Malta – 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?

Compulsory school age in Malta is from 5 to 16 years of age.

  • Kinder 1 and Kinder 2 at age 3–5
  • Primary years 1–6 at age 5–11
  • Middle School for year 7 and 8 at age 11–13.

What are the typical age ranges for the ISCED levels?

3–5 5–11 11–13 13-16
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?
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.

An official statement of support refers to a statement of support issued by the statementing panel following a set referral procedure for learners who have been formally assessed by a psychologist or have a medical condition (as stipulated by a medical consultant).

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

Learners will first have been assessed by an educational psychologist (or medical consultant if a medical condition is present). If the learner falls within certain criteria as defined by the referral guidelines for schools, they will appear before the statementing and moderating panel and an official statement of support is issued if deemed necessary by the board. The board can issue different levels of support or no support, accordingly.

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

The SMT, Class Teacher and Educators involved will collaborate with parents/guardians and any other professionals working with the learner to set the learner’s Individual Education Programme (IEP) in line with the outcomes approved by the Statementing Panel. The IEP needs to be reviewed annually (third term) through the IEP review meeting to evaluate the learner’s progress and/or challenges related to the time framed outcomes. The Statementing Panel will have access to IEPs so that, where and when deemed necessary, it can check the learner’s progress.

According to the level of support assigned by the official statement of support as issued by the statementing and moderating panel, the learner will receive the support of a Learning Support Educator.

It is the role of the Head of School or their delegate and the head of department (Inclusion) to ensure that proper monitoring is carried out through class observations and IEP reviews.

The Review Panel will follow up issued Official Statement of Support through IEPs and other monitoring, recording and reporting procedures.

The Review Panel will review the outcomes and support issued in the Official Statement of Support:

  • at the time of review;
  • at any time on the request of the school and/or parents/guardians if outcomes have been reached and support can be re-dimensioned or removed or if the outcomes are not being reached and there is a need for increased support. When it is felt that the time framed outcomes, as stated in the Official Statement of Support, are not being met by the learner, the school requests an evaluation of the situation by the Inclusion Specialist before submitting a review request. Any review request to increase support shall be monitored and endorsed by the Inclusion Specialist in collaboration with the head of department (Inclusion). A review request can only be made a year after the date of the Official Statement of Support issued by the Statementing Panel. The Review Panel can review those cases with a review recommended in their initial statement and those cases in which, according to school, progress has been made since last statemented;
  • at any time by request of Review Panel.
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?