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School of Special Education ESTEL

History

Estel formally began its activity on the 7th of November, 1967, with 9 students, a teacher and a pedagogue. The school occupied the first floor of Casa Masferrer in Vic. From this first course, the number of students and teachers was growing. In 1973, there was an enrolment of 36 students with four classrooms functioning. This was the maximum capacity of the flat of Casa Masferrer. The lack of space, the constant demand of new enrolments and the need to create new services were the reasons to look for a different location for Estel and the other services of the Association. Between the months of November 1972 and the month of June 1973 the purchase Sant Tomàs was carried out. This and the rehabilitation of the building of Sant Tomàs made it possible that in January 1974 Estel could occupy this new space.

In this stage Estel had 45 enrolled students and 5 functioning classrooms. From this moment, a progressive growth of students takes place, as well as an increase of teachers, specialized professionals (speech therapists, physiotherapists, gym instructor, etc.) and support staff.

Between the end of the 70s and the beginnings of the 80s a new group of circumstances coincide which promoted significant changes in the way of understanding and organizing the special education. Firstly, the beginnings of normalization and integration get incorporated to the model of attention and education to people with intellectual disabilities. Secondly, we recover the Catalan Government “la Generalitat de Catalunya” and the educative competences are moved to the autonomic administration. Both facts will have marked effects in the centres of special education. In 1984, the Project Law 117/84 was passed, the special education for its integration in the ordinary educative system. This project law establishes as regulator principles of the special education the ones of normalization, integration, individualization and sectoring. It is in this period in which Estel began the work of integration of students to ordinary schools of its area. What, at the beginning was an initiative addressed to some specific students, with the years has become the Education Support Team (EST) which has as an aim to provide the teachers of the ordinary schools where there are integrated students with intellectual disabilities with assessment and support.

From September 1986 and in application of the LODE, Estel passes to be a private school. This represents that the Department of Education becomes in charge of the salaries of the teachers and the expenses of functioning. And even if the educative agreement doesn’t cover the total cost of expenses, it meant some considerable tranquillity and a guarantee of continuity for the school.

In 1995 a new innovative experience and of support to schools had begun with the aim of promoting an educative system more inclusive and establishing new systems of collaborations between the school of special education and the ordinary centres. This experience which has the name of project FET (to create a school for everybody), has the main objective to support schools in order to adopt strategies so that they enable them to respond in a more effective manner to the different needs of their students.

In 1997 a fact which will mark again the history of Estel takes place. Due to the politics of educative integration of the immigrants from the Council of Vic, the buildings of two public schools of Vic become free. On the 21st of July, 1997, in a meeting with the Mayor Mr. Jacint Codina, there is the agreement to begin the process of cession of the school Sant Miquel to Estel. From this moment, a great deal of negotiations started which culminate in the commitment of the Department of Education to take charge of the costs of the restoring of the building of Sant Miquel.

On the 26th March 2007, Estel moves definitely to the new building at street Jaume I el Conqueridor of Vic.