10 educational guidance tips for kids and parents | Save the Children Italy

As the deadline for enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year, doubts and uncertainties are also growing for such an important decision to make. In this rite of passage, school orientation it is useful to accompany students in the choice of a school and a field of study in line with the different potentials, ambitions, talents and aspirations.

Choosing the school and training path implies a series of “emotions”, not only for boys and girls, but also for parents, who have the role of mediating and guiding between the possible alternatives. Here is one Decalogue in which we have collected, with the contribution of some teachers of the Outstanding network, advice and suggestions to guarantee support in all moments of choice for secondary school, offering answers to girls, boys and families.


1. It is important to know yourself

Self-awareness, of one’s aspirations, values ​​and abilities is essential for directing one’s school career and choose wisely. To get to know yourself it is important to know how to go beyond liking or success in a single subject and see your abilities and inclinations as a whole, reminding us to give space to passions also grown in extracurricular environments. Friendships are important, but don’t let yourself be influenced too much by the choices of your companions: put yourself on the line to build the path that best reflects your talents.

2. Talk to adults who know you

Parents, teachers and educators can accompany you in the choices that concern you: a external and adult point of view can support you in clarifying the real reasons for your choice, helping you to be more aware of your potential. This does not mean delegating the choice of school to others, but listen even those who know you well!

3. Know the different educational paths

Knowing the possibilities offered by the territory and comparing them with one’s own expectations and aspirations helps to make the right choice. It is important to be aware of possibilities offered by the different school curricula in terms of subjects and study paths/subsequent job opportunities. As far as new subjects are concerned, it may be useful to search the school website for the list of books: online or in the library, it is thus possible to get an idea of ​​what we will study in the future. In addition to consulting materials and information tools, it can be useful to meet those who know the school directly you are interested in: students but also teachers and school staff. On the occasion of open days or open lessons, it is useful to arrive prepared, for example by drawing up a list of questions to ask in advance.

4. Keep the possibilities open

Choosing the school looking to your future helps you to better direct decisions. However, it is important to keep in mind that the same objective can also be achieved through different ways: there is the possibility, for example, of change your mind about your journey academic or professional. The choice of high school is an important choice, but it is then each personal path that makes the difference: changing your mind along the way it’s not a failurea possible “re-orientation” can have positive implications and is part of the growth path.

5. Nurture your talents and passions

Dedicate time to what you are passionate about, with commitment and perseverance. Take care of your own abilities and potential it will be an invaluable help along your entire journey. Playing sports, reading, studying music, experimenting with volunteering… they are all useful activities to improve learning and well-being, as well as enriching your personality. Remember: your wealth of experience will help you, not count how fast do you go or just what grades will you get, but with how much effort, enthusiasm and curiosity you will be able to face the road and build your future, even when it may seem a little difficult!


1. Support your child in discovering himself and his talents

The choice of upper secondary school is part of the elaboration of one’s personal life plan. Parents can accompany this passage supporting children in becoming aware of attitudes, interests, motivations, making the most of potential and resources, through listening, observation and open dialogue.

2. Get into a listening position

It is essential that boys and girls are protagonists of their own choices and make informed decisions. It can be difficult, but it’s certainly important, to keep it right middle ground between wanting to impose one’s will and leave their children alone faced with such an important choice. Staying close to your children and remaining open to discussion and exchange will certainly help.

3. Compare with the school and the educational community

Teachers and educators can make their own valuable contribution in this choice: it is important to acquire i guidelines proposed by teachers and educators, be open to dialogue and comparison in order to have an overall picture of the possibilities. It is essential that students, teachers and parents actively collaborate in the orientation processalso enhancing the educational co-responsibility pact between school and family.

4. Find out about the school offer

It’s important find out about the overall offer of the schools, trying to get to know the educational proposals, methods, timetables, projects and extra-curricular activities, the outlets and the type of preparation they can offer. To get an overall picture of the school offer, you can consult the new portal “I choose, I study”. To learn more about the characteristics of each individual institution, it may be useful to browse the portal “Clear school”.

5. Go beyond prejudices and stereotypes

There is no absolute best school, there may be a best school for a specific male or female student: beware of prejudices about certain educational paths, which could preclude the choice of a school that is particularly suitable for your children’s career path. L’orientation is also a great one opportunity to support choices beyond gender stereotypes, valuing everyone’s interests and abilities in the first place. For example, by supporting girls and boys to become passionate about and undertake STEM study paths (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), or by bringing children and teenagers closer to disciplines related to education, teaching and care.

Orienting students to prevent early school leaving

As highlighted, the transition from lower secondary school to high school is a critical moment which, if not carefully considered, risks increasing early school leaving.

In fact, during the 2021-2022 school year, the failure rate the highest was registered among students in the first school year of high school, 8.1%, about 40 thousand students. While for the following years of attendance a reduction was observed in the percentage of rejections between the school year 2020-2021 and the academic year 2021-2022, the percentage of failures for those who attended the first year of secondary schools increased by one percentage point.

Furthermore, particular attention must be paid to contrasting inequalities in guiding students in their choices. Too often students in conditions of economic poverty or with a migrant background they are automatically directed to professional and technical institutes without the possibility of a choice that takes into account their actual interests and talents. It is also correct to pay attention to the STEM disciplines. Today graduates, and especially female graduates, in scientific and technological subjects are still few in Italy: in 2021 only 24% of young adults (25-34 years old) with a tertiary qualification have a degree in these disciplinary areas, a share that rises to 33.7% among men (1 out of 3) and drops to 17.6% among women (one out of six university graduates), highlighting an important gender gap.

To learn more, read our article on “School orientation: how to choose the right school” or, read the press release.

10 educational guidance tips for kids and parents | Save the Children Italy