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What are special schools?

Special schools have a clear educational mandate: Children who cannot be adequately supported in lessons at general schools due to a handicap receive individual support and care at special schools.

In 2007, around 430,000 pupils in Germany were taught at special schools or similar educational institutions, which makes up around 4.5 percent of German pupils. Politicians expected a lower share of 3.5 percent. Nevertheless, such a number is to be assessed as positive. So this is an indication that more and more children who were previously not taught at home or in the wrong type of school can now be specifically promoted together with other children, or that sensitization for children with corresponding demands on the The education system works. [Insert related]

Principles of the special school

The concept of special schools aims to specifically support children with disadvantages in their general development, educational or learning development. In this way, they should be given the opportunity to participate in education as well, so that in later life they also have the opportunity to practice a job and participate in everyday life. This is to prevent later social disadvantage and to keep the consequences of the mental or physical limitation for the child to a minimum. The special school supports both the well-being of the child and the parents' rights, which receive support in their care and upbringing.

From special school to special school

In many places the term “special school” is still in use, historically even titled as “auxiliary school”. With the introduction of the cultural sovereignty of the federal states, various designations have become established that are used by the various federal states. Special school is the most common name.

Focus of the special school

The special schools are divided into different school types, such as special schools for the blind, special schools for the physically handicapped or special schools for the learning disabled. This should make it easier to respond to the needs of the children individually. Depending on the type of school, special priorities are then set in order to compensate for deficits. The funding requirement is divided into the following people in need of funding:

  • emotional and social development
  • Blind people
  • Visually impaired
  • Promotion of spiritual development
  • Deaf
  • Hard of hearing
  • Physically handicapped
  • Learning disabled
  • Speech impaired
  • Deafblind
  • Sick people or children in long-term hospital treatment

Decision about attending a special school

In Germany, parents of children with a disability have the choice of which type of school they want to send their child to. Each federal state has developed a procedure to determine whether a child may need special educational support. If this is the case, the authorities will make a corresponding recommendation on the type of school for each individual case - ultimately, however, the parents decide whether they want to send their child to a general school, to a special school or to an integrative school.

Integrative funding

There are now many schools in Germany that have set up so-called integrative classes. Here healthy children learn together with two or three children with a slight handicap in a class group. Great emphasis is placed on integration into regular school life. However, such schools are usually not as well equipped in terms of technology and pedagogy and are geared towards the needy children as special schools. The parents have to decide in each individual case what is more important to them and which form best suits the needs of the child. Whether a child is suitable for such a class always depends, of course, on the type and degree of disability of the child.

Author: Miriam Bax
Published on January 3, 2011

Tags: special school, integrative, special school