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“School makes you strong” contributes to greater equity in education

International school achievement studies such as PISA and TIMSS show it again and again: The achievements of socially disadvantaged students are still less good than those of other students of the same age. The joint initiative by the federal and state governments to support schools in socially difficult situations is intended to help change that.

All schools are faced with the challenge of providing their students with suitable educational opportunities, promoting them individually, discovering their talents and spurring them on to achieve higher levels of achievement. This challenge is particularly great for schools in difficult social situations in the city but also in rural areas. The teachers often do a lot for their students: They design lessons, motivate and support their students when difficult family or social conditions mean that learning takes a back seat. You have to deal with very different levels of performance and still ensure that all students acquire the skills required for participation in society.
Special requirements and special commitment require special support. Therefore, in addition to the measures already taken, a joint action by the federal and state governments is required to support schools in socially difficult situations in coping with their tasks.

Schools are at the center of “School makes you strong”

In the initiative, teachers and school administrators from 200 schools work together with scientists from 13 research institutions and universities. Schools and science work together to develop strategies and approaches for teaching and everyday school life, geared towards local needs. The practical experience of the teachers flows directly into the common concepts. These are immediately tested in practice and - if necessary - adapted and further developed. The scientists incorporate the latest results and experience from the international and national research context into the development process. The schools are to be supported in designing their offers in such a way that the pupils can acquire the knowledge and develop the skills they need to find their own way in life despite their challenging starting conditions. Through networking in the social area, they should also be supported in finding and using the support offers that can improve their social situation.

“School makes you strong” is set to run for ten years - the federal and state governments jointly finance the initiative

The federal and state governments jointly decided on the joint initiative of the federal and state governments to support schools in socially difficult situations on October 23, 2019.
Sustainable and effective changes take time. That is why the initiative is set to run for ten years and is divided into two phases: During the first phase (2021 to 2025), science and schools develop tailor-made solutions and development prospects for the 200 schools involved. In the second phase (2026 to 2030), the developed concepts and strategies will also be transferred to as many other schools as possible with scientific support. In this way, the schools of the first phase share their experiences and successes.

The initiative, which started in January 2021, is jointly supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the 16 federal states. The federal and state governments each fund the initiative with a total of 125 million euros. The federal and state governments are also working closely together on implementation. The federal states coordinate the implementation of the initiative in their area of responsibility, involve the school inspectorate and the state institutes and make human and financial resources available to support the local schools. You have carefully selected the 200 participating schools. Already existing association and network structures as well as existing support offers of the federal states were taken into account.

The BMBF funds practice-oriented research in order to develop strategies and concepts in close cooperation with the schools involved. The BMBF is also responsible for the supraregional coordination of the initiative, e.g. the networking of scientists with schools and between schools. The BMBF is supported by the DLR project management agency.

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More information will follow in the next few weeks.

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