Country information for Belgium (French community) - Financing of inclusive education systems

The Minister of Education sets the budget for compulsory schools. The budget allows schools to engage teachers, educators or paramedical workers to accompany the learners in mainstream schools. Everything else, including building adaptations, special materials, etc., is the concern of other ministries.

Every learner, despite their needs or type of disability, benefits from four hours’ support (eight in the last level of upper-secondary school).

Positive discrimination

The 1998 Decree on the organisation of mainstream nursery and primary education and amending the regulation of education, which was modified in 2002, ensures the equality and social emancipation of all pupils through positive discrimination. It aims to:

  • disseminate funding to schools that welcome pupils from a disadvantaged environment;
  • improve the use of this funding and revise it each year;
  • establish a list of schools in areas with a poor environment, unemployment and a migrant population and make them priority zones;
  • prevent school drop-outs and violence;
  • co-ordinate the actions of different partners.

Schools of positive discrimination receive extra funds on the basis of social, economic, cultural and pedagogical criteria.

In elementary education, positive discrimination covers 12.5% of pupils in 395 school units.

Two kinds of supplementary support are possible:

  • extra human resources, i.e. teachers, nurses, social, paramedical or psychological employees;
  • extra functional funding, i.e. specific training, support from external services, renovation of school buildings, contracts with cultural, sport and educational centres, meetings, purchase of new materials, facilities for libraries, newspapers, books and a travel budget to enable diverse activities.

The global budget for the elementary school was EUR 8.924 million in 1999 and EUR 10.981 million in 2019. In 2019, more than 82% of the budget was used on human resource funding and the rest on functional funding.

More information on the legislation regarding inclusive education in Belgium (French community) is available on the Ministry of Education website under the legislation texts resources section and the section of updated decrees.

Last updated 27/04/2021

Share this page: