Main menu

Innovations and developments - Belgium (French speaking community)

School for success

The innovation with the Decree of 24th July 1997 is that it is common for education to be on all levels in both mainstream and special education schools, this can be particularly helpful regarding inclusion. The Decree of 3rd March 2004 organising special education was introduced to adapt special education and not change it.

This Decree created the idea of the school for success. It is a school which does not exclude but promotes inclusion; it wishes to be equitable and ambitious. Equitable, as the school aims for each pupil to be successful. Ambitious, as for pupils to achieve success, complex and various competences are required. Before the decrees the special school was called special and integrated education, now it is just called special education. The progress is that all education, mainstream or special, is considered as inclusive.

The principal pedagogic axes are the continuum of learning, the differentiated pedagogic, the formative assessment, the pedagogic team, the group of pupils, the organisation of the teacher’s work, and the complementary year.

In practice, two difficulties need to be overcome concerning the complementary year, the organisation of this year and the earlier belief that the repeated year is efficient. It is nevertheless possible to organise the year effectively provided the following is taken into consideration:

  • The multi-age or vertical class presents advantages for the pupils. It allows them to stay in the same reference group, to work on the level best adapted to them and work with other groups in the class. The merging of the schedule between the different classes of one cycle makes it possible to create the complementary year, where pupils are allowed to move between the different levels of classes according to their needs. The teacher must be able to work naturally within differentiated pedagogy and has to find the time to work with the team, preparing assessment, analysing results and detecting difficulties.
  • the class where the teacher stays with the pupils allowing the pedagogical continuum but encourages less work in the team.
  • the class with de-comparmentalisation where the basis group move according to their learning needs. It is a way of practicing differentiated pedagogy and developing the individual learning plan. This form of organisation is especially good with the integration of migrant pupils.
  • the class with specialist teachers. The pupils in this class are on the same cycle or step and need to achieve the same level of competences. This is achieved by more than one teacher being in the classroom teaching different subjects, this is also called flexibility of the tenure. Sharing competences may be done by discipline or area, meaning that a teacher becomes an expert in one discipline and teaches this in all the groups. It encourages team work and exhibits the diversity of the teacher in teaching competences.
  • the traditional class where pupils of a similar age have a different teacher each year. This does of course not mean that the pedagogical continuum and the other points are not respected but in this case there is more contact required within the team work. 

Sometimes the same school will rearrange the education offered, but still within the five possibilities mentioned above.

All parents would like a guarantee regarding the future of their child and know that this future is under construction in school, therefore all eyes are watching and analysing the school meaning that new innovations can make the parents anxious and can sometimes hinder their children in learning. The multi-age classroom and the time allowed for principal learning can lead to questions from the parents, more often impatient to see rapid results so therefore communication with the parents is extremely important. Continual training is necessary for teachers within the school cycle to help keep them aware.

Positive discrimination

The decree of 1998 modified in 2002 aims to assure all pupils equality and social emancipation by positive discrimination. The aim is:

  • to group the disseminated funding given to schools who welcome pupils from a disadvantaged environment
  • to improve the use of this funding and revise it each year
  • to establish a list of schools in areas with: a poor environment, unemployment and a migrant population and make it a priority zone
  • to prevent school drop outs and violence
  • to co-ordinate the actions of the different partners

The school of positive discrimination is a school where extra funds are allocated on the basis of social, economical, cultural and pedagogical criteria.

In elementary education, 12.5% of the pupils are recognised as being of ‘positive discrimination’ covering 395 school units.

Two kinds of supplementary means are possible:

  • extra human resources i.e.: teachers, nurses, social, paramedical or psychological employees
  • extra functional funding i.e.: specific training, support from external services, renovation of the school building, contract with cultural, sport and educational centres, organising meetings,  purchase of new materials, facilities for libraries, newspapers, books and a travel budget to enable diverse  activities. 

The global budget for the elementary school was 8.924 millions euros in 1999, 11.805 millions euros from 2002. 70% of the budget is used on human resource funding and 30% on functional funding.

  • LinkedIn
  • Google +