Main menu

Initial identification of special educational needs - Hungary

Children with Special Learning Needs within the System of Public Education

Statement for special education needs

Physical, sensorial, mental disabilities and speech deficiencies are stated by professional committees at county and national levels. National expert committees are committees investigating vision, hearing, speech and learning abilities.

There are expert/rehabilitation committees both in the capital and on county level; these consist of a teacher of special education as the leader, a therapeutic teacher, a psychiatrist and a specialist physician. They hand down an opinion on the child investigated, the child is placed based on their advice in kindergarten or school, and they also give suggestions on any special requirements concerning the education and teaching of the child.   Placement of children in special classes and their integration into the classes of the mainstream schools is decided by the expert committees. According to the law on equal opportunities, parents of pupils needing special education have a voice concerning the attendance of their children in different institutions. 

There are educational counselling services in all of the districts of the capital and in larger cities of the country. These are responsible for discovering any disabilities a child may have, they provide diagnosis and manage the behavioural, educational and teaching problems of 3-18 year old children and youngsters growing up in families. This service functions on an ambulatory basis. The advice after establishing the diagnosis is based primarily on concerns related to the further tasks of the teachers and the parents.   

Development and Institutions of Children with special education needs

The established system of special institutions ensuring the choice of the parents is maintained by the law of public education and its amendments. The educational institution is chosen by the parents based on the professional advice of the expert/rehabilitation committee investigating learning abilities, or that of the national expert/rehabilitation committee, according to the law.  The law says that pupils with special education needs may attend an educational institution possessing the personal and material conditions ensuring the special education and teaching needs.

Based on the diagnosis established by physicians, neurologists or audiologists, the development of the skills and abilities of pupils with special education needs and supporting them by helping tools and instruments (hearing device, glasses, sticks, crutches etc.) starts as early as possible – this is all depends on the type of disability.  

The purpose of this early stage development is counselling focusing on the problems in the children’s and parents’ environment and the development of the specific disability of the child.

The pupils with special education needs between the age of three and sixteen attend special education institutions among which are: kindergartens, mainstream schools, special vocational training schools where pupils’ skills are further developed.  Special schools work under the governance of local governments and authorities of different levels.  Their region of acceptance depends primarily on the frequency of the occurrence of the specific disability and the number of pupils in a city, district of a city, in the capital, in a district of the capital, in a county or even country-wide.

Where Special Education Meets the Mainstream

Mainstream and special education has a number of meeting points. Institutions conducting education for pupils with special education needs must consider the published guidelines on special education starting from kindergarten when developing their programmes. 

The basically common curriculum at primary level of the special and mainstream schools enables children attending special schools to acquire the same general education and therefore the chance to continue their studies at secondary or higher levels.  Each school and special education institution may decide individually what methods and practice they find the most suitable for their needs. These methods are different according to each disability, but fulfil the content requirements set by the National Core Curriculum. When applying these methods at schools the subject based approach is common. Children with special education needs acquire the same certificate as their mainstream fellow pupils upon successful completion of school.

The approach to questions dealing with disability considers integration as the key solution to establish a community, where people with disabilities take part in the active society. Today the question is no longer if education of children with special education needs should happen together with their healthy fellow pupils or in separate specialised institutions. The question is modified to: how? 

The transformation of the best special (formerly segregated) institutions into sources (educating-supplying institutes) has accelerated in the last two years, in this way the formation of the system of professional support institutes and the support of the practice of inclusive education may be realised. Expertise of teachers of special education e.g. creation of developing programmes, application of therapies, counselling, will be demanded by the spread of integrated education in the integrated institutes. Active integration of the schools educating separately gives an opportunity for in-service teacher training, helping to develop the quality and content of the communication with parents, and fulfilling the tasks of professional and special duties.

  • LinkedIn
  • Google +