According to a study conducted upon request of the VBE, the inclusion of children with special needs into regular schools remains challenging. For the representative study, 2050 teachers in regular schools were interviewed. Teachers‘ opinions on inclusion differ greatly: while 54% of the respondents were generally in favour of inclusion, 42% found enrolling children with special needs in special schools more reasonable. The promotion of tolerance, better integration of children with special needs and the promotion of social competencies were among the arguments listed in favour of inclusion.

According to a study conducted upon request of the VBE, the inclusion of children with special needs into regular schools remains challenging. For the representative study, 2050 teachers in regular schools were interviewed.

Teachers‘ opinions on inclusion differ greatly: while 54% of the respondents were generally in favour of inclusion, 42% found enrolling children with special needs in special schools more reasonable. The promotion of tolerance, better integration of children with special needs and the promotion of social competencies were among the arguments listed in favour of inclusion. The reasons listed for opposing inclusion range from pedagogical arguments to the equipment of schools and the lack of qualifications of teachers. The teachers reported that learning groups comprise of too many children and that teachers are often left alone in the classes, without the support of an additional staff, be it a special needs teacher, a social worker or medical personnel. Furthermore, the respondents criticised the lack of training: initial as well as in-service training did not sufficiently prepare them for the task of inclusion.

VBE’s Federal Chairman Udo Beckmann commented: “Politicians should be ashamed when hearing what reasons teachers bring forward against inclusion. There is a lack of qualified personnel, the insufficient material and financial equipment was criticised and many [teachers] are not adequately prepared through initial and in-service teacher training. Therefore, almost one fifth [of the respondents] stated that regular schools cannot fulfil the needs of children with disabilities. It becomes very clear that aspiration and reality differ.”