Early School Leaving (ESL) is one of the main structural problems in the Catalan education system not only for its negative effects at the individual level, but also because it represents a challenge for the social, economic and cultural development of the whole country. In order to understand the diversity and complexity of ESL, it is essential to analyse how students make sense of their educational process. The main aim of this thesis is to explore how social class and gender have an effect on explaining educational experiences and processes of school (dis) engagement among students at risk ESL. The analysis is based on a qualitative methodology that enables to delve into students’ educational experiences and to explore the role of their parents and teacher in this process. The methodology is based on the development of case studies in four public high schools in the city of Barcelona. In each school, ethnographic work was carried out consisting of in-depth interviews with students, their parents and teachers, focus groups with students and teachers, and on-site (classroom and teacher meetings) observation. The main findings of the research are structured according to three actors: parents, teachers, and students. Firstly, the analysis shows that parents with students at risk of dropping out of school present different practices, strategies and experiences influenced by social class positions and school-family relationship. In this sense, a typology of parents has been elaborated based on two main axis: the degree of proximity between familial habitus and the institutional habitus on the one hand, and the degree of consensus in key aspects of the educational trajectory and choice-making process of post-school destinations. Secondly, the thesis explores the role of high schools in preventing ESL. To do so, pedagogical and organizational practices to prevent ESL are analysed, as well as how teachers conform their expectations towards students. The fact that these practices and expectations have been explored in four high schools with different social composition and different models to manage pupils’ heterogeneity enabled to reveal how schools can have different impacts in explaining students’ school (dis) engagement and generating different frames of educational opportunities. In relation to students’ educational experiences, these have been analysed through three dimensions of school engagement behavioural, emotional, and cognitive. In this sense, the thesis reveals a great variety of ways of behaving, of relating with teachers and peers, of being engaged to the school and to teachers, of being motivated with education all of which are are closely mediated by family, school and social class and gender dispositions. Finally, the analysis deals with the factors that explain how students shape their educational expectations related to post-school destinations Overall, this thesis reveals how the process of school (dis) engagement is linked to patterns of social inequality, which are expressed at the individual, relational, institutional and systemic level.