School failure occurs when a system fails to provide fair and inclusive education services that lead to successful learning, engagement, wider participation in the community and transition to a stable adulthood.

School failure occurs when a system fails to provide fair and inclusive education services that lead to successful learning, engagement, wider participation in the community and transition to a stable adulthood.

If a school system is unable to provide equitable learning opportunities to engage and enable every learner to successfully complete school prepared for adult life, it is ‘failing’.

At school level, school failure is defined as a school’s incapacity to provide fair and inclusive education and an adequate learning environment for learners to achieve outcomes worthy of their effort and potential. 

At the societal/community level, school failure occurs when the system fails to provide adequate mechanisms and services to assure participation in the wider community, resulting in learners being marginalised.

At individual level, school failure occurs when the learner fails to: 

  • obtain adequate qualifications when completing school; 
  • develop a minimum level of positive behaviour/knowledge/skills and advance to the next grade while at school – which can, in extreme cases, lead to school drop out.

Project findings and outputs from the Preventing School Failure project can be found in the project web area.