- About E2C
The European Association of Cities, Institutions and Second Chance Schools is an international network organisation in the field of teaching or enabling young people with lack of skills or qualifications to successfully gain access to education programmes or to the labour market.
The Association is an independent non-profit organisation and was legally established in Heerlen (The Netherlands) on the 4th of June 1999.
The main aims of the Association are to:
organise exchange and transfer of experience between the
cities and collective territorial bodies who have set up or participated in setting up a Second Chance School within the framework of the programme launched by the European Union
assist cities and collective bodies who wish to set up a Second Chance School
promote the European concept of Second Chance Schools in general
In the context of implementing the White Paper ”Teaching and Learning: towards the learning society” (1995), the European Commission launched the ”Second Chance Schools (SCS)” pilot projects in 1997.
The main aim of these pilot projects were to offer education and training to young people who lack the skills and qualifications necessary to find a job or fully benefit from conventional training.
Untill the year 2000 the project had a pilot status. In this period the initiatives from the SCS regarding the content and the organization had to be developed. Starting point in initiating these Second Chance Schools was to set up long-term local partnerships between all the institutions involved in the social and economic integration of young people at risk of social exclusion.
From the outset the cities have been part of a dynamic interchange between the Second Chance Schools; the close links between the initiatives makes a rapid exchange of good practice between the schools possible and has offered concrete perspectives for transnational exchanges; both to the youngsters as well as to their trainers.
As a result of this intensive exchange programme between the participants, the representatives of cities and local authorities that have set up Second Chance Schools, declared their intention to create a European network of cities.
In 1998 the City of Marseille took the initiative to set up an Association that will continue the network activities in order to carry on sharing experiences of the participating schools, and extend the number of participants cities and schools.
In June 1999 a European Association has officially been established in Heerlen (NL). The association is presided by the region Parkstad Limburg (NL) and the secretariat is carried out by Maecon (Heerlen, NL).
In the last years the association developed into an organization with a wide range. In 2004 it changed statutes in order to attract not only cities and Second Chance Schools, but also organizations who indirectly fight against the social exclusion of marginalized young people. By changing the statutes both the schools and associate members play a more prominent role in the association’s policy as they gather in the so called Educational Steering Group. This is the ’pedagogical heart’ of the association, working hard to develop new projects in order to enhance the quality and efficiency of second chance education in general.