Background to the programme
The association La Bouture was born in Grenoble in 1996 under the leadership of Marie-Cécile Bloch and Bernard Gerde, both teachers, with the initial objectives of conducting a study on young people who disappear from the school system, to go and meet them and then unite stakeholders around this theme. La Bouture contributed to putting the problem of disengagement from school in the public sphere, notably by organizing a symposium in 1998.
From 2000, new activities have been developed, including a welcome centre for young people and families.
Objectives of the programme
- Offer a welcoming place that is devoid of institutional pressure
- Allow young people the freedom to come to terms with their past and future career path
- For young people who are monitored for a longer period: gain confidence in themselves and 'reconcile' with institutions
- Enable young people to better understand the rules of the game at school and the student "profession".
- Reassure the families, show them they are not alone
- Young people and/or families call La Bouture to make an appointment. Young people can then be monitored over a longer period by one of La Bouture's employees. This individual tracking enables the youngster to take stock of what they want and how and why they want to do it in order to put their successes and failures into perspective ... The duration of the monitoring varies according to the youngster.
- Individual tutoring in middle school: volunteers (often students) are trained for 5 half days to ensure voluntary individual monitoring of the college students (young people struggling in school, also some invited by their teacher). Strictly speaking it isn't tutoring but the aim is that young people better understand the meaning of academic learning, the rules of the game at school and the implicit behaviours created by the school system. This tutorial consists of one-hour meetings once a week, included in the school timetable, inside the institution.
- Tutoring in high schools: the final year students trained by La Bouture are supported from the 2nd year and work together on identity, belonging to the institution, the transition from middle school/high school ...
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
- 400 phone calls and 200 interviews each year. The demand is not decreasing. Young people are talking about it more and more: 40% of young people now come to La Bouture through word of mouth (against 8% in 2006).
20% of young people who come are still in the school system (DROP IN), and 80% have dropped out (DROP OUT).
- 55% come from Grenoble and its suburbs, 20% from the rest of the department, 15% from the rest of the region and 10% from outside the Rhône-Alpes region.
- On average, between 15 and 20 volunteers are divided into four partner institutions (who remain as partners from one year to the next).
- In 2014/2015: 70 final year high school students have supported the incoming 2nd year students.
- It is difficult to measure the impact of La Bouture's initiatives: the changes in pupils are due to a number of factors. While institutions are still calling on the association and young people are still talking about it, the association's initiatives can be considered effective.
Young people are welcomed to La Bouture without any indicators from the institutions . They are not considered guilty due to their situation, they are not judged. On the contrary, the goal is to help them gain new perspectives on both their past and their future; to come to terms with their history at school.
The youths who are welcomed have very different profiles, all the socio-professional categories are affected by drop outs.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
- Local Youth Centres
- Centre for Information and Guidance (IOC)
- Judicial Protection of Youth (PJJ)
- Local authorities ...
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- Finding Volunteers
- Institutional recognition: working quite well with stakeholders in the field but there can still be problems in terms of education.
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
- Make use of the employee's networks, go first to universities with a teaching option, then to training sessions for social workers to find new volunteers.
- Circumvent the academic obstacles by going directly to the national level
- Financing: agreement for the premises since 2012 with the Rhône-Alpes Region, the politicians at the City hall and the city of Grenoble which brings some stability
Suggestions for future improvement :
- Greater recognition from the Department for National Education: don't be branded as an "after school" service.
- Having better premises
- Obtain more stable financial resources
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- Young people are seen as spokespeople in their own right; what they have to say is important. They analyse their own educational shortcomings themselves
- Individual monitoring helps relationships of trust to be built and helps young people to look critically (positively and negatively) at the situation and the world around
Ideas for basic or applied research topics, that could be useful to the programme :
Analysis and study of La Bouture database which brings together 2,000 interviews and the career paths of dropouts. It deserves to be analysed since it could provide qualitative visibility of what dropping out is and the issues surrounding it. It would no doubt enable the Department for National Education to have reading materials and to understand the phenomenon better.