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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Separate special education needs provision in early childhood and school education

Belgium - German-Speaking Community

12.Educational support and guidance

12.2Separate special education needs provision in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

For a pupil to be eligible for special needs education, the Centre for the Healthy Development of Children and Adolescents must have diagnosed special educational needs. 

Special educational support is the possibility of offering children with permanently or temporarily increased support needs the best possible support in school. It supports teachers in primary schools in this work in a very direct way. 

Parallel to individual support measures, special educational support brings the school as a whole forward in this area.

Centre for Special Needs Education (ZFP)

In 2009, a service with separate management was created under the name "Centre for Special Needs Education". The Centre for Special Needs Education consists of three primary school departments and one secondary school department as well as a boarding school.


The Centre for Special Needs Education, together with the special needs schools of the teaching system organised and subsidised by the German-speaking Community, is responsible for ensuring basic provision of special needs education in the German-speaking Community. In particular, it performs the following tasks:

- providing special education at the level of primary and secondary schools;

- coordination of special educational support measures in integration projects;

- providing assistance and advice in drawing up individual support plans;

- Provision of specialist staff for special educational support in mainstream schools;

- advising and supporting mainstream schools and centres for training and further training in small and medium-sized enterprises on questions of special needs education;

- support for the methodological-didactical, pedagogical and psychological expansion of the competence of mainstream and special schools as well as the centres for initial and further training in small and medium-sized enterprises at the level of special needs education;

- assistance in the professional integration of pupils and ensuring integrative work placements in companies;

- education for sick children;

- care for pupils who, due to special difficulties, have to leave normal school life for a certain period of time and require socio-educational support with the aim of reintegrating them into everyday school life as quickly as possible; 

- organisation and implementation of measures to enhance the pedagogical skills of staff in the education sector; 

- counselling and support in the field of intercultural pedagogy and language promotion;

- Collaboration in the development of concepts for special needs education and in the management of their implementation.

In order to fulfil these tasks, the Centre for Special Needs Education works together with all partners active in the field of special needs education and in particular with the German-speaking Community's Office for Self-Determined Life.

Legal basis

The legal basis is the decree of 11 May 2009 on the Centre for Special Education, for the improvement of special educational support in mainstream and special schools and for the support of support for pupils with disabilities, adaptation or learning difficulties in mainstream and special schools

Support for the highly gifted

For the purposes of this chapter

- Highly gifted pupils: those pupils who have an intelligence quotient of at least 125;

- intelligence profile: individual profile that reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the individual in the sub-areas tested. These may relate to areas such as language comprehension, visuo-spatial thinking, working memory, processing speed and logical reasoning.

The decree provides for

- to reduce the length of secondary education

- recognise extracurricular venues and have them included in the timetable.

Legal basis

The legal basis is the Royal Decree of 29 June 1984 on the organisation of secondary education.

Definition of the Target Group

See above.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

See above.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils

See above. 

Curriculum, Subjects

See above.

Teaching Methods and Materials

See above.

Progression of Pupils

Transferring to Another Class, School Career Guidance

See above. 


See above.