chapter  6
17 Pages

Alternative schools: an educational safety net for long-term absent students


Dropping out of school and long­term absences are seen as problematic in the United States, Europe and other Western countries because they can lead to unemployment, crime and social exclusion later in life (Social Exclusion Unit, 1998; Sum et al., 2009). In Japan, long­term absence from school is popularly referred as futôkô (although the government provides a more precise definition, as discussed later), fuelling public debate about how best to address this problem. This chapter examines how schools that lie outside the formal education system have responded to the needs of futôkô students and the ensuing consequences.