04 SES 13 A, What is Special? Implications and Case Studies From a Review of 55 Countries
In this paper we consider issues of the identification of need and provision of support that arose from a review of 55 countries. For all countries at least two sources of information were used. We drew upon Eurydice, the European Commission information network on education, the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education national overviews and the UNESCO International Bureau of Education National Reports. We also examined descriptions compiled by education ministries or associated agencies and the ministry of education websites, and sought clarification by seeking journal literature through bibliographic databases. As with other international reviews (Acedo et al, 2011) we recognised that the unifying theme was not the policies, practices and attitudes but the international language used. It was evident, for example that 60 categories of special educational needs existed across the 55 administrations. We will touch upon key concerns around collaboration, the relationship between services, assessment mechanisms and the resiliance of the traditional spread of provision.
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