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France:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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Contents

France:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

France:Historical Development

France:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

France:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

France:Political and Economic Situation

France:Organisation and Governance

France:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

France:Lifelong Learning Strategy

France:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

France:Organisation of Private Education

France:National Qualifications Framework

France:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

France:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

France:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

France:Funding in Education

France:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

France:Higher Education Funding

France:Adult Education and Training Funding

France:Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Primary Education

France:Organisation of Primary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

France:Assessment in Primary Education

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

France:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Higher Education

France:Types of Higher Education Institutions

France:First Cycle Programmes

France:Bachelor

France:Short-Cycle Higher Education

France:Second Cycle Programmes

France:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

France:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

France:Adult Education and Training

France:Distribution of Responsibilities

France:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

France:Main Providers

France:Main Types of Provision

France:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

France:Teachers and Education Staff

France:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

France:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Management and Other Education Staff

France:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

France:Management Staff for Higher Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Quality Assurance

France:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

France:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

France:Educational Support and Guidance

France:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

France:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

France:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

France:Mobility and Internationalisation

France:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Mobility in Higher Education

France:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

France:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

France:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

France:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:National Reforms in School Education

France:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

France:National Reforms in Higher Education

France:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

France:European Perspective

France:Legislation

France:Glossary

A section of the public with specific educational needs because of their physical or psychological needs is encouraged to pursue schooling in an ordinary educational environment:

  • disabled children and adolescents (law of 11 February 2005 for the equality of rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of disabled persons; art. L351-1 of the education code);
  • intellectually precocious children (guidance and programme law for the future of schools of 23 April 2005, art. 27; MEN, circular no. 2007-158 and no. 2009-168).



Definition of the Target Group(s)


Disabled pupils

Law no. 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 defines disability in the following manner: "What constitutes a disability, in the present law's meaning, is any limitation of a person's activity or limitation of participation in social life in their environment because of a substantial, lasting or definitive alteration of one or several physical, sensory, mental, cognitive or psychological functions, a multi-disability or debilitating health problem" (art. L. 114 of the code for social action and the family).
The law provides for the obligation to ensure that the disabled child may benefit from schooling in an ordinary environment, with a priority that it should occur as closely as possible to their home, to guarantee a continuity in the educational path and ensure equal opportunity in examinations.
The Commission des droits et de l'autonomie des personnes handicapées (CDAPH) is the jurisdictional body for assessing the level of incapacity of the disabled person, their compensation needs and their ability to work. The attribution of certain services or rights shall devolve from these elements. The CDPH resides within a body, the Maison départementale des personnes handicapées, established by the law of 11 February 2005 and present in each French département.

The number of disabled pupils in an ordinary education environment was 201,400 in 2010-2011: 126,400 in primary schools and 75,100 in secondary schools (RERS, 2011).

The following is a classification of the main deficiencies that may concern pupils (RERS, 2011) :

  • Intellectual and cognitive disturbances concerning intellectual deficiencies. The disturbances affecting development (TED), including autism, are included in this category;
  • Psychological disturbances, including personality and behavioural disorders;
  • Language and speaking difficulties including dyslexia, dysphasia, etc.;
  • Motor difficulties, i.e. a more or less serious limitation in the ability to move;
  • Visceral disorders, including cardiac, respiratory disorders, or related to cancer, more generally, all chronic diseases requiring the implementation of specialised schooling;
  • Several disturbances: in cases where the young person has several equally important deficiencies;
  • Multi-disabilities: serious mental disorder linked with significant motor deficiency.



Intellectually precocious children

The term "precocious" is used in France to indicate a child who manifests the ability to carry out performances in a certain number of activities that are on average done by children older by two, three, four years older, or even more. These children's profiles are highly varied (particular language, memory, adaptation, motivation and personality abilities); The Ministry of Education's attention deals with pupils, who, although showing remarkable intellectual capacities, do not succeed in learning at school. Some of them even have considerable difficulties in class that can lead to repeating years and a progressive disinvestment in school, often accompanied by psychological disarray and/or behavioural problems. Systematic screening of intellectual precociousness is not done. A pupil's situation should be assessed when:

  • a child manifests ill-being at primary school or in collège;
  • a pupil has learning difficulties;
  • a pupil's behaviour alarms his/her teacher;
  • parents make a request.


The loi d’orientation et de programme pour l’avenir de l’école du 23 avril 2005 in its art. 27 refers to the need to meet the particular needs of these children. A specific effort is made concerning the issue of detecting intellectual precociousness. In this regard, circulars no. 2007-158 of 17/10/2007 and no. 2009-168 of 12/11/2009 urge directors and inspectors to implement measures the goals of which are the following:

  • improving the detection of intellectual precociousness;
  • improving teacher and parent information about intellectual precociousness;
  • organising local information systems to quantify the phenomenon, qualify situations and register the responses provided.


Specific Support Measures


Specific measures for disabled pupils

The schooling in an ordinary environment of disabled pupils is provided throughout schooling from nursery school (upon parental request) to higher secondary school. It uses different methods depending on the pupil's specific needs.

Reference bodies: MDPH and CDAPH

The Maison départementale des personnes handicapées (MDPH) was established by the law of 11 February 2005 so as to provide the reception of and information and mentoring services to disabled persons and their families. It implemented a multi-disciplinary team composed of physicians, occupational therapists, psychologists, specialist social workers, specialist school receptionists, etc., who assess a disabled person's needs based on their life plan and suggests a personalised schooling project (PPS). The child/pupil's family is closely associated with working out the PPS (art. D. 351-5 of the education code).

Based on this project, the Commission des droits et de l’autonomie des personnes handicapées (CDAPH) – the operations of which are organised by the MDPH – makes decisions relating to the array of the disabled person's rights; it decides on measures that make an educational path feasible, in particular guidance decisions, should they apply (art. D. 351-7 of the education code).

The Personalised Education Project (PPS)

The PPS ensures the consistency of the whole of the disabled pupil's education path. It is revised regularly (at least once a year) by an educational monitoring team composed of all those persons directly responsible for implementing the PPS, foremost of all the child's parents and their teachers. The monitoring team may, if it deems necessary, make developmental suggestions or suggestions for modifying the PPS to the multi-disciplinary team, in particular concerning the pupil's guidance.
A specialist teacher is the teacher of reference. This teacher assembles and organises the monitoring teams for the schooling of disabled pupils and is the primary player of all the partners in these pupils' schooling.


Schooling schemes in an ordinary environment

In the light of the particular needs defined in the PPS, the disabled pupil's schooling in an ordinary environment may be "individual" or "collective".

1. Individual schooling: pupils attend the same classes as their schoolmates while being mentored by the schooling monitoring team. Individual schooling may proceed with no particular help or lead to adjustments when the pupil's needs require it. More often than not these adjustments take the form of the pupil's being accompanied by a specialist, the "individual schooling auxiliary" (AVS-i) and adapted teaching tools.

2. Collective schooling: When the requirements of individual schooling in an ordinary class are too great, the disabled pupil may be put into a special class within the primary school  (classe d’intégration scolaire - CLIS) and in collèges and lycées (unité pédagogique d’intégration - UPI). Supervised by a specialist teacher, pupils in the CLIS or the UPI receive adapted instruction that implements the objectives set out in the personalised schooling project. The "collective schooling auxiliaries" (AVS-co) also participate in these pupils' schooling. Installing the CLISs and UPIs in schools is organised in such a way as to leave no French region without access to help for pupils while taking into consideration  reasonable constraints imposed by transport.

3. The schooling auxiliary (AVS) is a staff category (education assistants or recruited as part of a subsidised contract by the State within the framework of employment policy) with the exclusive mission of helping in the reception and schooling of a single disabled pupil. Their activities are defined in consultation with the teacher (writing aids, materials installation inside the classroom, escorting to meals, between-class time, school outings, etc.). This support may be done for the whole time the child attends school (full time), whether the child attends full time or part time. It may be limited to certain periods of school time (part time). Circular no. 2003-092 of 11 June 2003 relating to education assistants defines the activities of this category.

4. Special education services and home care (SESSAD). These services are provided by multi-disciplinary teams whose activities consists of providing specialist support to children and adolescents maintained in their ordinary living and education environment. They can intercede in all of the child's and adolescent's living places. Depending on their specialisation and the child's age, these services may have different names:

  • SAFEP family supervisory service and precocious education (sensory deficiencies from 0 to 3 years old);
  • SSEFIS support service for family education and school integration (hearing deficiencies after 3 years old);
  • SAAAIS service for helping autonomy and school integration (seeing deficiencies);
  • SSAD service for home help and care (multi-disabled children).


In collective schooling (CLIS, UPI) children or adolescents may be monitored by such a care service.
For individual schooling, support from SESSAD takes on variable forms depending on the child's needs. It may include specialist medical acts or re-education in various fields: physiotherapy, orthophonics, psychomotricity, occupational therapy, etc.

5. Adapted educational tools (a Braille keyboard, adapted peripherals, specific software, etc.) The multi-disciplinary team of the Commission des droits et de l’autonomie des personnes handicapées assesses the need for the pupil to have this equipment as part of their personalised schooling project when this equipment is vital for enhancing the young person's learning. Equipment for individual use, owned by the State, is made available to the pupil as part of a loan agreement. The pupil can use it throughout his or her schooling, even if they change schools or move to another département.

6. Arranging the conditions for take examinations and competitive exams. Particular provisions are set out to enable disabled children to take exams and competitive exams organised by National Education for adjusted conditions: aid by a third person, an increase of time by a third to sit the test, the use of specialised equipment. Candidates may also be permitted to spread their tests over several sessions, keep their notes and, according to the regulations proper to each exam, may request an adaptation of or dispensation from exams.

Specific measures for intellectually precocious children

Many intellectually precocious pupils pursue uneventful, sometimes brilliant, schooling. They are not always detected. No particular measures are implemented for them, for they succeed. On the other hand, measures may be taken when the precocious pupil manifests behavioural or learning difficulties. These measures vary according to each pupil's specific needs. They are reflected upon and implemented by the educational team in consultation with the families; the team includes the following:

  • teachers;
  • educational psychologists;
  • psychological guidance councillors;
  • National Education physicians;
  • inspection and directorate staff.


Circular no. 2009-168 provides a few examples of support measures for precocious pupils:

  • content enrichment: Proposals for more difficult situations, programme anticipation, reading offers, use of the usual information and communications technologies, etc.;
  • mobilisation for centres of interest through educational supervision and extracurricular activities
  • reinforcing empowerment through research, report writing, exercising responsibilities, the role of aid to other pupils
  • building a personalised project on up to a genuine personalised programme of educational success (PPRE)
  • attending a more advanced class in certain subjects (a differentiated acceleration of the pathway)
  • the possibility of accelerating the curriculum (one year) and the supervision demanded by this alternative, etc.