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Allocation of Special Needs Education Provisions at Bäretswil Secondary School

Background and aims

The Bäretswil Schulgemeinde (local education authority) features a higher than average number of special schools and private schools funded by the local education authority and a greater proportion of pupils in small classes. There is an over proportionate number of pupils on the integrated schooling programme and in a small class B, most notably at secondary school level (upper secondary level C with mixed age groups).

Due to the implementation of the new 'Volksschulgesetz' (school law) in canton Zurich, the local education authority will close the small class B during the 2009/10 academic year. With this threat of closure, in part already implemented, the impending comparatively high special education quota has become a cause for concern. Both the Bäretswil local education authority and the canton of Zurich's 'Volksschulamt' (school authority) wish to avoid undesired consequences, such as a further increase in the special education quota due to some children with additional support needs being taught elsewhere in special schools.

The objective of this study is to identify the reasons for the comparatively high quota of pupils in special schools and, if possible, provide solution or development advice.


Because of the cross-sectoral significance of the questioning, a detailed, two-stage process will be employed:

  • Statistical analysis: General conclusions with regard to the relative inner-cantonal position of the Bäretswil local education authority
  • Interviews and exploration, document analysis, approach analysis: Impact of the existing school profile of the Bäretswil local education authority

The canton of Zurich's educational planning and education statistics will support the supply of data material for use in the statistical analysis.

The interim report and the final report containing the results of the analysis will include indication and steering advice where possible.


Analysis yielded the following results with regard to the six focal points.

  1. In relation to other municipalities, the relevant Bäretswil pupil numbers are high. However, municipalities such as Bäretswil, where special needs education facilities are located, all exhibit a higher number of incidents.
  2. Concurrently, the level of education of families in Bäretswil, measured at the highest accomplished qualification, is relatively low. This can also lead to an increase in the number of special school pupils.
  3. There is no evidence to suggest that there are an abnormal number of pupils requiring particularly intensive special needs education in Bäretswil. However, as the study shows, the proximity to special needs education facilities apparently has an important influence on this number.
  4. That the support allocation and admission procedures in Bäretswil are particularly low-threshold could not be confirmed.
  5. An increased attempt at finding integrative solutions was given as the base motive for the establishment of Sek C and small classes.
  6. The attitude of the teaching staff is somewhat unique in that integration into regular classes and support in homogeneous (segregated) small groups are considered compatible.

Overall, Bäretswil's exceptional impression is placed into perspective when compared with structurally similar municipalities.



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Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

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