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Portugal:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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Overview Portugal

Contents

Portugal:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Portugal:Historical Development

Portugal:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Portugal:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Portugal:Political and Economic Situation

Portugal:Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Portugal:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Portugal:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Portugal:Organisation of Private Education

Portugal:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Portugal:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Funding in Education

Portugal:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Portugal:Higher Education Funding

Portugal:Adult Education and Training Funding

Portugal:Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 3 years

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

Portugal:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Portugal:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Portugal:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Higher Education

Portugal:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Portugal:First Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Bachelor

Portugal:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Portugal:Second Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Portugal:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Portugal:Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Distribution of Responsibilities

Portugal:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Portugal:Main Providers

Portugal:Main Types of Provision

Portugal:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Portugal:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Portugal:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Portugal:Management and Other Education Staff

Portugal:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Portugal:Management Staff for Higher Education

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Portugal:Quality Assurance

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Educational Support and Guidance

Portugal:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Portugal:Mobility and Internationalisation

Portugal:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Mobility in Higher Education

Portugal:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Portugal:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Portugal:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:National Reforms in School Education

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

Portugal:National Reforms in Higher Education

Portugal:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Portugal:European Perspective

Portugal:Legislation

Portugal:Institutions

Portugal:Glossary

Definition of the Target Group(s)

Decree-Law no. 3/2008, of 7th January, defines the specialised support to be provided in pre-school education and basic and secondary education in the public, private and cooperative sectors, facilitating the match between the educational process and special educational needs of students with major disabilities, in terms of activity and participation in one or more areas of life, due to permanent functional and physical changes that cause problems in communication, learning, mobility, autonomy, interpersonal relationships and social involvement.

Support for children from 0 to 6 years is ruled by Decree-Law no. 281/2009, 6th October, which creates the National System of Early Childhood Intervention (SNIPI).

This system consists of a set of organized institutional entities and family, to ensure conditions for the development of children with body functions or structures that limit their personal and social participation in typical activities for their age, as well as children with serious risk of developmental delay.

The SNIPI works on a coordinated action of the Ministries of Social Solidarity, Employment and Social Security, Health and Education and Science.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

Children and youth with severe special educational needs benefit from special conditions for enrollment and school attendance:

  • Have priority in enrollment and may attend a kindergarten or school regardless of their residential area;
  • in exceptional circumstances, duly justified, can benefit of one year postponement, not renewable, on the enrollment in the 1st  year of compulsory education;
  • can make the enrollment by subjects in the 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic and secondary education, provided that the scheme ensures sequential regular schooling.

Students covered by Ordinance n. 201-C/2015 10th July, should attend the class that best suits their needs and abilities. Their registration and enrolment cannot be rejected due to the nature of the class.

Decree-Law no. 3/2008, of 7th January includes specific forms of education for students whose problems require material and specialised human resources, enabling mainstream schools to meet the students’ specific needs, namely:

  • Benchmark schools for the bilingual education of deaf students;
  • benchmark schools for the education of blind students and students with poor eyesight;
  • teaching units organized for students with autism;
  • specialist support units for students with multiple disabilities and congenital deaf/blindness.

The reference schools and specialized support units are created whenever the number of students from one school or groups of neighboring schools justify their concentration, considering the nature of the responses, the specific equipment and professional expertise required.

Where the measures provided for in Decree-Law no. 3/2008 prove insufficient, depending on the type and degree of the pupil’s disability, those involved in the evaluation process can propose the enrollment in a special school or institution.

Age Levels and Gouping of Pupils

The number of pupils to be supported in each unit (units for pupils with autism spectrum disorders and units for pupils with multiple disabilities/deaf blind) shall not be higher than 6.

In special schools or institutions, classes shall have no more than 15 pupils and must be organized  according to the pupils’ educational needs.

Curriculum, Subjects

An Individual Educational Plan (IEP) is required for pupils with severe special educational needs. The IEP documents the specific needs of each pupil and establishes the educational measures and respective evaluation terms. Without an IEP it is not allowed any accomodation in the teaching and learning process.

The IEP is jointly and mandatory developed by the teacher responsible for the school SEN department  or class, or by the head of the class (depending on the pupil’s school year), by the special education teacher and the parents, ie, those whom best know and work directly with the pupil. The IEP has to be approved by the school pedagogical council, with the parents consent, in order to be implemented.

Regarding changes to the curriculum, pupils can benefit from individual curricular accomodations, as well as a specific individual curriculum.

The individual curriculum accomodations are reflected in the context of curricular adaptations that do not jeopardize the regular curriculum or curriculum guidelines concerning pre-school. In this context, specific disciplines or subject areas can be introduced, namely Portuguese Sign Language (L1) and Portuguese / Portuguese as second language for deaf pupils (LP2), Braille reading and writing, orientation and mobility,  vision and motor training among others, allowing access to the regular curriculum, as well as greater autonomy.

These accomodations may also result in the introduction of intermediate objectives and contents or in the exemption of activities, whenever the pupil's degree of functionality markedly hinders or prevents their execution. Exemption of activities shall be applied uniquely and exclusively when the use of assistive technology is not sufficient to enable his/her achievement.

The individual specific curriculum requires significant changes in the regular curriculum that may correspond to:

  1. (Priority to curriculum areas or certain contents over others; 
  2. the removal of objectives and contents; 
  3. the introduction of contents and objectives additional to very specific aspects (ie non-verbal communication, use of assistive technology in communication, mobility, accessibility); or
  4. the removal of curricular areas.

Ordinance n. 201-C/2015, 10th July regulates the teaching of students aged 15 or over, with individual specific syllabus for the transition of post-school life

Teaching Methods and Materials

The Ministry of Education places teachers and other professionals with specific training, such as trainers and interpreters of Portuguese Sign Language, for the teaching of specific curriculum areas, such as Portuguese Sign Language, Braille or the use of Assistive Technology.

The central SNE Resources Centre of the Ministry of Education produces school manuals adapted in Braille, large print and in Daisy format to all SEN pupils.

For students who attend benchmark schools for the bilingual education of deaf children, the Ministry of Education and Science has drawn up Portuguese Sign Language and Portuguese as a foreign language programmes.

A national network of 25 ICT Resource Centres for Special Education was created. These resource centers are designed to assess students to identify technologies that meet their specific needs through the Support Products Attribution System (SPAS) and provide information/training for teachers and other professionals, as well as families, regarding he problems associated with the different areas of disability.

With SPAS the aim is to implement a global, integrated and wide-ranging policy for people with disabilities to compensate and mitigate the limitations resulting from impairment or disability, via free and universal support (Decree n. 93/2009, 16th April; Ordinance n. 192/2014, 26th September; Dispatch n. 14278/2014, 26th November; Ordinance n. 78/2015, 17th March, Dispatch n. 5291/2015, 21st May; Dispatch n. 6478/2015, 11th June; Dispatch n. 7225/2015, 1st July.

Progression of Pupils

According to Decree-Law no. 3/2008, 7th January, pupils with severe disabilities may benefit from accomodations to the evaluation process that may involve changing the type of exams, the evaluation and certification tools as well as the evaluation conditions concerning, among other aspects, the means of communication, the period, duration and location.

All students with severe special educational needs are subject to the regular transition of school year, except those with individual specific curriculum, who are submitted to specific criteria of evaluation defined in the respective IEP.

Certification

For education certification purposes, forms and procedures that follow the legal standards set by law for the education system shall be used.

The certification tools shall conform to the special needs of pupils that have IEP along their schooling, identifying the accommodations of the teaching and learning process that have been applied.

A certificate is issued to pupils with specific individual curriculum, reaching the age limit of compulsory schooling, which is equivalent to compulsory schooling, for admission into the labor market.

For students who reach the age limit for compulsory education with an individual transition plan (ITP), a certificate is issued attesting to the knowledge, capabilities and skills acquired to facilitate admission in the labour market. (Ordinance 201-C/2015, 10th July) (Legislative Order n. 17-A/2015, 22nd September.