The diagnoses and consultancy department (primary school)

Support services in primary school

One of the tasks of primary schools is to contribute to children feeling good at school. Within each primary school there are support services which have the role of providing support for students, staff and parents.

Student protection

The Student Protection Committee is the platform within primary schools that works in the interests, protection and safety of students, according to regulation no. 584/2010. School staff, parents and social services can refer cases of individual students to the Student Protection Committee. Each school has in place its own procedures on operating practices of Student Protection Committees in accordance with laws and regulations. Also, decisions are made there on reports to social services in accordance with current laws.

Preventive measures

Various education and planning on preventive measures take place at primary schools. Further information can be found with each primary school, e.g. in school curriculums, work schedules and on websites. The Prevention Counsellor of Hafnarfjörður is a special partner in preventive measures in the school system.

Education and Career Advice

In each school there is an operating school counsellor that takes care of the education and career advice for students. Among the things that school counsellors do is to provide support for individual students, work on preventive measures along with education and career advice within schools. Further information on the operating practices of school counsellors can be found at the respective primary school.

Education of bi- and multilingual students - interpretation services

Students with a different native language than Icelandic or have lived abroad for an extended period are entitled to special Icelandic classes. The teaching takes place at all primary schools. It is the responsibility of each primary school to accommodate children that need this assistance and mediate the provision of the services. It is the right of parents who do not understand Icelandic to have free interpretation services at parent-teacher conferences and other events at the schools.

Psychological services

All primary schools in Hafnarfjörður have an operating psychologist. The psychologist at each school attends to diagnoses, education and consultancy, but does not perform therapy. References to a psychologist must be channelled through student protection committees or solution teams of primary schools, but parents' approval is always a prerequisite. There can be various reasons for requests, but a special focus is put on early evaluation and diagnoses of the students' status due to educational, behavioural and psychological difficulties. Furthermore, support is provided to students, parents and teachers in the form of consultancy, education and follow-up. Further information on the services can be found at each primary school.

Speech pathology services

Children dealing with language and/or speech deviations have the right to diagnoses of a speech pathologist, along with special needs education and supportive education in primary school. A speech pathologist also provides consultation for primary schools' staff. Parents can also request diagnosis and consultancy of a speech pathologist, but in all cases a written approval from parents is a prerequisite for diagnosis. Further information may be obtained from the respective primary school or at the Department of Education and Public Health.

Upbringing - PMTO Parent Management Training and SMT School Skills

PMTO stands for Parent Management Training - Oregon Model, which is a model for parents and others involved with upbringing. PMTO is an evidence-based model that reduces behavioural problems of children and teenagers and reinforces parents in their roles. Diverse remedies, seminars and consultancy are available for parents.

SMT School Skills is a comparable model as PMTO which places the focus on preventing and reducing behavioural problems.

All primary schools have implemented SMT School Skills, along with numerous pre-schools.

Special needs teaching

Children with special needs in primary schools are provided with special services in support of their education, either temporary or during all of their schooling.

This support can be provided in class parallel to general teaching, in special classrooms with other special needs students, in special departments within primary schools in Hafnarfjörður or in special needs schools out of town.

Special needs support is provided for those children in need of such support within their educational environment. Each primary school supervises the organization and execution of special needs education in junction with the Office of Education and Public Health.