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People involved in assessment - Germany

When a child reaches school age, his/her parents or legal guardians normally enrol him with the Grundschule. If it is assumed that a child cannot be sufficiently helped in lessons at a mainstream school without special educational assistance, the school supervisory authority recognises that the child concerned has special educational needs and a decision is taken on what sort of school he or she should attend and where (a mainstream school offering additional assistance on an individual basis or a certain type of Sonderschule). Pupils who are attending a mainstream school but are not receiving the assistance they require may be transferred to another type of school in the course of their school career.

The following persons participating in the process of children’s education and instruction are involved in special needs planning activities:

  • the teachers who instruct the pupils,
  • the parents (as far as possible)
  • the pupils themselves (as far as possible)
  • if applicable, external institutions and organisations

The forms of co-operation can differ, ranging from an active participation in the establishment of the special support targets to giving/receiving updates on the education plans. The special education unit in charge is obliged to inform all persons involved in the process about the defined targets. This co-operation, respectively the right to information, also applies for the examination of the support objectives and the formulation of new objectives.

Co-operation

In order to ensure efficient special needs diagnostics in the context of learning processes the co-operation of all persons and institutions involved is imperative. It is from exchange with parents or legal guardians that teaching staff can obtain indications of the pupil’s behaviour outside of school. The teachers on their part inform the parents about important observations concerning the pupil and his/her progress and confer together about options and bounds of special support offers and measures.  

A binding and qualified co-operation of teaching staff and other qualified personnel requires both a common basic comprehension of the tasks and a clear attribution of the areas of competence and responsibility of each person involved in instruction and school life. 

Special educational support in schools requires backup through measures proposed by different services and qualified staff. In the interest of holistically concerted special support schools, as a rule, should co-operate with public health, youth and social welfare offices, with child guidance and medical services, institutions for early assistance, further specialists and institutions, labour offices, chambers, companies and centres for educational guidance. So far, the organisation of and recourse to such networks have not yet been managed in a satisfactory way, but have advanced to a topic of increasing interest in information sessions and advanced education courses.

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