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Agrupamento de Escolas de Moure e Ribeira do Neiva (AEMRN) has an autonomy contract with the Ministry of Education. This has a set of goals that involve the implementation of a Strategic Action Plan in which the promotion of the success is the priority dimension of the organisation. The present project aims to solve some of the breaches that have been detected while preparing the autonomy contract and that can be solved by training our staff. Our cluster of schools is located in Vila Verde’s municipality, Braga’s district. This municipality occupies an area of 229 Km2, with a population of 48.000 inhabitants. The cluster of schools Agrupamento de Escolas de Moure e Ribeira do Neiva (AEMRN) was created in the school years 2012/2013 from the joining of  a set of schools called Agrupamento de Escolas de Moure and another set of schools named Agrupamento de Escolas de Ribeira do Neiva. Today, the cluster has 16 schools with 9 kindergarten ,5 primary schools and 2 middle/high schools. The area of influence of our cluster is wide going west and north-western of the municipality till the borders with Ponte de Lima and Barcelos. This year 1200 pupils attended the schools of AEMRN. The social economic structure of the population is below regional average. The level of education of our pupils’ parents is, in its majority, low and so is their social and economic level. One can state that , in general,  our pupils come from families that have economic problems taking into  account the percentage of students that have economical help by ASE ( Ação Social Escolar)– 70%.This is an imposing reality  and can become an extra hardship regarding the pupils’ study conditions and their future expectations. The educational level of parents and families are also a strong indicator as to their occupation/ area of work: more than 50% of mothers are either at home or unemployed and around 40% of fathers work on farms or in jobs connected with the building area, which has, in the last years, been under a severe crisis as  our country. Therefore many of them are either unemployed or have emigrated. Having in mind all these aspects , the cluster AEMRN regards thinking  and changing in the way it works  as fundamental so it can respond adequately in order to educate pupils to be  autonomous, responsible , critical and creative thinking, close-knit and open to  today’s world demands. Regarding school results, the schools has been adapting in order to guarantee that all pupils finish their education process successfully. There have been some professional  and vocational courses that have responded to our pupils’ needs. However and unfortunately there is still around 1% of school early leavers and a global retention rate of 13%( 2012/2013 data). This problem increases with the evolving of the  school’s grade: 2nd cycle (10%)and 3rd cycle (15%). This may be greatly justified by success inhibitor factors such as: great disinterest and lack of endeavour in Mathematics and Languages subjects; lack of expectations towards learning from both pupils and parents; reduced  cultural, social and economic level in many families; illiteracy or very low educational levels; domestic violence and alcoholism; weak participation of parents in pupils’ school lives decreasing as pupils become older. Our cluster has decided to orientate  our action towards people, as they are the most important asset  schools can have, emphasizing the organizational happiness  as a resource that generates value tuned with knowledge and effective and efficient management. Due to the scattering of schools in our area,  the board and the intermediate leaders/ coordinators  are under great physical and intellectual  demand/stress  regarding the coordination and management of all the schools.

AE Moure e Ribeira do Neiva
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