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Integrated Pedagogical System – Integrált Pedagógiai Rendszer (IPR)

Good practice

Description

The Integrated pedagogical System in Hungary is a national programme that aims to enhance inclusive education. It requires the involvement and cooperation of teachers and external stakeholders. Schools participating in the programme report positive outcomes in classroom management, student autonomy, teacher-student relationships.

Beneficiaries

All students – specific state subsidies linked to this programme are granted for disadvantaged students only.

Countries

Type of policy/initiative

Prevention
Compensation

Preventative/Compensation

Level of implementation / Scope

National

Stage of implementation

Mainstream since 2005 (nationwide pilot phase in 2003 involving 45 primary schools in 4 regions).

Aims of policy/initiative

IPR’s main objectives are to:

  • enhance inclusive education
  • foster equal opportunities for all
  • reduce and compensate students’ various disadvantages and improve their access to quality education
  • focus on general skill development
  • change teachers’ attitudes and roles and foster a student-centred approach (focusing on individual needs)
  • involve external stakeholders such as kindergarten, vocational and secondary schools, social service providers, etc.

Features and types of activities implemented

The IPR system’s main pillars are:

  • Legislative support - 2003 amendments to Act No. 79/1993 on education made segregation more difficult.
  • Financial incentives - Integration subsidies for schools with disadvantaged students. There is also an additional remuneration for teachers involved in the implementation of minimum 3 IPR activities.
  • Methodological support - Schools participating in the IPR adhere to adopting an integration strategy[1]. One of the key elements of the IPR is the compulsory human capacity building, as special courses are offered to teachers. In addition, external mentorship and regular follow-ups also serve to support the implementation of the learned methods.
 


[1] The integration strategy is constituted of a situational analysis reflecting on current practices, needs, possible shortcomings from the perspective of integration. A detailed annual action plan needs to be developed articulating the aims, concrete tasks and expected results with sufficient reflection on the particular features of the schools. In the integration strategy, participating schools are adhering to the key values and principles of the IPR and commit to applying methods of inclusive education – e.g. use cooperative methods and teamwork in at least 10% of the classes.

Resources

The programme provides integration subsidies since 2013. The amount of the integration subsidy is set by the Act on the State Budget annually and in 2014 it was set at max. HUF 38,000 (EUR 127)/student/year.[1]

[1] Human Capacities Grant Management Office Call for Application – Integrated Pedagogical System

Evaluation of the measure

The measure was evaluated in 2009 when a quantitative impact assessment of the IPR was conducted, covering the implementation between 2005 and 2007. It focused on teaching methods, skills and admission to secondary school and self-esteem levels.

In 2010 the Budapest Institute assessed the IPR, among other programmes. Primary focus was devoted to mapping the conditions of the programme’s improvement. This evaluation was only partial.

In 2012, TervBázis Kft evaluated the programme based on the data collected in the VISZTAM database (collected between 2003-04 and 2011-12), with a focus on tendencies in the fulfilment of schools’ commitments.

Evidence of effectiveness of the measure

Students in IPR schools were found to be performing better than in those without IPR (control schools), according to all categories of analysis.

Kézdi and Surányi found positive changes in classroom management, namely an increase in peer cooperation, a higher level of student autonomy and a better teacher-student relationship.

Considerable development was observed concerning the in-class relationships between students.

Success factors

The following success factors are based on the testimonies of participants in the measure interviewed for the Cedefop study:

  1. Complex approach – changes in legislation, financial incentives, and methodological support: this was a complex measure, in line with legislation and other measures and supported with the targeted use of EU cohesion funds.
  2. 2 year introductory phase – advisor and regional coordinators available to assist: without HR support and an introductory phase, facing a lack of methodological know-how and the need for additional effort on behalf of pedagogues, the measure could have remained a pro forma exercise.  
  3. Firm methodological support, while securing autonomy of schools to adapt the strategies to their own needs: the nature of the intervention is such that, without building on the autonomous efforts of individual schools, success would have been hard to reach.
  4. (Long-term) political and institutional will (e.g. of the school management) to implement the measure, and wider social support: political will is fundamental in overcoming the passive resistance of local stakeholders towards the inclusion of Roma students. There is in fact widespread prejudice (even among teachers) against Roma, who in fact make up a large share of the disadvantaged students.
  5. A predictable wider institutional and financial framework: such a constant environment in terms of regulations and incentives does make (would have made) it much easier for school management to design and carry out change in teaching methodology.
  6. Regular training, follow-ups and external mentorship: without external support, teachers can backslide into their old ways of teaching.
  7. Wider cooperation between teachers – horizontal sharing of know-how within and across institutions and institution types (kindergarten, primary schools, secondary schools, municipalities, child welfare services, etc.): hub-and-spoke approach to change alone would cost much more (in cost-benefit terms) than if teachers and institution managers can consult, learn from each other and cooperate.
  8. Regular monitoring and evaluation: as with every policy measure, monitoring is key. The evaluation by Kézdi and Surányi was widely read and discussed.

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