Luxembourg 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 decision of SEN for children and young people is taken according to international classifications. Moreover, these individuals encounter more learning difficulties than other children or young people of the same age.

There are different Inclusion Committees, which are comprised of different, multi-disciplinary professions from within and external to the child’s/learner’s school.

Every establishment in the basic education system (i.e. pre-primary and primary) has a School Inclusion Committee (Commission d’Inclusion Scolaire – CIS) established by the law of February 2009. The role of the CIS is to define the most suitable form of support for children/learners who need it.

The CIS prepares a file, which includes:

  • a diagnostic assessment of the child’s/learner’s needs;
  • the aid available to them;
  • an individual education plan.

The plan is submitted to the parents for their approval. The CIS has the plan reviewed annually and revises it to incorporate any changes deemed necessary to ensure the child/learner continues to progress at school.

The plan may consist of:

  • adapting the class teacher’s in-class strategies in co-operation with the teaching staff;
  • in-class assistance by one or more members of the multi-disciplinary support team working with the teaching staff for the duration of the intervention;
  • temporarily transferring the child/learner to another class for certain subjects;
  • special schooling in a differentiated education (éducation différenciée) class;
  • enrolment in a school in Luxembourg or abroad.

Where points 4 and 5 of the individual support plan (plan de prise en charge individualisé) are concerned, the file must be forwarded for approval to the National Medical-Psycho-Pedagogical Committee (Commission médico-psycho-pédagogique nationale – CMPPN).

The CMPPN will assess the merits of the application and rule on what further action should be taken. The proposed support measures cannot be implemented without the parents’ consent.

If a secondary school considers it necessary, it can refer a request to the CMPPN in order to receive additional support for learners with SEN.

How the multi-disciplinary team is comprised in the country

The School Inclusion Committee (CIS) in basic education includes:

  • the establishment’s school inspector, who chairs the Committee;
  • a teacher, who acts as secretary;
  • three members of the specialised support team concerned, including at least one differentiated education representative.

In addition, it may include:

  • the school doctor concerned, a paediatrician or specialist in neuropsychiatry, neurology or psychiatry;
  • the social worker or social welfare assistant concerned.

The CMPPN includes:

  • the differentiated education director;
  • the principal inspector for basic education;
  • a public health doctor-inspector;
  • the director of the speech therapy service;
  • a representative from the Ministry of Family Affairs;
  • a neuropsychiatrist;
  • a paediatrician
  • a psychologist
  • a social worker
  • a differentiated education class teacher.

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

– Law of 14 March 1973 on the establishment of differentiated education institutes and services

– Law of 28 June 1994 amending and supplementing:

  • the amended Law of 10 August 1912 concerning the organisation of primary education;
  • the amended Law of 14 March 1973 on the establishment of differentiated education institutes and services; for the participation of children with a disability in mainstream education and their school integration

– Law of 15 July 2011 relating to access to educational and professional qualifications for learners with special educational needs.

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

Not applicable.

The formal, regular review process in the country

The person responsible for a child/learner placed in special education may, at least two months before the start of the school year, ask the National Medical-Psycho-Pedagogical Committee (CMPPN) to place the child/learner back in the mainstream system.

In the different committees named above, a case worker is appointed for every child/learner who is brought to their attention. The case worker must follow up on progress and co-ordinate the different resources given to the child/learner with SEN.


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

Luxembourg does not have an 80% benchmark. There is either 100% inclusion or 100% segregation.

Why this proxy was used

Not applicable.

Difficulties in using the proxy

Not applicable.

Specific country issues in applying the proxy indicator

Not applicable.


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, Luxembourg uses the same definitions as ISCED.

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

These cases are marginal in Luxembourg. These children/learners are not taken into account.

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

No children/learners are considered out of formal education in Luxembourg.

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

Not applicable.


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

The private sector comprises schools which are not run by the Ministry of Education.

Child/learner population counted for each relevant question

Children/learners in private schools were counted for calculating the total number of children/learners. However, there is no information regarding children/learners with SEN in the private sector.

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

There is no information regarding children/learners with SEN in the private sector.


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: 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 19


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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