7.8 Statped – the government agency for special needs education

Local and regional authorities are responsible for ensuring that children and young people are given appropriate adapted tuition in an inclusive learning environment. Statped is charged with providing equitable services to municipal and county authorities that require assistance. Statped provides services in collaboration with the PPT but may also approach municipalities / counties directly to offer its services.

Statped possesses specialist expertise within six key areas:

  • vision
  • hearing
  • deafblindness / combined loss of vision and hearing
  • language/speech
  • multiple learning difficulties
  • acquired brain injuries

Statped services may be individual-based and/or system-based. Statped has introduced a dedicated case processing system that helps provide equitable access to services across the country. In 2013 the agency conducted almost 4,600 investigations and provided just under 5,400 consultancy and advisory services. It also received just under 2,000 applications for individual-based services and just over 800 referrals from organisations such as the specialist health service.

In 2013 Statped developed around 250 teaching aids and sold 3,200 teaching resources. The agency lent more than 50,000 audiobooks and produced 450 Braille books.

Statped employed 740 FTEs in 2013. Its specialist staff are educated to at least Master’s level. Twenty-four employees hold doctorates, while a further 13 are currently studying for a doctorate.

Statped offers full-time training for deafblind people and Braille users as well as part-time training for sign language users. In the autumn of 2013 a total of 54 pupils were registered as enrolled in full-time training and 152 pupils in part-time training.

In order to improve special needs provision, a number of performance indicators are under development in several of Statped’s areas of responsibility. Statped is also working with the higher education sector to help maintain, and further develop, skills and knowledge about special needs.