This page was last modified on 28 December 2016, at 13:33.

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

From Eurydice

Jump to: navigation, search

Overview Greece

Contents

Greece:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Greece:Historical Development

Greece:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Greece:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Greece:Political and Economic Situation

Greece:Organisation and Governance

Greece:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Greece:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Greece:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Greece:Organisation of Private Education

Greece:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Greece:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Greece:Funding in Education

Greece:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Greece:Higher Education Funding

Greece:Adult Education and Training Funding

Greece:Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 4 years

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

Greece:Primary Education

Greece:Organisation of Primary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Greece:Assessment in Primary Education

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Greece:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Greece:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Higher Education

Greece:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Greece:First Cycle Programmes

Greece:Bachelor

Greece:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Greece:Second Cycle Programmes

Greece:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Greece:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Greece:Adult Education and Training

Greece:Distribution of Responsibilities

Greece:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Greece:Main Providers

Greece:Main Types of Provision

Greece:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Greece:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Greece: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Greece:Management and Other Education Staff

Greece:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Greece:Management Staff for Higher Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Greece:Quality Assurance

Greece:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Educational Support and Guidance

Greece:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Greece:Mobility and Internationalisation

Greece:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Mobility in Higher Education

Greece:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Greece:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Greece:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:National Reforms in School Education

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

Greece:National Reforms in Higher Education

Greece:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Greece:European Perspective

Greece:Legislation

Greece:Institutions

Greece:Glossary

Definition of the Target Group(s) 

In cases where the attendance of pupils with disabilities and special educational needs in schools of the common educational system and in integration classes (see unit “Special Education Provided within the Ordinary Educational System”) is especially difficult due to the type and level of their impediment, the education of these pupils can be provided through:

  • School Units of Special Education.
  • Schools or classes which operate either individually or as branches of other schools in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, youth education institutes, institutes of chronic disease or services of education of rehabilitation of the Mental Health Units, as long as there are individuals of school age with disabilities or special educational needs staying there.  These educational structures are considered School Units of Special Education, appertain to the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and fall into the framework of Special Education of school age children.  Other private institutions, officially certified, can provide equal education, training and advisory services to those of the School Units of Special Education of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, to individuals over fifteen years old who suffer severe mental retardation and relevant disabilities.
  • Home tutoring, if necessary, due to severe temporary or chronic conditions which do not allow for the displacement and attendance of these pupils in schools.

Education in Special Schools falls within the same framework in force for education provided to children with disabilities and special educational needs, in the context of the common educational system.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School  

The Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs are exclusively responsible for the placement, enrolment, transfer and attendance of individuals with disabilities and special educational needs in the appropriate School Unit of Special Education, or in another educational structure or programme of Special Education, after detecting and establishing the type and the level of the difficulties these individuals are facing.  The special educational needs of pupils are established by the Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs, the Committee for Cognitive Educational Evaluation and Support, as well as the Medical-Educational Centres of other Ministries which have been certified by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.

Sensory disorders related to vision and hearing, or other physical disorders, as well as severe or chronic conditions are certified with a diagnosis from a public institution.  In order to establish the educational needs of the above-mentioned pupils, or pupils with mental disorders, autism, as well as pupils under medical treatment, the Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs, ought to co-operate with medical services, while for home tutoring a recent diagnosis from a public medical-educational service or a public health committee is required.

In case of difference of opinions between the diagnosis concerning special educational needs provided from the Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs and that provided from Medical-Educational Centres for the same pupil, the parents of the pupil have the right to appeal to a Secondary Special Diagnostic Evaluation Committee, which is assigned following a decision of the Regional Education Director.  Similarly, in case of disagreement between the parents and the diagnosis provided by the Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs in relation to the placement, enrollment, transfer and attendance of the pupil in the appropriate school unit, the Secondary Special Diagnostic Evaluation Committee is responsible for making the final decision. In both cases the Committee’s decision is final.

Parents have the option of choosing the special school their child will attend, provided that the chosen school has the jurisdiction in the pupil’s area of residence. This applies to special schools covering all special needs and not a specific disability; for example, hearing impairment.  In this case, the choice of school is not made based on the pupil’s area of residence, but based on the pupil’s disability and special educational needs.  The transportation cost of pupils is covered by the state.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils

As specified in Laws 3699/2008 and 4186/2013, the structures of School Units of Special Education which pupils with disabilities and special educational needs can attend are the following:

As far as primary education is concerned:

  • Special Kindergartens and early intervention classes which operate within these kindergartens, for pupils up to seven years old.
  • Primary Special Education Schools which operate for the same years of general primary schools (A-F) with an additional preliminary year, for pupils up to fourteen years old.

The internal structure of special education and general education primary schools is the same.  According to recent regulations introduced by Law 4368/2016, the distribution of students across classes is based on the following criteria:

  1. grade
  2. level (e.g. preliminary, middle, lower, upper)
  3. diagnosis, preparedness or the special behaviours of the students, and the dynamics of the created group regardless of initial class structure based on Student Registry.

This is based on the proposal by the Dianostic Assessment and Support Committee and presentation of support of decisions made by the Special Education School Teaching Committee.  Student attendace can be extended to fifteen years of age, following a recoommendation by the appropriate KEDDY.

Extended school programme classes may operate in the above mentioned schools.

As far as secondary general education is concerned:

  • Lower Secondary Special Education Schools, which apart from grades A, B, C, offer an additional preliminary non-compulsory year of attendance, for pupils up to nineteen years old.   Graduates of primary education with disabilities or special educational needs can enrol directly in grade A of secondary schools; that is they can skip the preliminary grade, following an evaluation from the relevant Center of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs.
  • Upper Secondary Special Education Schools which apart from grades A, B, C, offer an additional preliminary non-compulsory year of attendance, for pupils up to twenty one years old.  Graduates of lower secondary education with disabilities or special educational needs can enrol directly in grade A of secondary schools; that is they can skip the preliminary grade, following an evaluation from the relevant Center of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs.

As far as secondary vocational training is concerned:

  • Special Needs Vocational Lower Secondary Schools, in which graduates of either General or Special Primary Education can enrol and where attendance includes five years.  These schools offer a programme for the completion of a nine-year compulsory education, while at the same time they provide vocational training.  In grade E, pupils do an internship, so as to enrich their competencies and acquire professional experience.  Upon completion of attendance, pupils can enrol in grade B of Special Vocational Upper Secondary Schools or General Vocational Upper Secondary Schools in a relevant filed of specialisation, following a recommendation by the relevant Center of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs.  Should the pupils wish to enrol in a different specialisation field, they are required to enrol in grade A of the Special Vocational Upper Secondary School or General Vocational Upper Secondary School.
  • Special Needs Vocational Upper Secondary Schools, in which graduates of Vocational Lower Secondary schools and Special and General Lower and Upper Secondary Schools can enrol, and where attendance lasts for four years.
  • Special Needs Vocational Education and Training Workshops, where attendance lasts for six years.  Graduates of General or Special Primary schools can enrol in these workshops, in order to cover compulsory Secondary Education. Grade F operates as a technical/vocational specialisation class, and aims at enriching the pupils’ competencies and familiarising them with a professional work environment.

Children of various ages and, perhaps, various special educational needs might attend the above mentioned Special Education Units.  Attendance in Secondary Education units may be extended up to the pupil’s twenty third year of age, following a recommendation by the relevant Centre of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs.

According to Law 3699/2008, the required number of pupils for the operation of a Special Primary School and a Special Vocational Education and Training Workshop is five at minimum, and it consists of a prerequisite for the foundation of these units.  In cases where there are fewer than five pupils, the operation of the school unit is suspended and its discontinuation is suggested.  Integration Classes are founded instead, with a specialised extended programme.  The number of pupils per class in primary and secondary school units of Special Education usually ranges from five to eight (Presidential Decree 603/1982).  In case of pupils with pervasive developmental disorders or multiple disabilities, the minimum number of pupils for the operation of a class can be reduced to three (Ministerial Decision 117303/Γ6/19-10-2007).

Curriculum, Subjects

According to framework law concerning Special Education (Law 3699/2008), the planning and development of curricula, as well as the planning of educational and other support material for the education of pupils with disabilities and special educational needs falls within the responsibilities of the Special Needs division of the Educational Policy Institute.

Presidential Decree 301/1996 outlines a new general Special Education Curriculum framework to be used by Special Education Schools (SMEAE).  Special Education Schools may deliver an adapted version of the general education curriculum or a combined version of both curricula (Law 4368/2016).  In 2004, the Pedagogical Institute established curricula for 6 categories of pupils with special educational needs: a) pupils with severe and medium-mild mental retardation, b) pupils with hearing impairment, c) visually impaired pupils, d) pupils with mobility disabilities, e) pupils with autism, f) pupils with multiple disabilities.  For each of these categories, special curricula were developed or necessary adjustments or modifications of the general education curricula were performed, according to the special needs of each category.  This material is available on the website of the Educational Policy Institute (http://www.pi-schools.gr/special_education_new/html/gr/8emata/analytika/analytika.htm).  Links for the Curricula and the Cross-thematic Curriculum Frameworks which have been developed for each disability can be found on this website.  

Furthermore, the interdisciplinary team of the relevant Center of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs develops a Special Education Programme for each pupil with disabilities and special educational needs, in cooperation with the Special Education school advisor and the Special Educational Personnel advisor. Upon invitation, the parent or guardian of the pupil may also participate in the development of the Special Education Programme. Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs also develop customised psycho-educational group programmes, as well as learning support and creativity programmes.

At the same time, in School Units of Special Education, apart from the daily teaching programme, a creative activities programme may also be implemented.  Pre-vocational training activities are also included in the primary education curriculum, while secondary lower and higher education curriculum may also include technical vocational education and training classes.  The hourly timetable includes 25 and 30 teaching hours in primary  and secondary education schools respectively.

The subjects taught in these school units in secondary education are the same as those included in the curriculum of general secondary lower and higher education schools, with the sole difference that these subjects are adjusted and specialised so that they respond to the needs and abilities of the pupils with flexibility.  The hourly timetable of secondary lower and higher education schools, after all, includes 6-7 hours of remedial teaching.

A preliminary non-compulsory class in the following subjects also operates in the School Units of Special Education in secondary lower education schools:

  1. Greek Language
  2. Sign Language for pupils with hearing impairment or other forms of communication via use of a P/C for pupils with mobility disabilities
  3. Mathematics
  4. Physical Education
  5. Art.

In secondary higher education schools the subjects taught in this preliminary class are:

  1. Greek Language
  2. Mathematics
  3. Physics
  4. Chemistry
  5. Physical Education
  6. Art.

Teaching Methods and Materials

By means of personalised and differentiated learning practices, Special Education teachers, depending on the type and degree of each student's special educational needs:

  • Implement special syllabuses according to the Individual Curriculum which is planned by the relevant Center of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs.
  • Design and implement appropriately differentiated syllabuses at both individual and small-group levels.  They make use of a wide range of special learning methodology approaches and strategies, such as breaking learning objectives into smaller units, direct instruction teaching, Braille writing system, orientation and mobility training for blind or visually impaired students, sign language for deaf students, new technologies, etc.  There is also provision for recovery programmes conducted by Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists.

Special equipment is provided for students with blindness, hearing loss and mobility disabilities.  All types of learning and instructional resources produced by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and the Computer Technology Institute and Press "DIOPHANTUS" are distributed free of charge.

The administration of specialised material for a specific type of disability, like for example borrowing a Braille device, is also free in co-operation with the Ministry of Health which assesses plenty of institutes which work with the Directorate of Special Education of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.

The Department of Special Education of the former Pedagogical Institute made some adjustments to the curricula and teaching methods for pupils with learning disabilities in compulsory primary and secondary education.  They were published electronically and in hard copy in 2008 and distributed to the 13 prefectures of Greece.  Meanwhile, all textbooks used in general education were modified, adjusted and published electronically for every visually impaired pupil in compulsory education.  Moreover, in the context of the Programme “Education and Life-long Learning”, implemented by the Institute of Pedagogical Policy the “Planning and development of accessible educational and assessment material for pupils with disabilities”, a project which concerns the adjustment of school textbooks for all subjects of grades A and B of primary education, so that they are accessible to pupils with disabilities.  The educational material is available electronically as well as in hard copy and, depending on the type of the disability and the special educational need it addresses, appropriate digital technology is used in order to render the material fully accessible.  Furthermore, differentiated learning resources have been designed for efficient school preparation.  For students with visual impairments, there is particular provision for special instructional resources.  Content is available on the following website: http://prosvasimo.gr/el/

According to Law 3699/2008, the first language of pupils with hearing impairment is the Greek Sign language and their second language is the Greek language, which they acquire in its written form, while its oral acquisition and production by these pupils is optional.  The Greek Sign language and the Greek Language are recognised as equal, and as a result the advisable linguistic educational approach is bilingual education.  Moreover, the official writing system of the visually impaired is the Braille system.  For autistic pupils who can or cannot produce speech, the Greek language is recognised as their official language, which is acquired and produced in its oral or written form, or/and in the form of symbols-pictures.

Law 4186/2013 defines as a desirable condition for the choice of school head and for the placement of educational/special scientific personnel in schools for the visually or hearing impaired, the certification of Greek Sign language and of Braille writing system.  The Hellenic National Academic Recognition and Information Center is responsible for the issuance of these certifications and for this purpose it co-operated with the Educational Policy Institute and the most representative bodies as far issues related to the visually and hearing impaired are concerned.

By the same law, the Educational Policy Institute undertakes the assessment of all educational material produced in the Greek Sign language and the Braille writing system, before being implemented in the educational process, as well as the co-operation of Greek and foreign specialised scientists and scientific bodies on issues related to the visually and hearing impaired.

Progression of Pupils

According to Law 4186/2013, the assessment of all pupils attending School Units of Special Education at all levels of education is performed following a recommendation by the multidisciplinary Committee of Diagnostic Educational Assessment and Support of the school unit the pupil is attending and with the agreement of the Teachers’ School Board.  The Committee carrying out the examination is assembled upon decision of the school head.

The Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs propose the replacement of written examinations of pupils with disabilities and special educational needs with oral or other type of examinations in the final exams of primary and secondary education schools and for entry exams in higher education.  Moreover, they propose alternative ways of assessment for the hearing and visually impaired at all levels of education, as well as alternative ways of assessment beyond exams.

Except for specific-oriented regulations regarding evaluation and testing procedures, grade progression for students with special education needs (studying either in special education or in general education schools) is controlled by the same evaluation framework used for general schools.

Grade repetition for students with disabilities or special education needs is possible:

  • in ordinary schools, once for each grade and subject to age restrictions (for example, grade repetition is not allowed for students over fourteen years of age)
  • in Special Education Schools (it is possible to administer extended curricula, i.e. four years instead of three
  • in the case of work placements/internships taking place in Special Education Vocational Lyceums (it is possible to repeat the last grade).

Furthermore, Centres of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs, depending on the type and the level of special educational needs and educational difficulties of the pupil, set the re-assessment time, which is written on the relevant diagnosis.  This assessment, as well as the re-assessment of special educational needs of the pupil, may lead to a recommendation by the relevant Centre of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs for a change of the type and the category of school unit or of the general educational framework of Special Education the pupil is attending.

The suggestions concerning the assessment of students attending Higher Secondary Education schools are valid until their entry into Higher Education.  Especially as far as the Pan-hellenic exams are concerned, special arrangements related to the way of examination in order to gain access to higher education, are in force: for example, oral examination for autistic students, students with upper limb spasticity, students with learning difficulties like dyslexia or dysgraphia, written exams for students with speech problems, etc.  The Special Education advisor or educator is also present in the committees assembled for the assessment of these students, so as to provide clarifications on special educational needs issues when requested to do so by the relevant committee.  According to Law 3794/2009 as amended and in force, those who suffer from “severe conditions” have the right to access higher education at Universities or Technical Educational Institutes without sitting exams, up to a maximum total 5% of the number of successful candidates.  In case the number of applications for each Department is larger than 5% of the positions, access is decided based on the average higher secondary education leave grade.

Certification

Special Education School Units are equal to the corresponding schools of primary and secondary education and vocational training.  As a result, the certificates they award are equal to those awarded by the corresponding schools of primary and secondary education and vocational training.

Namely, for graduates of Special Vocational Training of both primary and secondary education, according to Law 4186/2013, the equivalence of certificates and professional rights is the following: Special Vocational Lower Secondary Education Schools award by the end of grade D, a Lower Secondary Education Leave Certificate and by the end of grade E, a certificate granting 2b level professional rights.  Special Vocational Higher Secondary Education Schools award a Higher Secondary Education Leave Certificate, as well as a certificate granting level 3 professional rights. Finally, Special Vocational Education and Training Workshops are school units of secondary education and award certificates granting 2a level professional rights to their graduates.  Under Law 4386/2016, the operation of Vocational Training Schools (SEK) is terminated.  Under Ministerial Decision issued by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, these schools will be converted into Vocationa Training Institutes (IEK) for particularly sensitive groups of compulsory education adult graduates.

Ministerial Decision F.251/72087/A5/28-4-2016 outlines a participation framework for the national examinations and defines the process of oral examinations for students with disabilitites and special educational needs for school term 2015-2016.