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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: 25 March 2024

Definition of the target group(s)

Groups of pupils with special education needs (SENs) are defined and special education needs are identified as minor, moderate, major and severe, according to the procedure established by the order jointly issued by the Ministers.

The Law on Education states that in early childhood and school education the responsibility for the creation of a safe and supportive environment for the learner rests with the Child Welfare Committee. It organises and coordinates the adaptation of education curricula and the provision of education support to pupils with special education needs. It also performs other functions related to ensuring child welfare. The procedure for setting up the Child Welfare Committee and organising its activities is defined by the Minister of Education and Science. 

The committee carries out the initial identification of a pupil’s special education needs. Such needs (exclusive of needs due to the child’s exceptional giftedness), are evaluated from the point of view of educational, psychological, medical and social educational aspects by the Educational Psychology Service and this special education provision is assigned by the Head of the Service or, in specific cases, by the school head in cooperation with the parents (foster parents or guardians) according to the procedure established by the Minister of Education and Science. 

Pupils with SEN are sub-divided into the following groups:

  • Pupils with disabilities (mental, vision-based, hearing disorders, cochlear implants, motion and positional neurological disorders, varied developmental disorders, without hearing and speech impaired, and other complex disabilities)
  • Pupils with disorders (learning, behavioural and/or emotional, speech and language, complex disorders)
  • Pupils with learning difficulties (learning a second language, or living in another cultural/linguistic environment, with a slowdown in development, with health problems, suffering from the adverse effects of environmental factors, experiencing emotional crisis, an impairment of exceptional abilities).

Parents (guardians) who have the child’s educational difficulties (language, communication, behaviour, etc.), at home, can turn to the Educational Psychological Service or the Education Support Service for evaluation.

Staff specialists (special educator, psychologist, speech therapist, paediatrician and neurologist (or) neurologist, social educator, surdopedagogue, if a child has a hearing disorder, tiflopedagogue if a child has vision problems), carry out an assessment, establish the level of special educational needs, and fill in the official document. The evaluation results are discussed with the parents (guardians).The service is provided with the parents’ (guardians’),consent, and special learning and (or) educational assistance can be set up.

Specific Support Measures

Pupils recognised as having special education needs may be integrated within mainstream general education schools through complete integration (when pupils with special needs are educated in regular classes of mainstream schools), or through the provision of partial integration (when pupils with special needs are educated in developmental, remedial or special classes as a part of mainstream schools).

Changes to the Law on Education adopted in 2020 state that from 2024, all schools and kindergartens should be able to accept children with special needs if their parents, in consultation with specialists, decide that attending such an institution is the best option for their child. However, special needs schools will remain. Parents will be able to choose, in consultation with professionals, which institution best suits their child’s needs.

Schools will provide education in an adapted learning environment, with appropriate educational support, special educational equipment and technical aids for education at school, and taking into account the special educational needs of the individual pupil. Primary, basic and secondary curricula are modified and adapted so that SEN pupils can be taught in mainstream schools. 

The teaching methods, syllabus content, teaching plan and organisation of the evaluation of pupils’ attainments and progression and also procedures for their performance evaluation may be adapted to fit the pupils’ special education needs, the wishes of the pupil, the parents/guardians/carers and in accordance with the findings and recommendations of the Educational Psychological Service or the Educational Assistance Service.

Study programmes are adapted in accordance with the procedures laid down by the higher education institution.

The pupil’s special educational, social and pedagogical (the latter two only for pupils with special educational needs), special and psychological support, must be coordinated.

Special educational support for pupils is provided in formal and non-formal education schools, in the pupil’s home, and by the educational psychological, or educational support services. Its purpose is to enhance the educational effectiveness for someone with special educational needs. Special pedagogues, tiflopedagogues, surdopedagogues and language therapists are able provide it. 

Social pedagogical support is provided in educational institutions, childcare facilities, non-governmental organisations and other institutions or organisations. Its purpose is to help the child to fulfil their right to learn, to strengthen the social and emotional competences of the child and the pupil, and to promote a secure educational environment that meets the child’s and the pupil’s learning capacities and needs. Social pedagogues can provide it.

Special support is provided in formal (except higher education) and non-formal education schools. It is designed to enhance the effectiveness of a pupil with special educational needs. A teaching assistant, sign and language interpreter, can help to provide it.

Psychological support is provided in pre-schools, general education schools, vocational training institutions providing initial vocational training, pedagogical psychological services and other educational support institutions, or by a relevant provider of psychological support with whom the municipal executive authority has concluded a contract for the provision of support. Psychologists can also provide it.

A teaching assistant position can be created if the school has a pupil with moderate, major and severe special educational needs who cannot participate independently in the educational process.