Special Needs Education in Luxembourg

In depth information about the provisions for children with special needs: details on education, benefits, carer's allowances and relevant associations in Luxembourg...

Special need education (éducation différenciée) is designed for children who have specific education needs and cannot follow a traditional curriculum. The main official body dealing with special needs education is EDIFF (Education Différenciée) The special needs schools in Luxembourg are managed by the Ministry of Education. The decision to send a child to one of these schools is taken by the parents and a committee (Commission médico-psycho-pédagogique nationale - CMPPN). Four options are generally available:
  • full integration of the disabled child in a traditional school
  • partial integration in a special needs school complemented by a traditional school
  • full integration in a Luxembourg special needs school
  • full integration in a foreign special needs school
School classes are limited in size to enable a personalised education depending on each child's specific needs.

Special Needs Schools in Luxembourg

There are schools situated throughout the country for mentally disabled children and children with specific learning difficulties. There are six specialised schools for children with other specific needs:

Enrolment in a Special Needs School

The enrolment process set up by EDIFF is designed to be neutral and objective, aiming to ensure that children are also given the opportunity to follow a traditional curriculum. The committee (CMPPN) is composed of at least 11 members as well as some additional members chosen based on the nature of the disability. Around one percent of children in Luxembourg are sent to specialised schools.

Role of the CMPNN

The CMPNN is the overseeing body for identifying children in need, assisting parents and guardians of children with special needs and recommending preventive measures and actions for children with special needs. If the CMPNN identifies a child as having special educational needs their role is to then analyse the child's specific needs. To do this, they take into account any information provided by specialists on the type and level of disability, a psychological assessment and any reports issued by schools, social workers and educational specialists. The CMPNN will propose the most appropriate options to the parents or guardians, who will make the final decision. Once a choice has been made, the CMPNN organises the transfer to the appropriate school. The CMPNN also reviews schooling arrangements on a regular basis.

Mainstream Schools

Children in mainstream schools that present potential disabilities or learning difficulties may be assisted by the SDIP (Service de Détection et d'Intervention Précoce). The SDIP is the Education Department in charge of identifying children with psychological or psychiatric disabilities, with the approval of the parents or guardian. The SDIP works with another department called CPOS (Centre de psychologie et d'orientation scolaires) in charge of finding out the best educational options and providing help for children with learning disabilities. The CPOS provides services for children in secondary school with difficulties in following the mainstream curriculum. These include:
  • After school homework assistance (enrolment form available at schools)
  • Special classes specific to pupils facing learning difficulties either within or after normal school hours
  • Lessons during school holidays for children having to retake one or more exams
  • Lessons for under 18s with significant schooling problems

Disability Benefits

Supplementary child benefits are paid to children with a mental or physical disability of over 50 percent. This may be paid until the child is 18, or longer if the child is unable to care for themselves. Payments are made by the Family Allowance Office (Caisse nationale des prestations familiales). An application form for the benefit can be requested by telephone or by letter from the following address: A recent medical certificate from the family doctor indicating the type and level of disability must be provided with the application form.

Special Needs Associations in Luxembourg

Info-Handicap provides information services and advice for children and adults with disabilities.
Dyspel is a support group for families of dyslexic children in Luxembourg. Run by volunteers, the aim of the group is to raise awareness and support families in finding educational solutions for their child. Monthly support meetings are held where people of all nationalities can ask questions, find practical information and exchange experiences with other parents or professionals. The Association of Parents of People With Autism (Association des Parents de Personnes Atteintes d'Autisme de Luxembourg - APPAAL) works to promote early diagnosis, educational structure and support for children and adults with autism as well as their families. Foundation Autisme Luxembourg promotes and defends the rights of persons with autism in Luxembourg.