The paper aims to analyse how pupils’ equal educational opportunities are warranted. We focus on how regulations of adapted education and the right to special needs education provide school leaders’ and teachers’ room for discretionary decision-making, how it is interpreted and how discretionary power is justified. The paper draws on findings from an interdisciplinary study (education and law) on the transformation of legal standards into professional actions in schools. This paper employs interview data from three compulsory schools (grades 1–10), legal documents, and public reports, and the analysis is guided by a conceptual distinction between structural and epistemic aspects of discretion. Based on our findings, we question whether the discretionary space regarding special needs education gives too many opportunities for action and, hence, weakens pupils’ legal rights. Under the guise of a common school, there is a risk that pupils’ special needs are made invisible.