School attendants

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

School attendants (also integration helpers or school assistants ) are a form of personal assistance and support children with physical disabilities , mental disabilities or psychological or emotional disorders in everyday school life. School support is a long-term measure of integration assistance or child and youth welfare ( integration assistance for mentally handicapped children and young people ).

Additional adults who support the teacher who is primarily responsible for the lesson but who are not financed by the integration aid are not considered to be school attendants or integration helpers. Special school teachers and pedagogical staff also act (by the hour) as additional workers in the classroom, the latter especially in the Reliable Elementary School . Both groups of employees are employed by the responsible school authorities.

Definition and objectives

School accompaniment is aimed primarily at children in need of support who are taught at a general school (regular school) . It is also possible that children who attend a special school are assigned a school companion because the school (mostly due to a medically determined need for support) does not see itself in a position to teach the pupil without individual supervision. The prerequisite for this is that the student is taught predominantly in the class community and is able to make progress at school. As part of the inclusive pedagogy sought , greater importance is being attached to ensuring that pupils with disabilities and other severe impairments (e.g. so-called learning disabilities ) can attend regular schools.

Pupils with the following disabilities or impairments can be supported by means of integration assistance:

In cases of dyslexia and dyscalculia, there are different regulations from country to country. What is decisive is the assessment of the competent administrative court as to whether the relevant partial disruption is considered a "disability" or not. The administrative court of Kassel ruled in its decision of March 23, 2006: “The dyslexia, which has been confirmed by a specialist medical report, is a disability i. S. d. Article 3, Paragraph 3, Sentence 2 of the Basic Law, which must be taken into account in school law. ” In its decision of February 10, 2012, however, the Hanover Administrative Court found:“ School partial performance disorders (here: reading and spelling weaknesses - LRS) represent for If taken, there is no mental disturbance within the meaning of Section 35a of Book VIII of the Social Code . ”A claim to integration assistance only exists if a partial weakness in performance has led to“ secondary neurotization ”. Logically, in Lower Saxony, in cases of dyslexia and dyscalculia, integration workers are only used to help avert or alleviate an impending or already existing mental handicap in the form of a “secondary neurotization ”.

The school support is an individual measure that is oriented towards the student and usually takes place directly in the classroom. In addition to the term school companion, there are many more, such as integration helpers, school assistants or individual companions. The variety of terms is due to the fact that the term is not legally recorded and there is no formal structure. The decision to apply for a school guide for a pupil is not made at the request of the responsible teaching staff, but rather by the legal guardian, if possible in consultation with educators or school psychologists .

A differentiation between general school and special school is possible, but not absolutely necessary. However, school support differs in the two types of school. Inclusion classes in mainstream schools mostly attend children whose degree of disability is not as high as that of children in special needs schools. Accordingly, the need for support is lower than at special schools, in which only pupils with very high special needs receive school support, as there is already a large team of special educators there. Since these do not normally exist in general schools, school attendants are often more on their own and have greater responsibility for the child. The use of school attendants is mainly concentrated in primary schools, followed by secondary schools. One reason for this is that there is considerable resistance among teachers and parents in many grammar schools to target-oriented teaching with such disabled children, who in all probability will not achieve the educational goal of the Abitur (in contrast to intelligent physically disabled students).

The generally valid goal of using an integration aid, to achieve the child's independence without assistance.


The field of activity of school attendants goes back to the 1980s, when there was support for handicapped children, which was "initially installed as a takeover of basic care services to enable them to attend school".

Since the 1990s, the area has been expanded more and more and came into the field of youth welfare (SGB VIII, § 35a). The number of school attendants is still increasing today and in some municipalities is already in the three-digit range. 1800 school attendants are on duty in Hamburg alone (as of 2016). The activity has developed regionally and historically, which is why there is no national standard.


A school companion should be a support for a certain pupil in the school life and learning environment, so that this is possible for them to participate in lessons.

While there was still no clear distinction between pedagogical staff and school attendants in publications in 2002, there is now, from a formal legal point of view, a clear specification as to the area in which the tasks of a school attendee lie. The recommendation of the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture and the Association of Bavarian Districts should be mentioned as an example, but similar regulations apply in the other federal states. Here it is made clear that school attendants, according to the wording, are “not second teachers” and “compensate for deficits in the nursing, social, emotional and communicative areas”. In concrete terms, this means that any educational or teaching-related performance, such as explaining tasks or contributing to understanding, is not in his field of responsibility. This distinction makes sense from a legal and cost-oriented perspective, but in practice the situation is different.

Here, the work area of ​​the school companion is always based on the child's individual needs and resilience. The tasks can be roughly divided into two areas: extracurricular activities and teaching-related activities. The extra-curricular area includes help with dressing and undressing, orientation in the school building and / or on the way to school, integration in the class, help with using the toilet, general practical, and if necessary care tasks. Examples of lesson-related activities are assistance during the lesson, explanations of tasks, adapting the content to individual needs or support in handling certain work materials. Specific assistance according to Niedermayer is:

  • Help with the implementation of exercise sequences
  • Clarification of the teacher's work instructions
  • Assistance in teaching through special methods such as hand guidance, clarification through several sensory channels
  • Reduce or expand learning opportunities depending on your constitution
  • Organization of special media and assistance in dealing with them
  • Build up and practice organizational principles

Often the activities from both areas are seamlessly linked. The focus of the activity is determined for the best interests of the child and is individually different. The prerequisite is great flexibility and adaptability of the school companion, as the goal is always the greatest possible independence, as well as individual support for the personality development of the child concerned.

In addition, the role / area of ​​responsibility of the school supervisor must always be set in connection with personal and structural framework conditions. Examples are the family situation, living situation, the emotional, physical and mental state of the child or the living environment in general.

The work of the school attendants is linked to many other areas. Close cooperation with teachers, school and parents is just as important as good cooperation between all those involved. Above all, Jutta Schöler gives guidance on how a good cooperation can succeed.


The qualification of a school supervisor cannot be precisely defined according to the current status, as there is no corresponding profession. Accordingly, these people are generally not specialists who have been specially trained for the job. Possible are, among other things, federal volunteer service providers (former community service providers), participants in a voluntary social year, auxiliary staff, but also educators, social / curative or special educators, but not close relatives. The staff is selected according to the requirements of the cost / employee and the specific situation. Niedermayer shows how important a (curative) pedagogical basic training of school attendants would be. They should be familiar with a wide variety of methods and instruments in order to be able to react quickly to specific situations and thus to offer the child good encouragement and support. There is still a great need for action with regard to this goal.

The school companion is integrated into the network of teacher, class, parents, school management and authorities and plays a key role here as a link. Underqualification can become a burden for the teacher and, in the extreme case, lead to the failure of integration.

The first steps towards the professionalization of school support were made with the model project for qualification , which was carried out from May 2009 to April 2012. Model project for the qualification of school attendants and the creation of networks for successful school integration in Thuringia (QuaSI) at the Institute for School Education and Social Management. It was accompanied by the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences .

Integration assistance activities are organized and managed by associations for people with disabilities and social associations such as Diakonie or the Caritas Association .

Organization and financing

Approval process

Pupils who are significantly restricted in their ability to participate in society due to a disability within the meaning of Section 2, Paragraph 1, Clause 1 of the Ninth Book, or who are threatened by such a significant disability, receive integration assistance benefits if and for as long as the particularity In the individual case, in particular according to the type or severity of the disability, there is a prospect that the task of integration assistance can be fulfilled. People with a different physical, mental or emotional disability can receive benefits from integration assistance. A right to an integration helper according to SGB XII can exist if a child with a physical, mental or multiple disability cannot attend school without individual support. However, not every disability automatically leads to a right to an integration assistant. Rather, it is checked individually in each individual case whether an integration assistant is necessary for school attendance. The decision is made together with the responsible health department, taking into account the school report and the medical documents.

In addition to the above, the prerequisite for an application approval is Procedure so that the school that is to accept the school-age child cannot meet his or her special care needs within the scope of its possibilities with its own staff. In particular, the required special care for the student cannot be provided by the teacher as the only adult in the classroom. Problems with accepting the statement that the performance of a school is being overtaxed by the pupil to be included especially arise when an additional supervisor is to be involved in a special school.

Integration aid providers occasionally try to assert that the additional use of a special needs teacher in inclusive lessons makes the use of an integration assistant superfluous. In a non-appealable judgment (SG Aurich 13th Chamber, decision of November 23, 2015, S 13 SO 67/15 ER) , the social court Aurich does not consider this argument to be coherent. According to the court, “when the applicant is looked after by a special needs school worker, it is a matter of performing the core area of ​​the educational tasks of the school authority. On the other hand, there is the coveted integration aid as a supporting measure, which [...] is assigned to the responsibility of the integration aid. As a result, according to the legal concept, there is no 1 to 2 care in the sense of integration assistance if the presence of an integration assistant occurs at the same time as the presence of a special needs teacher. Two different services are provided in favor of the applicant. "

The school support permit is usually granted for one year, after which the effectiveness and necessity are re-examined.

The former arrangement whereby the responsible welfare authorities did not have to bear the costs for the integration assistance if the competent school board was of the opinion that a student teaching in a special school need is by joining Germany to Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of United Nations has become obsolete. According to Article 24, Paragraph 2 of the Convention, the contracting states must ensure “that people with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system because of disabilities and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary school education or from secondary schools because of disabilities "And that" people with disabilities have equal access to inclusive, high-quality and free education in primary and secondary schools with others in the community in which they live ". For this reason, the applications made today are in most cases approved if there is a special need for assistance. Because if a child meets the formal requirements for admission to a regular school, the sponsor is obliged to finance the school companion.

Measure carrier

There are several options for employing the school guide. This can be employed by the parents themselves (parent employer model), by special / curative education services or the school authority. As a rule, authorities do not employ school attendants. Because integration assistants only have to be provided by the school administration if there is an obligation to do so under the respective state school law. However, school authorities establish contacts with potential employers of school attendants, especially with organizations such as charitable institutions.

In the "parent employer model", the parents hire the accompanying person themselves and insure them. With this model, the integration worker has to submit a time sheet to the social welfare or youth welfare office every month, and the parents will then be reimbursed for the salary paid for the accompaniment. With this model, the particular loyalty of the integration assistants to the parents of the child in care can lead to conflicts with the school or class leader, since teachers are authorized to issue instructions in class and, like school leaders, are subject to the regulations of the school law in their country.



Children and young people with mental disabilities receive integration assistance according to SGB ​​VIII . Children and young people with physical or mental disabilities receive this according to SGB ​​XII . Examples of mental disabilities are developmental delays , autism , special needs in the area of ​​emotional and social development or ADD or ADHD syndrome. In the case of mental or physical disabilities, the responsible office is the social welfare office , in the case of mental disabilities it is the youth welfare office . Thus one can speak of a dual system. Parents and / or pupils are not legally allowed to contribute. The separation of responsibilities for a disabled pupil creates problems of demarcation, especially in the area of ​​multiple disabilities and in the border area of ​​mental or emotional disabilities. After the parents' decision has been made in consultation with the school principal, class leader, etc. for a school companion for a particular child, the application to the social welfare office or youth welfare office to assume the costs follows.

In principle, the beneficiary is the beneficiary of integration assistance benefits. In the context of custody, however, the parents or persons with custody must apply for integration assistance. As a rule, the costs for school accompaniment are covered by the social service provider (youth welfare office or social welfare agency) for the times of the regular school time, regardless of the income and assets of the parents. During the times in the open all-day school and the "safe school time", costs are covered depending on income and assets.

School attendants

On average, a school companion in Germany as a full-time employee receives € 2158 gross per month. In Bavaria the average gross salary is € 2562, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania € 1633 gross per month. Part-time workers earn less accordingly.


In most countries, the demand for school attendants increased dramatically between 2008 and 2018. At the same time, there is a shortage of qualified educational staff. At the request of Spiegel Online , various providers confirmed that they mainly work with untrained assistants. School, social and youth welfare offices usually react with skepticism to requests from individual parents for a better qualified school companion for their child.

Unlike the Bundesvereinigung Lebenshilfe , the city of Hamm does not consider the overwhelming use of insufficiently qualified workers as integration workers to be worthy of criticism. In a leaflet for parents she writes: “As a rule, integration helpers without educational or nursing qualifications are sufficient to accompany your child. Here the sponsors select suitable integration forces personally and personally. Depending on the individual case, however, it may be necessary for the integration worker to have a certain qualification, e.g. if certain nursing or medical help is required. The decision on this is made by the Office for Social Affairs, Housing and Care in consultation with the Health Department. "

A ruling by the Schleswig-Holstein Regional Social Court of February 17, 2014 met with criticism . The court ruled that a right to integration assistance for a disabled pupil would come to nothing if “schools do not guarantee inclusive education due to lack of resources despite other requirements in the school law can. ”Then the responsible social welfare office or youth welfare office is not liable to pay benefits. In return, school authorities in the urban and rural districts of some federal states make the employment of integration workers dependent on a (“blank”) commitment from the responsible social welfare office.

The fact that many helpers do not earn much more than the minimum wage is also the subject of criticism.


  • Stephanie Loos: Assistance in school is part of the human right to education - legal foundations and (human) legal entitlement. In: Ulrike Barth, Thomas Maschke (ed.): Inclusion. Shaping diversity, a practical book. Free Spiritual Life Publishing House, November 2014, ISBN 978-3-7725-1415-9 , pp. 496–508 (PDF; 375 kB) .
  • Minou Banafsche: Children and young people with disabilities between SGB VIII and SGB XII. In: Carmen Dorrance, Clemens Dannenbeck: Doing Inclusion. Inclusion in a non-inclusive society. Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2013, ISBN 978-3-7815-1900-8 , pp. 42–56.
  • Oliver Knuf: From school support to participation management. In: Vera Moser: The inclusive school. Standards for implementation. Kohlhammer, 2012, ISBN 978-3-17-021907-6 , pp. 91-97.
  • Gabriele Niedermayer: The role of the school attendants. In: Pius Thoma, Cornelia Rehle: Inclusive school - living and learning right in the middle. Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2009, ISBN 978-3-7815-1668-7 , pp. 225-235.
  • Jutta Schöler: Everyone is different. On the way to inclusion in school. Beltz-Verlag, Weinheim / Basel 2009, ISBN 978-3-407-57220-2 , pp. 31-36.
  • Jutta Schöler: Guide to cooperation between teachers - not just in integrated classes. Dieck-Verlag, Heinsberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-88852-420-2 .


  • Christoph Beck, Wolfgang Dworschak, Sarah Eibner: School support at the support center with a focus on intellectual development. In: Journal for curative education. 61, 7, 2010, pp. 244-254.
  • Wolfgang Dworschak: School support at special schools and general schools. In: Journal for curative education. 63, 10, 2012, pp. 414-421.
  • Wolfgang Dworschak: School accompaniment with a special focus on intellectual development at the general school. In: Live together. Inclusion magazine. 20, 2, 2012, pp. 80-94.
  • Wolfgang Dworschak: Assistant in the school. In: Concrete learning. 31, 4, 2012, pp. 2-7.
  • Wolfgang Dworschak: School companion, integration worker, school assistant? In: Participation. 49, 3, 2010, pp. 131-135.
  • Franz Rumpler: Upbringing and teaching children with autistic behavior. In: Journal for curative education. 55, 3, 2004, pp. 136-141.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. In Lower Saxony this term has a different meaning; see. School and law in Lower Saxony: employment of school assistants in public schools . Decrees of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Culture of January 28, 1994 and November 28, 1977.
  2. Friedhelm Espeter: Affected by dyslexia / dyscalculia! What rights do the data subjects have? . Federal Association of Dyslexia / Dyscalculia VS 14
  3. Administrative Court of Hanover: Integration assistance according to youth welfare law; Entitlement to reimbursement of costs for dyslexia therapy. Decision of February 10, 2012
  4. Oliver Knuf: From school support to participation management. In: Vera Moser: The inclusive school. Standards for implementation. Kohlhammer, 2012, p. 91.
  5. Hamburger Abendblatt : Hamburg increases the number of school attendants , from September 23, 2016, loaded on February 9, 2018
  6. Jutta Schöler: "There is always an adult sitting next to her" - the activities of pedagogical assistants in the joint teaching of disabled and non-disabled children . In: Live together . Vol. 10 (2002) issue 4, pp. 161 - 165 ( online )
  7. Use of integration assistants at elementary and secondary schools in the schooling of pupils with special educational needs with a focus on intellectual development within the meaning of Section 54 Paragraph 1, Clause 1 No. 1 SGB XII (12th Book of the Social Code - Social Assistance). (PDF file; 40 kB) p. 5 on July 30, 2013.
  8. ^ Gabriele Niedermayer: The role of the school companion. In: Pius Thoma, Cornelia Rehle: Inclusive school - living and learning right in the middle. Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2009, pp. 231–232.
  9. Jutta Schöler: Guide to cooperation between teachers - not just in integration classes. Dieck-Verlag, Heinsberg 2009.
  10. ^ Gabriele Niedermayer: The role of the school companion. In: Pius Thoma, Cornelia Rehle: Inclusive school - living and learning right in the middle. Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2009, pp. 226–227.
  11. Completed projects: QuaSI on the website of the Institute for Vocational Training and Social Management non-profit GmbH, accessed on March 10, 2019.
  12. Project on the website of the FH Erfurt, accessed on March 10, 2019.
  13. ^ Franz Rumpler: Upbringing and teaching children with autistic behavior. In: Journal for curative education. 55, 3, p. 140.
  14. School attendants integration helpers . Social trainer UG
  15. Lower Saxony state justice portal: social assistance - integration assistance - assistance with an appropriate school education - necessity of 1: 1 care during lessons - temporary presence of a special needs teacher - demarcation between the core area of ​​pedagogical work and the possibility of participation in the class by an integration assistant . Section 40
  16. Education . handicapped rights
  17. ^ Christian Behrens: The integration helper - tasks, financing and procedure . P. 2
  18. Social Association Germany (SoVD) National Association Niedersachsen e. V .: Integration helper (school support, integration assistance, individual help, school helper) . May 30, 2008
  19. Minou Banafsche: Children and young people with disabilities between SGB VIII and SGB XII. In: Carmen Dorrance, Clemens Dannenbeck: Doing Inclusion. Inclusion in a non-inclusive society. Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2013, pp. 42–56.
  20. Integration assistant salary nationwide .
  21. Bundesvereinigung Lebenshilfe e. V .: School accompaniment. A position paper . P. 16f.
  22. City of Hamm: Integration assistance / school support as an aid to adequate schooling within the framework of general compulsory schooling and to attending secondary schools in accordance with Section 54 Paragraph 1 No. 1 SGB XII. Leaflet
  23. Bundesvereinigung Lebenshilfe e. V .: School accompaniment. A position paper . P. 9
  24. Tobias Lill: Inclusion. Stefan's Odyssey . Mirror online. October 26, 2019
  25. Bundesvereinigung Lebenshilfe e. V .: School accompaniment. A position paper . P. 13