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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Special education needs provision within mainstream education


12.Educational Support and Guidance

12.1Special education needs provision within mainstream education

Last update: 16 February 2024

During the last decade, efforts have been made to develop a suitable regulatory framework that would guarantee the inclusion of children with disabilities, in all general schools. Law  on pre-university education marks an important step regarding the rights of children with disabilities, for their overall inclusion and quality education. The principle of equality 30 and non-discrimination is determined on the legal basis that regulates it. Article 5 of this law guarantees the right for education for a lot of categories, including the children with disabilities. Article 20 guarantees the right to psycho-social services in the educational institutions. Article 44 focuses on the curriculum, and emphasizes the fact that the curriculum should be in compliance with the physical, mental, social and ethical development progress of the students, and their individual learning characteristics. The curriculum should be developed and implemented based on fundamental competencies of the student. Chapter XI of this law, specifically Articles 63-65 refer to the education of children with disabilities. Some of the novelties of this chapter are: the development of individualized education plans for students with disabilities who need assistance, the presence of teaching assistant and the establishment of committees of educational needs assessment for these children as well as school-level teams in quality education assistance. 

The Normative Dispositions of pre-University Education,  make up a new chapter dedicated to the education of children with disabilities. Chapter XIII of these dispositions, one of the longest and most comprehensive chapters, elaborates in details the requirements of the law for university education for these children, paving the way for implementation of the right to inclusive and high quality education for all children with disabilities. Based on the regulatory framework that came into force, every child should be educated, but the decision to enroll the child in general or special school, is left in the hands of the parents. Thus, children with disabilities, regardless of the type and severity of disability, have the right to enroll in nurseries, kindergartens and general schools. Attending preschool is facilitated by removing all fees for children who are commissioned. Also, the new regulatory framework has determined the criteria and procedures for the establishment and operation of committees for the assessment of children with disabilities at the Regional Education Departments or District Offices, which will consist of multidisciplinary teams and will be based on bio - psycho - social evaluation models. These committees will determine the child's need for a teaching assistant, but will also provide the necessary guidance for the design of individual educational plan, that will follow each child with disabilities. In addition, during the recent years, the Ministry of Education and the Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-University Education have reviewed all preschool and school curricula, so that they can be designed in an inclusive language. However, there is still much to be done, in order to adapt the textbooks in Braille technique.

Despite challenges the number of children with limited abilities and special needs in mainstream education shows increasing trends. On the other hand the same holds true in regard to assistant teachers. The report between assistant teachers per student with limited abilities has progressively decreased and the number of assistant teachers employed is in continuous increase. 

Also the Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-University Education has drafted a needs assessment in regard to the needs for continuous development of assistant teachers in education.

To address the above-mentioned challenges in relation to special education and children with limited abilities the new "Strategy on education 2021-2026" predicts for several measures including continuous increase of assistant teachers in mainstream schools for the students with limited abilities and transformation of the schools into resource centers. 

Moreover within the framework of "EU for teaching" IPA funded Grant, the Open Society Foundation and University of Tampere Finland is  assisting the experts in regard to transformation of institutions into resource centers.