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Tudástár >> Sajátos nevelési igényű tanulók >> A befogadó iskolák értékelési gyakorlata >> III. rész: Country Report on the Assessment Policy of Students with Special Educational Needs in Hungary

National Report on Hungarian Assessment Policy

2009. június 17.

National Report On Hungarian Assessment Policy

prepared by the Centre for School Development and Integration of the National Institute for Public Education on the comission of the Ministry of Education

1. Introduction

1.1. Levels of public education in Hungary

There are three levels of public education in Hungary. (I) Pre-school education, which is carried out in pre-schools. Pre-school education may start at the age of three for children, and it is obligatory from the age of five. By this time the child is liable to attend pre-school four hours daily from the start of the school year. The educational processes running here are of basic importance for the beginning stage of school.

(II) General education is provided in grades 1-8; grades 1-2 being the introduction phase, grades 3-4 the beginning phase, grades 5-6 the grounding phase and grades 7–8 the developing phase. – The lower intermediate phase in some European countries corresponds with grades 5-8. Secondary school education starts in grade 9 continuing in vocational training schools till the end of grade 10, in general or vocational secondary schools till the end of grades 12 or 13.

(III) As a result of the changes in the past years, admission to institutions of secondary education was possible at different ages, such as at 10, 12 or 14 years of age. Secondary educational programmes have a broad offer; the programmes of general secondary schools, vocational secondary schools, vocational training schools are completed with educational programmes ensuring different corrections as well. Secondary educational programmes are differentiated according to vocational or general education, or whether they prepare for secondary school-leaving examinations, or not.

General Movements

The number of students attending vocational secondary schools ending with a secondary school-leaving examination significantly has grown in the last years, and the number attending vocational training schools (not preparing them for a secondary school-leaving examination) has decreased with nearly 50%.

The number of students involved in the higher grades (13-14) has grown – in different degrees in different trades – by shifting the start of vocational education to after the age of 16 and by training for trades registered in the National Training Register.

1.2. Children with Special Education Needs within the System of Public Education

Stating special educational needs

Physical, sensory, mental and speech disabilities are stated by professional committees at county or national levels. National expert committees are committees investigating vision, hearing, speaking and learning abilities.

There are expert and rehabilitation committees both in the capital and at county level, these consist of a teacher of special education as the leader, therapeutic teachers, psychiatrists and specialist physicians. They hand down an opinion on the children investigated, and based on their advice the child is placed in pre-school or school, they also give suggestions on any special requirements concerning the education of the child. Placement of children in special classes, and their integration into the classes of the mainstream schools is decided by the expert committees. According to the law on equal chances, parents of students needing special education have a voice concerning which institutions their children are placed in.

There are educational counselling services in all of the districts of the capital and in larger cities of the country. These are responsible for discovering any disabilities a child may have, they provide diagnosis and manage the behavioural, educational and teaching problems of 3–18-year-old children and youngsters growing up in families. This service functions on an ambulatory basis. The advice after establishing the diagnosis is based on primarily concerns related to the further tasks of the teachers and the parents.

Development and Institutions of Children with Special educational needs

The established system of specialized institutions ensuring the choice of the parents is maintained by the law on public education and its amendments. The educational institution is chosen by the parents based on the professional opinion of the expert and rehabilitation committee investigating learning abilities, or that of the national expert and rehabilitation committee, according to the law. The law says that students with special educational needs may be enrolled in an educational institution that possesses the personal and material conditions required for special education.

Based on the diagnosis established by physicians, neurologists or audiologists, the development of the skills and abilities of the children with special educational needs and supporting them by helping tools and instruments (hearing device, glasses, sticks, crutches etc.) starts as early as possible – this all depends on the type of disability.

The purpose of this early stage development is counselling, focusing on the problems in the children’s and parents’ environment and the disability-specific development of the child.

Children with special educational needs between the age of three and sixteen attend special educational institutions among which are: pre-schools, general schools, special vocational schools and special vocational training schools where students’ skills are further developed. Special schools work under the governance of local governments and authorities of different levels. Their district of enrolment depends primarily on the frequency of the occurrence of the specific disability and the number of students in a city, district of a city, in the capital city, in a district of the capital, in a county or even country-wide.

Where Special Education Meets the Mainstream

Mainstream and special education has a number of meeting points. Institutions providing education for children with special educational needs must consider the published guidelines on special education starting from kindergarten when developing their programs.

The basically common curriculum for the special and mainstream schools enables children attending special schools to acquire the same general school education and therefore the chance to continue their studies at secondary and higher levels. Each school and special educational institution may decide individually what methods and practice they find the most suitable for their needs. These methods are different according to each disability, but fulfil the content requirements set by the National Core Curriculum. When applying these methods at schools the subject-based approach is common. Children with special educational needs get the same certificate as their mainstream peers upon successful completion of the school.

The approach to issues related to special learning needs considers integration as the key solution to establish a community, where people with disabilities can be active members of the society. Today the question is no longer if education of children with special educational needs should happen together with their healthy fellow students or in separate special institutions. The question is modified to: how?

The transformation of the best special (formerly segregated) institutions into resource centres (training-service institutes) has been accelerated in the last two years, this way the system of professional support institutes can be built, and support for the practice of inclusive education may be given. Expertise of special education teachers – e. g. creation of developing programmes, application of therapies, counselling – will be demanded by integrating institutes with the spread of integrated education. Active integration of the schools educating in a segregated way into the process of integration gives opportunity for in-service teacher trainings, developing the quality and content of communication with parents, and fulfilling the tasks of professional and special duties.

2. Present situation

2.1. Promotion of Social Integration of People with Disabilities

As an effect of inclusive education trend in international practice, as well as the social demand expressed by the families involved, the effort for integration has strengthened in Hungary since the eighties. The Act on Public Education gives opportunity for meeting this demand since 1993. Integration appears today also as a social and pedagogical objective of educational policy, and it is a general expectation, that anti-discrimination efforts should be better emphasized in the educational process and in the activity of related institutions.

The legal environment regulating the activities of institutions and the financing of education also favours inclusive education of those living with disabilities. The present reforms and development goals place special emphasis on the need for establishing integrated education in as many institutions as possible. To support this goal, a comprehensive action and development plan was elaborated.

The legal regulations of the past years targeted the strengthening of the social integration of children with special education needs (living with disabilities). These regulations were introduced in the past decade to reach the strategic goals and legal efforts aiming at the process of integration resulting in the state of social cohesion.

In Hungary during the decade before the EU accession the government took steps to facilitate independent lifestyle and quality of life for people living with disabilities. A welfare system consisting of financial aid for the disabled and benefits for their relatives living in one household with them (nursing allowance, increased family allowance etc.) was developed. The law on the rights (and equal chances) of people living with disabilities stated that the integrated (or supported, incubator-like) employment of those concerned should become common practice.

One of the most important elements of this law is that it attempted the development of tools suitable for facilitating rehabilitation as much as possible (environment, communication, traffic etc.), so that the rights of those living with disabilities could be exercised.

The National Program for the Disabled added an amendment to this law containing the strategic goals that are crucial for the realization of total social equality.

2.2. The System of Assessment

During the past years the problem of cost efficiency of the system of public education was under the spotlights. Thinking of quality, efficiency and productivity was motivated by national assessment of competences started in 2001, the reform of the secondary school-leaving examination, and the ever spreading practice of institutional quality improvement.

Systematic evaluation and assessment helps the realization of the long-term objectives of public education. These objectives are: competitive knowledge, an efficiently functioning public education system, moderation of inequities and strengthening equity in public education.

The development of a common system of quality assurance is an inevitable tool in reaching the following objectives set by the National Development Plan: content regulation, system of governance, financing and efficiency of development. The above goals are accomplishable with the involvement of the public education system.

2.3. The Legal Assessment System

The System of Quality Assessment

The elaboration of laws related to the assessment of education and the accomplishment of developmental acts are the tasks of public education according to section 99. § (1) of the 1993. LXXIX. Act. As a result during the past years three levels of quality assessment can be distinguished in the practice of public education.

  1. At the institutional level of the quality assurance system it is the task of internal auditing to control the legality of operation and financing and whether the institute operates according to the principles set in the strategic documents. The areas of institutional self-assessment are: evaluation of the effectiveness of educational tasks, of students’ achievements, of the efficiency of the operation of the institution, the use of resources, the level of student and parent satisfaction and the work carried out by teachers.
  2. At the maintainer level the areas of quality assessment are the following: self-assessment of maintainers’ tasks, control by the maintainer (legality of operation, fulfilment of the set professional requirements and existence of necessary conditions) and the assessment of the institutions by the maintainer (effectiveness of educational activities, the operation of the institution, the realization of educational programs, and the work of the head of the institution).
  3. At branch level the two basic functions of quality assessment are: branch audit (state control of the institute, audit on the use of public funds, and authority control) and branch assessment (systematic national students performance assessment, examination system, indicator system of public education and preparation of public reports, selective indicator system and monitoring of students’ rights, and national thematic evaluations supporting the all-time objectives of educational policy).

2.4. Content Regulation in Public Education

The tools of content regulation are the National Core Curriculum, the optional frame curricula and the institutional local curricula. As of September 2004 new content and developmental trends are described in the strategic document, the National Core Curriculum. The available curriculum alternatives are developed by the supporting system helping the development of local curricula. Institutional recognition of the professional content and principles identified by the National Core Curriculum, and their incorporation into local regulations are ensured by the optional frame curricula and related educational programmes.

Pedagogical programmes of educational institutes were reviewed based on the National Core Curriculum. The system of educational objectives are set by the new central and institutional content regulating documents based on which the effectiveness of individual institutes and public education as a whole may be assessed and measured.

When developing their own local pedagogical programmes and curricula, the following are taken into consideration by the schools: relevant parts of the Act on Public Education and the National Core Curriculum, the optional frame curricula, the national programme for dormitory education, the local aims and opportunities of education, the maintainer’s requirements concerning school education as described in the document of "Quality management policy”, the parents’ expectations, and their pupils’ individual needs.

Content regulation and the specific care requirements of students with special educational needs

The National Core Curriculum is also the basic document of the school education of children with special educational needs. When developing their pedagogical programmes schools may use the National Core Curriculum according to their specific needs. The educational and development content described in the basic document are necessary for all children in spite of the individual differences among them.

Individual differences among students are taken into consideration by the schools when developing their pedagogical programmes. Disability is such a form of differences among children, which makes differentiation on a larger scale and application of special methods and additional educational services necessary.

Objectives, tasks, content, activities and requirements concerning the development of students with special educational needs must be present in the institutes’educational and quality management programme, in the local curricula, in the educational programme related to the thematic units in the individual development plans.

Provision of habilitation and rehabilitation

The whole educational system of public educational institutes taking part in the education of students with special educational needs is determined by the overall long-term habilitation/rehabilitation objectives and tasks described in the institutions’ documents. The habilitation, rehabilitation activities are accomplished in team-work and an organized open teaching-learning process that requires procedures, timeframe, tools, methods and therapies depending on the needs of the individual group.

The factors influencing the content of the habilitation/rehabilitation activities are the following: the type of disability, its degree, when it developed, the age of the student with special educational needs, his/her health conditions, physical and psychological state, improvability, abilities, skills, cognitive functions and previously acquired knowledge.

2.5. Assessment and Evaluation Methods and Examinations

National assessment tasks of public education

The national assessment tasks of public education are the following: operating and harmonizing the national examination system, defining and revising the specifications of the basic and the secondary school-leaving examinations, developing and modernizing the national examination system, developing assessment activities. Commissioned by the minister of education the National Public Education Evaluation and Examination Centre and educational counselling services may cooperate in the national assessment, measurement and evaluation tasks.

The ongoing educational activities, especially the development of basic skills and competences must be regularly assessed and evaluated in the frame of the national measurement tasks. The national measurement tasks are determined annually by the minister of education. The results of the national assessments and evaluations have to be published in the official paper of the Ministry of Education and the data at institutional level have to be made available for further procession.

The annual measurement of the competences in the native language and mathematics must cover the grades 4, 6, 8 and 10 of public education and all pupils.

The output regulation: examination system

The output regulation or the system of examinations is not merely for student assessment, but it also determines the paths and possibilities of progression within the school system.

There are four types of state examinations in Hungary regulated in the law for public education: (I) basic examination, (II) basic examination of arts (III) final examination of arts (IV) secondary school-leaving examination, which must be organized nationally according to central requirements.

Secondary school-leaving examination has been traditionally and is at present also the most important examination of the Hungarian public education system. The two-level secondary school-leaving examination was introduced in 2005. The detailed examination requirements are set in the ministerial order (40/2002. /V. 24./) and they tend to measure competences. The system of the two-level secondary school-leaving examination is based on standardized and public requirements, a uniform two-level state examination system functions in all school types ending with secondary school-leaving examination and as such is able to fulfil the role of a content regulator. The standard two-level secondary school-leaving examination makes it possible for senior students to take secondary school-leaving examination at different levels in each of the five compulsory subjects.

The centralized requirement of the secondary school-leaving examination are determined based on the examination specification and the examination requirements of the secondary school-leaving examination, which may be completed by local examination requirements according to the local curricula of the school.

The establishment and announcement of the central examination requirements and the regulation of the assessment is a task of the state. The examination is organized by schools. Oral examinations are public. Publicity may be restricted or banned by the chair of the examination committee, if he/she finds it necessary in order to keep the order of the exam. The examination is conducted in the language of education – in Hungarian, in the languages of national or ethnic minorities or other foreign languages.

According to the Act on Public Education, the basic exam may be first required of the students who entered grade 1 on 1 September 1998. This examination is not required for further studies or for entering the labour market. Its role lies in providing the chance for schools to assess their pedagogical work against external points of view; therefore it may become a part of the quality assurance system of education.

The examination system for students with special learning needs

Students with special educational needs or struggling with adapting, learning or behavioural difficulties can get exemption from the assessment and evaluation in some subjects or parts of subjects – except practical training – this can be granted by the school head based on the opinion of the expert and rehabilitation committee or educational adviser. In this case, for the period defined in the Act on Public Education individual instruction is organized for him/her – based on an individual development plan – helping the students in catching up with the others.

Students can choose subjects – from the ones defined in the examination regulation – another subject instead of the ones included in the basic and secondary school-leaving examinations. A longer preparation time for the different (entrance, classification, corrective, basic and secondary school-leaving examination) exams, and the use of helping aids applied during the school studies, and if needed, the written examination can be substituted by an oral one and vice versa.

2.6. Assessment of Student Achievements

National assessment-evaluation

Basic competences (reading comprehension, familiarity with mathematical tools) are assessed extending to all students in the chosen grades by national competence assessments. The aim of these assessments, which have been delivered three times since 2001, is to mediate the standards, methods and new developmental needs to the teachers, and help local assessment practice.

All the students of the chosen grades took the test but "central” evaluation by the Public Education Evaluation and Examination Centre only on a determined sample. The development of local assessment was helped by getting familiar with the tools and the nationally assessed results by the institutions, which then could assess the achievements of their students based on the centrally processed data.

Functional deficiencies were indicated by the experience collected throughout the competence measurements, and by elimination them the National Competence Assessment may develop to become the most important tool of information for quality assessment.

2.7. Assessment of Student Performance (achievements)

Student achievements are regularly assessed by the teacher during the year by marks. Marks given during the year are supplemented by the marks at the end of the semester and the school year. The new procedure introduced in the first three grades is different from this practice as it orders assessment in report forms.

According to the parliament’s decision, assessment in report forms will replace traditional marking. This became obligatory from 1 September 2004, and now assessment has to be given in report form at the end of the first semester in grades 1-3 and at the end of the school year in grades 1-4. The emphasis was shifted from the conservative achievement-centred assessment to the development of the student’s personality as compared to him or herself. Thus the main aim of assessment is not to grade and rank students’ achievements but to give information and feed-back to the student, teacher and parents.

The general practice is supported by several additional measures in order to avoid students’ failure at school (70. § /7/–/10/).

Assessment of students with special learning needs

These measures also apply for students with special learning needs taking part in the integrating process. Deviation from this is permitted only when the student is exempted of assessment/grading in a subject, or in a part of it by the school head based on expert opinion.

The student’s progress can and must be ensured in this situation, providing individual learning programmes by the school for the students involved, and – based on the opinion of the expert committees – defining the year by which the student has to catch up with his or her classmates’ achievements.

3. Dissemination of assessment policy in the teaching practice

3.1. Evaluation by the Maintainers

Evaluation of schools as institutions is the task of the maintainers in Hungary. There are no reliable methods or processes developed yet that could ensure and permanently keep the quality of public education up in decentralized conditions. This is also valid for the external evaluation of schools: namely, there is no guarantee for carrying out institution evaluations regularly at acceptable professional level in all of the schools that would result in appropriate measures of the maintainers. Regular evaluation by the maintainers is ruled by 2003 Amendment to the Act on Public Education.

Assessment and evaluation activities of the maintainer local governments are strictly restricted to economic (financing) issues and the observation of legal regulations in the great majority of cases. Assessment and evaluation are often applied by the local governments as tools without any intention of professional development in the background. (This feature of assessment and evaluation of this kind is indicated by a study made in 1999: observing financial and regulations were evaluated in 87% and 78%, respectively, but professional educational work was evaluated only in 38% of the cases.

3.2. Institutional Self-assessment

Schools’ self-assessment is a widely applied method also in Hungary, being the most common method both in general and secondary schools (research data of 2001–2002).

Developing the system of tools for school assessment and self-assessment and standardizing the criteria applied in such assessments have become a priority also in educational policy. The development of the standardized institution assessment system is reflected in the medium-range public education strategy of the Ministry of Education published in 2003 and in the relevant Quality Assurance Programme.

3.3. Initial and In-service Training

The growing interest in quality and effectiveness, and the professionalization of the activities aiming at the development and assessment of these systems are indicated by the growing number of active participants in this field, the increasing number of tools, as well as the frequent training courses serving the preparation for related tasks.

Training of educational assessment experts has been carried out at university level in Hungary since 1991 in Hungary. Preparation for tasks of institution assessment and quality assurance is also carried out while training public education managers.

In 1999 and 2000 there were eleven accredited teacher training programmes focusing on different kinds of educational assessment (e. g. educational assessment, internal self-assessment system of school management and of schools, achievement analysis or external assessments).

Quality assurance quality improvement experts discuss the issues of the development of this field at their annual thematic conferences helping the dissemination of relevant international and national knowledge.

3.4. Acceptance of Objectives and Achievements

Assumptions

The attitude of the participants in the teaching and learning process towards inclusive evaluation was examined indirectly. Accepting students with special educational needs to mainstream schools is still in the crossfire of societal and pedagogical debates, and so is the introduction of assessment in report form for pupils in the first years of general school, consequently the opinions regarding inclusive evaluation can only be explored by reviewing the viewpoints related to these two factors.

When parents, students and teachers make a stand in public it is still about the "necessity or unnecessity” of integration or of evaluation without grades; stand-points related to partial topics such as inclusive evaluation have not been made yet.

Integrated education and acceptance of assessment in report form by the participants of education

Attitude of teachers in mainstream schools

In 2003 the Ministry of Education put the ’unofficial professional draft’of the newest amendment to the Act on Public Education up for professional–public debate. The assessment of pupils in report forms of in the first years of general school was one of the fundamental points in the amendment. The teacher trade unions and other stakeholder organisations expressed their opinion about the draft in writing.

The doubts of teachers regarding the assessment in report form can be summarised in the following points ( – in Hungarian): They doubt that the change is necessary and reasonable. Their opinion (concern) is that pupils will not study if no grades are given. They are afraid that teachers will have fewer tools for evaluation if no grades can be given anymore. They are worried what parents will have to say about all this.

In 2004 assessment in report form was made compulsory and was introduced in the first year of general schools. Practical experience shows that a positive change in attitude can be felt now. Teachers consider it positive that the evaluation system does not highlight what the pupils do not know but rather emphasizes the abilities they have. The system of assessment in report form encourages teachers to do more in-depth evaluating work and have more tolerant attitude. It is perceivable that after the first year the emphasis was shifted from why to how in connection with introducing assessment in report forms.

Attitude of parents

There has been legal possibility since 1996 for schools to decide within their own scope of authority if they wish to use assessment in report forms or not. Shifting to assessment in report forms had not been properly prepared professionally so the majority of parents got negative experiences which they projected to the entire assessment in report forms thus openly opposing the disuse of grades in the first years of general school, too.

In the opinion of several parents there are cases when teachers cannot yet substitute giving grades with assessment in report forms, so parents eventually do not get any feedback on the school performance of their children for months.

Most parents actively participated in the social debate on assessment in report forms. Parents have previous personal experience of evaluation without grades as their children’s behaviour and diligence at school was not assessed by marks.

Opinion of the parents of students with special educational needs attending integrating institutions

The parents of students with special educational needs emphasize the responsibility of teachers in assessment; they primarily blame them for their children not being successful in the integrating school. As they explain the assessment of the performance of their children is problematic for mainstream teachers because they are not aware of what they can expect from students with disabilities therefore they do not have appropriate assessment criteria.

Parents often consider teachers indifferent to the learning and social problems of students with special educational needs. They are of the opinion that teachers do not feel responsible for the failures of their children and are not willing to accept external help, co-operate with parents and special education teachers.

Many think that the active participation of parents is of key importance in keeping contact with the integrating school, but there are parents who almost completely "withdraw” because they fear that their children will suffer if they try to assert their interests. Other parents, learning from long years of experience, try to co-operate with teachers in a way that they do not feel like being lectured to but helped. According to them successful integration primarily depends on the attitude of teachers and not on their professional training. If the attitude of teachers in this respect changed and they were more sensitive and flexible with children with special educational needs, the attitude of the classmates would also change.

Opinion of students with special educational needs in integrated education

A survey carried out in 2004 with grade 12 secondary school students shows that 68% of the students questioned are of the opinion that grades are by all means necessary because they create a situation of competition in the class community, and thus they have an incentive effect. They also consider grades important because it becomes visible at what level they are and everybody can compare their performance to that of their peers.

In the opinion of the students asked, the roots of shortcomings in the system can be traced back to teachers. Students consider assessing oral performances the most subjective and it hurts their self-esteem that teachers do not assess all students the same way. They think, however, that the grades from 1 to 5 are inadequate to express minor differences.

The majority (70%) of students questioned would not like assessment in report forms applied in their schools instead of grades and 73% are of the opinion that their parents would not accept this method at all as they think grades are very important for their parents. It has become the unit of assessing school performance and both students and parents insist on keeping this tradition. They think parents would sooner or later come to terms with the system of assessment in report forms but they would still benchmark against grades.

Students believe that teachers have a very significant role in helping students with special educational needs find their places in the group and acquire the material successfully. Students attending mainstream schools emphasize that they do not expect the teacher to be more permissive with them and they do not expect teachers to make allowances in their school performance either, merely to understand their problem.

4. Challenges and tendencies

4.1. Main problems and issues of the existing evaluation system in Hungary

There is a need to make the aims of measuring activity public. Financing measuring is insecure because the feedback on results is not completely regulated, especially for the school maintainers. Ensuring publicity of the results and providing access to the data requires regulation as well.

The examination system developed for the evaluation system can only provide well usable evaluation information if the data are available for the institution, maintainer and the ministry for analysis. For this, further development tasks have to be carried out: standardization of the tests used at secondary school-leaving examination, gathering the results, publicity for use and analysis at branch level.

Developing sets of tasks (test contents) measuring performances, creating a stable institutional background serving it and continuous evaluation of the operation of the secondary school-leaving examination system are all tasks for the coming years.

In the current evaluation system in classroom procedures the emphasis is mainly put on discovering negative, as many shortcomings and mistakes as possible. It is an absolute prerequisite for inclusive education that evaluation practice should be successfully established, which explores the positives in order that students get more thorough and more applicable knowledge.

5. Innovation, development

From the eighties on, modern external and internal evaluation systems have been developed in public education in Hungary (applied to smaller extent so far), adjusted to institutional and local (maintainer) independence.

One of the most significant changes affecting education was that evaluation and closely related to it the issue of quality got in the centre of attention.

Several elements of the unified quality evaluation system, though loosely connected to each other, are already operating in public education. Owing to this, while building a unified, three-level system (institution, maintainer, branch) we can rely on, experiences accumulated in content regulation, in evaluation activities at institutional level, in evaluating public education at branch level and in the already operating service providing systems. To no small extent can the system be built on current practice.

Due to the stronger differentiation in the concept of quality the term ’added value’ was started to be applied for evaluating the activity of certain institutions. Owing to this as opposed to traditional academic point of view and traditional education values, schools rated before as weak are seen as institutions carrying out significant, and in some cases even outstanding activities and work when opportunities and circumstances are also taken into account.

Pedagogical evaluation is one of the most developed fields of education theory and education research in Hungary. There are researchers, developers and users of international reputation.

Pedagogic evaluation and the research and development of teaching methods are interrelated in several ways. In the development of education new feedback circles joined the system, feedback in this case was evaluation itself. Connecting evaluation to the development of methods is justified because the demand for renewing education methodology culture is remarkable. Consequently pedagogical evaluation will unavoidably become part of institutional practice.

The change of paradigm in the education policy discourse regarding students with special educational needs, emphasizing equal opportunities with the aim of ensuring cohesion in society, and quality policy occurring as a requirement in these efforts as well have provided much greater support from the society to realize these aims than earlier.

Inclusive education in mainstream schools is supported and assisted by the legal background, teacher training and in-service teacher training programmes launched and tenders that encourage schools to co-operate in consortium and help to develop the practice of acceptance.

Policy for educating students with special educational needs helps the practice of acceptance by providing possibilities for modifying the chosen frame curricula contents and requirements, for omitting or simplifying certain parts, for involving new parts, for suggesting areas for rehabilitation, correction of the disabilities, for suggesting the expansion of education, teaching and development in time to a greater extent than usual.

Legal regulations support the education of students with special educational needs in mainstream institutions, thereby enabling to transfer special knowledge into the mainstream by turning special institutions into methodological centres. With this the developing activity adjusted to individual needs and abilities, based on pedagogical measurements and evaluation practice will be present in the pedagogical practice more emphatically.

6. Conclusions

Strengthening the willingness of schools to accept students with special educational needs creates new possibilities for social learning process for all students – disabled or not. Finding the way acceptance and innovations in the institutions result in significant quality improvement in the work of the host school as well.

The legal background in Hungary regarding the operation of institutions and financing education is favourable for inclusive education.

The reforms and development objectives put special emphasis on forming the conditions for integrated education and teaching in as many institutions as possible. To help this, a comprehensive plan for measures and development has been worked out called the National Development Plan Human Resource Operative Programme. Improving the tools supporting integration, developing programmes for teacher training, professional services, strengthening the role of guidance and creating opportunities favours the inclusive education of students with special educational needs.

The general aim of developing and operating the public education quality management system is to found the effective and reasonable operation of public education and to develop it continuously. By emphasizing equity and fairness the system to be formed serves:

  • evaluation of the realization of educational and education development aims set on the different levels of content regulation, continuous feedback on achievements,
  • operation of planning, development and feedback by making the results of the evaluation and measuring available to all participants in public education,
  • enabling all participants in public education management to exercise their responsibilities for the efficiency of services and exercise the principle of professional accountability in practice.

At the institutional level of the quality evaluation system the task of internal monitoring is not only to check the lawful operation and economy, also in accordance with the accepted strategic documents, but also to evaluate the efficiency of educational tasks, students’ performance, the efficiency of structural operation, utilization of resources, student and parent satisfaction and teachers’ work.

Among the areas of quality evaluation at maintainer level the efficiency of the pedagogical activity of the institutions, the operation of the institution, the realization of the pedagogical programme and the work of the institution manager will be emphasized.

One of the basic functions of quality evaluation at branch level is to administer regular national assessment of students’ performance, develop an examination system, a public education indicator system and prepare public reports. This selective indicator system and monitoring the assertion of students’ rights supported by nationwide thematic evaluations in accordance with the all-time objectives of education policy can guarantee that good practice is established.

A honlapon található tanulmányok, egyéb szellemi termékek, illetve szerzői művek (a továbbiakban: művek) jogtulajdonosa az Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet. A jogtulajdonos egyértelmű forrásmegjelölés mellett felhasználást enged a művekkel kapcsolatban oktatási, tudományos, kulturális célból. A jogtulajdonos a művekkel kapcsolatos anyagi haszonszerzést azonban kifejezetten megtiltja.