Background to the programme
The Entraide Scolaire Amicale (ESA) is a non-profit, apolitical and non-denominational organisation. It was created in 1969 in Paris, recognised as an association in 1977. Over the years, it has developed its activities by creating branches in the Parisian suburbs and in some regions. Each year it helps more than 3,000 children through the volunteers it recruits.
Our assessment is simple: it is never too late to help a child with difficulties in school and never too early to better support and take care of them.
The E.S.A. ensures voluntary school support at all levels (primary, middle, high school) for children whose parents can neither help nor get help for them due to a lack of necessary knowledge and financial means.
Objectives of the programme
In the interests of equality, the E.S.A. has the objective of fighting failure in school by supporting children to become independent through offering personalised and supervised support based on mutual trust.
To help children succeed, the E.S.A. has fixed 3 goals:
1-Support children individually. We help them address shortcomings, organise their work and choose their direction in school.
2-Open up the child to the world around them. We educate them in culture and citizenship through cultural outings.
3-Help parents understand the challenges of schoolwork.
We encourage them to get involved in the education of their child.
Each child is supported by the same volunteer throughout the school year, at least one hour a week at the child's home.
The same child may be supported for several years until they become independent.
The organisation of local initiatives is handled by the leaders (also volunteers) of the 100 branches of the association that organise the partnerships and take care of the link with the families.
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
- Since the creation of the E.S.A. in 1969, more than 50,000 children have been helped. During the school year 2013/2014, ESA has helped more than 3,100 children through its 2,500 volunteers including 870 in Paris, 880 in the rest of Ile de France and 1,370 in the Provinces. Over the last three years, growth has been around 10% per year in the number of volunteers as well as the number of children helped.
- The E.S.A. activities promote unlikely encounters between people, volunteers and families. The relationship established with families through the regular meetings enables them to look differently at society. It restores trust in children, gives meaning to their school work and creates the necessary conditions for success.
- The impact on the participants is measured through assessments set up by volunteers and families. In 2013-2014, 86% of volunteers and 96% of families think that the activities of ESA allowed the child to improve their school grades, 90% of volunteers and 86% of families consider that the child improved their behaviour.
- The E.S.A. is officially recognised and accredited as an Complementary Educational Association of Public Education in the academies of Créteil and Versailles. It is also approved by Youth and Education. The E.S.A. is labelled as IDEAS (label attesting to the good governance, financial management and efficiency of the initiative).
The E.S.A. works thanks to the commitment of its volunteers who have all subscribed to the values of ESA described in the association's charter. The E.S.A. invests heavily to develop the skills of its volunteers: training program (700 participants in the year), methodological support information available on the website, close supervision of volunteers by the branch manager, welcome meeting for new people, experience sharing sessions (one per quarter for each branch).
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
Close relationships are largely developed with school assistants and the teaching world.
National public and private partners are numerous: Ministry of Education, National Agency for Social Cohesion and Equal Opportunities, Ile de France region, CAF, Alliance of Patrons for Education, United Way Tocqueville, BNP Paribas, Orange Foundation, Fondation SNCF, GMF, Natura, Cheque Dejeuner, Tata Consultancy Services, ...
The E.S.A. participates in Contracts for Local Support with Education (CLAS) and in the Educational Success program.
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- The culture of E.S.A. is based on strong values. Professional ways of working and a search for financial partners are not self evident in the historical culture of the association.
- The operation of the E.S.A. is based mainly on volunteers. Among the helpers turnover is around 40%; it is less for the managers. It is therefore essential to continuously renew the pool of volunteers.
- The creation of new branches means finding volunteers who are ready to take on responsibility and build.
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
- The association is structured to supervise and professionalise volunteers.
- It is in the middle of being structured to provide methodological support to the branch managers who are the lynchpins of ESA
- The association has a website and an Extranet to allow managers to share data.
- It has professionalised its processes to comply with IDEAS and its partners' labelling requirements.
Suggestions for future improvement :
The E.S.A. has a development project that aims to consolidate its activities in areas where it is present and the creation of new branches with the identification of target sectors.
The development of partnerships should enable it to increase its resources including in communication to offer better visibility and facilitate the recruitment of volunteers.
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
The results obtained by ESA are mainly due to the following factors:
- Strong and shared values
- Flexibility of the options to attract volunteers, especially in managing their schedule
- One to one method that creates links between the volunteer, the child and the family, school results have improved
- Professional operation of the organisation with notably a significant focus on supervision and improving the skills of volunteers