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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: 27 November 2023

Definition of the target groups

Learners with special or specific educational needs (EBS; élèves à besoins éducatifs particuliers ou spécifiques) are those for whom the education provision offered by the teacher in a regular class needs to be more specialised or specifically adapted.

These persons' specific or special needs may be related to features or difficulties concerning motor, visual, language or hearing impairment, cognitive or behavioural development, or other issues.

Learners with special educational needs (SEN)

The target group of learners with special educational needs (SEN) includes children, young people or adults with impairments or disabilities that, if compensated through reasonable accommodation as foreseen by law, will not prevent them from attaining the objectives of their educational level.

SEN learners are included in regular schools while benefitting from specific arrangements corresponding their individual needs.

The modified law of 15 July 2011 (loi modifiée du 15 juillet 2011) regulates SEN learners' access to educational and vocational qualifications. SEN pupils and students are entitled to reasonable arrangements in order to be able to follow regular education programmes and to pass the assessment tests.

Learners with specific educational needs

According to the law of 6 February 2009 (loi du 6 février 2009) on the organisation of elementary education, a pupil with specific educational needs is defined as follows:

'A child subject to compulsory education and who, for reasons of their mental, character, sensorial or motor characteristics, cannot attain the core skills defined for primary education within the regular time span.'

The law of 20 July 2018 (loi du 20 juillet 2018) on the creation of specialised psycho-pedagogical competence centres for social inclusion defines children or young people needing specific education as individuals with deficiencies or difficulties according to international classifications, and who encounter more learning difficulties than children or young people of the same age.

The Specific educational needs' target group also includes children or young people who are intellectually precocious and need specialised support to develop their full potential.

Pupils with difficulties

A third and more general category concerns all pupils who encounter physical, psychological or behavioural difficulties in their social environment or on the level of their school career. This target group also includes the two categories mentioned above.

This group is defined by grand-ducal regulation (règlement grand-ducal du 25 mars 2009). Schools' additional staff needs for this category are calculated on the basis of the number of pupils with the following characteristics:

  • Pupils having had two or three experiences of educational failure in the course of their academic career
  • Pupils who have been temporarily or permanently expelled from school in the last two years
  • Pupils with behavioural difficulties
  • Pupils with special educational needs (SEN)
  • Pupils benefitting from allowances to low-income families
  • Pupils reported to be repeatedly absent or late
  • Pupils who systematically do not do their homework or inadequately prepare their lessons.

Secondary schools may organise activities and special classes for these pupils who are at risk of school drop-out. The objective of these arrangements is to prevent exclusion, lay the foundation for lifelong learning and foster social integration.

Specific support measures

Specific support measures

Since the creation, at the Education ministry in 2018, of Competence centres for specialised psycho-educational follow-up, learners with special or specific educational needs (EBS) are supported and monitored at three levels: local, regional and national.

  • Specialised elementary school teachers detect needs and monitor the pupils' schooling (I-EBS; instituteurs spécialisés dans la scolarisation des élèves à besoins éducatifs particuliers ou spécifiques)
  • At each regional governing body of primary education, specialised support teams (ESEB; équipes de soutien des élèves à besoins éducatifs particuliers ou spécifiques) establish a first diagnose in cooperation with the schools and teachers concerned, then support and monitor the children's schooling if the schools' management resources are not sufficient
  • At national level, 8 competence centres manage the schooling of children for whom the local and regional solutions prove insufficient. These centres address not only children, but also young people aged over 18 years, if the competence centres' action is needed in matters of education or training.

The eight competence centres are the following:

  1. Logopaedics centre (Centre pour le développement des compétences langagières, auditives et communicatives)
  2. Centre for the development of eyesight-related competences (Centre pour le développement des compétences relatives à la vue)
  3. Centre for socio-emotional development (Centre pour le développement socio-émotionnel): for students with behavioural disorders
  4. Centre for the development of learnings (Centre pour le développement des apprentissages): aimed at learners with disorders such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia
  5. Centre for the development of motor competencies (Centre pour le développement moteur et corporel)
  6. Centre for the intellectual development (Centre pour le développement intellectuel)
  7. Centre for the development of children and young people with autism spectrum disorder (Centre pour le développement des enfants et jeunes présentant un trouble du spectre de l’autisme)
  8. Centre for intellectual development (Centre pour le développement intellectuel): for children and young people with high potential.

The Agency for the transition to an independent life (agence pour la transition vers une vie autonome) provides guidance and support to young people and their parents in the steps that lead towards active life.