Stage 6: "Follow-up study on former students of special schools (being part of starting cohort IV within the National Educational Panel Study)"

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As part of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), students in grade 9 in 2010 have been interviewed on a basically yearly basis. The sample of 9th graders included all school forms, from special schools to gymnasium. Since 2015, the WZB Project Group successfully applied for external funding to continue the panel for former special school students.

So far, there are no nationally representative data on the life-courses of former students from special schools once they have left secondary school.

This research project will continue to survey these students and provides unique and innovative data to answer the following research questions: How do former special school students proceed through different educational stages (after grade nine or ten)? Who are the ones experiencing a smooth transition from school to the vocational training system? Who is dropping out and who is not making use of available options at all? Which factors have an impact on the transition from school to the vocational training system? What kind of special support measures are beneficial for transition to the vocational training system? Is in-school-guidance perceived as more helpful compared to extracurricular guidance? And are there differences between these students and those with similar competences from different school types?

We expect to get profound insights into educational trajectories of former students of special schools, and help to understand what kind of disadvantages students from these schools face compared to students from other school tracks.