Early childhood and schools

The OECD-Iceland Workshop on preventing dropout in Upper Secondary Schools in Iceland: Discussions with stakeholders


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Final Workshop Report


Towards a strategy to prevent dropouts in Iceland

Conference presentations

Preventing and re-engaging dropouts


Preventing dropout-Iceland in a comparative perspective

Teachers in Finland


Policies to ensure completion in Norway

The OECD-Norway Review

Improving Schools


The OECD-Iceland Workshop “Preventing Dropout: Iceland in a Comparative Perspective”, 22 November 2011 (agenda), was the first stage of the OECD-Iceland Improving Schools review. This OECD Review is designed to support countries in the design and implementation of their education reforms. The key objective of this workshop was to discuss and engage stakeholders in developing strategies to reduce dropout rates in Iceland. This was done by engaging key Icelandic stakeholders in discussing international practices and a set of OECD preliminary recommendations.


Participants came together to:

  • Analyse international evidence and practices that address upper secondary student dropout across different OECD countries.
  • Discuss the key issues, strengths and challenges facing the Icelandic upper secondary education system, based on the preliminary work presented by the OECD.
  • Explore strategies that could help address these issues to improve education attainment, through team work.

Who participated?


The workshop had 110 participants: Ministry officials, academia, parliamentarians, representatives from school associations, occupational councils, municipalities, teacher unions, head teachers, parents and students. They all participated actively, with enthusiasm and willingness to engage in dialogue and reforms.
Presenters and moderators included: Beatriz Pont (OECD), Diana Toledo Figueroa (OECD), Juliana Zapata (OECD), and international experts Petter Skarheim (Norway), Pasi Sahlberg (Finland) and Nancy Hoffman (United States).

Highlights of the workshop


The workshop was based on the preliminary analysis of challenges and policy areas for improvement prepared by the OECD. In addition to an overview of Iceland’s challenges and suggested policy areas for improvement, international experts provided first-hand accounts of reform processes to address dropout in upper secondary in Finland (Pasi Sahlberg), Norway (Petter Skarheim) and the United States (Nancy Hoffman).

During the parallel thematic sessions participants proposed strategies to address student dropout based on their own assessment of the strengths and challenges of the Icelandic upper secondary education and each policy area suggested by OECD. Final reflections were shared in a plenary discussion and these have fed into the final document “Towards a strategy to prevent dropout in Iceland”.






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