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Arco Maior

Arco Maior


Evidence of results

Purpose related to Let's Care

Level of Education

Second Chance School


Safe Schools

Brief description of the Project






Public funding and access


Educational and social integration of young people who have dropped out of school in the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia and who are at risk of social exclusion, without the corresponding school certification"


"The principles that guide the Arco Maior socio-educational project.
The life project : looking ahead, leaving the past behind, without recriminations, labels or accusations, Arco Maior wants to accompany the (re)construction of life projects.
Dialogue: Inter-institutional and inter-professional cooperation is the antechamber of cooperation.
Greatness : Arco Maior will always work in stone and brick houses, but we will be an elastic, plastic, wide-door socio-educational dynamic, able to welcome any kind of person.
Tenderness: learning based on love
Autonomy : the educational - and also school - proposal made to these young people and their ""deviant"" behaviour must be worked out case by case and built step by step, under the motto of lightness, starting from an adventure that teachers and trainers guide with rigour and determination.
The ""capacities"" : These young people appear in the Arco Maior very marked by a list of handicaps and by the accumulation of failures and failures. Arco Maior focuses on capabilities (tastes, aptitudes, interests, strengths, knowledge,...).
The family must always be at the centre of the temporary presence of adolescents in Arco Maior.
Freedom: every teacher and trainer can and must, in freedom and with responsibility, create the conditions for each adolescent to build here a new life project, a personal and social itinerary in which he or she truly believes."

Type of Action

Academic GuidanceActive methodologies (project based learning)LessonsSchool reinforcement (non formal education)

Target Group and Determinants attended

FamiliesStudents (Migration processes)Students (No parental care)Students (Socioeconomic status)

Professionals involved

EducatorsSchool ManagementTeachers

Networking - Actors and Institutions mobilised by the Project


Based on a diagnosis of school learning, practical knowledge and social skills of each adolescent and young person, a project is carried out to monitor personal development, followed by each teacher and everyone, in a cooperative work


"The particular situations of each student who receives, young people who have effectively dropped out of school,
following more or less complex processes of repeated absentee offenders, some of them with judicial sanction"

Grade of linkage with the Safe Education Model

The programme stands out for its pedagogical model focused not only on the student's academic training, but also on his or her personal and emotional empowerment, as reflected in the 8 basic principles on which the program is based. This differentiates Arco Maior from other second chance centers, where this attention to the student's well-being and secure attachment is not so prominent

Grade of linkage with the purpose of Let's Care

The programme provides academic training for all students who have dropped out of the formal Portuguese education system. It is therefore a new way to re-engage in education and thus reduce the risk of dropping out of school

Grade of evidence about impact and political relevance

From 2013 to 2019, 300 students and nearly 100 trainers have passed through Arco Maior. It is noteworthy that the programme gathers evidence of impact in terms of psychosocial evidence (increased personal well-being, increased emotional stability, increased confidence, increased self-esteem, etc.). At the political level, its impact is regional in scope, collaborating with NGOs and third-sector companies in the region.

Grade of evidence about impact - Project deliverables


The programme proposes an evaluation protocol to obtain information on the results obtained in each application, regardless of the context. In addition, it follows a protocol for feedback and discussion with the actors involved on the preliminary results of the evaluation. These results allow for the development of concrete, practical and actionable recommendations. It should be noted that this evaluation takes into account the improvement of students' socio-emotional competence.


Tenderness, autonomy, professional integration

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