A Historical Review of Educational Policy in Greece for Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Behavioral Difficulties and Other Special Educational Needs

Christine Syriopoulou -Delli


This review aims to present the development of special education in Greece with regard to people with delinquent behaviour, pervasive developmental and/or other psychological disorders. It examines the establishment of the public education and health system and all subsequent major developments. It includes legislative framework, social ideology, institutions and all the social, economic and other developments that played an important role.
The study of educational and social policy for people with delinquent behaviour and pervasive developmental and/or other psychological disorders constitutes a sociological model for a presentation of the impact of social change upon institutions and society. Individuals with psychological difficulties and pervasive developmental disorders first attracted the attention of the Greek state and the private sector in the late 1950s. Until this point, these people remained under the protection of their families or in institutions and asylums. Before the 1950s the state considered psychological disorders, behavioral problems and delinquency a threat to societal security, the measures in place at this time were of a suppresive nature and were not the responsibility of the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs. A shift in the education of people with behavioural problems and pervasive developmental disorders occurred after the institution of Law 2817/2000 (Greek Official Governmental Gazette. Law 2817 14/3/2000 78). This law introduced the abolition of discriminating terminology, and also the promotion of respect to individual differences and its purpose was the educational and social integration of people characterized as ‘special’. Law 3699/2008 (Greek Official Governmental Gazette. Law 3699 2/10/2008 199) expands on this and encourages a policy of education and integration of those with special educational needs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/res.v2n1p2

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