Definition of the Target Group(s)
The Bylaw on Individual Education Plan Implementation and Evaluation regulates the implementation and evaluation of the Individual Education Plan in preschool, primary and secondary education. The Individual Education Plan is intended for children/pupils/students that need additional support because of learning difficulties, and envisages their participation and progress in school activities, specifically for those who:
- have learning difficulties because of specific cognitive impairments or behavioral or emotional problems;
- have developmental disorders or disabilities (physical, motor, sensory, intellectual, multiple disabilities or autism spectrum disorders);
- live in socially unstimulating conditions (in socially/economically/culturally impoverished environments, or in health/social care institutions over a long period);
- have extraordinary school achievements and learning abilities;
- require educational support for other reasons.
Specific Support Measures
According to the Bylaw on Individual Education Plan Implementation and Evaluation, support measures are determined and realized through the implementation of the Individual Education Plan (IEP). Both pedagogues and psychologists coordinate the construction of the child pedagogical profile that serves for further IEP development. The IEP is revised over a specified period and adjusted as appropriate.
There are three types of the IEP, in line with educational needs of children:
- Adjusted programme is based on the curriculum, teaching methods, materials and space adjustments, as well as a specific schedule of school activities and the engagement of personal pedagogical assistants;
- Alternated programme may include all adjustments as mentioned above, with the addition of learning outcomes/standards adjustments for one or more school subjects;
- Upgraded and expanded programmes for gifted pupils.
Support, based on the evaluation of a child’s need and documented in the IEP, is provided in the following aspects:
- Adaptation and procurement of adequate textbooks and teaching materials, in line with the type of disability
- Individual education plan, used for the adjustment of achievement standards
- Usage of assistive technologies
- Engagement of pedagogical assistants in teaching
- Organization of trainings for children/pupils (e.g. Braille Alphabet, independent movement, sign language etc.)
- Overcoming language barriers in the case of children whose native language is other than Serbian
- Engagement of personal assistants
- Educational support (additional classes, individual teaching etc.) for children who were absent for a long time due to illness
- Education and care in a developmental group or in a separate special education school/preschool institution
- Implementation of preschool programme for children with disabilities
- Engagement of psychologist in healthcare services
- Additional healthcare services
- Participation in cultural, sports and other school activities free of charge
- Adjustment of school environment
- Professional development of teachers and other staff who work directly with children
- Training programmes for education staff aimed at enabling them to meet the needs of children with disabilities or of those from other vulnerable groups
- Training programmes for peers and their parents aimed at enabling them to meet the needs of children with disabilities or of those from other vulnerable groups
- Counselling sessions for parents whose children need additional educational, health or social support
- Support for educational, health and social care institutions in terms of the adjustment of environment, working conditions and materials
- Extended stay in educational institutions
- Organised transport services from home to educational institution and vice versa
- Meals, clothes, textbooks and school materials for pupils and teachers
- Free legal assistance.
Pursuant to the Bylaw on Additional Educational, Health and Social Support for Children and Pupils, the elimination of physical and communication barriers involves the adjustment of school space, working environment, teaching methods and materials, and the monitoring of pupils’ progress, behaviour and communication.
The Bylaw on Education Specialists’ Programme of Work defines job scopes and all activities performed by school specialists, including those of pedagogues and psychologists. Pedagogues work on the identification and elimination of pedagogical causes of learning/behaviour difficulties, and collaborate with pedagogical and personal assistants in the process. Psychologists provide support for children included in the IEP concept and those from vulnerable groups, identify and support gifted pupils, and collaborate with parents in order to ensure educational support for children.
Pedagogical assistants are persons trained to work with children with special education needs and their families, as prescribed by the Bylaw on Training Programme for Pedagogical Assistants. Rather than being part of regular educational institution staff, they are recruited when necessary. They support children in their school duties, such as regular school attendance and homework, motivate children for earning and participation in school activities, provide language support, encourage their socialization and take care of their safety during school activities.