Serbia - Country Background Information

Describing the forms of education in the country

The EASIE data collection covers all recognised forms of education at ISCED levels 02, 1, 2 and 3.

This means any type of education organised by or approved by any recognised educational provider in the public or private sector: municipality, local or regional educational provider from the public or private sector, working with/for ministries responsible for education and areas such as health, social, welfare, labour, justice, etc.

What is the compulsory education age range in the country?


What are the typical age ranges for the ISCED levels?

6–7 7–10 11–14 15–19
Is private sector education covered by the data provided for the country?
Is recognised public or private education organised by sectors other than education (i.e. health, social, welfare, labour, justice, etc.) in the data provided for the country?
Are there recognised forms of alternative education covered by the data provided for the country?
Are there recognised forms of home schooling covered by the data provided for the country?
Identifying an ‘inclusive setting’ in the country

In the EASIE data collection, an inclusive setting is operationally defined as:

A recognised form of education where the child/learner follows education in mainstream classes alongside their peers for the largest part – 80% or more – of the school week.

The 80% time placement benchmark clearly indicates that a child/learner is educated in a mainstream class for the majority of their school week. At the same time, it acknowledges possibilities for small group or one-to-one withdrawal for limited periods of time (i.e. 20% or one day a week).

Very few participating countries can provide exact data on children/learners spending 80% of their time in a mainstream group/class. However, all countries can apply one of three agreed proxies that provide an approximation to this benchmark:

  • Placement in a mainstream class implies over 80% or more
  • Data is available on the number of hours of support allocated to a child/learner
  • Placement in a mainstream class implies over 50% or more.
Are you able to provide actual data to verify the 80% placement benchmark?
If no, which proxy are you using
Placement in a mainstream class implies 80% or more
What an ‘official decision of SEN’ means in the country

In the EASIE data collection, the agreed operational definition is:

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

Countries may have different types of official decision, but for all official decisions:

  • There has been some form of educational assessment procedure involving different people. This procedure may involve the child/learner, parents, school-based team members, as well as professionals from multi-disciplinary teams from outside the child’s/learner’s (pre-)school.
  • There is some form of legal document (plan/programme, etc.) that describes the support the child/learner is eligible to receive, which is used as the basis for decision-making.
  • There is some form of regular review process of the child/learner’s needs, progress and support.
Please describe what an ‘official decision’ is in the country.

For a child or a student who needs additional educational support due to social deprivation, developmental difficulties, disabilities, learning difficulties, risk of drop out, or other reasons, the institution undertakes measures for adjusting the schooling conditions by removing physical or communicational barriers, adapting the educational programme and methods, and preparing an Individual Education Plan. This process includes continuous assessment and monitoring, and involves the child’s or student’s parents, (pre-)school members, and external professionals.

What educational assessment procedures are carried out and who is involved?

Prior to enrolling in a pre-primary institution, children undergo a physical examination by a paediatrician, who can request additional examinations if needed and who considers the child’s development history. Prior to entering primary education, children’s psychological functioning is also assessed.

If findings at either of these two stages indicate a need for additional support, institutions start collecting additional data. This process involves the child in question, peers, parents and other family members, teachers, psychologists, pedagogues, and a medical doctor if needed. Techniques used in this process include interviews, observations, standardised tests, portfolios and questionnaires. Based on the results, institutions formulate a document called a pedagogical profile, which is an official basis for planning support, i.e. an individual education plan (IEP).

A body external to an institution must be included if there are indications that a child needs:

  • an IEP with modified outcomes;
  • to be enrolled in a special education institution;
  • support in the domains of healthcare and social services;
  • financial support for education.

This external body is called an inter-sectoral commission (ISC) and it assesses whether a child needs additional educational, healthcare or social services support. Each ISC member collects data on the child in order to assess their needs in the member’s respective domain. Members do this by interviewing the child and their family, by using instruments to assess relevant aspects of functioning in a given domain, and by inspecting other results and findings from other relevant institutions if these are available.

The multidisciplinary team, comprises, at the school level, parents/caregivers, the child’s/learner’s class teacher, a pedagogical assistant, a psychologist, a pedagogue, and on occasion, an expert external to the institution suggested by the parents/caregivers.

The ISC is established by and for each municipality. It consists of five members, four of them being long-term members, and one being a temporary member and in charge of just one specific case. The long-term members are:

  • a representative of the healthcare sector, i.e. a medical doctor;
  • a representative of the educational sector, i.e. a psychologist;
  • a representative of the social services sector;
  • a special educator.

A fifth member is a person who is very familiar with the child’s/learner’s development. This person is chosen at the parents’ suggestion from medical doctors, social workers, teachers or other education workers involved in a child’s/learner’s case.

What formal, regular review processes of a child/learner’s needs, progress and support are linked to an official decision?

Within an institution, a team for support provision reviews the process of meeting goals and outcomes envisioned in the IEP. The review process is undertaken every three months in the first year, and subsequently at the beginning of each semester. During this process, the team analyses what means of support were successful and what outcomes the child/learner has accomplished. On the basis of this analysis, a revision of the IEP may be undertaken.

There is also an external reviewer, an educational advisor, who monitors the regularity of the process of the IEP development, its content and realisation. When the ISC is involved, each member monitors the support within their area. Providers of support are obliged to report to the ISC members on the realisation of the support plan six months after its development. In case of changes in the child’s/learner’s functioning, the assessment process is repeated.

What ‘out-of-education’ means in the country

Within the EASIE data collection, specific questions examine children/learners who are out of education. This means children/learners who should, by law, be in some form of recognised education, but who are out of any form of recognised education. A recognised form of education is any type of education organised by or approved by any recognised educational provider in the public or private sector.

Is there a formal definition of ‘out-of-education’ in the country?
Please describe which learners are considered ‘out-of-education’ in the country

Children of formal education age who are not enrolled in any formal education institution in a given academic year are considered out of education. In elementary education, children can be enrolled in a school (if they were enrolled in the previous academic year) but don’t attend it. Because of this, in elementary education, out-of-education children are also those who have been, at the end of an academic year, unjustifiably and continuously absent for more than two weeks.