Country information for Czech Republic - Assessment within inclusive education systems
The decision as to whether a child’s development requires special consideration or support depends on specific assessment of the individual child. The principle of the assessment is pedagogical. Pupil assessment can only be done with parental approval. The necessary support and special pedagogical assistance must be provided as early as possible to prevent academic failure and other negative developmental consequences for the pupil.
As a rule, teachers deal with pupils’ special needs, in co-operation with resource centres (special schools) and counselling services. Parents decide whether their children should undergo special needs assessment. Experts from the special educational and/or educational-psychological counselling centres consider the nature of a child’s needs and make proposals for special support and provisions. According to the latest proposed amendment to the Education Act, the assessment bodies are responsible for indicating the degree/level of special educational support needed. The school’s head teacher deals with developing the appropriate learning conditions for the pupil in need of additional support.
Parents have the right to be involved in this decision-making process and their opinion is crucial. The latest proposed amendment to the Education Act guarantees the right of parents/learners to request revisions to the results of special needs assessments and the recommendations of support provisions procedures. Health sector professionals are responsible for medical diagnoses and medical recommendations to support education and avoid health risks.
Pedagogical-psychological advice centres, special pedagogical centres, centres of educational care and diagnostic institutes within the educational sector carry out educational needs assessment. They are entitled to describe the required support provisions.
The Czech educational system has a network of counselling institutions providing psychological and special pedagogical support and other services to pupils, parents, mainstream teachers and other professionals. Special needs assessment is based on the use of psychological and special pedagogical tools. A large majority of pupils with special needs have specific learning and behavioural disorders. Special pedagogical centres are part of the resource centres and deal with expert special needs assessment and support services for certain groups of pupils with regard to their type of impairment. Most of these centres are now developing more complex areas of support provision.
Educational care centres are responsible for assessing and dealing with support for children with severe behavioural problems and/or children endangered by drug abuse or criminal delinquency. These centres also provide counselling to parents and teachers.
Diagnostic institutions deal with the assessment of children sent to the protective educational regime by court order. They also deal with youngsters whose parents or guardians have asked for their placement in a diagnostic institution due to behavioural problems and/or a dysfunctional family. Diagnostic institutions are part of the education system in the Czech Republic.
Special educational needs assessment process
Pupils’ special educational needs assessments are based on a multi-disciplinary, holistic approach. Professionals – special pedagogues and/or psychologists – carry out the procedure in schools, Educational Psychological Counselling Centres and/or Special Education Centres.
Assessment and special educational support can only be carried out with parental approval.
Pupil assessment consists of:
- a detailed description of individual needs;
- how the needs are to be met;
- which professional contact person is acting as a consultant;
- the recommendation concerning the education process and its organisation, including assessment of the pupil’s school performance, placement and additional necessary support (personal, technological, professional, teaching materials, special textbooks, etc.).
These recommendations are incorporated into the individual educational plan of the pupil with special needs.
According to the Education Act, parents must give their approval for their child to be educated in a special school and/or special class/unit, and/or of the individual educational plan followed in mainstream (inclusive) education.
Last updated 04/03/2020