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Inclusion in school: what are the norms and rules in partners’ countries
The results of the background survey show that inclusion is a priority in the ALL IN SCHOOL partnership countries, to tackle all forms of disadvantage, prevent early school leaving and promote participation and learning for all students.
In Italy the concept of inclusion is relatively recent, having been introduced since 1990. The path of inclusion has developed starting from the laws on school integration, aimed at guaranteeing full participation to students with special educational needs and learning disabilities, to then broaden the field of interventions in order to ensure the development of each student and strengthen the entire class group.
The rules and guidelines issued in recent years insist on individualization and personalization strategies, up to the possibility of developing a Personalized Educational Plan for students with specific needs.
The decree on inclusion (2017) is the last step towards educational inclusion. With it, the Ministry of Education affirms the need to involve families in every educational decision, promotes training activities for staff engaged in support and ensures a greater number of resources; it also creates territorial inclusion groups and operational working groups for inclusion.
With these interventions the Ministry intends to tackle the factors that determine early school leaving, mainly due to social, psychological and economic disadvantages.
Main documents and regulations of recent years on inclusion: The 2009 Guidelines for the Educational Integration of Disabled Students, which establish two fundamental points:
- acceptance of disabled students’ diversity as a source of educational enrichment.
- importance of paying attention to everyone’s needs, therefore not just those of students with disability or affected by other conditions.
The New Norms on Specific Learning Disabilities in Education, inscribed in the Law n. 170/2010: this law concretized the innovative approach of educational inclusion by enumerating the tools and methods to fully develop an educational process springing from the particularity and complexity of each individual person.
The Ministerial note 4089/10 demanded schools to plan a didactic educational path by means a document, the Personalized Educational Plan, to implement intervention procedures for students with ADHD.
In 2012, the need to focus more and more on the individual student led the Ministry of Education to enact a specific Ministerial Directive, Policy Instruments for Students With Special Educational Needs and Territorial Organization for Educational Inclusion.
With Note n. 2563/2013, the Ministry of Education granted the widest possible autonomy to teachers tasked with determining the educational accommodations, compensatory and/or dispensatory, best suited to the student’s needs, for him or her to reach the goals set for every discipline.
The Decree on Inclusion came out in its first version in 2017 and was then modified in 2019.
The main Act that relates to the topic is Preschool and school education law (2016). The right of pre-school and school education is regulated in it as well as the structure, functions, organization, management and financing of the system of pre-school and school education. The right of equal access to quality education and inclusion of each Bulgarian child and student is guaranteed.
Another important document is the Regulation of inclusive education (2017). This Regulation determines the state educational standards for Inclusive Education. It regulates public relations that ensures an inclusive education for children and students in the system of pre-school and school education as well as activity of the institutions in this system for providing support for personal development of children and students.
The situation with ESL in Bulgaria is very specific for different municipalities and regions. It also depends on a number of factors such as family, permanent relocation, social and economic status of the family, ethno-cultural, institutional. and last but not least – health reasons. In the largest cities, especially in the capital Sofia, the dropout rate here is unnoticeable but in the small settlements, especially villages (mostly those with a compact population of ethnic minorities or with poorer social and economic status indicators) is vice versa.
Regulation №10 on the organization of activities in school education (2016) – https://www.lex.bg/en/laws/ldoc/2136904663;
Child protection Act (2000);
Regulation for Child protection Act (2003).
The Decree-Law 176/2012 about compulsory education and prevention of ESL regulates the enrollment and attendance regime in the scope of compulsory schooling for children and young people aged between 6 and 18 years old, and establishes measures that must be adopted in the scope of students’ school pathways to prevent school failure and dropout.
The Decree-Law 54/2018, Legal Regime for Inclusive Education, in the Article 1 establishes:
“1 – (…) the principles and rules that guarantee inclusion, as a process that aims to respond to the diversity of needs and potential of each and every student, by increasing participation in the learning processes and in the life of the community educational.
2 – This decree-law identifies the support measures for learning and inclusion, the specific curricular areas, as well as the specific resources to be mobilized to respond to the educational needs of each and every one of the children and young people throughout their journey school, in the different offers of education and training.”
The Decree-Law 55/2018 establishes the curriculum for basic and secondary education, the guiding principles of its design, operationalization and assessment of learning, in order to ensure that all students acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and attitudes that contribute to achieving the skills provided for in the Profile of Students Leaving Mandatory Schooling.
Regulatory dispatch 20/2012, Educational Territory of Priority Intervention (TEIP):a government initiative, currently implemented in 137 groupings of non-grouped schools / schools located in economically and socially disadvantaged territories, marked by poverty and social exclusion, where violence, indiscipline, abandonment and school failure are more manifest themselves. The main objectives of the program are the prevention and reduction of early school leaving and absenteeism, the reduction of indiscipline and the promotion of the educational success of all students.
Ordinance 223-A/2018 (basic education), defining the rules and procedures for the design and operation of the curriculum for these offers, as well as the assessment and certification of learning, in view of the Profile of Students Leaving Mandatory Schooling.
Ordinance 226-A/2018 (secondary education), defining rules and procedures for the design and operation of the curriculum of the courses provided for in the previous number, as well as the assessment and certification of learning, in view of the Profile of Students Leaving Mandatory Schooling.
In Romania many institutions are responsible with children’s health, education and their rights protection: Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Administration and Internal Affairs, the National Authority for Children’s Rights Protection and Adoptions and the National Authority for people with Disabilities etc. These central institutions and the subordinated local institutions have different policies regarding disabled children, a different legislation and different criteria for their identification.
Special education and special integrated education organized for children with special education needs or other types of education needs, established by an Order of the Ministry of Education is realized for all levels of education, differentiated according to the type and degree of deficiency. Special education and special integrated education are free of charge and organized, as a rule, full time. According to the local needs, it can be organized under other forms as well, pursuant to legislation in force.
The Government elaborates specific regulations for educational services and assistance offered for children with special education needs integrated in the mainstream schools. The main current regulations governing school inclusion in Romania are:
Ministry Order no. 5574/2011 for approving the Methodology concerning the organization of educational support services for children, students and youth with special education needs integrated in mainstream schools;
Ministry order no. 5555/2011 for approving the Regulation concerning organizing and functioning of Resources and Educational Assistance centers at county/Bucharest level;
Public Administration Orders no. 1985/2016 and no. 3124/2017;
Ministry Education Order no. 3124/20.01.2017 Methodology for assuring the necessary support for the students with learning deficiencies;
Order No 1985/1305/5805/4.10.2016 for approving the Methodology for evaluation and integrated intervention regarding assigning children with disabilities a degree of disability, school and professional guiding for students with special education needs.
In Spain, early school leaving especially affects the most vulnerable groups who lack the support and references to avoid it and, to a large extent, are forced to leave studies and entering a job market that may offer few opportunities, with unskilled employment. For this reason, on the one hand, educational compensation measures throughout compulsory schooling are essential and, on the other, training professional is presented as an opportunity for these groups since their orientation to the labour market is better adapted to their needs, with a direct relationship between the educational level of the parents and the poverty risk rate of minors.
Organic Law 2/2006, of May 3, on Education, amended by Law Organic 8/2013, of December 9 for the Improvement of Educational Quality, determines in its preamble that, having achieved that all young people are schooled up to sixteen years of age, the goal now is to improve overall results and reduce the still high rates of completion of Basic Education without qualification and early abandonment of studies.
The National Strategy for Prevention and Fight Against Poverty and Social exclusion 2019-2023 was approved by agreement of the Council of Ministers – March 22, 2019 to provide coverage adequate to the needs of citizens and paying special attention to the most vulnerable in situations of poverty or social exclusion.
The early school leaving rate in Spain stands at 17.3% in 2019, the lowest level since recorded data is available (corresponding to 2008). The percentage of the population between 18 and 24 years old that has not completed the second stage of Secondary Education (FP, Intermediate, Basic or High school) and does not follow any type of training has decreased by about 14 percentage points in the last decade, 0,66 points less compared to 2018.
This is clear from the data prepared by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training from the educational variables of the Active Population Survey (EPA) of the National Institute of Statistics. According to this study, the decrease in early school leaving registered in the last 11 years is mainly due to the increase in the population that has completed the second stage of Secondary Education in Spain in this period (an increase of 14.3 percentage points). Ceuta (24.7%), the Balearic Islands (24.2%) and Melilla (24.1%) are the autonomous regions with the highest rates of early school leaving in 2019, exceeding the national average of 17.3% by several points.
Below the national average are the Comunitat Valenciana (16.4%), Aragon (14.6%), Castilla y León (14.3%), Navarra (14%), La Rioja (13.9), Cantabria (12.8%), Galicia (12.6%), Asturias (12.4%), Comunidad de Madrid (11.9%) and País Vasco, which is the community with the lowest early school leaving rate in Spain in prominently with just 6.7%.