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People involved in assessment - Czech Republic

The initial assessment of special needs is done by taking a multidisciplinary approach. Special teachers, school psychologists, and social workers are members of this team within the mainstream staff of pedagogical and psychological counselling centres and special educational centres. 

This referral consists of a recommendation to teachers on how to plan the process of education. It describes both the strong points and disadvantages of a pupil concerning his/her access to general education. These counselling centres are also required to provide a recommendation when choosing the placement of a pupil – individual integration into the mainstream or special placement into the special unit (class) within the mainstream school and/or into a special school.

It is up to parents to decide which alternative they choose for their child.

A very important part of such a referral is assessment of the pupil´s school achievement. With regard to assessment it covers recommendation of methods, tools and the organisation of a pupil’s educational progress. These recommendations are part of an individual educational plan for a pupil with special needs and teachers are obliged to follow them. 

Such recommendation is important especially for mainstream teachers, who integrate a pupil with special needs. Special teachers at special units and/or special schools have more information and knowledge about education and assessment of pupils with special needs and are required to organise the entire educational process, taking the pupils special needs into consideration, and meeting these needs.

The Approach of the Counselling Centres

Pedagogical and Psychological Counselling Centres and Special Education Counselling Centres, are educational institutions that work with children from 3 years of age up to the end of secondary schooling and respective specialised college education. These institutions participate in the educational process of children mainly in a case, where such a course of schooling is in some way a disadvantage.

The Counselling Centres maintain a direct contact with children, pupils, students and their parents in the form of individual assistance or group work. The educational course of action of for children pupils and students is chosen and modified with regard to recommendations done by these centres.

The result of psychological and special pedagogical assessment forms the basis for generating an individual education plan. The counselling centres formulate professional references that include the following features:

  • Information about the kind and level of impairment of a pupil and whether the child has or has not special needs that require additional financial benefits
  • Interpretations of the conclusion derived from psychological and special educational assessment focused on the educational needs, concrete description of educational needs of a child including recommended educational approaches.
  • Recommendations concerning the organisational form of the pupil’s schooling, e.g. suggestions for individual integration, for placement into a special unit/class, for placement into a special school, recommendation for so called “diagnostic placement” – that is placement for a fixed period of time in school to get more information about the pupil’s special needs.
  • Suggestions concerning content, extension and methods of offering the individual
  • Special schooling or pedagogical and/or psychological assistance for the child.
  • Suggestions concerning needs of additional pedagogical staff during the educational process
  • Suggestions concerning useful compensational tools, specialised textbooks, or learning tools etc. needed for teaching purposes or during examinations.
  • Suggestions concerning  possible decrease in the number of pupils in a class, including clarification;
  • For the schooling requirements of secondary or college education, the references can include concrete recommendations for a modification of entrance examinations, techniques of schooling, possibly even for graduating examinations, final (leaving) examinations.
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