The assessment of the pupils takes place by:
- periodical examinations of larger units of subject material
- formative evaluation
- daily short evaluations
- home works
- other forms of assignment
The education provider determines autonomously the local policy on evaluation. The class council is responsible for the evaluation of every individual pupil. The class council consists of all teachers who have taught the pupil and is presided by the school head. The final assessment in function of the study progress is a joint decision by the deliberating class council (see also progression of pupils). Regulation however stipulates that in some final years an integrated test (practical test) is obligated. This test is also evaluated by experts from the vocational sector to which the course of study leads.
The assessment of pupils can results in the suspension of classes, e.g. through the organisation of class council-meetings and the provision of feedback to pupils. The maximum number of days which can be spend on the assessment of pupils is:
- 60 half days for schools that apply a system of exams
- 18 halve days for schools that apply a system of formative assessment
Progression of pupils/students
The class council is the central evaluation body in secondary education. It has three assignments:
- deciding on granting access to a certain school year
- guiding and evaluating in the course of the school year
- assessing and deliberating at the end of a school year
A positive decision by the admissions committee (= the class council of the receiving school year) is in certain cases necessary for the progression of pupils.
At the end of the school year the deliberating class council decides jointly about whether a pupil has sufficiently reached the objectives of the teaching plan in order to move up to the next school year, possibly with certain restrictions (=by adding a clauseto their formal decision). The descision the class council makes, is made based on an assessment of all data (grades,...) of a student collected in the course of the school year.
The Flemish government (Education and Training) does not lay down assessment criteria or minimal grade to be reached in order to pass. This implies that the class councils dispose of a wide autonomy. The government does however determine that in the context of assessment (and progression) of pupils, schools must ensure a clear and open line of communication and all decisions taken by the deliberating class council must be motivated.
Parents and pupils can lodge and appeal against no or a limited progression within the school context.
The deliberating school council decides whether a pupil has sufficiently reached the objectives of the teaching plan on or before 30 June, prior to the summer holidays. In exceptional cases she can postpone her decision, for example by obliging a pupil to resit an exam. In case of postponement the decision is taken ultimately on the 1st of September.
Grade repetition is possible. A pupil who does not succeed have to resit their year. In the case of the addition of a clause to the decision of the delibarting school council, (limited progression to the higher school year) grade repetition is optional (e.g. when students want to follow a course of study that has been exclused by this clause).
Certificates granted by the school
At the end of the school year three types of orientation certificates can be granted:
- a certificate A, when the pupil has successfully finished the school year
- a certificate B, when the pupil is granted access to the next year, but which excludes certain types of education or courses of study
- a certificate C, which implies that a pupil must repeat the year
At the end of the first grade a certificate of that grade is granted to pupils who have passed. In the first grade of secondary education a Primary Education Certificate is granted to pupils who pass the first grade of secondary education and were granted access to the first grade without having obtained the Primary Education Certificate.
Certificates granted by the Examination Board of the Flemish Community for fulltime secondary education
The certificate of the first stage, the certificate of the second stage and the Secondary Education Certificate can also be obtained by successfully taking the exams by the Examination Board of the Flemish Community for fulltime secondary education. This provides an alternative to the standard procedure at school. It offers amongst others a solution for youngsters who comply with compulsory education by means of home education and who cannot obtain official certificates in this home education.