Students with special educational needs

Pursuant to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, a pupil is considered to have an special educational need, when he or she needs changes or adjustments in the subject matter, process, duration, workload or environment of study (e.g. teaching materials, school rooms, language of communication, including a sign language or other alternative means of communication, support staff, teachers who have received special training) or in the expected learning outcomes or in the work plan drawn up by a teacher for working with a class because of his/her

  • talent,
  • learning difficulties,
  • health status,
  • disability,
  • behavioural and emotional disorders,
  • longer-term absence from studies, or
  • insufficient proficiency in the language of instruction of a school.

The organisation of study of pupils with special educational needs is guided from the principle of inclusive education, meaning that the pupils with special educational needs generally attend their regular school of residence.

If a pupil needs very specific organisation of studies and resource-intensive support services because of his/her severe disability or disorder, then appropriate opportunities are provided for studies in classes or schools for pupils with special needs. Parents are free to choose, whether their child would be better in a regular school or in a school for students with special educational needs.

The state manages schools for:

  • visually impaired and hearing impaired pupils,
  • pupils who, in addition to a physical/motor disability, have an additional special educational need,
  • pupils with emotional and behavioural disorders,
  • pupils with moderate, severe and profound learning difficulties, and
  • pupils in need of special treatment due to behavioural problems.

Support measures for pupils with special educational needs

When a pupil exhibits a special educational need, the necessary pedagogical or psychological procedures are initiated under the guidance of the school’s special educational needs coordinator and additional support measures are implemented. The services of at least a special education teacher, psychologist or social educator must be granted for the pupil, if necessary.

The most widespread primary support measures offered by the school are differentiated teaching in classes, additional guidance outside classes, special education or speech therapy assistance in remedial instruction groups and implementation of an individual curriculum.

Individual curriculum

An individual curriculum is a curriculum drawn up for a pupil with special educational needs and describes the conditions necessary for learning and developing according to the pupil’s abilities. The curriculum is used in any school or class on a variety of occasions. It can be drawn up for one, several or all subjects.

Regional counselling centres

When the support measures devised by the school fail to yield desired results, then the school as well as the parents have the opportunity to address a regional counselling centre for guidance.

Additional psychological or medical assessments are conducted, if necessary, and a counselling committee will give its recommendations for the best possible organisation of studies. The recommendations of the counselling committee are binding for the school. Information about regional counselling centres is available at the Innove Foundation homepage.

Last amended: 29-02-2016 00:00 | Compiled by: Ministry of Education and Research