Country information for Lithuania - Assessment within inclusive education systems
According to the Law on Education (2011), the purpose of education for learners with special educational needs (SEN) is to help them learn and be trained according to their abilities, attain an education level and acquire a qualification, by recognising and developing their abilities and capacities. According to the Law, groups of learners with SEN shall be determined and their special educational needs shall be divided into minor, moderate, major and severe.
In 2019–2020, 36,305 learners with SEN (11.22% of all learners) attended general schools (general purpose classes). Among the learners with SEN, 50% had minor SEN, 36.6% had moderate SEN, 13.1% had major SEN and 0.3% had severe SEN (Source: Education Management Information System). Pupils with major and severe SEN may be educated in mainstream general schools (classes) until the age of 21.
A Child Welfare Commission conducts a primary evaluation of learners’ SEN. A pedagogical-psychological service (PPS) evaluates a learner’s special educational needs (except those occurring because of exceptional talents) for pedagogical, psychological, medical and socio-pedagogical aspects. Special education is assigned by the head of the PPS and, in certain cases, by the school principal, with the consent of the parents/guardians, in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Minister of Education, Science and Sport.
As a result of the assessment, education assistance specialists work hand-in-hand with teachers to adapt tasks or the teaching programme. In case of major or severe SEN, an individual education plan may be prepared.
Special education provision may be permanent or temporary. Special education provision is considered permanent if the PPS does not issue any instructions about the mandatory re-assessment term. If the PPS indicates a re-assessment date, the pupil’s SEN should be re-assessed and re-evaluated.
Parents can also directly approach the PPS for special needs education, if they notice their child’s disorder or learning difficulty.
Pupils recognised as having SEN receive education:
- in mainstream general education schools through provision of complete integration (when pupils with special needs are educated in regular classes in mainstream schools);
- through partial integration (when pupils with special needs are educated in developmental, remedial or special classes in mainstream schools);
- at home;
- in special schools.
The legislation on the Procedure for Assessment of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Assignment of their Special Education (2011) states that the PPS should evaluate learners with SEN from birth up until 21 years of age. This legislative act sets out a statement to identify learners with disabilities, learning difficulties, disadvantages and levels of SEN according to A, B and C (based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s tripartite cross-national categorisation system: learners with disabilities, learning difficulties and disadvantages).
The Model of Provision of Special Pedagogical and Psychological Assistance (2003) regulates procedures for assessing and evaluating learners’ SEN at each level (school, local, PPS) and co-operation with educational and healthcare institutions.
The Lithuanian Educational Centre for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Lithuanian Training Centre for the Blind and Visually Impaired carry out SEN assessments. The Child Welfare Commission appoints educational assistance, while the PPS designates special education provision.
The procedure for providing special pedagogical assistance (2011) provided an expansion of special pedagogical assistance. The municipal administration department of education and/or the PPS provides assistance to all types of schools.
Last updated 07/02/2020