Greece background information

 

How the official decision of special educational needs (SEN) in the country relates to the agreed EASIE operational definition

Operational definition

An official decision leads to a child/learner being recognised as eligible for additional educational support to meet their learning needs.

 

Criteria for an official decision of SEN

  • There has been an educational assessment procedure involving a multi-disciplinary team
  • The multi-disciplinary team includes members from within and external to the child’s/learner’s (pre)school
  • There is a legal document which describes the support the child/learner is eligible to receive and which is used as the basis for planning
  • The official decision is subject to a formal, regular review process

Educational assessment procedure in the country

According to Laws 3699/2008 and 4115/2013, learners’ special needs are assessed and specified by:

  • Diagnostic Assessment and Support Centres (KEDDYs);
  • Diagnostic Educational Evaluation and Support Committees (EDEAYs);
  • other Medical-Pedagogical Centres (IPDs) certified every school year by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.
KEDDYs (Diagnostic Assessment and Support Centres)

Specifically, the KEDDY multi-disciplinary team assesses learners until they reach 22 years of age. KEDDYs have the following responsibilities:

  • assess each learner’s difficulties and special educational needs;
  • suggest the proper school setting;
  • monitor learners’ progress and develop individual education plans in co-operation with learners’ teachers and their parents or guardians;
  • organise advisory programmes for parents;
  • provide on-going support for school staff and the professionals who take part in the educational process and vocational education;
  • recommend the provision of special aids for learners and propose the necessary ergonomic arrangements for better access and attendance at school;
  • suggest the replacement of written exams with oral or other alternative tests for learners with specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia) or for learners who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, have low vision or have autism.

If an individual education plan needs to be implemented, the local KEDDY develops it.

EDEAYs (Diagnostic Educational Evaluation and Support Committees)

An EDEAY operates in every mainstream school which is part of the local School Network of Education and Support (SDEY). EDEAYs are established by the directors of the local Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education after the recommendation of the Director of the Special Education Support Centre in which the mainstream school unit belongs. The EDEAY operates within the framework of the objectives of the Special Education Support Centre and the SDEY. It is a first-instance body for the diagnosis, educational assessment and support of learners’ special educational needs within the school unit.

EDEAYs:

  • assess learners’ SEN and barriers to education;
  • prepare differentiated learning programmes in co-operation with mainstream class teachers;
  • deal with learners’ difficulties in using the resources that are available in school, at home or in the local community;
  • monitor the implementation of individual education plans.

If learners continue to have difficulties in learning, behaviour or school inclusion despite receiving support from the school unit, the EDEAY may refer them to the KEDDY for diagnosis. In addition, if there are obvious indications of mental health problems, child abuse or parental neglect, EDEAYs co-operate with the IPDs, the local medical or mental health public services and the judicial authorities.

IPDs (Medical-Pedagogical Centres)

Learners can also be assessed by the IPDs certified every school year by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.

How the multi-disciplinary team is comprised in the country

KEDDY assessments are conducted by a five-member interdisciplinary committee, which consists of a specialist teacher (pre-school, primary or secondary education, respectively), a social worker, a psychologist, a speech therapist and a paediatrician specialising in paediatric neurology or a neurologist specialising in paediatric neurology.

The EDEAY multi-disciplinary team comprises:

  • the head teacher of the school unit;
  • the school’s special education teacher;
  • a psychologist from the School Network of Education and Support (SDEY) to which the mainstream school belongs;
  • a social worker from the above-mentioned network.

The legal document used in the country to outline the support that the child/learner is eligible to receive

KEDDYs

Following the assessment procedure, KEDDYs issue a formal report which describes the learner’s special educational needs and make proposals regarding:

  • the learner’s individual education plan;
  • enrolment to the appropriate school unit;
  • the type of additional educational support required for the learner;
  • advisory plans for parents, teachers, professors and education personnel.

In addition, this report makes recommendations for issues such as the provision of special aids if needed, as well as the need for oral assessment of learners with specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia).

IPDs (Medical-Pedagogical Centres)

Medical-Pedagogical Centres also issue assessment reports defining leaners’ disabilities or special educational needs. If there is disagreement between the KEDDY’s and the IPD’s assessment for the same learner, parents have the right to apply to the Secondary Special Diagnostic Evaluation Committee, whose opinion is final. Otherwise, the KEDDY’s assessment report prevails.

How the document is used as the basis for planning in the country

The aforementioned formal reports are used as the basis for the provision of special support. KEDDYs suggest the appropriate educational setting or the need to change the school unit, the proper learning support, the special aids that facilitate education and communication, and the replacement of written tests with oral or other forms of assessment/examination.

The formal, regular review process in the country

The written decision regarding the provision of special support is permanent. Exceptionally, an official decision is re-issued at certain time intervals to propose the appropriate school setting, provide parallel support, home tuition or a special needs assistant, define an individual education plan and when changing school level.

 

Proxy indicator for the 80% benchmark used for the country’s data collection

The EASIE work uses an 80% benchmark of inclusive education. This is defined as:

An inclusive setting refers to education where the child/learner with SEN follows education in mainstream classes alongside their mainstream peers for most – 80% or more – of the school week.

Proxy indicator used

Actual data is available to verify the 80% benchmark.

Details on what the country proxy is

Placement in a mainstream class does not necessarily mean that learners spend over 80% of their time in the mainstream class. Following an update of the MySchool database, actual data is now available to verify the 80% benchmark for all learners with or without disabilities. There are only some reservations regarding the following categories of learners:

  • Learners attending Zones of Educational Priority (ZEP) Reception Classes I and II: ZEP Reception Classes I are intended for learners with a minimum or zero level of competence in the Greek language. ZEP Reception Classes II are intended for learners with an average level of competence in the Greek language that may cause difficulties in mainstream class attendance. There is no accurate data for learners attending those classes, as the time they spend in mainstream classes is decided according to their individual circumstances.
  • Learners attending Welcome Centres for Refugee Education (DYEP), offering classes from 14.00 to 18.00. These learners are in a transition phase. They are not yet enrolled in mainstream classes. If they remain in Greece, they will have the opportunity to attend mainstream schools and be supported by ZEP Reception Classes.

Why this proxy was used

There is reliable data for all learners with or without a disability attending mainstream schools for the 2016/2017 school year. The 80% benchmark is estimated by subtracting the number of learners attending inclusive classes for six hours or more from the total number of learners attending mainstream classes.

Difficulties in using the proxy

None of the data on the population with SEN is questionable. The only questionable issue is the percentage of the data on learners attending ZEP Reception Classes I and II and DYEP.

Specific country issues in applying the proxy indicator

Please refer to previous answer.

 

Detailed description of what ‘out of formal education’ means within the country

The 2011 International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) defines ‘formal education’ as follows:

[…] education that is institutionalised, intentional and planned through public organizations and recognised private bodies and, – in their totality – constitute the formal education system of a country. Formal education programmes are thus recognised as such by the relevant national education or equivalent authorities, e.g. any other institution in cooperation with the national or sub-national educational authorities. Formal education consists mostly of initial education […] Vocational education, special needs education and some parts of adult education are often recognised as being part of the formal education system. Qualifications from formal education are by definition recognised and, therefore, are within the scope of ISCED. Institutionalised education occurs when an organization provides structured educational arrangements, such as student-teacher relationships and/or interactions, that are specially designed for education and learning.

(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2011, International Standard Classification of Education ISCED 2011, p. 11).

Do the country definitions of formal, non-formal and informal education differ from the ISCED definitions?

No, Greece uses the same definitions as ISCED.

How specific cases – such as home-educated children/learners – are considered

Education is compulsory for all children from the age of 4 to 14 years and is provided within school units (public or private). Home tuition is only provided when learners cannot attend school because of short- or long-term health problems, but it is also considered formal education.

Children/learners who are considered out of formal education (meaning those not in formal education as defined by ISCED)

Although education in Greece is compulsory and education policy in Greece promotes inclusive education, there are still some categories of learners who drop out before the end of basic schooling, e.g. Roma children, migrants, etc.

How the population of children/learners who are out of formal education is defined

Learners who are considered out of formal education are those who drop out before the end of compulsory education.

 

Provision of data on private sector education

The data collection covers all sectors of education, including numbers for the child/learner population in the private sector.

Private sector education in the country

All levels of education are catered for by both private and public schools. State-run schools do not charge tuition fees and textbooks are provided free of charge to all learners. Private institutions charge annual tuition fees depending on the school and the grade.

Child/learner population counted for each relevant question

The data provided for Questions 1.4 and 2.4 includes learners from both private and public schools.

Specific issues with providing data on private sector education and how these have been overcome in the data collection

There is data about the number of learners attending private mainstream schools. Greece is currently making arrangements to collect data about the number of learners with disability and/or SEN who attend private mainstream schools.

 

ISCED level age ranges

The following are the most common (pre)school entrance ages and (pre)school leaving ages for the different ISCED levels:

Age range in the country at ISCED level 02 (pre-primary): 4 to 6

Age range in the country at ISCED level 1: 6 to 12

Age range in the country at ISCED level 2: 12 to 15

Age range in the country at ISCED level 3: 15 to 18

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