Malta - Teacher training - basic and specialist teacher training
Training for early intervention
Early Intervention teachers follow the same university course as primary and secondary school teachers. Teachers employed as early intervention teachers receive further in-house training organised by the Student Services Department (SSD).
Training of kindergarten assistants
The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology provides a training programme for persons wishing to work with children at kindergarten level. This Diploma in Student Care, Learning and Development enables students to work in a professional capacity with children in childcare and kindergartens. Apart from providing skills, knowledge and understanding in early years, the programme also provides knowledge and understanding in special needs education.
Training of compulsory school teachers
Initial teacher training from primary level up to secondary level takes place at the University of Malta. Prospective teachers follow a Bachelor of Education Honours degree course. Teachers who teach in special schools follow the same courses as primary and secondary school teachers and then specialise or follow in-service training courses on teaching students with special educational needs.
Training of learning support assistants
On employment, Learning Support Assistants in state schools follow a ten-week (70-hour) evening course. This introductory course, which is organised by the SSD in the Directorate for Educational Services, gives participants basic skills, knowledge and understanding on working with and supporting pupils with special educational needs in mainstream education. The course has a practical component where LSAs are monitored and also supported in their place of work.
The SSD also offers a Level-5 certificate course for LSAs who have completed the ten-week introductory course. This course offers a more intensive follow-up to the first course. Participants gain both practical and theoretical knowledge in the education of pupils with special educational needs.
These courses are also offered to LSAs in Church schools.
The University of Malta also offers a two-year course at diploma level on facilitating inclusive education.
On going in-service training is offered in various areas of special education to all teachers and support staff working in the Special Education Centre, in special schools and in mainstream schools. This includes courses and workshops in communication, ICT, curriculum development and planning, assessment and early intervention. All teachers are statutorily required to attend one in-service course annually.