Medical experts and Danish council members have claimed that the number of children being sent for psychological evaluation is exceedingly high.
The Copenhagen Post reports that one quarter of Denmark’s students, roughly six per every classroom, are being referred by teachers through observation to psychologists for mental examinations says a new report by the Ministry of Education and consultancy form Capacent.
The study involves a review of Danish children born since 1990 from several councils across the nation. The information is contained in a special log that is used to record details of every child that was determined by teachers to have educational or psychological problems.
However, experts have claimed that the data has been misused as some two-thirds of the students that were examined based on teacher recommendations did not require any special treatment or education.
The latest figures have stunned psychologists, experts and local governments. They believe that many referrals have been negatively interpreted by counsellors who themselves are under increasing pressure from parents and teachers to find something wrong with their children.
“There’s something amiss when so many children have special journals,” said Professor Niels Egelund of the Danish University of Education. “It can’t be right that every fourth student needs to be assessed to determine whether they can go to school or not.”
“It isn’t because teachers are too quick to single out children for special education that there are so many referrals,” said head of the organisation’s education policy committee Dorte Lange. “We have studies showing that teachers often wait too long to make these assessments, and that only makes the problem worse.”