Medical Services in Schools and Special Needs Education

Understand what medical services are required by schools, and what systems are in place to help children with special needs...

Find out about the governmental systems here:

School Medical Service

Each commune organises a school medical and dental service, which carries out check-ups on pupils at regular intervals. In addition, most communes run a social-medicine centre or a school psychological service. School medical insurance is included in all general Swiss health insurance policies.

Special Needs Education

There are special types of schooling for children and young people who cannot meet the usual school standards or who need special educational programs to do so. General compulsory education applies also to children and young people with visual and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, mental retardation, speech disorders, and behavioural disorders.

There are about 100 centres for early childhood special education which are sponsored not only by associations and foundations but also by communes and cantons.

Types of Special Needs Schooling

The cantons are responsible for special needs schooling. Special needs schooling includes:

  • Schools that are subsidised by invalidity insurance (schools for mentally impaired children and young people, schools for the physically disabled, behaviourally disordered, hearing impaired, speech impaired, visually handicapped, and chronically ill children and young people)
  • Special needs classes, which are closely linked to the regular school (introductory classes, at the lower secondary level, among others)
  • Outpatient special needs guidance counselling, and therapy facilities (special needs educational supportive instruction, individual special needs instruction, help with lessons; speech therapy and the treatment of dyslexia; therapeutic exercise; school psychological counselling, among others).

The Swiss Institute for Special Education has further information available in French and German.

Further Information