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Eurydice

EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Guidance and counselling in early childhood and school education

Czechia

12.Educational support and guidance

12.4Guidance and counselling in early childhood and school education

Last update: 9 February 2024

 

Institutionalised guidance and counselling for parents using children's groups (dětské skupiny) is not established. Within the project Support for the Implementation of Children's Groups, several information materials for parents were published, aimed to facilitate their orientation in the types of preschool facilities and the selection of a children's group. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs also prepared the recommendation for parents to conclude a contract for the provision of childcare services in a children's group..

Guidance and counselling in the area of education (incl. tertiary professional education) is described in the following sections.

Academic guidance

Counselling in education from early childhood up to the higher education institution level is provided on the basis of the Education Act and the Decree on Providing Guidance in Schools and School Guidance Facilities. Counselling is provided for children, pupils and students (hereinafter pupils), their parents/guardians, schools and school facilities, and in close cooperation with them. The condition for the provision of psychological or special pedagogical counselling services is the written informed consent of the (adult) pupil or his/her parent or guardian. The activities and measures are provided to pupils free of charge from the state budget.

Counselling in education includes a wide range of services to support and broaden the effectiveness of education of pupils – psychological, special educational and career services. The services cover diagnostics (psychological diagnostics, special educational diagnostics, diagnostics concerning supporting measures for pupils with special educational needs), specification of recommendations of relevant supporting measures, assistance in their implementation in practice and continuous monitoring of their effectiveness. Consultation, interventions, coordination and career counselling are provided.

The task of academic guidance is to recognise in good time a risky pupil in terms of their development and education, identify their educational needs and, in collaboration with all the relevant workers and behavioural analysis, to specify targeted support measures to improve their learning results and support their personal development and career orientation:

School counselling is targeted at boosting the knowledge and skills of pupils, including social skills, all-round personality development, career decision making, and lifelong learning.

Consulting services also concern the prevention of school failure, dropping out from studies, risky behaviour, the relationship and personal issues, and targeted interventions to solve these problems.

The consulting services are also focused on providing direct psychological and special pedagogical interventions for pupils with special educational needs, assistance in solving their risky situations, and methodological support to parents, teachers and school facilities.

School counselling services also include social consulting services providing social and legal counselling, social interventions, and collaboration with the public authorities (bodies for the social and legal protection of children) to promote the interests of the pupil.

Very important tasks of the school counselling include finding out suitable support measures for pupils with special educational needs, gifted pupils, and pupils from different cultural backgrounds, finding particular support measures according to the needs of the pupils and taking part in their implementation in the process of the pupils' education to increase its success. Another integral part is the monitoring of the effectiveness of the support measures and their functioning in practice.

Consulting services are provided by schools and school guidance and counselling facilities:

The schools are obliged to provide counselling services for their pupils and their parents and guardians. The counselling at schools is ensured by means of education staff (school counsellor, prevention specialist in counselling centre, school psychologist, special educational needs specialist). The basic and upper secondary schools (and also the tertiary professional schools) provide the services within the so-called school guidance and counselling workplace (školní poradenské pracoviště). Each school develops and implements a school programme of guidance and counselling services and a school preventive programme.

The school guidance and counselling facilities include pedagogical and psychological counselling centre and special educational centre. Special education centres (speciálně vzdělávací centra) are primarily focused on supporting pupils with intellectual, physical, visual or hearing disabilities/impairments, speech impediments, concomitant multiple disabilities, and autism. Pedagogical and psychological counselling centres (pedagogicko-psychologické poradny) specialise rather in assessment of school readiness, providing counselling for pupils with developmental disorders of behaviour and learning, for gifted and exceptionally gifted pupils, for pupils from different cultural backgrounds and for pupils with different living conditions, for pupils with an increased risk of school failure, for pupils with personal or relationship problems, etc. The institutions are only partly specialised; most of them work in all three areas – educational (study), psychological, and career. Professional competence in the area is required. Institutions focused on the needs of pupils with disabilities and some institutions that deal only with career counselling stand somewhat apart. Consulting services may also be provided by other natural or legal persons within the specified range and conditions.

The methodological and theoretical background is provided by the National Pedagogical Institute. It has also a coordinating role and role in the further training of guidance counselling staff, and departments of psychology and special education at higher education institutions. The National Pedagogical Institute provides both information and methodological background and direct services in the field of pedagogical, psychological, and career counselling. In career guidance it cooperates with the Labour Office and its regional branches, under the control of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The methodological and professional platform is also represented by associations that deal with various areas of education and higher education institutions (departments of psychology and department of special education).

The National Institute for Education is authorized to review the recommendations of school counselling facilities concerning the requirements of pupils with special educational needs, proposals for their successful education, and the specification of support measures to enhance the educational effectiveness of pupils with special educational needs. Adult pupils, legal guardians of under-age pupils, a public authority, the school or school facility, or the Czech School Inspectorate may ask for a revision of a recommendation issued by a school counselling facility if there are doubts about its accuracy.

Families with disabled children up to 7 years of age can take advantage of early care services provided under the Social Services Act. This is a field service, possibly supplemented by an outpatient form, provided to the child and the parents of a child who is disabled or whose development is at risk due to unfavourable health conditions. The service is aimed at supporting the family and the child's development with regard to his/her specific needs. There is a list about 50 providers in the register of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Some of them, for example, organise various seminars or lend appropriate aids and toys for children. Consultations take the form of field work. They can be supported from public sources.

Counselling services at schools

Schools provide counselling services for their children, pupils and students (hereinafter pupils) and their parents and guardians. A substantial part of them consist of giving support to the pupil's personality, their educational results, setting suitable conditions for education, the prevention of risky behaviour, and assistance in the pupil's decision-making process on their careers, and ensuring the provision of support measures for pupils with special educational needs and gifted pupils. Counselling services are provided within the scope of their competencies by all educational staff of the school. Some counselling services at schools are provided by specialised counselling staff.

School counselling includes, in particular:

  • providing support measures to the pupils with special educational needs;
  • monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of selected support measures;
  • preventing the school failure;
  • career guidance integrating educational, informational, and advisory support for a suitable choice of an educational pathway and following professional career;
  • support for the education and the social inclusion of pupils from different cultural backgrounds and with different living conditions,
  • support for education of gifted and exceptionally gifted pupils;
  • continuous and long-term care for pupils with educational (behavioural) or learning difficulties and the creating a favourable social climate for accepting cultural and other differences in school and school facilities;
  • the early intervention of current problems for individual pupils and class groups;
  • prevention of all forms of risky behaviour, including various forms of bullying and discrimination;
  • continuous evaluation of the effectiveness of prevention programmes implemented by the school;
  • methodological support for teachers in the use of psychological and special pedagogical procedures in the educational activities of the school;
  • cooperation and communication between the school and parents/representatives;
  • cooperation of the school in providing counselling services with school guidance and counselling facilities.

Each school (including nursery schools) develops and implements a school programme of guidance and counselling services, which includes a description and definition of the activities of the below mentioned school counselling staff, and a school prevention program, including a strategy to prevent school failure, bullying and other risky behaviour.

Counselling at basic and upper secondary schools and conservatoires

The basic schools (základní školy), upper secondary schools (střední školy) and conservatoires (konzervatoře) (and also the tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy)) provide the consulting services through a school guidance and counselling workplace​ (školní poradenské pracoviště).

As a rule, it includes:

  • a school counsellor (výchovný poradce) who provides consulting services in selecting an education pathway or jobs, i.e., career counselling, participates in the solving educational or relationship difficulties of the pupil, or mediates contact with specialists
  • a school prevention specialist (školní metodik prevence) who coordinates the specification and implementation of the school preventive programme which primarily concerns the prevention of risky behaviour (skipping school, self-harm, drug use, sexual abuse, racism and xenophobia), support for multicultural values, and contact with specialists

It can also include:

  • a school psychologist (školní psycholog) who is particularly involved in the creation of an inclusive climate at school, participates in the formation of the plans of pedagogical support and individual educational plans, consults issues of education with parents and guardians, assists in matters of education, helps pupils solve their problems, participates in the support of the education of the pupils, including gifted ones, identifies the pupil's risky developmental factors in time, performs indicative psychological diagnostics, and gives direct help to pupils with special educational needs in accordance with the content of the support measures
  • a special educational needs specialist (speciální pedagog) who is particularly engaged in creating an inclusive climate at the school, supporting the education of pupils with special educational needs, especially pupils with health disadvantages, the timely identification of risk factors in the child's development, performing pedagogical interventions in accordance with the recommendations for pupils' support, participating in the elaboration and fulfilment of the plans of pedagogical support, participating in the creation and fulfilment of individual educational plans, providing methodological help to school staff during the education of pupils with special educational needs, and giving methodological assistance and support to pupils' parents/guardians in matters of education

The decision on staffing of the school guidance and counselling workplace falls within the competence of the school head.

In providing consulting services, the school counselling staff of the school guidance and counselling workplace cooperate with the education staff, particularly with class teachers and the school counselling facility in the matter of pupils' education and the adjustment of suitable educational conditions. The school collaborate with a pedagogical and psychological counselling centre (pedagogicko-psychologická poradna), a special educational centre (speciálně pedagogické centrum), or other institutions which participate in the educational support of the pupil and protection of their interest, or with the authorities for the social and legal protection of children and non-governmental organisations working in the field of social inclusion. The school also collaborates with the Labour Office under the control of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Greater involvement of guidance and counselling staff is financially supported, for example, within the framework of the Templates from OP Jan Amos Komenský (2021–2027) calls. In addition to the school psychologist and school SEN specialist, funds can also be used for positions that are not yet defined by the Act on Education Staff, e.g., career counsellor (kariérový poradce) or social pedagogue (sociální pedagog).

On the basis of recommendations by the school guidance and counselling facility, schools draw up an individual educational plan for the pupil to support the education of pupils with more special educational needs and pupils needing support measures of the 2nd to 5th levels. The individual educational plan includes pedagogical, organisational, content, personal and technological modifications to the education process and examinations. At the upper secondary education level, the school head may also allow education according to the individual educational plan for other reasons than the existence of special educational needs or the talent of the pupils (in this case, there is no need for a recommendation from a school guidance and counselling facility).

 

Counselling at nursery schools

Nursery schools (mateřské školy), which are intended mainly for children from 2 years of age, provide counselling services to parents in the field of pedagogical support concerning the development of their children and give the parents information on professional consulting and other available services that focus on supporting the children's interests, development, and preparation for compulsory education. To provide consulting services, the nursery school are not obliged to set up a school guidance and counselling workplace.

The nursery school collaborates with a pedagogical and psychological counselling centre, special educational centre, or other institutions which take part in the education of the child and protection of his/her interests. If the child's interests are at risk, it collaborates with an authority for the social and legal protection of children. Nursery schools collaborate with basic schools to prepare a child's smooth transition from preschool to compulsory education and cooperate with organisations ensuring early childhood care under the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to ensure the child's smooth transition from preschool to compulsory education.

Nursery schools provide specific support to children with special educational needs through support measures. The support measures are implemented by professionally trained education staff (educators, special educational needs specialists, school speech therapist, and others) in accordance with the children's educational needs and recommendations by the school guidance and counselling centre.

On the basis of recommendations by the school counselling facility, nursery schools draw up an individual educational plan, to support the education of pupils with more special educational needs and pupils needing support measures of the 2nd to 5th level. The individual educational plan includes pedagogical, organisational, content, personal, and technological modifications to the preschool education process at nursery schools.

 

Psychological counselling

Pedagogical and psychological counselling is an integral part of education and harmonious development of children, pupils and students (hereinafter pupils), including those with special educational needs. It is provided on the basis of the Education Act and the Decree on Providing Guidance in Schools and School Guidance Facilities. Pedagogical and psychological counselling and special educational support for pupils are provided by school guidance and counselling facilities:

Based on the Act on Institutional Education and Protective Care in School Facilities and on Preventive Educational Care in School Facilities and amendment to other Acts and the Decree Adjusting the Details on the Organisation of Education and Care in Centres for Behavioural Development, counselling is provided by following facilities for institutional or protection education and preventive educational care:

Pedagogical and psychological counselling centre

The pedagogical and psychological counselling centres (pedagogicko-psychologické poradny) are school counselling facilities, that provide pedagogic-psychological and special education counselling and assistance in the education of pupils. They are established mainly by regions, or by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, municipalities, union of municipalities, other legal entities, and natural persons (both religious and private guidance and counselling centres). At least one centre operates in every district. The individual or group work of the experts with pupils and their parents and guardians and teachers includes diagnostic, interventional, methodological and information activities. These are provided by appointment on the premises of the centre and through visits of expert counsellors to schools and school facilities. The centres collaborate with appropriate regional offices of the Labour Office of Czechia in the field of career advice and guidance. On the website of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, there is a map of pedagogical and psychological counselling centres in Czechia.

The services of guidance and counselling centres are provided by these expertspsychologists (psychologové), special educational needs specialists (speciální pedagogové), prevention specialists (metodici prevence) and social workers (sociální pracovníci).

The common activities of the pedagogical and psychological counselling centre mainly involve:

  • determining whether pupils are ready for compulsory school attendance and submitting report and recommendations on it;
  • determining the special educational needs of pupils and drawing up recommendations including proposals for support measures for pupils using methods of psychological and special education diagnostics;
  • submitting recommendation and proposal for support measures for pupils with special educational needs and gifted pupils;
  • submitting report and recommendation for the admission of a pupil to a separate school or class established pursuant to Section 16, Paragraph 9 of the Education Act for pupils with a specified type of disadvantage or admission or transfer of a pupil to an educational programme corresponding to the pupil's educational needs;
  • performs psychological and special pedagogical examinations for pupils with special educational needs and exceptionally gifted pupils;
  • providing pupils with direct psychological and special education interventions;
  • giving consulting services to pupils facing increased risk of school failure or having problems in their personal and social development and providing pupils' parents/guardians and educational staff educating these pupils with consulting services aimed at clarifying the personal perspectives of pupils;
  • giving consulting services to pupils from different cultural backgrounds and with different living conditions;
  • providing methodological support for schools and school facilities in offering consulting services and applying support measures;
  • providing pupils with career consulting;
  • providing information, consulting, methodological and counselling support for pupils' parents/guardians;
  • through the prevention specialist, ensuring the prevention of risky behaviour, implementation of preventive measures, and coordination of the work of school prevention specialists.

Special education centre

Special education centres (speciálně pedagogická centra) mostly work in schools set up for groups of pupils with intellectual, physical, visual or hearing disabilities/impairments, speech impediments, concomitant multiple disabilities, and autism, and rarely also for pupils with developmental learning disorders or behavioural disorders. One centre provides counselling services to the extent corresponding to one or more types of disadvantages. Usually, they operate within the schools established for the above-mentioned groups of pupils. The centres work on an outpatient basis on the premises of the centre and through visits of the centres' workers to schools and school facilities, or families and facilities taking care of pupils with above-mentioned disadvantages.

The expert teams of the centres are made up of psychologists (psychologové), special educational needs specialists (speciální pedagogové) and social workers (sociální pracovníci). These teams may take on other professional workers because of to the clients' disabilities.

The common activities of the special educational centre mainly involve:

  • determining to what extent disabled pupils are prepared for compulsory school attendance;
  • identifying the special educational needs of pupils with the above-mentioned disadvantages and taking into account the medical assessment of health or assessment by another expert, prepares expert documents for setting support measures for these pupils and for their admission or transfer to schools and school facilities and for other educational measures, draws up examination reports and recommendations for the education of pupils;
  • providing special pedagogical care and special pedagogical education for pupils with the above-mentioned disadvantages who are educated in a mainstream school or class (i.e., which is not established according to § 16 par. 9 of the Education Act for pupils with the specified type of disadvantage) or for pupils who are prescribed different way of fulfilling compulsory school attendance;
  • submitting report and recommendation for the purpose of identifying support measures based on an assessment of the pupil's special educational needs;
  • submitting report and recommendations for the admission of a pupil in a separate school or class established pursuant to Section 16, Paragraph 9 of the Education Act or for admission or transfer to an educational programme corresponding to the pupil's educational needs;
  • providing career guidance for pupils with above-mentioned disadvantages;
  • performing special pedagogical and psychological diagnostics and provides counselling services focused on helping to solve problems in education, in the psychological and social development of pupils with the above-mentioned disadvantages, to identify individual prerequisites and create conditions for exercising and developing skills, talents and social inclusion;
  • providing education staff and parents/guardians of pupils with counselling in the area of education of pupils with above-mentioned disadvantages;
  • providing methodological support for schools;
  • providing information, consulting, methodological and counselling support for pupils' parents/guardians.

 

Diagnostic institute

The diagnostic institute (diagnostický institut) is a school facility for providing institutional education or protective education which carries out special pedagogical and psychological testing on a residential basis of children who have been ordered to receive institutional education or had protective care imposed on them by a court, or of children who have been placed in the facility by their parents / persons responsible for their education (on the basis of an agreement between the institute and the parents or a guardian of the child or people who have reached 18 years of age) because of behavioural difficulties. It can provide children with non-residential special educational care, i.e., provide special education or psychological services to children with behavioural disorders and to their families or schools. Diagnostic institutes operate in more than half of the regions (8 regions).

The diagnostic institute performs the following tasks:

  • diagnostic, consisting in the child's level assessment by pedagogical and psychological activities;
  • educational, in which the level of achieved knowledge and skills is determined, specific educational needs are determined and implemented in the interest of the child's personality development in accordance with his / her age, individual potentials and possibilities;
  • therapeutic, which through pedagogical and psychological activities aim to fix disorders in social relationships and in the child's behaviour;
  • upbringing and social, relating to the child's personality, family situation and the necessary social and legal protection of children; mediates the child's medical examination as needed;
  • organisational, related to the placement of children in facilities in the territorial district of the diagnostic institute defined by the ministry, or outside the territorial district; cooperates with the social and legal protection body of children in the preparation of its proposal for an order for interim measures to be carried out in a diagnostic institution or other facility and in the preparation of a statement to the court regarding the designation of a facility for providing institutional education, in which the child with the ordered institutional education is to be placed;
  • coordinating, aimed at deepening and unifying the professional procedures of other facilities within the territorial district of the diagnostic institute, to verify their effectiveness and to unify cooperation with state administration bodies and other persons dealing with childcare.

Centre for behavioural development

The centre for behavioural development (středisko výchovné péče) is a type of school facility for preventive educational care aimed at preventing the genesis and the progression of negative manifestations of children's behaviour or disruption of their healthy development, alleviating or eliminating the causes or consequences of already developed behavioural disorders and negative phenomena in social development and contributing to the healthy personal development of children. Clients are children aged from 3 years until the end of their professional training, up to a maximum of 26 years of age. In particularly justified cases, the centres for behavioural development can also help pupils who have left professional training for less than one year and there is a realistic prospect they will continue in their professional training. They do not provide care for clients with imposed provisional measures, ordered institutional education or clients with imposed protective care by a court. Clients are also the persons responsible for education (parents, etc.) and education staff.

The centres for behavioural development are usually set up by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports as separate departments of diagnostic institutes, possibly other schools and school facilities. They cooperate with schools and school facilities, incl. school guidance and counselling facilities, with the authorities for the social and legal protection of children, medical facilities, and other bodies. There is at least one centre for behavioural development in each region (with the exception of the Pardubice region).

The teams in the centres for behavioural development include psychologists (psychologové), special educational needs specialists (speciální pedagogové) and childcare educational staff (vychovatelé) with special qualification.

The centres for behavioural development provides following activities:

  • consulting, consisting of consultations and provision of professional information and assistance to clients, social and legal protection bodies for children, other bodies and organisations involved in working with children and families, especially schools and school facilities;
  • therapeutic, in order to accelerate the integration of the original family;
  • diagnostic, consisting in the client's level assessment via pedagogical and psychological activities, on the basis of which it issues recommendations to schools and school facilities;
  • educational, in which the level of achieved knowledge and skills is determined, specific educational needs are assessed in the interest of the development of the client's personality proportional to their age, individual potentials and possibilities;
  • special educational and psychological, aimed at fixing disorders in social relationships and behaviour and aimed at integrating the personality of the client and family;
  • upbringing and social, relating to the client's personality to his family situation and the necessary social and legal protection of children;
  • informational, enabling contacts of the client with other bodies and entities involved in the implementation of measures of social and legal protection of the child, or for the purpose of providing other counselling or therapeutic services in the client's interest.

The activities are provided:

  • on an ambulatory basis
  • on a whole day basis
  • on a residential basis, at maximum of 8 weeks
  • as a outreach work, especially in the client's family or school environment

See also the website of the National Pedagogical Institute (in Czech).

Career guidance

Transmitting information about the world of work is part of the curriculum in both compulsory and in post-compulsory general and vocational education.

Another form of preparing for life in the world of work is practical training, which particularly takes place in upper secondary education, especially at vocational schools, which are attended by about 70 % of the population (source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, 2021/22).

Apart from the school counsellors (výchovní poradci) working at schools, career counselling is also provided by institutions specialised therein.

 

Career issues in the curriculum

 

Basic education

Within the compulsory education, one of the educational areas included in the Framework Education Programme for Basic Education is the area of The People and the World of Work.

The first stage involves four thematic fields:

  • Working with Fine Materials
  • Construction Activities
  • Plant Cultivation
  • Food Preparation

All fields are mandatory.

The second stage involves eight thematic fields:

  • Working with Technology
  • Design and Construction
  • Plant and Animal Husbandry
  • Household Management
  • Food Preparation
  • Working with Laboratory Equipment
  • Use of Digital Technology
  • The World of Work

The thematic field The World of Work is compulsory, and schools choose from the other fields at least one another according to their needs and educational objectives. Considering its focus on future occupational choice, it is recommended to include it in the highest school years.

 

General upper secondary education

At the general upper secondary level, the Framework Education Programme for General Secondary School (as well as the programmes for sports training and bilingual general secondary schools) stipulates that the pupils should acquire among others the entrepreneurship competence. One of the educational areas included in the programme is the area of People and the World of Work, which involves following obligatory thematic fields:

  • Labour Market and Career Choice
  • Labour Relations
  • Market Economy
  • National Economy and the Role of the State in the Economy
  • Finances

 

Vocational upper secondary education and lyceum fields

The framework education programmes for individual study fields at the vocational upper secondary level (and in the lyceum fields), states that the education aims at pupils developing, among other things, the competencies needed to enter the labour market and carry out business activities. The programmes include cross-curricular theme People and the World of Work, which can be divided into the following thematic fields:

  • Individual Preparation for the Labour Market
  • The World of Education
  • The World of Work
  • State Support in the Employment

Including practical training and work experience in companies into the curricula of vocational upper secondary schools facilitates contact between pupils and employers which may influence the pupils' decision on their future choice of employment. Moreover, after completing their studies, some of the pupils start working at the company where they had their practice. Contact with the world of work is provided through practical training in companies during vocational education.

When creating prerequisites for the performance of a profession or work activity, upper secondary schools (and conservatories) should make an effort to cooperate with employers, if this is appropriate and possible with regard to the field of study. In addition to other forms of cooperation, schools should discuss school education programmes with the employers.

Institutions providing career guidance

Career guidance and counselling is provided by:

 

Information and guidance centres for choice of careers of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic (IPS)

The Labour Office of the Czech Republic has its regional branches, which include contact workplaces established according to the needs of accessibility (this structure was created in 2011 within the transformation of the former 77 independent labour offices). The regional offices include information and guidance centres for choice of careers which provide current information on:

  • the network of upper secondary schools, study and vocational courses in the whole country
  • admission procedures requirements
  • demands and requirements for each occupation
  • employment opportunities of graduates
  • the situation on the labour market in regions and whole Czechia
  • retraining opportunities

Information and guidance centres for choice of careers of the Labour Office provide detailed descriptions of jobs, the possibility of self-testing of professional interests in relation to an occupation and the relevant education, and electronic searching of study fields or vocational courses in the whole country and other services, all of them free of charge.

In addition to other standard activities, school counsellor also accompanies the final-year classes on visits to the information and counselling centres of the Labour Office, where pupils become acquainted with the situation on the regional labour market and with the options of follow-up education. Pupils are informed that they can make an appointment for an individual consultation regarding the choice of their career or transition into the labour market.

 

National Institute for Education

The main activities of the National Pedagogical Institute (NPI) include support and development of career counselling in lifelong and further education, networking of institutions in these areas and on the labour market. The NPI also publishes a number of publications analysing the success of graduates on the labour market.

From 2021, the Czech Euroguidance Centre also operates at the NPI. The Euroguidance Network develops cooperation and innovation in career guidance in Europe. The Czech Centre focuses on the development of the competences of guidance and counselling workers and organises informational and educational activities and study visits abroad for them.

The NPI is the administrator of the Internet portal www.infoabsolvent.cz – the Information System on School Leavers' Success in the Labour Market (ISA). On the website, those who are interested can find a short description of every course at upper secondary schools, conservatoires and tertiary professional schools, a short description of the field, job opportunities, information on unemployment, basic documents, schools offering particular courses, and basic information on the entrance procedures to these schools. The site can be searched by profession and gives the characteristics of every position, activities performed, a list of courses in which it is possible to attain the necessary qualifications, average monthly income, and other information. The courses can also be chosen taking into account the kind of disabilities/impairment of the pupil. The web pages also contain advice on career choices and in the case of difficulties with studies, they give contact details for specialists in pedagogical and psychological counselling centres and the Labour Office.

The information system was created within the VIP Kariéra systemic project (2005–2008) of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports with the support of the European Social Fund. An important part of the project was the establishment of school guidance and counselling workplaces (školní poradenská pracoviště).

 

Vocational training of pupils with special educational needs

The vocational training of pupils with special educational needs is similar to that of the mainstream population, including the offer of fields of study, their structure, while maintaining the support that is appropriate to the pupils' special educational needs. The career guidance provided to these pupils is similar to that given to other pupils; in the case of pupils with intellectual, physical, visual or hearing disabilities/impairments, speech impediments, concomitant multiple disabilities, and autism, the special education centres also participate in the guidance. The transition of young people with severe or multiple disabilities from vocational training to the labour market seem to be the most difficult area of caring for the SEN pupils. The situation is particularly complicated in employing intellectually impaired persons. These juveniles are usually registered as long-term unemployed or receive a disability pension and very often remain in the care of the social network.