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Greece:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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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) 

Pursuant to article 3 of Law 3699/2008, pupils with disabilities and special educational needs include pupils manifesting significant learning difficulties during an entire or limited period of their school life due to sensory, mental, cognitive, developmental, psychological and neuropsychological disorders, affecting school adaptation and school learning process, based on an interdisciplinary evaluation.  This category of pupils includes individuals presenting mental disabilities, sensory impairments in vision and hearing, mobility disabilities, chronic incurable diseases, speech disorders, special learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia), attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity, diffuse developmental disorders (autism spectrum) and multiple disabilities.  This category also includes pupils with complex cognitive emotional and social difficulties, delinquent behavior due to abuse, parental neglect and abandonment or due to domestic violence.  The category of pupils with special educational needs may also include pupils with one or more special mental skills and talents.  Pupils with low school performance associated with external factors, such as linguistic or cultural particularities do not fall under the category of pupils with special educational needs.

The educational policy on Special Education supports inclusive education of pupils with disability and special educational needs within mainstream schools by providing suitable supporting structures and services.  Out of 4068 parallel support applications submitted in primary education during school term 2015-16, 4031 have been approved.  Out of these, 2639 were renewals and 1392 new.  With regard to Special Supportive Personnel and nursing personnel, 610 Special Supportive Personnel and 150 school nursing placements have been approved for the same school term (unpublished data, Special Education Office, Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, 2015).

Specific Support Measures

The Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Educational Needs (KEDDYs), the Committee of Diagnostic Educational Evaluation and Support and the Medical-pedagogical Centers of other Ministries certified by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs provide diagnoses for the purpose of determining special educational needs.  KEDDYs, depending on the type and degree of the pupil’s identified special educational needs, recommend their placement in the appropriate school; they also provide support services and guidance to the mainstream school, while determining the time for re-evaluation.

Based on the individual evaluation and the recommendation of local KEDDYs, the education of individuals with disabilities and special educational needs may take place in a mainstream school, where the following schooling options are available.

Specifically, pupils may attend:

  • An ordinary mainstream school classroom, in case of pupils with mild learning difficulties, supported by the classroom teacher, who cooperates on a case by case basis with KEDDYs, mainstream and special education School Advisors and Special Education Staff Advisors.
  • A mainstream school classroom, with concurrent support-inclusive education by Special Education teachers.  The concurrent support is offered to pupils who are able to follow the common classroom curriculum with the appropriate individual support; it is also available to pupils with more serious educational needs when no other special education setting (special school, integration class) is available in their area; or when concurrent support is deemed necessary - based on KEDDY opinion - by virtue of pupils’ special educational needs; in such case, support by a special educator may be permanent and on a scheduled basis.  Concurrent support is put forward exclusively by the related centre which fixes the hours of concurrent support where appropriate.  Furthermore, under recent Law 4386/2016, co-education programmes, apart from developing the learning and cognitive skills of the students with disabilities, they also aim to promote inclusion and equal opportunities in education and foster, in general-school students, human rights awareness, as well as respect for differences and human dignity.
  • Specially organised and suitably staffed Integration Classes, operating in the general and vocational education schools, offering two types of programmes:
  1. Combined mainstream and specialised programme (up to 15 teaching hours weekly), as determined by the competent KEDDY, for pupils with milder special educational needs.
  2. Specialised group or individualised programme of extended hours, as determined by the competent KEDDY, for pupils with more severe special educational needs, not accounted for by separate special education schools corresponding to the kind and degree of needs. The specialised programme may be independent from the common one, in accordance with pupils’ needs.

The common curriculum for compulsory primary and secondary education, according to the Ministerial Decision on the Integrated Cross-Thematic Curriculum Framework (2003), is equally applied in the case of special education (http://www.pi-schools.gr/programs/depps).

Additionally, co-education programmes require that Inclusion Departments create a fully inclusive school environment for students with special educational needs.  Inclusion Department teachers shall support students inside their school environment whilst working closely with classroom teachers to differentiate activities and teaching practices and introduce adjustments into the learning content and teaching environment (Law 4368/2016).  This is achieved through implementation of special education and rehabilitation programmes, teaching and learning content adjustments and the use of special equipment, including e-equipment, software, logistics and other solutions provided for by the  Centres of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Educational Needs (KEDDY)

Integration Classes and concurrent support programmes are staffed with primary and secondary education teachers having studied Special Education.  Not self-served pupils attending general education schools or Integration Classes are offered support by Specialised Auxiliary Personnel depending on their disability and their special educational needs or by a school nurse following an opinion by a state hospital.  For educational support issues, co-operation is required amongst the classroom teacher, the school advisors of mainstream and special education and the Special Teaching Staff advisors. 

Pursuant to Law 4186/2013, in mainstream classes attended by pupils with disability and special educational needs, where the maximum number of pupils has been covered, this number is proportionally decreased; the decrease ratio is the following: for each pupil with disability and special educational needs, the number of pupils in the classroom is reduced by three and pupils are equally distributed to the classes of the same grade. The Integration Classes in mainstream schools number 3 to 12 pupils in case of co-housed or neighbouring school units. 

The principles of "Design for All" are applied to ensure accessibility both upon planning the educational programmes and upon selecting any kind of equipment and building infrastructure.  In particular, the Centres of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Educational Needs (KEDDY) determine the kind of educational aids and technical equipment necessary to facilitate access to the premises and learning process and recommend the appropriate material and technical interventions in the schools of their competence.  With regard to pupils with hearing or visual disorders, mobility disorders, chronic diseases, mental disorders, autism spectrum disorders and in case of pupils on pharmaceutical treatment, co-operation between the Centre of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Educational Needs (KEDDY) and the competent medical services is required in order to suggest the necessary ergonomic arrangements.  It should be noted that blind or visually impaired students, as well as students with high functioning autism are able to attend a mainstream school, with the support of the classroom teacher and, depending on the case, with the support of Special Education Staff.

For students with one or more special mental abilities and talents, special educational programmes are created with the cooperation of the Institute of Educational Policy and of Higher Education Institutions, while the remaining provisions of Law 3699/2008 do not apply to the abovementioned students.

The Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Educational Needs (KEDDY) play pivotal role in Special Education. Such centers are established and operate by virtue of Law 3699/2008 at the seats of Prefectural Local Authorities and Departments.  In addition to specialised assessment of pupils’ special educational needs and to suggestion of the most suitable educational framework for their schooling, the centres also undertake the following:

  • They plan the Individualised Education Programmes, namely the individual programmes of psycho-pedagogical and teaching support and creative activities, in co-operation with the classroom teachers and the Special Teaching Personnel, as well as the implementation of other scientific and social support measures.
  • They design the corresponding group programmes of psycho-pedagogical and teaching support and creative activities.
  • They draw up individualised reports-proposals on modern educational approaches, innovative aids and services of cutting-edge technology, able to support the functionality and participation of every pupil with disability or special educational needs in the joint education process with the mainstream school pupils.
  • They offer continuing counselling support, information and training to all stakeholders involved in the educational process and to parents.
  • They suggest replacing written tests for pupils with disability and special educational needs with oral ones or other tests in the promotion to next grade and school leaving exams of mainstream schools as well as in the admission exams to tertiary education; in general, they suggest alternative ways of testing and evaluation where appropriate.
  • They monitor and assess the educational progress of pupils, in co-operation with the Special Education school advisors, the mainstream education school advisors, the Special Teaching Staff advisors, the school heads and the teaching staff being responsible to implement the programme.

Law 4186/2013 institutes a new way of organising interdisciplinary support to Special Education by means of provisions regarding the following:

Each Special Education School (SMEAE) is converted into a Special Education Support Center covering a network of schools.  This is the School Network of Education and Support (SDEY), consisting of Special Education Schools (SMEAE) and of neighbouring schools of mainstream public and private education.  The School Networks of Education and Support (SDEYs), being established by a decision of the respective Regional Director of Education, aim at promoting co-operation, at co-ordinating the work of mainstream schools and at supporting them to respond to their pupils’ special educational needs.  A Committee of Diagnostic Educational Evaluation and Support operates in every mainstream education school belonging to SDEY.  This Committee is interdisciplinary, consisting of the school’s personnel (school head, Integration Class or concurrent support teacher) and of the Special Teaching Personnel serving in the Special Education Support Center of SDEY that the school belongs to (psychologist, social worker etc).  The Committee, as a primary level body, performs the following operations inter alia:

  • Investigates and ascertains pupils’ special educational needs
  • Draws up a diversified teaching programme for pupils with identified learning or behavioural difficulty in co-operation with the classroom teacher
  • Copes with pupils’ difficulties in a co-operative, interdisciplinary way using the means and resources available at school, at home and in the community 
  • Monitors the Individualised Education Programme destined for pupils with special educational needs; monitors their families support programme and the programme of pupils taking lessons at home
  • Co-operates with the medical-pedagogical services, the competent services of the respective Municipality and other competent bodies on the multi-faceted pedagogical, psychological and social support of pupils and their families
  • Refers pupils in need of a formal opinion by KEDDY, when they keep on having learning, behavioural or integration difficulties in the school environment, despite the support provided at school.

Such provisions restructure the assessment and support process of pupils’ special educational needs and the school support process in order to effectively use the existing professional resources (psychologist, social worker and other specialisations of Special Teaching Personnel in SMEAE). The new Committees of Diagnostic Educational Evaluation and Support and the Centers of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Educational Needs are expected to form a support service system, further facilitating integration and involvement of pupils with disability and special educational needs in the school of their peers.