Barriers to Education

There can be many reasons for being an early school leaver or a NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). Many of these people face various challenges that can all be considered as barriers to education. These barriers can e.g. be medical diagnosis such as Asperger’s, ADHD or anxiety as well as social problems as poor upbringing, lack of positive role models or low self esteem. It can also be barriers like poor literacy and/or numerical skills or barriers related to integration problems.

Please find below a number of barriers to education identified by the SOS-Network.
Best Title Education Barrier Agesort descending Gender Country Topic Abilities
Hyperkinetic discorders, ADHD

Hyperkinetic disorders, Short periods of concentration, Disorders in remembering aural material, Disorders in attention, memory and association in learning process, Slow pace of learning, Sysgraphia

14 male Poland Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dysgraphia
Learning difficulties and a low self-assessment

Difficulties in speaking, Low self-assessment, The feeling of being different than others, Slow speaking skills, Difficulties in writing - inability to create longer writing work, Great difficulties in science amd maths subjects.

14 male Poland Speech difficulties, Brain / Nerve, Literacy/Numeracy difficulties
Dyslexia and concentration difficulties

Student's comments: 'I couldn't keep up with the school programme, because I have been ill many times since I started school. I don't understand Maths.'

15 male Poland Concentration (lack of), Dyslexia
Gypsy background

Lack of interest in her family about her studies. No study habit at all. Repeated absences promoted by her parents.

15 female Spain Punctuality (lack of), Family, Minority, Culture, Literacy/Numeracy difficulties
Social and learning difficulties

Problems with emotion and motivation areas. Poor lexis Poor aural memory Problems in concentration of attention Problems with maths and counting Illegible writing

15 male Poland Social Behaviour, Motivation, Participation, Behavioural Barriers, Concentration (lack of), Literacy/Numeracy difficulties, Dyscalculia
Truancy and problems with concentration

Student's comments: 'I sometimes play truant, because I do not keep up with science and maths projects. I can't concentrate during lessons.'

16 male Poland Social Behaviour
Difficult home life and negative experiences in the past

Past Negative Experience - this young person feels that school years have not been productive as he has been excluded from 2 different schools, mainly down to lack of attention/effort, resulting in bad behavioural patterns.

16 male United Kingdom Social Behaviour, Homeless, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Lack of attention - ADHD

Lack of attention. It is impossible for the student to stay at his desk for more than 5 minutes without speaking or getting up.

16 male Spain Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Hyperactivity and problems with concentration

Hyperactivity. Difficulties in concentration.

16 male Finland Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Girl with severe language difficulties

A girl with severe learning difficulties, and a mental age of 9.

17 female Spain Literacy/Numeracy difficulties
Low self-esteem and panic disorder

Fear of new situations, panic disorder, low self-esteem, a lot of gaps in learning from the basic educational level.

17 male Finland Self-esteem, Panic attacks
Problems with attendance and drug addiction

Initially, he came irregularly and often late to his place of work/workshop and additionally, was happy to extend his weekends offering some excuse or other for not turning up.

17 male Germany Drug, Participation
Threatening attitude and problems with following rules of conduct

The student has serious problems with following rules of conduct. Teachers understand his behaviour as a threatening attitude instead of a disorder.

17 male Spain Social Behaviour
Social fears and stress and bullying

The girl has high levels of absence. In the time in which she is not in school she is lying in her bed and explains that she cannot stand up. Because of her times absent she is missing much instruction in school.

17 female Germany Social Barriers, Bullying, Participation, Depression, Stress
Low self-esteem and learning difficulties

Low self-esteem, needs a lot of guidance, learning difficulties.

17 female Finland Self-esteem, Learning Barriers
Aggressive behaviour - ethnic minority

The boy has six brothers and sisters. His parents barely speak the German language and can’t support their children in school. They cannot support the integration into German society. The student has got a bad attitude. His behaviour is harsh against his colleagues.

17 male Germany Social Behaviour, Motivation, Violence, Punctuality (lack of), Minority
Dyslexia and discalcula causing stress

He is very weak academically - both in linguistic formulation and comprehension. At the same time he suffers from dyscalculia.

17 male Denmark Dyslexia, Dyscalculia
Low self-esteem and reading and writing difficulties

Student who belongs to a broken family. He has not had stablished study habit before.

17 male Spain Care or foster home, Self-esteem, Learning Barriers, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia
Poor cognitive performance and lack of capacity for empathy

The students cognitive performance is poor. Lack of capacity for empathy.

17 male Finland Learning Barriers
Perception disorder

The student doesn’t come to college, his attendance is poor. He's not motivated to study in a formal educational environment.

17 male Finland Participation, Perception Disorder
Aggressive behavious connecting to upbringing in foster care

Student's behaviour is rather aggressive and some of the classmates are afraid. She has lots of absences from the college. She got pregnant during the first year at college.

17 female Finland Social Barriers, Motivation, Bullying, Participation, Care or foster home, pregnancy
No motivation, family background with indication of neglect

The girl doesn’t seem to be motivated for education. Apparently, she is unresolved, and partly also quite unrealistic, with regards to her choice of education.

17 female Denmark Motivation, Child care

She suffers from asthma and she can find it difficult to breathe. This usually happens during really hard physical activity, like running a long distance or hard work for example.

17 male Spain Asthmatic
Brain injury causing cognitive difficulties

She has a brain injury which causes cognitive difficulties such as violent temper and problems with concentration and the ability to recall skills. Neither physically or mentally she can live up to a requirement of full working hours. She often suffers from anxieties and insomnia.

18 female Denmark Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety, Brain damage
Restless, quick-tempered, short-fuse

Gets nervous easily and deliberately annoys other students, restless, quick-tempered, short-fuse.Does not live at home, because his parents could not cope with him: non-attendance at the VET College. Does not want to take the ADHD medication prescribed to him.

18 male Finland Participation, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Concentration (lack of)

Barriers to Learning & Employment