The effectiveness of active school attendance interventions to tackle dropout in secondary schools: a Dutch pilot case

Sofie J. Cabus*, Kristof De Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Unauthorized truancy is considered as one of the earliest signals of a prospective school dropout decision. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of an active school attendance intervention tackling school dropout in Dutch secondary education. The intervention consists of increased care for, and interaction with, at-risk students by, for example, visits at home. It relies on professional mentors, teachers, case managers, social workers, and compulsory education age consultants. We analyse the effect of the intervention by a difference-in-differences analysis in combination with matching estimation techniques. The results indicate that the intervention schools significantly reduced school dropout with −0.54% points in the school year 2009–2010 compared to the control schools and the school year 2008–2009. The highest impact (−1.4% points) of the intervention was estimated for the least able students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-80
JournalEmpirical Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Effectiveness
  • Dropout prevention
  • Secondary education
  • Truancy

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