Country information for France - Assessment within inclusive education systems

Law No. 75-534 of 30 June 1975 on the orientation of people with disabilities introduced the legal concept of a person with disabilities.

The Law of 11 February 2005 on the equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of people with disabilities, provided a definition of disability:

According to the present law, a disability is the limitation of activity or restriction in participation in the social environment suffered by a person due to a substantial, enduring, or definitive alteration of one or several physical, sensory, intellectual, cognitive, or psychic functions, a multiple disability, or a disabling health disorder.

This law led to the creation of:

  • Département-based centres for people with disabilities (MDPHs): under the authority of the Chairperson of the General Council, these are one-stop offices that improve the efficiency of reception, information and assistance to learners with disabilities and their families (Decree No. 2005-1587 of 19 December 2005).
  • The Commission on the Rights and Autonomy of People with Disabilities (CDAPH) decides on orientation in the fields of schooling and education and proposes conciliatory procedures in the event of disagreement. It closely involves the parents in the orientation process and in all phases of defining their child’s individual education plan, according to the special educational needs identified by this Commission. The Commission sees the child regularly to monitor their development (Decree No. 2005-1589 of 19 December 2005).

Needs assessment, to which any learner with disabilities has the right under the terms of the law, is carried out by a multi-disciplinary assessment team (EPE) working with the CDAPH. The CDAPH can decide on one or more legally provided assistance measures:

  • Assistance measures for families:
    • education allowance for learners with disabilities (AEEH);
    • disability card;
    • specialised transport.
  • Educational, therapeutic or orientation measures either in specialised classes or units of mainstream schools (units implemented in schools for inclusion in primary school, collège, lycée or vocational school) or in specialised establishments of the Ministry of National Education or the medical-educational sector.

For parents or legal representatives to benefit from financial assistance measures or other services, the child’s degree of incapacity must be assessed based on a reference scale.

Since the adoption of Decree No. 2008-110 and a bylaw dated 6 February 2008, the MDPHs used an assessment guide for the compensation needs for people with disabilities (GEVA-Sco). Since the beginning of the 2012–2013 school year, the Ministry of National Education and the National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy (CNSA) has deployed GEVA-Sco (Sco stands for schooling). It gathers information relating to each learner with disabilities in a school situation and considers the child’s training activity, mobility, safety, essential acts of everyday life and relational activities or social life.

With the publication of the 6 February 2015 bylaw, GEVA-Sco became the channel for all individual education plan (PPS) requests addressed to the multi-disciplinary assessment team.

Some teams of educators have developed assessment grids for the three levels of pre‑primary education (petits, moyens and grands, roughly corresponding to three-year-olds, four-year-olds and five-year-olds, respectively). These assessment grids provide a basis for dialogue with parents from the child’s first year of pre-primary education. They are used to detect children who are encountering problems and to encourage teachers to seek support from other professionals (school psychologist, special education teachers, etc.). Parents are always informed, involved and their consent sought for support action. In some cases, pre-primary teachers may advise parents to consult specialists at the MDPH if they detect problems that the school system cannot handle alone. (IECE Country Survey Questionnaire, p. 24)

The CNSA and the French Ministry of Education are currently developing an online application to combine and digitise all existing plans. This ‘inclusive school career booklet’ (Livret de parcours inclusif) will be adaptive and evolutive. It aims to facilitate dialogue and procedures between the MDPH, school doctors, teaching team and families.


Last updated 28/04/2020


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