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Assessment policy: introduction - Czech Republic

The strategic document – National Programme on Development of the Process of Education in the Czech Republic, (White Book) is focussed on the role of assessment. In this document it is written that pupils are assessed according to their individual achievements at certain times during their education.

According to the School Act No 561/2004, assessment of each pupil is done regularly at primary level. After finishing the first lower stage of elementary education (at the end of the fifth class) the written report is given to pupil’s parents describing the child’s performance and competences acquired during this particular part of his/her compulsory school attendance.

At the end of the second stage (the ninth class) the second written assessment is given to the pupil with information about the pupil’s achievement. This assessment consists of a recommendation regarding the planning of their future education. This is quite a new practice in our system of education. These reports are not only a very important message both for parents and pupil, but it is supposed to be a tool for schools to get a feed back, to think more about each pupil and/or about the quality of education provided. The assessment reports are also supposed to motivate a child for future educational efforts and to be a tool for future planning.

Curriculum based assessment of pupils achievements is an on-going process during the whole school year. At the end of the first and second term of each school year all pupils are provided with a certificate describing the pupil’s school achievements in taught subjects. Assessment of the pupils´ school achievements is expressed by means of marks or by words or with a combination of the two above mentioned methods. The head teacher decides which method to use in a pupils´ assessment with approval from the School Council.

In a case of where a pupil moves to another school, the oral assessment is transformed into marks if the new school requires it. The oral assessment is transformed into marks for pupils in the last grade of primary education and for pupils taking entrance examinations for secondary school. Pupils with specific learning disorders are assessed orally according to the wish of their parents. Pupils with complex special needs are only orally assessed.

According to the new School Act, pupils are provided with a leaving assessment report describing how the pupil has fulfilled his/her goals within his/her educational programme. Similar leaving assessment is given to a pupil at the end of the fifth and/or seventh grade when leaving for secondary school.

If the pupil’s knowledge and school achievement is not sufficient he/she is allowed to repeat a year once during the first, and once during the second stage of compulsory education.  A pupil is also allowed to repeat a year if they have a health condition, and if parents ask for this.

Assessment is considered to be one of the very important aspects in the education of pupils with special needs. Assessment is included in the obligatory structure of the individual education plan for pupils with special needs. An appropriate description of the methods, tools and process of assessment is a useful guide to teachers for proper planning of the educational process and for giving pupils a fair feed-back.

Giving the recommendation to mainstream school teachers about the methods of assessment of mainstream pupils with special educational needs is the responsibility of pedagogical - psychological and special educational counselling centres, even though a large number of mainstream teachers have passed in-service-training in special education and assessment. Teachers are required to follow these recommendations.

The assessment of pupils with special needs is focused on:

  • indicating special educational needs 
  • assessing the educational conditions with regards to the needs of the pupil and planning of the educational process
  • giving  feed back to teacher about his/her strategy of teaching
  • giving  feed-back to the pupil about his/her achievements
  • giving  information to parents of the pupil
  • planning the pupil’s future career and professional and job orientation.
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