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

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Spain:Early Childhood Education and Care

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

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Spain:Vocational Lower Secondary Education: Basic Vocational Training cycles

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

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

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

Spain:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Spain:Management and Other Education Staff

Spain:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Spain:Management Staff for Higher Education

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Spain:Quality Assurance

Spain:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Educational Support and Guidance

Spain:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Spain:Mobility and Internationalisation

Spain:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Mobility in Higher Education

Spain:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Spain:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Spain:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:National Reforms in School Education

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

Spain:National Reforms in Higher Education

Spain:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Spain:European Perspective

Spain:Legislation

Spain:Institutions

Spain:Bibliography

Spain:Glossary

Definition of the Target Group(s)

According to the 2006 Education Act and the 2013 Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education, modifying it, students whose educational needs cannot be met within the framework of the measures of attention to diversity in mainstream schools, since they present serious disability or behavioural disorders, may be enrolled in specific Special Needs Education centers.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School 

In order to identify and assess the educational needs of these students, a psychopedagogical evaluation must be done. The services responsible for carrying out the students psychopedagogical evaluation are also in charge of setting the most suitable educational modality, taking into account parents and legal guardians' opinion. Usually, when parents or legal tutors do not agree with the proposal for school attendance from guidance services, the decision remains with the inspectorate services after listening to the family or legal guardians' opinion. For detailed information on these education inspectorate services see article Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education.

For those students with special education needs attending specific separate Special Needs Education schools, the admission requirements are the same ones than those generally established, except from the provisions on Special Education established for each Autonomous Community. For detailed information on the regulation for pupils admission and choice of institution by families see article Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Their admission in specific Separate Special Education Needs schools is established with a transitory nature and it must be periodically checked, with the goal of favouring the access to a system with a greater inclusion. Separate Special Education Needs schools are nowadays understood as an education alternative when students with special educational needs would not benefit from ordinary schools. Their attendance to these schools must comply with the following criteria: special education needs related to a disability which cannot be attended in an ordinary school, highly meaningful needs for adapting, impossibility of integrating into an ordinary school and school attendance report from the specialised guidance service, assuring their school attendance.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils

In the specific schools for Special Education two education levels are developed: Compulsory Basic Education (from 6 to 16 years old) and the Transition into Adulthood Programmes (from 16 to 19 years old, where students can attend school until 21 years old as a maximum). Also, some schools provide the second cycle of Pre-Primary Education (from 3 to 6 years old). For detailed information on the studies of the second cycle of Pre-Primary Education, see section Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care.

The groups organisation is flexible, according to students' education needs, not students' age. The ratio teacher/student varies in the different Autonomous Communities, although it is about five.

Curriculum, Subjects

Generally, students attending separate special education schools require some very meaningful curricular adaptations in almost every area or subject of the curriculum. In Compulsory Basic Education, in order to implement this adaptation, the abilities established in the objectives of the curriculum for Primary Education in every area are taken as a reference. Depending on the students' needs the abilities of Lower Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) can be included. For detailed information on the curriculum of Primary Education and ESO see articles Teaching and Learning in Primary Education and Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education, respectively. In the last years of school attendance, more importance is given the competences related to vocational performance and social inclusion.

The studies in separate special education schools are organised according to the following structure:

  • Compulsory Basic Education:

It lasts 10 years and the students have the same extension than the ones established for mainstream education.

Compulsory Basic Education is organised in cycles constituting planning units. A Curricular Planning is prepared, which takes into consideration the education needs of the different groups of students attending schools. It includes the general objectives for every level, curricular areas, contents, inclusion of cross-curricular subjects, methodological criteria, assessment and promotion criteria, criteria for evaluating the teaching function, didactic resources and materials, and individualised curricular adaptations.

  • Transition into Adulthood Programmes:

They are aimed at those students aged 16 having studied Compulsory Basic Education in a separate special education school, and at those ones who comply with the requirement of age and whose special education needs make desirable that the continuity of their training process is made through these programmes. In this case, the choice of this modality must be preceded by the psychopedagogical evaluation made by the relevant Educational and Psychopedagogical Guidance Services. In addition, students and parents' opinion must be taken into account and the corresponding mandatory report from the Education Inspectorate is required. For detailed information on these guidance services see article Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education.

They are organised in one single two-year cycle and they can be extended if the education process of the student requires it or when the work possibilities around make it desirable. The objectives to achieve are the following ones:

  1. Consolidate and develop the students' abilities in their physical, emotional, cognitive, communicative, moral, civic and social inclusion aspects, promoting the highest possible degree of personal autonomy and social inclusion.
  2. Enhance students' participation in every context where adulthood takes place: home life, the use of community services and enjoying leisure and free time, among others.
  3. Promote the development of safety work attitudes at job, positive attitude towards task and work basic rules, as well as the acquisition of work activities with an all-purpose nature.
  4. Promote basic instrumental knowledge, acquired in basic education, consolidating communicative and numerical abilities, reasoning skills and problems solving in daily life, as well as the development of students' creativity.
  5. Boost habits related to body health, personal safety and emotional balance, in order to develop their life with the greatest possible well-being.

Teaching mainly aims at the students to acquire communicative and motor skills. The curriculum is open and flexible and it is structured in three experience fields:

  • Field of personal autonomy in daily life.
  • Field of social and community inclusion.
  • Field of  work abilities and skills.

Teaching Methods and Materials

Separate special education schools use the education methodology established with a general nature and adapt it to the circumstances of this kind of students. Methodology takes into account the following criteria:

  • Take the level of the student as a starting point, in accordance with their intellectual, communicative and linguistic, social and emotional, and motor characteristics.
  • Assuring meaningful studies which can be applied in their daily activities and which can serve as a basis for accessing later studies.
  • Making possible meaningful studies for students in an autonomous manner.
  • Promote the principle of physical and intellectual activity both through teachers and/or other partners during learning.

When the students' special needs require it, use the corresponding technical assistance. The teaching methods and materials include Information and Communication Technologies, mainly in the aspects related to the acquisition of communicative abilities. All the schools are provided with the necessary material and, they are generally prepared for attending different disabilities, although in some Autonomous Communities there can be schools attending specific disabilities, such as hearing impairment.

Progression of Pupils

The assessment of those students attending separate special education schools adapts depending on their characteristics. On this manner, the evaluation criteria are modified in order to fit in with the adjustments carried out in the education objectives and contents.

The tutor, school teacher Therapeutic pedagogy specialist carries out the assessment foreseen in the corresponding curricula or curricular adaptations, which are very meaningful for students, in collaboration with the rest of the professionals responsible for developing each curriculum. Some of these professionals are Listening and Speech specialist school teacher, the physical therapist and the school counsellor (education psychologist, psychologist or pedagogue). For detailed information on specialist teachers and other education staff see chapters Teachers and Education Staff and Management and Other Education Staff, respectively.

Teaching teams establish autonomously the criteria for taking decisions on students progression. It is important to draw up different criteria, so that the decision will be made attending to those variables which can have a decisive importance for the students' future.

The progression or retention decisions have an individual nature, and they are accompanied by other general measures which support them. The school methodology and organisation are variables which must be considered when taking the most suitable decision for the student. Other important aspect is to establish the cycle or grade where retention is more advisable and determining the studies considered basic in each of them, in order to continue the learning process.

After a psychopedagogical assessment, the students can attend a combined inclusion modality, attending the ordinary school and the separate special education school. Students can attend school until 21 years old at the most.

Certification

Students with special education needs attending separate special education school obtain at the end of he studies a certificate from the school with the years studied. This certificate is non-mandatory and confidential, and it is accompanied by some guidance about the students' academic and professional future.