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Belgium-French-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

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Overview Belgium (French Community)

Contents

Belgium-French-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-French-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-French-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-French-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-French-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-French-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-French-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-French-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-French-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-French-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-French-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-French-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-French-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-French-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-French-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-French-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-French-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-French-Community:Legislation

Belgium-French-Community:Glossary

Definition of Target Group(s)

Specialised education is intended for children and teenagers who, on the basis of a multidisciplinary assessment, are deemed to be in need of adapted education due to their specific needs and their educational possibilities. Specialised education is organised in full-time schools.

Eight types of education are defined:

  • type 1 education meets the educational and training needs of children and adolescents with slight mental retardation (not including pupils who are behind educationally); it is not organised at pre-primary level;
  • type 2 education meets the educational and training needs of children and adolescents with moderate or severe mental retardation;
  • type 3 education meets the educational and training needs of children and adolescents with behavioural problems (structural and/or functional disturbances relating to relationships and emotional development, of such severity that they require the use of specific educational, re-educational and psychotherapeutic methods);
  • type 4 education meets the educational and training needs of children and adolescents with physical disabilities (requiring regular medical and paramedical care);
  • type 5 education meets the educational and training needs of sick and/or convalescent children and adolescents;
  • type 6 education meets the educational and training needs of children and adolescents with visual impairments;
  • type 7 education meets the educational and training needs of children and adolescents with hearing impairments;
  • type 8 education meets the educational and training needs of pupils with learning disabilities (resulting, for example, in difficulties in the development of language or speech and/or in learning to read, write or perform mathematical operations, but not involving mental retardation or serious physical, behavioural or sensory defect; such disturbances are complex and have multiple origins); this type of education is not organised at pre-primary level, and likewise does not exist at secondary level, as one of its main goals is to ensure the reintegration of children into ordinary education.

Under certain conditions, specialised education for pupils with autism, aphasia, dysphasia or multiple disabilities may be organised in certain types of specialised education.

There is no form of education specifically intended for gifted children.

In specialised secondary education, there are a number of forms of education in addition to the types described above. There are four forms of education that group pupils according to their abilities and their disabilities. In each form of education, courses are organised separately or jointly for several types of specialised education. Pupils of different ages may be grouped together, depending on their development as well as the size and organisation of the educational institution.

  • Form 1 education aims to give pupils a training to enable their integration into a suitable living environment (usually a day centre or day reception service). This education ensures the optimal development of the pupils’ aptitudes to assist their personal development and ensure the greatest autonomy possible. The content and duration of the activities are adapted to each pupil, taking account of the individual situation.
  • Form 2 education aims to give pupils a general, social, and vocational education, which enables them to integrate into society and be gainfully employed in a sheltered work environment (adapted work company, ETA).
  • Form 3 education aims to give pupils a general, social, and vocational education, enabling them to integrate into a living and normal working environment.This form of education is supposed to impart not just practical know-how and knowledge but also socio-professional skills such as communication skills, adaptability, ability to work in a team, self-respect and respect for others.
  • Form 4 education is general, technical, artistic and vocational secondary education designed for pupils who in spite of their disability are able to attain, through their studies, the same level as pupils in ordinary education. Depending on the case, this education prepares for the continuation of studies until the end of upper secondary education and/or offers possibilities to enter the labour market. It corresponds to ordinary education with different support, methods and tools. It is not accessible to pupils with mental retardation.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

The French Community network, the public grant-maintained network and the independent grant-maintained network all provide specialised education. Any enrolment of a child in specialised education requires a multidisciplinary assessment performed by approved institutions, and in particular the Centres for Psychological, Medical and Social Services (CPMSs) attached to schools. A report specifies the type of specialised education that corresponds to the pupil’s needs. This report is drawn up by different bodies, depending on the type of disability.

For pupils suffering from mental retardation (types 1 and 2 education), structural behaviour or personality problems (type 3 education), physical disabilities (type 4 education), or specific learning disabilities (type 8 education), the report is prepared by the Centre for Psychological, Medical and Social Services (CPMS), an educational and professional guidance office, or other approved body (the list is updated annually). The conclusions of this report must include and interpret the following data: a medical assessment, a psychological assessment, an educational assessment and a social study.

For ill and/or convalescing pupils (type 5 education), pupils with visual impairments (type 6 education), or pupils with hearing impairments (type 7 education), the report is prepared on the basis of a medical assessment performed by a paediatrician from the clinic, hospital or medical/social institution recognised by the authorities (for type 5), an ophthalmologist (for type 6), or an otorhinolaryngologist (for type 7).

For pupils with multiple disabilities, aphasia, dysphasia or autism attending a class which is specially adapted to their needs within one of the types of specialised education, an appendix to the certificate of admission to specialised education must be issued by a Centre for Psychological, Medical and Social Services (CPMS) or an authorised body. A list of such bodies is drawn up by the government every year.

Parents can normally enrol their child in a specialised education institution of their choice offering the level and type of education specified in the report. It is forbidden to put any kind of pressure on the parents to agree to a school that they would not choose themselves. In the case of a divergence of opinion between the child’s family and the educational authorities, the matter can be referred to a consultative committee for specialised education (one of which exists within each main inspection district) with a request for an opinion by the head of the family, a member of the French Community Inspectorate, the head teacher of an ordinary or specialised educational institution, or the doctor leading a team responsible for school medical inspection, especially if it is judged that the transition from one form of education to another could be seriously harmful to the pupil’s interests and education. The request for an opinion can concern:

  • a transfer from one educational institution to another (from ordinary education to a specialised educational institution, from specialised education to ordinary education, including dual vocational education and training, or from a specialised educational institution to another that is more suitable);
  • the advisability of home-schooling;
  • the advisability of an exemption from the schooling obligation (in this case, the opinion is sent to the juvenile court which can grant the exemption).

After meeting the head of family and if necessary having a report prepared by a competent body, the committee provides its opinion to the head of family, who must provide his decision in writing to the president of the committee within 30 days. If there is no reaction or the head of the family has not chosen an institution, the committee re-examines the case, and issues a final decision. If, within fifteen days, the committee is not informed of arrangements having been taken by the head of the family in accordance with the decision, it sends the file to the juvenile court.

At any time of year, a school head who is unable to enrol a pupil who has applied for enrolment is required to issue him/her with an enrolment application attestation, indicating the reasons for the refusal and the services where the pupil’s parents or guardian may obtain assistance.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils

Pre-Primary School

Disabled children can be enrolled in specialised pre-primary education from the age of two and a half years up to the age of six (eight if there is a special dispensation). Specialised pre-primary education is provided for all categories of handicapped children except for those with slight mental retardation (type 1 education) or learning disabilities (type 8 education). Children who are deaf or hard of hearing can benefit from an exemption and enter education of type 7 before the age of two and a half years following a justified opinion from an audiophonology centre or early aid service.

Primary Education

Entry into specialised primary education takes place from six years of age and the pupil leaves between twelve and fourteen years of age. In some duly justified cases, it is possible to enter specialised primary school from the age of five years. Decisions to retain pupils in specialised pre-primary or primary education are taken jointly by the class council and the body responsible for guidance. The pupils are divided into classes per educational type, taking account of their educational achievements and their maturity. Organisation by ‘degrees of maturity’ allows the children to go through primary schooling at their own pace. The transition from one degree of maturity to another can take place at any time during the school year, because it is linked to the acquisition of specific skills. The degrees of maturity are defined as follows (except for pupils with moderate or severe mental retardation):

  • pre-school learning level;
  • initiation into school learning;
  • mastery and development of skills acquired;
  • functional use of skills acquired, according to the orientation provided.

For pupils affected by moderate or severe mental retardation, the degrees of maturity are:

  • acquisition of autonomy and socialisation;
  • pre-school learning level;
  • initiation into school learning;
  • development.

The pupils spend one or more school years in each degree according to their pace of development.

Secondary Education

Studies in specialised secondary education can be continued up to the age of 21. Individual exceptions to the age limit of 21 can only be granted by the Government of the French Community. Pupils of different ages may be grouped together, depending on their development as well as the size and organisation of the educational institution. The forms of education are structured into phases:

  • Form 1 consists of a single phase structured around the school plan. This education ensures the optimal development of the pupils’ aptitudes to assist their personal development and ensure maximum autonomy. The duration of studies varies for each pupil on the basis of his or her progress. It represents the minimum length of time required for the pupil to meet the goals set for him/her in his/her personal plan and set out in an individual learning plan (PIA).
  • Form 2 is organised in two phases structured around the school plan. The first phase gives priority to socialisation and communication goals, notably linked with the emergence of professional skills and the expression of a personal plan. The second phase continues the goals of the first phase and lays stress on educational and training activities aimed at preparing for social and professional life. The duration of each phase is determined by the class council assisted by the body responsible for guiding pupils.
  • Form 3 is organised in three phases that hinge around the school plan. The first phase (2 school years) includes a period of observation in one or more professional sectors (1 school year), then a broad-based approach in a professional sector (e.g. construction) (1 school year). The second phase (2 school years) focuses on all-around training in a professional group, e.g. carpentry, structural construction, roofing-guttering, etc. The third phase is of variable duration depending on the targeted training profile. It leads to a professional qualification in a trade in the professional group followed by the pupil during the second phase, e.g. carpenter, tiler, roofer, etc. To pass from one phase to another, a certificate of successful completion of the previous phase is required. This is issued by the class council and is based on the acquisition of threshold skill. If the class council issues a justified positive opinion, the duration of certain phases can be adjusted. Form 3 pupils can also receive dual vocational education and training. This type of education combines general instruction with vocational practice (decrees of 3 July 1991 and 26 March 2009). It is provided in a specialised institution or in an institution called a CEFA (Centre of Dual Vocational Education and Training). Any specialised secondary education institution may ask to work with a CEFA in the area where it is based. A pupil’s move from full-time education to dual vocational education and training is decided on by the class council. The pupil remains enrolled in specialised education. Specific guidelines for dual vocational education and training are issued by means of circulars (for 2011-2012, circular 3661 of 14 July 2011).
  • Form 4 is organised on the model of ordinary education, but with different teacher support, methods and tools. 2 to 4 periods of specialised support can be provided during the year, in addition to the ordinary timetable. Moreover, dispensations can be granted from the requirement to complete the first stage in a maximum of three years to open up the possibility of a differentiated educational career which is more closely adapted to the needs of pupils who do not hold the certificate of primary education.

Curriculum, Subjects

The general goals of specialised education are pupil-centred. They are as follows:

  • to enable the pupil to acquire, as far as possible, a basic education and a vocational qualification by means of educational, paramedical, psychological and social support that is adapted to his or her needs;
  • to ensure him/her a broad basic education, in line with his/her needs and possibilities;
  • to observe and evaluate his/her progress continuously;
  • to help him/her to define and achieve his/her personal plan.

Specialised education is provided on the basis of the nature and the extent of the pupils’ educational needs and psychological and educational possibilities. It ensures the development of their intellectual, psychomotor, affective and social abilities while preparing them, depending on the case, for integration into an adapted home or work environment; for the exercise of a trade or profession compatible with their disability; for integration into an ordinary home or work environment; or to undertake studies up to the end of upper secondary education. Specialised education is characterised on the one hand by coordination between education and  orthopedagogical, medical, paramedical, psychological, and social interventions, and on the other hand by ongoing collaboration with the organisation responsible for guiding the pupils (CPMS).

Regulations as regards the school week, holidays, and out of school hours provision are similar to those in ordinary education, for both pre-secondary and secondary education. The decree of March 3, 2004 specifies that pre-primary and primary education is given as 28 weekly periods of 50 minutes spread over 9 half-days, but the pupils’ timetable must be continuous, with a break of at least 15 minutes in the morning and one hour between the morning and afternoon activities. In secondary education, the number of periods of 50 minutes varies from 32 to 36. On this basis, the institutions organise the timetable taking account of parameters such as the pupils’ ability to concentrate, specialised interventions for specific assistance, the availability of teachers, the organisation of specific courses such as religion or secular ethics, physical or psychomotor education, second language, and manual work. Medical, paramedical, and specific pedagogical interventions must integrate harmoniously into the programme. In secondary education, periods of work experience can be provided for forms 1 and 2 and are obligatory in phases 2 and 3 of form 3.

Curricula are the province of the controlling authorities. These curricula are adapted to the general goals pursued by education. The use of the individual learning plan (PIA) is compulsory.

At all levels and under certain conditions, the government may authorise a school to organise certain classes and educational activities in a modern language other than French (decree of 11 May 2007).

In order to encourage educational continuity in specialised education, the General Consultation Council for Specialised Education has clarified the concept of continuity (circular 2955 of 11 December 2009) in terms of consistent support for each pupil, and has proposed some basic points for consideration regarding cross-curriculum skills and subject-specific skills to be developed in the different types of specialised education. It also lays stress on certain tools such as the individual learning plan (PIA).

The decree of 12 January 2007 provides for the reinforcement of education in responsible citizenship at all levels. The measures must be adapted to the pupils in each group. The decree covers the imparting of basic pointers to enable pupils to understand civil and political society, the organisation of interdisciplinary activities relating to responsible, active citizenship, and the introduction of participatory structures for pupils. 

Primary Level

In specialised pre-secondary education, use is made of the curricula of ordinary pre-primary and primary education, as defined within each of the networks on the basis of the Core Skills. These curricula represent tools which fit into an educational continuum. Their use helps pupils acquire as many skills as possible. It is therefore necessary to define programmes in order to adapt teaching to each pupil’s specific needs. With this in mind, the Individual Learning Plan (PIA) enables the multidisciplinary team to focus on each individual’s development. The decree of 3 March 2004 gives some general guidelines for each school level.

Two periods per week of physical, sports, and/or psychomotor activities must be organised. Under certain conditions, a specialised education school may organise certain courses or educational activities in a modern language other than French or in sign language. In type 7 education, for the deaf and hard of hearing, sign language must be included in the school plan. In this context, pupils may receive at least two periods per week of immersion in sign language. These courses do not exclude the study or the immersion in oral French or the study of written French.

Secondary Level

In secondary education there are guidelines for each form of education. For form 1, the activities must favour the pupils’ development and ensure the greatest autonomy possible for them. Work experience can be organised. The curricula of ordinary primary education are referred to, but must be adapted to the pupils’ specific needs.

For form 2, in each phase, the educational activities are developed through a concrete and functional pedagogy that simultaneously facilitates the acquisition of basic skills at the cognitive, psychomotor, and socio-affective levels, and skills of a professional and creative nature. Work experience can be organised during the second phase. The curricula of ordinary primary education are referred to, but must be adapted to the pupils’ specific needs.

For form 3, the three phases include general and social education courses on the one hand, and vocational training courses on the other hand. The general and social courses must cover at least 13 periods per week in the first phase, and 9 periods per week in the second and third phases. This form of education is organised in vocational sections (for example: construction, clothing, personal services, etc.), then in vocational groups in the second phase (for example: construction finishing work, catering, social and family services, etc.) which then lead on to professions in the third phase (for example: carpenter, mason, domestic help, etc.). During the second and third phases, work experience is organised. For form 3, skills thresholds have been defined. These form a reference guide which sets out in a structured manner the skills which are expected to be acquired up to a certain level by the end of each phase.

In dual vocational education and training, courses consist of at least 600 fifty-minute periods per year. In addition, the curriculum must include at least 600 hours of on-the-job training in a company. The training year may be organised in accordance with the school calendar, or according to a different system, for example in training modules. If for any reason it proves impossible to arrange at least 600 hours of on-the-job training in a company in one year, additional periods of vocational training may be organised in specialised education. However, the time spent on on-the-job training activities in the company may not be less than 300 hours per year of training, without special dispensation.

Form 4 uses either the ordinary education curricula or adapted curricula approved by the government. The use of information and communication technologies is encouraged.

Teaching Methods and Materials

Under the law that ordains educational freedom, the controlling authorities choose their own teaching methods. Education methods and practices must help pupils to become increasingly autonomous. They favour any activity that helps pupils to learn how to learn.

In specialised education, an active, functional, differentiated pedagogy is recommended, centred on the pupil. The teachers and the auxiliary educational personnel are assisted by psychological, medical, paramedical, and social personnel such as speech therapists, physiotherapists, childcare nurses, social workers, and those responsible for specific support such as translation into sign language, transcription into Braille, etc.

The General Consultation Council for Specialised Education encourages the educational teams to share certain values such as the importance of regarding the pupil as an actor in his/her learning, individual personal development, the introduction of differentiated pedagogy focusing on formative evaluation, the importance of teamwork from a multidisciplinary viewpoint, supporting each pupil as he/she chooses his/her orientation, etc.

The use of an individual learning plan (PIA) is recommended: this is prepared for each pupil and modified throughout his/her schooling by the class council, on the basis of observations supplied by its members and information provided by the body that provides guidance to pupils. It defines the specific objectives to be attained during a defined period (cross-curriculum and subject-specific skills), and takes account of the pupil’s potential and his/her needs. It is from the information in the PIA that each member of the multidisciplinary team implements the work of education, re-education, and training. The pupil and his/her parents can participate in its development. The PIA is a tool for information, communication and collaboration within the educational team. It is also a reference tool for use when making various decisions, and in particular in appeal cases.

Each network may propose specific arrangements for the introduction of the PIA for the different types and forms of education. A standard reference dossier is generally provided. The PIAs are kept by the school head and made available to members of the inspectorate. For example, for form 2 of specialised secondary education, the French Community network gives the following instructions: the PIA must be gradually defined by the class council once the pupil has been enrolled. The presence of all relevant parties is required. The council is assisted by the specialised Centre for Psychological, Medical and Social Services (CPMS). The pupil and his/her parents are invited to contribute to the compilation of the PIA. It is regularly added to and adjusted. It includes the following information:

  • the pupil’s identity and basic administrative information;
  • the names of team members responsible for him/her;
  • basic information about the pupil’s situation at the time of entry into form 2 education: state of personal development, degree of socialisation, level of autonomy, communication skills, physical, psychomotor and sensorial capacity, practical skills, creativity, cognitive abilities, personal plan, etc.;
  • the objectives defined by the class council;
  • the pupil’s development, on the basis of individual evaluation sheets maintained by each member of the educational team;
  • list of behaviour skills of an interdisciplinary nature, life skills and know-how that the pupil will need to work on during the phase in question. For each interdisciplinary skill chosen, the following should be indicated: the precise behaviour to be introduced, formulated in terms of observable and measurable abilities, the means to be deployed and the resource person/people, the criteria for success that will be presented to the pupil, the times and results of evaluation and the resulting decision (transition to another target or remedial work), the means chosen for any remedial work, the results of such remedial work, the planned follow-up on skills which are judged to have been learnt (maintenance, reinforcement);
  • a copy of any contract(s) entered into with the pupil.

In form 1 and 2 secondary education, internships are organised within the framework of life plans. Educational activities outside the school are also encouraged (circular of 16 September 2009).

Form 3 specialised secondary education requires special organisation and management for vocational learning. It is the subject of regularly updated guidelines in the different networks: timetables, reference guides per vocation, threshold skills, internships (enabling vocations to be practised in real-life conditions). These are defined in the context of a vocational plan. Work experience is obligatory.

Since 1998, partnerships between the French Community and the Walloon and Brussels Regions have been implemented so as to equip all of the primary and secondary educational institutions, including specialised institutions, with multimedia equipment.

Circulars 2876 of 16 September 2009 and 3111 of 23 April 2010 recall that the organisation of teaching adapted to children who are aphasic, dysphasic, autistic, or have multiple disabilities is possible in types 2, 4, 5, 6 or 7. Under no circumstances may such teaching consist of a different educational type. A plan must have been decided on in collaboration with the institution’s personnel and be integrated into the school plan. A centre or person specialising in the disability concerned will be consulted. As far as possible, paramedical staff and teachers will be involved who have special training in educating pupils with the disability in question. The opinion of the educational inspectorate is required for the organisation of such teaching. The pace of learning and the daily schedule may be adjusted. It is recommended that the following elements be ensured for each pupil: an individual learning plan, collaboration with the family, the organisation of areas for specific functions which can be identified by the pupils, a system of individual timetables, an alternative system of individual communication if necessary, the use of visual orientation features, and the organisation of activities so as to give the pupil as much autonomy as possible.

For autistic children, it is recommended that at least one member of staff should have benefited from TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communications disabled Children) training recommended by the Schopler pedagogy.

Progression of Pupils

Formative assessment is prioritised in specialised education. It aims to evaluate pupils’ progress while they are learning, to observe how they use what they have learnt and how they analyse and solve an exercise or problem. It relates to both the subject-specific skills and the interdisciplinary behavioural skills. In this connection, the class council plays a number of essential roles: evaluating the progress made by pupils, and understanding the nature of their difficulties and the origin of errors they commit in the course of learning. The Individual Learning Plan (PIA) is an important reference tool.

In specialised education, the customisation of school careers and the principle of continuous progression, albeit at different paces, are incompatible with grade repetition as practised in ordinary education. In specialised pre-secondary education, a system of degrees of maturity has been introduced.

In specialised secondary education in forms 1, 2 and 3, there is a system of phases. Progress is regularly reviewed by the class council. In form 4 secondary education, progression from one class to another occurs in the same way as in ordinary education, although dispensations are possible with regard to the number of years taken.

For external non-certificative assessment, tests may be adapted in light of the pupil’s disability.

A pupil regularly enrolled in specialised education can return to ordinary pre-secondary education on a decision by his/her parents or guardian or by him/herself if he/she is of legal age, on the condition that a favourable opinion has been obtained from the body responsible for pupil guidance in the specialised institute concerned. In this case, the study year to which the pupil can be admitted is decided by the educational team at the ordinary school. In practice, such a return occurs if the pupil has made up for a significant proportion of the shortcomings which motivated his/her transfer to specialised education and if his/her behaviour has improved significantly. In the case of a divergence of opinion between the child’s family and the educational authorities, the matter can be referred to a consultative committee for specialised education. This transfer measure should be distinguished from the total or partial integration in ordinary education of a pupil enrolled in specialised education, accompanied by specific support measures. In secondary education, pupils attending forms 1 or 2 are not concerned by the transfer to ordinary education apart from exceptional cases.

Certification

Certificative assessment is undertaken after the complete educational process, including formative assessment and any remedial action. This assessment certifies that the pupil has acquired a number of skills. It indicates to the pupil and his/her parents the degree to which the knowledge and skills concerned have been acquired. It enables the class council to take and justify its decisions at the end of the school year: for example, in type 3 secondary education, regarding the progression from one phase to the next or the obtaining of the qualification certificate.

The Certificate of Primary Education

The certificate of primary education (CEB) is issued to pupils in specialised primary education under arrangements similar to those in ordinary education. However, the tests are adapted to the specific situations of pupils with sensory and/or motor disabilities. The CEB may also be awarded in the course of secondary studies.##/LINK$$

Diplomas and Certificates in Secondary Education

In secondary education, the type of qualification depends on the form of education attended by the pupil. In form 1 (education for social adaptation), the pupil receives a certificate of attendance.

In form 2 (education for social and vocational adaptation), pupils have the right to a certificate of school attendance that specifies the level of skills acquired. This certificate is issued by the headmaster in conformity with the model defined by the Government. In certain cases (subject to requirements similar to those in form 3), pupils may obtain their certificate of primary education (CEB) with the consent of the class council.

In form 3 (vocational education):

  • The CEB may be issued at the end of the school year when the class council judges that the necessary skills have been acquired in French and mathematics. The pupil may also be registered for the common external examination, as in ordinary primary education.
  • Successful completion of the first phase is attested by an achievement certificate in a vocational section.
  • Successful completion of the second phase is attested by an achievement certificate in a vocational group.
  • Successful completion of the third phase is attested by a qualification certificate for a trade, when the pupil has acquired the skills listed in a specific training profile. The qualification certificate is awarded by a qualification jury. When applicable, it may be complemented with a certificate of lower secondary education awarded by the class council.
  • Every pupil leaving the institution without obtaining a qualification certificate has the right to a certificate of skills acquired and a certificate of attendance issued by the headmaster in conformity with the model defined by the Government.
  • In dual vocational education and training, pupils who have a record of regular course attendance and have attained the skills set out in the specific training profile under consideration obtain a qualification certificate on a model determined by the Government.

In form 4 (general, technical, artistic or vocational, transition or qualification stream education), the same certificates are awarded as in ordinary education.