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Mainstream assessment systems - Belgium (French speaking community)

The decisions of the class council

The decision to graduate from one class, cycle or phase to another and the presentation of diplomas, certifications or attestations of success at school is the responsibility of the class council. The head teacher presides over the graduation and all the members of the teaching team who work with the pupils are present. Representatives from the psycho and medical social services assist the graduation as consultants.

In special education, when the class council confirms that the competences achieved are the same as those set by the decree, the certificate of basic studies is awarded to the pupil in the same way as in a mainstream school.

If pupils fail or receive poor results, parents can ask the head teacher to clarify this and both parents and pupils have the possibility of consulting the teacher responsible for the assessment. Test results are confidential.

An interne procedure has been created to deal with protests concerning the decisions made and to promote reconciliation regarding eventual disagreements. This procedure must be finished by 30th June and final results available by 5th September.

An appeal council has been created by the Government with the inspector and the members delegated by the Minister. The decisions are taken with a majority of 2/3. The members are in office for two years and are allowed to stand again; this is voluntary, only costs regarding travel and residence are covered. If the appeal concerns a pupil from special education, two members from the general council of concertation for special education assist the meeting.

Parents have 10 days to appeal if their child fails the test. The appeal must be justified and contain the information necessary to enlighten the Council. It cannot include details concerning another pupil. 

The decisions of the appeal council are based on the achievements already acquired by the pupil and the accomplishments expected to be acquired, taking into consideration the level of the general assessment applied when evaluating the pupil.

If competences are not defined or the test for assessment is not created, the appeal council can make a decision based on the curriculum.

The complementary year

The new unit of school time is no longer one year, but one step. The basic competences have to be achieved by the end of a step and it is only at the end of a step that assessment is made.

What happens if a pupil does not achieve the basic competences?

Before the new decree the pupil would repeat the same year, but this was not efficient and created a feeling of failure. Therefore it was decided to create a complementary year with an individual programme based on the failures and successes of the pupil.

The certificate of basic studies is discerned by:

  • the primary or secondary school body of education in mainstream or special education
  • the examining body organised each year by the school district for pupils registered in the sixth year of primary school or each 11 year old pupil (with their date of birth being no later than 31st  December)
  • the examining body created for people who have left compulsory education and who do not have the certificate of basic studies.

The model of this certificate is created by the Government.

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