2.7.2.2. Between primary and post-primary levels

The entrance examination which used to determine the transition from primary to post-primary schooling was abolished in 1996. The new structures for co-ordination between primary and post-primary education have not yet been set up.

Guidance on course options, particularly in the final year of primary school, is another strand, provided by an independent institution, the Centre de Psychologie et d’Orientation scolaires (CPOS – centre for educational psychology and guidance, see [2.9.] .

2.7.2.3. Between secondary and post-secondary level

There is no institutionalised co-ordination between secondary and post-secondary education, although a number of secondary school teachers also have tenure in post-secondary establishments.

Course guidance is provided by the Centre de Psychologie et d’Orientation scolaires (CPOS – centre for educational psychology and guidance, see [2.9.] .

2.9. Educational guidance services

The Centre for Educational Psychology and Guidance (CPOS, Law of 1 April 1987) is responsible for:

– management of school canteens, award to pupils and students of State financial aids for higher studies and post-primary subsidies. It also manages the accommodation acquired by the Luxembourg State in university residences in other countries.

The statistics indicate an increase in the success rate.

The Centre de Psychologie et d’Orientation scolaires (CPOS – centre for educational psychology and guidance), established by the act of April 1987, is responsible for:

  • Providing psycho-educational guidance for pupils in secondary education ( enseignement secondaire ), technical secondary education ( enseignement secondaire technique ) and the former “complementary” education ( enseignement complémentaire ) system, and assisting in the guidance of children in the final year of primary education. This guidance exercise, which has been organised during the final year of primary education since 1970/71 and covers some 95% of all primary school pupils, involves a series of psychological and educational attainment tests.
  • Helping students to make the transition between levels of education, as regards the choice of course and institution, and providing the requisite assistance for the duration of their schooling.
  • Helping young people to make the transition from school to working life.
  • Offering general advice to parents, pupils and those responsible for their education on all matters relating to the psychological, emotional and social aspects of the learning process.
  • Consulting the committees of head teachers and the inspectorate of primary education as appropriate on the organisation of educational psychology and guidance services and co-ordinating the activities involved.
  • management of school canteens, award to pupils and students of State financial aids for higher studies and post-primary subsidies. It also manages the accommodation acquired by the Luxembourg State in university residences in other countries.

The CPOS is also responsible for organising remedial courses in preparation for examination resits, designed to help disadvantaged students and those who fall behind in their studies. The classes have proved their worth over the years. The statistics indicate an increase in the success rate.

Post-primary schools and the Centre universitaire and Institut supérieur de technologie (two of Luxembourg’s establishments of higher education) have educational psychology and guidance services run in part under the responsibility of the CPOS. They comprise teams of teachers and psychologists and offer pupils, parents and teachers the following services:

  • information provision on all matters relating to schools, the school system, occupations, and further and higher education;
  • support for pupils experiencing educational or personal difficulties or requiring advice on the choice of training course or profession;
  • consultation meetings for parents on school-related, educational or financial matters, decisions on a child’s educational choices, contact with school/teachers, etc.

Action locale pour Jeunes (local action for young people) is a division of the vocational training department at the education ministry. Its remit includes:

  • organising measures to facilitate the transition from school to working life, where appropriate before the official school-leaving age;
  • identifying young people at risk who are likely to require the unit’s assistance;
  • carrying out the socio-pedagogical monitoring of young people at risk who are in employment or in training leading to a vocational qualification.

The ORIKA (Orientatioun fir Kanner) project was launched in the academic year 1991/92 and is designed to improve assistance for final-year primary school pupils in their choice of post-primary specialisation and raise awareness of the opportunities available in the technical secondary education (enseignement secondaire technique) sector. The project takes the form of four two-hour workshops held in secondary schools during normal school hours.

The WORKLIFE initiative is designed to promote contact between school and society, businesses in particular, with a view to equipping students to make their own realistic, informed decisions on the educational and professional options open to them. The project is co-ordinated by the vocational training department of the education ministry and run – in the form of workshops and exhibitions – in conjunction with the department responsible for technical secondary education, the educational psychology and guidance services, the careers guidance service of the employment administration, the professional associations and federations, and regional businesses and institutions. It targets primarily final-year pupils in the technical secondary education and former “complementary” education (enseignement complémentaire) systems.

6.3.1.11. Special measures

Students’ progress is monitored by an educational team for each course, comprising the head and/or deputy head of the school, the teachers ( professeurs ) designated as course co-ordinators, the education/employment co-ordinator, the secretary/organiser responsible for administering the BTS, class teachers, teachers of the various modules and instructors in industry.

As the BTS is taught in a number of establishments within the technical secondary education ( enseignement secondaire technique ) system, students have access to advice and guidance from the school’s SPOS (see [2.9.] .

6.3.4.11. Special measures

A counselling service (see [2.9.] is available for students wishing to:

  • obtain information on a study or career choice;
  • examine study and course difficulties;
  • analyse a personal situation they experience as conflictual.

6.3.5.11. Special measures

An educational psychology and guidance service operates at the IST (see [2.9.] .

6.3.6.11. Special measures

A counselling service (see [2.9.] is available for students wishing to:

  • obtain information on a study or career choice;
  • examine study and course difficulties;
  • analyse a personal situation they experience as conflictual.

10.5. Admission requirements, diagnosis and guidance

All admissions are referred to the regional or national commission médico-psychopédagogique (medical, psychological and pedagogical advisory committee).

The committee comprises:

  • the director of éducation différenciée (special education);
  • the chief inspector of primary schools;
  • a public health inspector (who will be a qualified doctor);
  • the director of the speech therapy centre;
  • a representative of the ministry for family affairs;
  • a specialist in neuropsychiatry;
  • a specialist paediatrician;
  • a psychologist;
  • an environmental health officer or qualified social worker;
  • a pre-school or primary teacher with tenure in the special education system.

In regions with no committee, parents contact the national committee directly.

The various departments, institutes and committees operate under the control of the special education directorate, as follows.

Parents with problem children first make contact with the special education system via one of the local or regional outreach centres of the Service de Guidance de l’Enfance (childhood guidance service).

The service offers practical educational assistance and pedagogical and psychological support for children who, for educational, psychological, psychosomatic, neurological or mental reasons, are experiencing developmental difficulties. It was originally set up to serve special education alone; now, however, its work increasingly extends across the pre-school and primary system.

The centres are staffed by multidisciplinary teams comprising, wherever possible, a psychologist, a graduate educator, an educationalist, a social worker and a doctor.

Their remit is to counsel parents and put them in touch with all manner of specific remedial support facilities. Cases involving admissions between special education and the mainstream system must be referred to the national or regional medical, psychological and pedagogical advisory committee.

The regional committee comprises:

  • the director of special education;
  • the chief primary schools inspector;
  • a public health inspector (who will be a qualified doctor);
  • the director of the speech therapy centre;
  • a representative of the ministry for family affairs;
  • a specialist in neuropsychiatry;
  • a specialist paediatrician;
  • a psychologist;
  • an environmental health officer or qualified social worker;
  • a pre-school or primary teacher with tenure in the special education system.

Admissions between special education and the mainstream system must be approved by the national, local or regional committee. In regions with no committee, parents contact the national committee directly.

The national committee examines all the available data and makes a recommendation to the child’s parents.

The remit of the national committee is:

  • to advise the minister for education on measures for children (with mental, behavioural, sensorial or social problems) during compulsory schooling, i.e. at pre-school and primary level, in special classes and in special education;
  • to examine or arrange for the examination of children who are likely to be enrolled in special classes, to require individual remedial assistance or to be reintegrated into the mainstream system;
  • to organise screening for children with mental/behavioural problems, etc.

Regional special education centres cater for children with a variety of problems; they are answerable to the ministry, which covers all costs.

All the private specialist institutes (operating under contract to the ministry), regional special education centres and preparatory vocational centres, the guidance service and the medical, psychological and pedagogical advisory committee report to the special education directorate. Only the Centre de Logopédie (speech therapy centre) and the Institut d’Etudes éducatives et sociales (IEES – institute for educational and social studies) report directly to the minister.

The act of 14 March 1973 established a Service d’assistance éducative (educational assistance service), multidisciplinary medical, psychological and pedagogical services and a childhood guidance service for special education. The childhood guidance service has developed into a psycho-pedagogical assistance service operating beyond the boundaries of the child disability sector; there are currently 19 regional counselling centres across the country, staffed by teams of psychologists (offering consultation, diagnosis and rehabilitation services), teachers, educators, physiotherapists and psychotherapists. The service has developed good working relations with the inspectorate and pre-school and primary school teachers.

The special education sector has always had constructive relationships with a wide range of private associations (both Catholic and secular) in the fields of prevention, preparatory vocational training and leisure activities.