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Initial identification of special educational needs - Portugal

This is not a direct process and although inclusive education principles are considered unquestionable, there are some weaknesses in the way they are put into practice. The concept of special educational needs apply to every child or young person showing any learning difficulty any time during their academic life. Due to its very comprehensive nature, it has created some problems in schools during detection of needs and in the process of assessment. In effect, lying on value principles, it can assume different meanings in different contexts, allowing some pupils to be considered as Pupils with SEN even if they don’t show any considerable problem. Other pupils that really have special needs are sometimes not being considered as having special educational needs. 

The underlying philosophy of the legal diploma concerning assessment focuses upon a policy of several different answers that lead to inclusion and the development of different strategies as far as SNE is concerned, according to the complexity of the situation.

The class teachers are responsible for the whole process in less complex situations, controlling the information gathered about pupils. 

More complex situations which require specialised methods and tools are aided by the Specialised Services of Educational Support leading to the PEIs planning. According to the aims defined in the PEIs and the needed environment conditions, local educational services allocate the suitable human and material resources to meet the appointed requirements.

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