with the head teachers of the secondary schools and representatives from the Department of Education to assess the project and make proposals for improvement. Since it began, 310 students have participated, of which 87% have achieved a compulsory secondary education diploma and have gone on to do vocational training.

Conclusions, lessons learned

It is very important to work on the self-esteem of young people who are at risk of dropping out of school. Discovering that there is practical learning on offer and that they have skills and abilities that can be applied outside the school environment motivates them to continue studying. The exchanges with France have been very positive, as the students see that there are young people in other countries in a similar situation to their own. They have also been positive for the teachers and organisers, as they allow them to share problems and different teaching solutions.

Directions of further development/ Transferability, replicability

The project can be applied to other municipalities by adapting it to the corresponding context. The workshops may be related to a range of areas depending on the educational infrastructure available. The relationship between the project and its setting can be conveyed through different projects and activities. The ACADA project has been running for 18 years. The need to continue the project is based on three points: - the demand from secondary schools, which continue to encounter cases of students with difficulties in completing their secondary school education and obtaining a diploma; - the lack of resources in schools to meet the specific needs of these students, making support from the Council necessary; - the good results obtained through the project in terms of the number of students obtaining diplomas that would have otherwise been difficult without participation in the project.

Type of ESL (early school leaving) practice

  • Prevention
  • Intervention

Web references (url, social media presence)

Parameters on which the practice is applicable (check those appropriate)

  • Governance and coordination
  • Accessibility
  • Measures and profiles
  • Objectives and needs

Revista Guix. Número 369, novembre 2010. Editorial Graó. ACADA: un projecte consolidatde suport a l'alumnat amb dificultats de la Garriga.