What is the purpose of special educators
Inclusion in school
Inclusion / integration
Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires the contracting states to guarantee an “inclusive education system at all levels”. In doing so, States parties must ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system because of disabilities, that they have access to inclusive education in primary and secondary schools on an equal footing with other students, and that reasonable accommodation is made for their needs.
But the concrete implementation of the UN Disability Rights Convention, which has been binding in Germany since 2009, is a long time coming. The Saxon School Act has so far not been changed, recommendations and action plans have been in the drawer for years.
“Everyone counts” is the motto of the Saxon education policy. Nevertheless, some pupils with special educational needs do not receive optimal support, sometimes encounter incomprehension from teachers and classmates, struggle to compensate for certain disadvantages or to stay in mainstream school.
In such cases, legal support can be helpful. We advise and represent pupils and their parents who want to implement a certain form of special educational support, the granting of disadvantage compensation or integrative schooling in a mainstream school.
Special educational needs
A procedure for determining the special educational needs can be requested from the school the student is attending or the parents at the Saxon Education Agency. The Saxon Education Agency then commissions the relevant special needs school to prepare a special educational report.
The special educational report, in which the results of observations and discussions flow, names the special educational needs and the funding proposals and gives recommendations for further education. On this basis, the Saxon Education Agency decides which form of special educational support is the most suitable.
In Saxony, a distinction is currently made between the priority areas of physical / motor development, hearing, vision, language, learning, mental development, emotional / social development and autistic behavior. Pupils who have identified special educational needs are either trained integratively in a regular school or in a special needs school.
In this process, parents are often unsure of the extent to which they need to be informed and involved and what influence they have. In any case, parents should communicate their ideas and wishes to the decision-makers at an early stage. Because the school authority has to make a weighing decision and must also respond to opposing educational wishes.
Ultimately, an objection can be lodged against the decision to determine the special educational needs and, if necessary, an urgent judicial application can be made.
Compensation for disadvantages
To achieve real equality of opportunity, individual support measures must be taken - in class, in support lessons and in extracurricular support. The Ministry of Culture has recommendations for the individual funding priorities with a selection of possible measures to which, however, there is no general entitlement. Every single case is different. It is therefore necessary to examine in each individual case which measures are necessary to compensate for the individual disadvantage of a student and thus enable him to receive an equal school education.
In the case of our client, a 17-year-old student with Asperger's Syndrome, the disadvantage due to the disability can only be compensated for by extending the upper secondary level from two to four years. The Saxon Higher Administrative Court was of the opinion that such a preference was not constitutionally required and that the Saxon school law did not provide for such a possibility. The constitutional complaint we lodged against it was successful. The Saxon Constitutional Court decided that the Free State of Saxony had to take appropriate precautions to compensate for the disability in each individual case within the framework of what is organizationally possible, and referred the legal dispute back to the OVG. (SächsVerfGH, decision of May 22, 2014, Az. Vf. 20-IV-14 HS; 21-IV-14. E.A.) -> see also our press release
Integration or special school
According to a current study by the Institute for Quality Development in Education (IQB), children learn more in common lessons than when they are taught in special schools. Nevertheless, there are numerous cases in which educators decide against the will of the parents that the schooling should take place in a specific special school.
In Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the contracting states have agreed to guarantee an “inclusive education system at all levels”. The Saxon School Integration Ordinance, on the other hand, provides that pupils with special educational needs can only be taught integratively together with non-disabled pupils if the personal, spatial and material requirements for integrative schooling are met.
The decision as to whether a student is to be taught in a special school and which special school is suitable is made by the Saxon Education Agency. The authority has to present its balancing in a comprehensible and thus also judicially verifiable way.
In the event of an official decision that does not correspond to the parents' wish for upbringing, quick action is required. In addition to the objection, an urgent judicial procedure is usually necessary in order to bring about a quick decision or to prevent the change of school for the time being. We advise parents on the legal options for enforcing integrative schooling for their child and represent pupils and parents both in objection proceedings and in court proceedings.
School regulatory measures
If school regulatory measures are taken for children with disabilities or with developmental peculiarities, it must be carefully checked what purpose the respective measure should fulfill and whether it is proportionate.
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