A Social Impact Bond to decrease school dropout in underprivileged neighborhoods across France

Updated: 7 days ago

KOIS is currently exploring the feasibility of a Social Impact Bond to support a project aiming to prevent school dropout as early as possible.

In France, about 100,000 students drop out of secondary school and leave the education system without a diploma. This particularly affects disadvantaged neighborhoods and priority educational networks (REP/REP+). The gap widens from an early age and weighs on the personal and professional development of young people who left school without a diploma. In fact, 80% of the students that dropped out were already facing difficulties during preparatory class, leaving primary education without mastering the basic skills. The reading ability is particularly linked to the a child's language repertoire; however, at age 3, a child from a disadvantaged background knows only 500 words whereas a child of a privileged area uses more than 1000.

In 2012, the total cost of a school dropout to society in France was estimated at €230,000. However, 1€ invested in early childhood benefits from the highest rate of return on investment and allows to avoid up to 8€ spend later in education, security, justice or social services. In order to overcome school drop-out, a comprehensive policy was developed in 2014 by the Ministry of National Education, based on 3 components: prevention, support and remediation.

Through research, we have found that it is possible to develop children's cognitive abilities through learning a music instrument. The practice of an instrument impacts the development of concentration, memory, language acquisition and reading.

Connections created before the age of 8 years are acquired for life. Thus, the project has for objective to reduce school dropout rates by integrating music education during school time. The first target group are schools from the Priority Education Networks in the Val d'Oise.

A Social Impact Bond would allow social investors to fund the proof of concept and transmission of best practices to government education system across France. Furthermore, the SIB could prove the economic benefits and educational benefits for participating children and their families and provide a blueprint for the French as well as global community on how to decrease school dropout effectively. KOIS is exploring the potential partnerships and impact metrics needed to structure this impact bond, with the aim to launch at the end of 2020.

Sources: Institut Montaigne, 2016; Cairn.info, Chantal Zaouche Gaudron, 2017 «Approche multidimensionnelle du développement de l’enfant»; Étude BCG/ Ministère de l’Education nationale et de la Jeunesse, Lutte contre le décrochage scolaire : Coûts et bénéfices associés à la lutte contre le décrochage scolaire, 2012; James Heckman, prix Noel d’économie en 2000

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