2.9.1. Structure of the ‘Psycho-Medizinisch-Sozial’ Centres

In Belgium education assistance was founded in 1936. Besides the education institutions the law organises PMS (Psycho-Medico-Social)-Centres to assist pupils in their development. The “PMS”-Centres of the three Unterrichtsnetzeconcern themselves mainly with schools of their “Netz”. The FSUW”PMS”-Centres work usually for the “FSUW”, but sometimes also for the schools organised by municipalities which have no “PMS”-centre of their own. This service is free of charge for the schools. The “PMS”-centre is bound to the subsidised school by a 6-years’ contract.

The Schulträger of those centres have to introduce per year a survey of activities which defines the working scheme of these institutions. All “PMS”-centres are under the control of an inspectorate organised by the Gemeinschaft .

2.9.2. Main Tasks of the Guidance Centres

The PMS -centres have the task among others to advise pupils. The employees guarantee psychological, medical and social care of pupils by information and assistance in the choice of options. Assistance in the choice of options may be various, depending upon the fact that pupils of Grundschule or secondary education are concerned, in Regelschulwesen or special education, in allgemeinbildender , technischeror erufsbildender education. Anyway the “PMS”-centres are in a position to find the adequate answers to those questions.

One member of the “PMS” staff should for instance be present when pupils have to choose between the main options in secondary education so as to explain the different options and their purpose to young people and to point out the possible difficulties in transition from one option to another one. He has the duty then to assist the young people on the one hand in the choice of the option, on the other hand in the choice of the resulting professional life. The first contact is usually resulting from a question about the different possibilities in education, training and profession.

2.9.3. The ‘Psycho-Medizinisch-Soziale’-Centres (PMS) and the Relation between Training and Employment

The PMS -centre must help young people to acquire all the necessary knowledge about today’s’ and future professions. Hence the “PMS”-centres keep in touch with all levels of education establishments, companies and enterprises, (national) federal and regional public offices which are supposed to make information and records available. This information is treated and adopted for young people by the “PMS” staff. The “PMS”-centres are connected with the various sub-systems of society: the subregional committee for the provision of work, the professional bodies, the regional offices for training employment (FOREM) and with other offices for professional integration.

A special service is offered by the so-called BIZ (Berufsinformationszentrum), the centre for information on profession and trade, a German institution co-operating with the “PMS”-centres in the Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft to inform young people on the various professions and trades.

2.9.4. The ‘PMS’-Centres and Guidance towards Special Education

The Law dated 1970 defined the admission procedures for special education. The admission is more or less the same as in Regelschulwesen as far as the age of entering Grundschul primary or secondary education is concerned. Admission of pupils to a special school is subject to a multi-disciplinary examination though and to report determining the type of special education which meets the disability and the needs of each child. The PMS -centre or any approved public service (not possible in the DG carries out the multi-disciplinary examination to assist and guide the parents in their choice of options.