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Assessment practice: introduction - Greece

To provide a clear example of good assessment practice in Greece, the work of the Centres for Diagnoses, Evaluation and Support (CDES) will be examined in this section. 

CDES: Introduction and Main role

The Centres for Diagnosis, Evaluation & Support (CDES) were officially established in 2000, by the Ministry’s of Education law no. 2817. 

CDESs’ main role is to offer evaluation & support services to pupils, especially those experiencing Special Educational Needs (SEN), their parents and teachers.

According to law no. 2817/2000, pupils with SEN are those who experience considerable difficulties in learning and in adjusting to the school environment because of physical, intellectual, psychological, emotional and/or social factors. 

The SEN pupil group includes all pupils who have:

  • Mental deficiency or immaturity
  • Serious sight or hearing problems
  • Serious neurological problems, physical disabilities or generally health issues
  • Speech and language difficulties
  • Complex cognitive, emotional and social difficulties
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other developmental disorders.

In addition, pupils of pre-school and school age, as well as adolescents, who do not fit into any of the above categories, but still need a special educational approach for a certain period or for their whole school life, are also included in the SEN group. 

Services on offer

CDES sets up and organises its resources and services in such a way, so that valid and timely evaluations and interventions are provided and valuable information regarding all matters around SEN is offered. CDES acts as mediator between educational and health services and pupils with SEN and their families. More specifically, CDES is accountable for:

  • Investigating the degree and nature of SEN in the whole pre-school and school population in order to achieve timely diagnosis, evaluation and support/intervention. This investigation is carried out during November and December within the area of each CDES’s responsibility and in collaboration with the teachers.
  • Parents’ or carers’ consent is essential in the evaluation process. CDES can  evaluate pupils but only after their parents or carers have formally expressed their concerns and submitted a formal “application” for evaluation.
  • Locating or allocating Pupils with SEN into the provision which best meets their needs.
  • Creating and organising Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) or group psycho-educational or/and instructional plans to be implemented in the school setting.
  • Evaluating, monitoring and following-up Pupils with SEN’ progress in collaboration with the school counsellors.
  • Informing and supporting school personnel and generally all those involved in the learning process throughout education.
  • Suggesting the appropriate technical support and generally the ways for best meeting the Pupils with SEN’ needs at home and school.
  • Organising open days for parents’ or carers’ information on the services offered, as well as counselling sessions for them.
  • Supporting all those instructing Pupils with SEN.
  • Raising the community’s awareness as far as Special Education is concerned.
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