All children are different and some may need extra support either at specific moments or throughout their school careers. The European Schools are required to provide educational support to children based on their specific needs, from special talents to physical or intellectual disabilities.
The European Schools’ policy
The European Schools adopted a new policy on educational support, which entered into force at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year and which combines and replaces its previous policies on learning support (LS) and special education needs (SEN) (it also deals with the linguistic needs of students without a language section (SWALS) but since the parents’ associations have dedicated SWALS reps, this aspect is not addressed here).
The European Schools’ new policy offers four categories of support:
- General support is short-term assistance for pupils who may be experiencing difficulty in a particular aspect of a subject, may need to ‘catch up’ due to late arrival in school or illness or may be working in their non-mother tongue. It is based on a Group Learning Plan (GLP).
- Moderate support is longer-term assistance for pupils with a mild learning difficulty or in need of more targeted support. It is based on an Individual Learning Plan (ILP).
- Intensive support is provided for two distinct groups also based on an ILP:
A. on an ongoing basis for pupils with special educational needs (SEN): learning, emotional, behavioural or physical needs.
B. on a short-term basis for pupils without SEN but with an acute educational need, e.g. language to access the curriculum.
The European Schools’ official policy on educational support: http://www.eursc.eu/fichiers/contenu_fichiers2/1886/2012-05-D-14-en-7.pdf.
The European Schools’ official procedural document on the provision of educational support: http://www.eursc.eu/fichiers/contenu_fichiers2/1887/2012-05-D-15-en-8.pdf.
Individual European Schools are expected to draw up internal guidelines on the provision of educational support in the course of the 2013-15 school years.