Local report on the situation and perspectives on inclusive education in the Central Transdanubia Region (Hungary)

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1 Local report on the situation and perspectives on inclusive education in the Central Transdanubia Region (Hungary) Key results of a local research study Beáta Orosz Zoltán Várkonyi Association for Lifelong Learning, 2011 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

2 1) Short description of selected local region Region Central Transdanubia located in the middle of Transdanubia with its area km2. Its population is more than 1, 1 million which is 11 % of the population of Hungary. It includes the counties Komárom- Esztergom, Fejér és Veszprém. The biggest towns are Székesfehérvér, Tatabánya and Veszprém. The country's third most advanced regions. The economy is based on the industry and logistics, but also an attractive tourist destination because of the historical sites. Due to its geographical location employment is over national average but with inner regional disparities. Education in the region All together 1150 educational institutes were active including early development in the region in academic year The institution network maps settlements. County towns has leading role in the region educational tasks. Pupil with SEN are 4,49% and attend at all level from kindergarten to vocational schools. The ration of pupils with SEN is 6,44% in primary schools and 3,74 % in secondary level but ratio is varied in different schools types. 100% is in special vocational school which is a segregated form to 0,79 % in secondary school and 1,06% in grammar school. There was no available regional data by type of special education need. Special education is in a changing period. The number of schools with integrative role has been increased in the last years. Number of pupils with SEN in integrative setting has been increased. 2

3 Summary table in the place of provision by type-2009/2010 Total number of places Opening number of children, pupils from total Total special girls needs education Kindergarten Primary school Vocational school Special vocational school Grammar school Secondary school Early development, developer training, developer school education Total Main figures of education in the region (Source: Broad variety of educational services support the schools. Two expert and rehabilitation committees; which has crucial role in the integrative education of pupils with SE;, 24 educational consultant and 46 speech therapy support services helps the educational institutes in their work in the region. Altogether teachers are working in the region. Out of them 2865 person is special teacher, 338 persons are conductor, 793 persons are speech therapist. If we examine that how many teachers employed in special education the number is Support staff is altogether 2429 persons. 9 higher education institutes are active in the region, but regionalism is not so strong and these institutes are not as strong and big as higher education institutes in other regions. Some of institutes offer teacher training programmes like Veszprem University and the catholic college in Esztergom and has courses for integrated education. Educational development plans are made in regional microregional and municipality level too. The regional educational development plan has been accepted in It is coherent with the country level development document. Development of integrated education and the changing situation of special education in the region is well described. Priority had been accepted for infrastructural development in order to inclusive educational network. 3

4 Regional Vocational education Development plan came into force in Due to progress in the integrated education in this document the inclusion of children with SEN is a priority. The regional level documents has influence on local development documents and priorities. 2) Research methodology and description of sample The Hungarian version of the questionnaire was supervised by a head of a methodological centre and was sent out via to all public educational institutes contact of the regional pedagogical centre. They also cooperated in the collection of the filled out questionnaires. This way was used instead of on-line version after long discussions. In the answering period the contact person was available for all questions and comments, and technical problems. Preliminary results were presented in the national seminar and received feedback, interviews and review times helped the formulation of this report. Only 63 institutes sent back the questionnaire and 3 institutes sent an that the questionnaire is not relevant to their practice. We received questionnaire from all of the three counties. Church institutes and multi-purpose intsrtitues are also contributed to the research. The answering were balanced. Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, special education institutes answered in the following ratio: Type of educational institute Kindergarten 5% 9% 6% 24% Primary school Special school-methoodological centre Special school 6% 3% Grammar school 5% Vocational school 2% 5% 35% Secondary school Grammar and secondary and vocational school 4

5 3) Key results of the research 3.1 Experiences with inclusion Majority of the answering school (88% ) has some experience regarding integrated education, only 12% has no experience. In Hungary different programmes, financial and professional incentives, changes in legislation supported the spreading of integrated education. There are differences in the implementation and in quality among them, but it is visible that integration is the most dominant way. Only 4 institutes answered that the number of pupils with SEN has been decreased. Most of them face with the growing number of pupils with SEN in their institute. Half of them answered that demand for inclusive education is basically covered but one third are not able to give such estimations. Only a few indicated that needs are not covered or increasing is foreseen. Municipalities are responsible for organising the education of pupils with special need. As maintainer of schools municipalities should have better overview about the local needs. Based on reply more and more pupils with SEN learning in integrated setting in the selected region. Although definitions are clear in the legislation inner contradictions in the answers shows that local implementations has different quality levels and ore evolution is needed. Experiences on integrated education is mainly positive both school side, both pupil side, but negative experience received not just those who not implement integrated education. Experiences with inclusive education from the schools point of view and from the persons point of view The majority of the schools get additional support for the implementation of inclusive education like - normative support - travelling special teacher - employment of developer teacher - employment of pedagogical assistant 5

6 - additional support from the local government. As normative support based on the type of the SEN has legal base some institutions did not indicated it as additional support. Additional support from local government was indicated only the answer givers from villages. Among those institutes not receiving any additional support secondary educational institutes were the majority. Does your organisation supply extra personal and material resources to promote inclusion? No 31% Yes 69% 3.2 Further developments The inclusive education of pupils with disability is important topic within the school, because of further development perspectives. In some cases it is initiated by the persons or their families, or because of the legal background and deed of foundation. 60% of the answering has plans for further development on the following ways: Concrete palnning extists to enlarge the inclusive education on the following areas 19% 13% Further conceptual development Training of collegues Constructional changes 20% 33% Employment of experts 15% Acquiremnt of special promotion material 6

7 Areas in which further development initiatives are needed are the followings: - lack of experts especially psychologists, speech therapists - lack barrier free infrastructure and special tools - lack of space in the buildings for developer rooms - number of developing hours is not enough For barrier- free infrastructure there was and there are some resources via call for proposals, but only 9 institute from the 63 answered that the infrastructure is suitable for inclusive education. The barrier freeness of the educational institutes is still problematic although in the last period several programmes helped the constructional changes of the public institutions. In the region there was a possibility to get funds for such infrastructural projects in programming period but the resources were limited and were open to all public institute not just for education. Not just the infrastructure but well developed human resources and inclusive organization are need for successful inclusive education. The following areas were identified for human resource development: - training an d capacity building - engagement and team work The organizational changes needed on the following areas: - maximum number of pupils in groups - need for pedagogical assistants - two-teachered model - triggering travelling teachers/services Educational institute are not obliged to open the doors for all type of SEN. Deed of foundations gives detailed information about the groups educated in the institute and they have to comply only with the criterion of the named type of SEN. In the region, as in the whole country, institutes has more experience with the education learning difficulties, pupils with challenging behavior and less experience with visual, hearing or mental impairment. Number of answers for the most needed developments also underlines this. More practical, organizational need was indentified in connection with these groups and definitely more feedbacks were given to these areas. Barrier free buildings are mentioned as a key element for physical impairment, but less mentioned as a need with hearing and visual impartment although barrier free buildings are also needed to them. Human resource development is always crucial but answer givers focused on professionals and less indication was given to support staff or pedagogical assistance although its known from country level studies that there is a lack of support staff in the schools. As in the whole country there is a big need for psychologist and speech therapist and special teachers but more and more school would prefer to have the possibility to employ a special teacher or expert instead of travelling experts. The most urgent necessities for change in the answering organizations with regard to the inclusion of persons with special needs were identified in the followings: 7

8 With regard to physical impairment With regard to mental impairment 1. barrier free environment 2. gym 3. human resources 1. special teachers 2. special education assistant 3. special teaching tools with regard to visual impairment specific teaching materials human resources barreir free environment with regard to hearing impairment szurdopedagógus specific teaching tools with regard to learning disability special teachers developer tools to ensure adequate number of hours with regard to speech impediment development of speech therapist services increasing the number of hours with regard to mental health problems lack of psychologists with regard to challenging behavior lack of psychologists training of the staff smaller groups for pupils 8

9 3.3 Transition period 13% Does the transition differ? 26% 61% Yes. Almost for all. Only for few, as No as Transition from primary to vocational education or to grammar school or transition from preschool into primary school is always a big question for the parents. As we move up the educational level fewer children can be found in inclusive settings. From the questionnaire it is seen that transition path is different in case of pupils with SEN. The cooperation with vocation schools is really poor which means that more initiative is needed in field of transition in order to ensure inclusive education at all level of education. those who answered only for few, highlighted that there differences in transition because of tea family, of the good choice of schools, of type of SEN, and of result of previous development. 3.4 Cooperation among stakeholders For successful implementation of inclusive education broad networking and cooperation is needed. Local research gives an interesting picture about the cooperation among different actors. Meaningful and frequent cooperation is needed for successful inclusion. Ratings varied from the lowest to highest and some level difference is foreseen. Methodological centers have active cooperation with NGOs; kindergarten and primary schools has more frequent cooperation with early development. In the region 46 speech therapy support service, 24 educational consultant institute (nevelési tanácsadó), 2 expert and rehabilitation committee helps the schools in professional activities. Cooperation among special school or methodological centers and regulars schools is also important as these institutes run the travelling services of special teachers and are the recourse centres of special education. They changing role gave more attention to their experience. Besides educational organizations NGOs, social and health services can help the successful inclusive education. Schools cooperation with child welfare services 9

10 shows that integration entails with social matters. The schools have great connection to pediatrician but this cooperation has strong traditions because of the school doctor system. Further development is need in the cooperation with NGOs, disabled services and cooperation with vocational schools. Stakeholder All NGOs 2,29 Vocational schools 1,93 Service of the disabled care 2,24 Working groups/self-help groups about inclusive education 2,19 Day care facilities for children 2,12 Specialist counselling about integration at school 2,42 Counselling service for persons with disabilities and their relatives 2,6 Public health department 2,58 Early development 2,05 Paediatricians 3,18 Child welfare service 3,76 Cooperation among schools has been strengthened in by a networking project. Among the different activities, the development of a database of so-called reference institutes has started in which the regional good practices in integrated education of pupil with SEN has also been collected. Cooperation is networking can be a useful tool for development. It provides information about the daily practice of different actors and can strengthen the teacher that they are not left alone with the big tasks of inclusion or give the possibility to combine various resources. Heavy discussion was about the cooperation with the parents on the national seminar as partnership of school- parents - expert committee is the starting point of the education of pupils with special need. More practical information is needed for parents about integrated education and about education in special schools too. 3.5 Towards inclusive education The schools gave rather mixed picture about the demand of qualification of their organisation with regard inclusion and we collected information about the commitment of policy makers. Results shows that opinion e of commitment is rather mixed, which reflects to the profession discussions regarding the implementation of inclusive education and ongoing changes in Hungarian education system. The UN convention was ratified in 2007 by Hungary. The theoretical decision is present but it is still a long way from segregated to integrative and then to inclusive 10

11 education in Hungary and more political and practical commitment is needed. The result of the local report shows that the majority (82%) cannot believe that % of pupils with SEN will be in regular schools within 5 years. Main feedbacks linked not just the missing infrastructural, financial and professional background but for the missing inner motivation and commitment of practitioners that inclusive education is the best way for the majority of children. 4) Conclusion The educational institutes are motivated to regulatory compliance, but the identification of principle of inclusion and the practical implementations is ambivalent and uncertainty is also present in. All educational providers knows that inclusive education is a big tasks and identified where are the weak points and bottlenecks is daily practices. Further development of financial, infrastructural, organisational background is needed to speed up the ongoing changes in the education system. Some schools get extra funds via project for the development of inclusive education but after closing financial background of the sustainability can be difficult. Some schools are developed good practice, but problems in cooperation shows that for further strengthening of networking is needed. 11

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