At a national level
Public petition in Luxembourg: official results
Validated electronic signatures: 4,275
Validated paper signatures: 8,912
Number required to trigger Parliamentary debate: 4,500
At 0845 local time (GMT+1) Maggy Duchène-Wagner of Schrëtt fir Schrëtt and five of those who signed its Petition earlier this year are invited to present themselves at the main entrance of the Chamber of Deputies (House of Representatives – i.e. Parliament) of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for the public debate of Public Petition no 596:
They will then be admitted to the Debate, which commences at 0900
PUBLIC PETITION no 596For the right to private schools for all: private schools in the disability sector and the sector of children with special needs.
To all Deputies. To all Politicians.
The Act of 2003 regarding relations between state and private education excludes in its text all sectors disability. This is not consistent with the fundamental rights of individuals with disabilities to be treated like any other, on the basis of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People ratified by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 2011. This law is discriminatory since it provides separately disabled children and those with special needs.
We hereby request you to amend the 2003 law referred to here, to ensure that all disabled children and those with special needs should have a free choice of schooling system, according to their specific needs: ensuring the right to a school and the right to private choices about their education as all other children have within their compulsory education.
Our Association has existed for 20 years, since 2001, to a large part funded by the Ministry of National Education. It advocates the conductive system established for years in many countries, derived from the eminent Hungarian physician András Pető. It is a very specific and effective educational and rehabilitative system that has goal of maximising learning and skills relative to everyone's potential and seeking autonomy and self-determination of theose concerned, with the goal of maximum integration and an acceptable quality of life. Many conductive centers and schools operate abroad, as in Germany, on a private basis (e.g. inclusion schools). The specific 'Pető' therapists are specialists with a Hungarian double qualification in pedagogy and rehabilitation (BAC +4). They work in our team with the Association's Luxembourg specialists.
For 20 years our Association has faced the absence of a legal basis to allow creation of a private conductive school in Luxembourg. For our children with severe and multiple disabilities, inclusion in a class in an ordinary school is unrealistic: they need a different pace of learning, other stimuli, quite another management plan, including both the academic side and also the rehabilitational-educational side, with care and help for activities throughout the day. The IMC [Institut pour Infirmes Moteurs Cérébraux – the state's school for children with cerebral palsy] offers a diametrically opposite concept to the conductive system, this is not an option for concerned parents.
The value of the conductive system has never been questioned by politicians over the years, but their promises to provide a legal basis to our school structure have not been kept. We think it time to ensure that affected families should have the right to choose education that is adequate for children with special needs, that is right in the concept, system, and educational and rehabilitative purpose provided for them. Their whole life depends on it. We ask you to help us by amending the law referred to above to enable creation of private schools in the special-school sector.
The public interest
The need for an alternative school structure exists throughout the school sector in Luxembourg, and the growing number of private schools proves this. In the field of children with special needs there are currently only two legal options: inclusion in a normal class in an ordinary school, or home education. For the disabled, often only the special-school structure is possible. Most often, inclusion remains unsuited to children's needs, not permitting them learning related to their potential, and the result is often counterproductive for everyone involved (children, parents, professionals). The special-school structure does not offer a solution to the requirements and needs of all affected families.
The absence of a legal framework for establishing private schools for children with special needs within compulsory education is cruelly felt in many areas, not for those with serious physical or multiple disability disability that Schrëtt fir Schrëtt represents. Many families use a foreign school or have to retreat into home schooling home, as there is no suitable alternative form of private school for their children to suit to their special needs.
We are therefore convinced that our request corresponds to a real national need far beyond the small group of parents with a severely physically disabled child, and is thus in the public interest.
Deposited: 19 January 2016 at 11:12 p.m.
Petition from the Schrètt fir Schrëtt Association
Petitioner: Marguerite (Maggy Duchène-Wagner, President