Hungary 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

The professional diagnostic committee of the county pedagogical assistance service institution draws up an expert opinion on the basis of its complex psychological, pedagogical-special educational and medical examination. It makes suggestions as to the education of children/learners with SEN or facing difficulties in integration, learning or behaviour within the framework of special treatment, as well as the method, form and place of education. Parents can select the educational institution that provides appropriate education for children/learners with SEN on the basis of the relevant committee’s expert opinion, in consideration of the needs and the possibilities of parents and children.

How the multi-disciplinary team is comprised in the country

The expert committee consists of psychologists, medical doctors, specialist teachers and conductors (conductive pedagogues).

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

After the examination, the expert committee issues an official document: the expert opinion. The expert opinion contains the diagnosis (result of the examination), instructions for the parents, developing instructions for the educational institutions, time of the next control examination and so on.

An implementing regulation specifies the function and activity of the pedagogical assistance services (including the expert committee) and the content and format of the expert opinion. Moreover, the Special Education Directive specifies the different educational and professional rules for children/learners with disabilities.

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

The educational institution must follow the expert committee’s instructions. The educational institution shall prepare an individual development plan for the child/learner with SEN with the help of a specialist teacher and shall record the results of the development at least once a year. The parents shall be informed about the content of the individual development plan and the results achieved. The Special Education Directive specifies the different educational and professional rules for children/learners with disabilities.

The formal, regular review process in the country

The professional diagnostic committee shall conduct a review procedure ex officio one academic year later. The expert opinion must be reviewed ex officio every second academic year after the first ex officio review until the academic year in which the learner reaches the age of 10, and then every three years thereafter until the academic year in which the learner reaches the age of 16.


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

Placement in a mainstream class implies over 80% or more.

Details on what the country proxy is

The education of children with SEN in kindergarten and of learners with SEN in educational institutions and halls of residence shall be conducted:

  • in a special education, conductive education institution established for this purpose;
  • in inclusive form, together with peers in the same kindergarten group or school class. If the children/learners are educated in an inclusive form, they are together with peers in the same kindergarten group or school class, excluding the healthcare and pedagogical habilitation and rehabilitation lessons.

Healthcare and pedagogical habilitation and rehabilitation is a compulsory commitment to supporting the individual needs of children and learners with SEN, overcoming barriers, the elaboration of new functions and the optimisation of environmental conditions. It also takes into account the proposal for the development areas set out in the expert opinion of the expert committee and for the experts needed for the development.

In other words, the ‘healthcare and pedagogical habilitation and rehabilitation lessons’ are the developing lessons (and not the subjects).

The healthcare and pedagogical habilitation and rehabilitation lessons always require a specialist educator or conductor. The rehabilitation timeframe depends on the type of disability. The individual grades and classes may re-arrange the timeframe during the academic year between school weeks.

Additional information: Those children/learners who are educated in a special education or conductive education institution (non-inclusive form) also have healthcare and pedagogical habilitation and rehabilitation lessons besides the subjects. Irrespective of whether education and teaching are carried out separately or together with non-disabled children/learners, in institutions participating in education and teaching for children/learners with SEN (disabilities), compulsory healthcare and education rehabilitation class activities are organised, in addition to those defined for each school.

Why this proxy was used

This data collection used this definition.

Difficulties in using the proxy

No difficulties.

Specific country issues in applying the proxy indicator

No issues.


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, Hungary uses the same definitions as ISCED.

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

At compulsory school age (from age 6 to age 16), all learners have to have a legal status in a school. Learners can fulfil their obligation with regular school attendance or can do so as home learners. Learners attending schools in a foreign country also count as learners who participate in (Hungarian) school education (they are registered in the designated school in Hungary). Kindergarten is obligatory from three years of age until the start of primary school.

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

In the public education system, all children/learners are part of formal education. Schools must do everything possible to prevent a learner from dropping out. Data collections on the number of learners who are not attending schools mainly exist at local level. Therefore, it is not yet possible to give an exact number on learners who have dropped out of the school system completely (learners out of education).

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

There is no exact definition for children/learners out of formal education. The introduction of an early warning system and pedagogical support system to support the prevention of early school leaving aims to reduce the rate of early school leavers.


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

Private sector – in line with the OECD Handbook for Internationally Comparative Education Statistics – refers to those institutions in which control and management rest with a non-governmental organisation (e.g. church, business enterprise).

Child/learner population counted for each relevant question

Data for private institutions derives from the same sources as the data for public institutions.

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

There are no specific issues with providing data on private education.


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): 3 to 6

Age range in the country at ISCED level 1: 7 to 10

Age range in the country at ISCED level 2: 11 to 14

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


2012/2013 and 2014/2015 data background information

This country updated its background information for the 2016/2017 dataset. A PDF of the background information for the 2012/2013 and 2014/2015 datasets is available.

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