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Czech-Republic:Organisation of Upper Secondary Education

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Czech-Republic:Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Czech-Republic:First Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Bachelor

Czech-Republic:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Second Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Czech-Republic:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Czech-Republic:Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Distribution of Responsibilities

Czech-Republic:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Czech-Republic:Main Providers

Czech-Republic:Main Types of Provision

Czech-Republic:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Czech-Republic:Teachers and Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Management and Other Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Educational Support and Guidance

Czech-Republic:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Czech-Republic:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Czech-Republic:Mobility and Internationalisation

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Czech-Republic:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in School Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Czech-Republic:European Perspective

Czech-Republic:Legislation

Czech-Republic:Institutions

Czech-Republic:Bibliography

Czech-Republic:Glossary

Types of Institutions

Upper secondary education is provided by two types of schools: primarily by upper secondary schools (střední školy), although a small proportion of pupils attend conservatoires.

Until 2004, upper secondary schools were strictly divided into the following types: secondary general school (gymnázium), secondary technical school (střední odborná škola), secondary vocational school (střední odborné učiliště). The conservatoire was a sub-type of secondary technical school (for more information, see the section on Arts Education). According to the Education Act in force since 2005, the upper secondary school is a type of school with three basic sub-types: secondary general school (gymnázium), secondary technical school (střední odborná škola), and secondary vocational school (střední odborné učiliště). These sub-types are not defined by the law but schools can (but do not have to) choose to use them in their names. Offering any of the three levels of secondary education is not connected with the sub-type of upper secondary school – each upper secondary school can offer various levels, fields, or possibly forms  of secondary education (if it fulfils teaching requirements and a particular course is included in the Register of Schools and School Facilities). The Decree on Secondary Education also mentions other types of upper secondary schools (e.g. střední průmyslová škola, střední pedagogická škola, odborné učiliště, praktická škola and others) which are not bound to concrete fields, the name of the school should not be misleading though.

Education in multi-year secondary general schools is divided into a lower level (the eight-year programme corresponds to the last four years of basic education and, in the case of the six-year programme to the last two years of basic education,  see the chapter on Single Structure Education) and an upper level (corresponds to a four-year secondary general school).

Legally defined school facilities and other institutes can also take part in the education of pupils of an upper secondary school. They participate mostly in practical education at a workplace of a private individual or legal entity or in a school special purpose facility (středisko praktického vyučování), possibly on school farms. Other school facilities provide out of school activities for pupils.


Legislation and Bibliography:

Education Act

Decree on Secondary Education and Education in Conservatoires



Geographical Accessibility

Before 1989, residential developments always included the building of schools, so schools were very evenly distributed.

After 1989, when the central management of the branch structure of education disappeared, supply started to be governed by the rapidly changing demand, which shifted its focus from vocational training to schools leading to a school-leaving examination (maturitní zkouška) and from technical subjects to economic, business and service ones. Many new schools have been established, in spite of a decline in the population and consequently the number of pupils in schools has decreased. Their geographic accessibility has improved due to the changes in the formerly rigid monotype field structure: vocational and technical schools have introduced diverse types of courses to satisfy new demands.

In 1997 the network of upper secondary schools (střední školy) and tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) and educational establishments was optimised in line with demographic development by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, which at that time was the founder of most of upper secondary schools and tertiary professional schools. This led to a decrease in the number of schools although ensuring that education was still accessible to all.

Since 2001, the regions, which became the founders of most of upper secondary schools and tertiary professional schools in 2000, have played a decisive role in the optimisation process. According to the new Education Act they should ensure conditions for the provision of secondary education and education at tertiary professional schools. At the same time, they open or close down public upper secondary schools and tertiary professional schools. Within the optimisation process schools continued to be closed or more often merged, but this process has slowed down. The total number of schools is still decreasing, however, at present this concerns only dozens of schools.

In order to increase the accessibility of the upper secondary schools, the boarding homes for youth (domovy mládeže) are established at some of them; in addition to accommodation and meals they offer pupils leisure time activities. (For more information see section on School Facilities in chapter Organisation and Governance). The level of fees in public and state boarding homes for youth is limited by a ministerial decree.


Legislation and Bibliography:

Act on regions

Statistical Yearbook - Education 2013/14. Education Statistic Indicators



Admission Requirements and Choice of School

The relevant upper secondary school (střední škola) issues a decision on admission of applicants for education at an upper secondary school. The school head sets the criteria for admission into given course.


Admission Requirements

Schools may admit to an upper secondary course on the basis of the admission procedure applicants who have completed compulsory school attendance or successfully completed the level of basic education (základní vzdělání) prior to finishing compulsory school attendance and who in the course of enrolment proceedings have met all the conditions on which they may be admitted by proving adequate abilities, knowledge, interests and health.

Similar rules are set for multi-year secondary general schools (víceletá gymnázia) with the exception that applicants who successfully complete the seventh (fifth) grade of a basic school (základní škola) in the given school year may be admitted to the first grade of the lower level of six-year (eight-year) secondary general school on the basis of an admission procedure.


Enrolment Proceedings

The enrolment proceedings start with the submission of an application and ends with a decision as to the admission/non-admission of an applicant. According to the Education act the school head evaluates an applicant according to:

  • school reports from previous education;
  • results achieved within the common admission examination, if this is a part of the enrolment proceedings;
  • results achieved within a school admission examination (if applicable);
  • results achieved within an aptitude test (fields of education requiring an aptitude test/conservatoires);
  • other facts proving adequate abilities, knowledge and interests of the applicant.

The school head may decide, that the enrolment proceeding will comprise an school admission examination.

In 2014/2015 and  2015/16 school years, schools had the opportunity to participate in testing of the standardised entrance examination to study fields providing secondary education completed with the school leaving examination (maturitní zkouška). For more see the section Pilot Testing of Standardised Entrance Examination to Secondary Education Completed with School Leaving Examination (2015) and Testing of Standardised Admission Tests to Courses Completed with School Leaving Examination (2016).

Since 2017 (with effect from 1 September 2016) the obligatory common admission examination in the Czech language and literature and Mathematics has been introduced into study fields of secondary education with a school-leaving examination (maturitní zkouška) (for more see Admission Examination and Aptitude Test).  

The common admission examination is not held in case of enrolment proceedings into the study fields with an aptitude test (excluding Sports Training Secondary General Schools) and in case of enrolment proceeding into the shortened study courses to obtain secondary education with the school-leaving examination.   


Enrolment Proceedings – Dates

ENROLMENT PROCEEDINGS - DATES
FIRST ROUND
SUBSEQUENT ROUNDS
day form of education
other forms of education
educational fields requiring an aptitude test and conservatoires (all forms of education)
Announcement of the first round
31 January
31 October
set by the schools head
Number of application forms
max 2
max 2
not limited
Submission of the application form
1 March
30 November
set by the schools head
Invitation to an examination (if set)
14 days before
14 days before
7 days before
Admission examination and aptitude test
from 12 to 28 April (study fields with a school-leaving examination); from 22. to 30 April (other study fields)
from 2 to 15 January
(at conservatoires from 15 to 31 January)
14 days after announcing the given round
Result of the enrolment proceeding
within 2 working days  after publishing the results of the common admission examination / after the date set for holding the examination (from 22 to 30 April if the examination was not set)
information on results no later than 20 January, decision no later than 15 February (in conservatoires 10 February)
3 working days following the last date set for holding the examination (without undue delay if the examination was not set)
Submission of the enrolment card
within 10 days from receipt of the decision
not submitted
within 10 days from receipt of the decision*
within 10 days from receipt of the decision (day form)*
Appeal
within 3 working days from receipt of the decision

 * The enrolment card is submitted only by applicant to the day form of education (not the other forms), applicants to follow-up study (nástavbové studium) and shortened study (zkrácené studium) do not at all submit the enrolment card.


Number of Rounds

The enrolment proceeding for the first grade may be organised in number of rounds and a school head is obliged to announce at least one round of enrolment. Should the school head decide, that the enrolment proceeding will comprise a school admission examination, he is obligated to set at least two terms for the first round of enrolment proceeding.


Application Forms

The adult applicant or legal guardian of a minor applicant (hereinafter the applicant) may submit 2 application forms to the first round of enrolment proceedings, while in subsequent rounds the number of applications is not limited.

The applicant submits the application form for the first round of enrolment proceedings to the school head of the relevant secondary school; to the day form of education by 15 March, to other than day form of education by 20 March, and by 30 November in case of an application form to educational fields requiring an aptitude test, to all forms of study.


Admission Examination and Aptitude Tests

At secondary schools providing education completed with school leaving examination the admission examination tests are held within the first round on working days in the period from 12 to 28 April. In case of schools providing secondary education with an apprenticeship certificate and those providing secondary education, the admission examination tests are held from 22 April to 30 April.

Common Admission Examination

The common admission examination consists of a written standardized test in Czech language and literature and a written standardized test in Mathematics and its applications. Preparation of these tests as well as their distribution, results processing and evaluation is guaranteed by the Centre for Evaluation of Educational Achievements (hereinafter the Centre). The result in the common admission examination represents at least 60 % of the overall assessment of fulfilment of the enrolment proceedings criteria (in case of Sports training secondary general schools it is minimally 40 %). The Centre ought to make the results of applicants available for the respective secondary school to 28 April at the latest.  The applicant takes the common admission examinations within the first round of the admission proceedings in the term, which is set by the Ministry of Education until 30 September of the previous calendar year. Each applicant can hold the written test in Czech language and literature and in Mathematics twice: in the first set term, at the school stated in the application form on first place and in the second set term, at the school stated in the application form on second place.

School and Aptitude Examination

Should the school head decide, that the admission examination or aptitude test will be held, he is obligated to invite applicants to an examination at the latest 14 days before the date (for substitute terms and for other rounds at the latest 7 days before the date). The invitation includes information on requirements for the admission examination or aptitude test, on the expected number of applicants to be admitted and the criteria of enrolment proceedings.. Aptitude tests are held in the period from 2 January to 15 January (in conservatoires from 15 January to 31 January). In subsequent rounds, the enrolment proceeding is held in terms set by the school head, but no earlier than 14 days after announcing the given round of the enrolment proceeding.

Result of the Enrolment Proceeding

The school head ought to finish the assessment process within 2 working days

a) after the publishing the results of the applicants by the Centre – in case of study fields providing secondary education with a school-leaving examination

b) after the day of holding the admission examination – in case of other study fields

and ought to  publish the list of applicants in the order according to their results.  The school head should send the result of the enrolment proceeding also to the unsuccessful applicants or to their legal guardians. If neither the common admission examination nor the school admission examination are held within the first round of the enrolment proceedings the school head evaluates the enrolment proceeding and publishes the results and  the list of admitted applicants, in the first round from 22 to 30 April, and in further rounds without undue delay.


Enrolment Card

An applicant who has been accepted by a secondary school in one of the rounds confirms his/her intent to be educated at the given secondary school by submitting the enrolment card (zápisní lístek) to the school head, no later than within 10 working days from the date on which the applicant received the decision to be not admitted. Should the applicant fail to do it, he/she thereby waives the right to be accepted as a pupil of the given secondary school and another applicant may be admitted instead. The applicant may apply the enrolment card only once. This is not the case if the applicant wants to apply the enrolment card at school, to which he has been admitted on appeal. Since the school year 2015/16, the applicant may also take the enrolment card back and apply it at another secondary school. This is the case when he/she has been admitted to the field of education requiring an aptitude test or to conservatoire, where he/she has submitted the enrolment card, and wants to apply the enrolment card at the school where he/she has been admitted in the field of education without aptitude test.


Appeal

The school head will determine the number of free places for the needs of an appeal. Applicants’ appeal against the decision of the school head on the result of admission can be submitted within 3 working days from receipt of the decision. The appeal is submitted to the school head. The school head either accepts an appeal, or advances it within 30 days to the competent regional office (i.e. to the superior administrative body of the school heads and school facilities) along with his/her opinion as well as the criteria for admission, according to which they proceeded in admission procedures. The final decision of the appeal is upon the region that must do so within 30 days.


More details and application forms see on the web site of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.


Legislation and Bibliography:

Education Act

Decree on Admission Procedure to Secondary Education

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils/Students

A typical pupil attending day courses of secondary schools at upper secondary level is between 15 and 18 years old. However, more than a half of those entering the upper secondary school (střední škola) are at the age of 16 and older, including those whose entrance to basic school (základní škola) was postponed. A very small number of pupils begin their compulsory schooling before the age of 6 and thus enter upper secondary level before reaching 15. Other than day forms of education are almost exclusively attended by pupils older than 18, almost half of whom are older than 30.

Lower grades of multi-year secondary general schools (víceletá gymnázia) (see also chapter on Single Structure Education and lower grades of conservatoires (see part on Arts Education) also offer lower secondary (compulsory) education  (intended for the age group from 11 to 15 years).

Classes are co-educational (usually with the exception of physical education) and pupils are grouped according to their age. Subjects are taught by different teachers, with individual subjects usually being taught by one teacher for several years. Every class has its own class teacher who is usually in charge of the class throughout its time in the school.

A school teaching all grades must have a minimum of 60 pupils, with an average of at least 17 pupils per class. (In schools providing education in courses for which the framework education programme prescribes an aptitude test, the minimum number of pupils in the school is 30, and there is no minimum number of pupils in a class.) The maximum number of pupils in a class is 30.

The school head can divide classes into groups for subjects, and merge or create groups of pupils from one or more grades. When deciding the size of a group the following must be taken into account: 

  • requirements concerning the safety of the pupils and protection of their health;
  • the demands of the subject in question in terms of teaching and methodology;
  • the particular situation of pupils with special educational needs and of gifted pupils;
  • the nature of the knowledge and skills to be acquired;
  • the demands of the educational process in terms of space and material, as stipulated in the curricular documents;
  • the efficacy of the educational process both within the framework of the pre-defined objectives and in economic terms. 

Foreign languages are always taught in groups of pupils between 9 and 23 and pupils from several classes in the same grade can be taught together.

The pupil/teacher ratio in groups for practical training in the school (or school facility) is from 6 to 17 depending on the course. If it is carried out at a workplace of a physical or legal entity, the pupil/teacher (instructor) ratio is a maximum of 6. 


Legislation and Bibliography:

Education Act

Decree on Secondary Education and Education in Conservatoires

Statistical Yearbook - Education 2013/14. Education Statistic Indicators

Organisation of the School Year

At upper secondary schools (střední školy) and conservatoires the school year is divided in the same way as described in the section for the compulsory education. If, in accordance with the framework curriculum timetable, work or artistic practice or sports training is planned in July and August, second term teaching finishes prior to the general date by the number of teaching days corresponding to the length of the practice.

The last grade of school is influenced by the dates of examinations. For more information on the terms of the final examination (závěrečná zkouška) in courses of upper secondary education (střední vzdělání) and upper secondary education with the apprenticeship certificate (střední vzdělání s výučním listem) and on the terms of the particular parts of the school-leaving examination (maturitní zkouška) in the courses of secondary education see Assessment in Upper Secondary Education, the section on Certification.

School head makes a decision on ensuring the necessary school operation during school holidays (e.g., office hours, repetition of examinations, school maintenance, preparing school for the period of schooling, etc.). 


Legislation and Bibliography:

Decree on Organisation of School Year



Organisation of the School Day and Week

The organisation of school time is set down by the Education Act, by decrees that fix the school year, holidays and weekly and daily regime, and by framework educational programmes that fix the number of teaching hours in a week. The weekly and daily timetable depends on the form of education. In the day form of education, the school week is similar to the working week, i.e. five days from Monday to Friday.


Five-day Week System (in the form of day attendance – theoretical education)

LENGTH OF SCHOOL DAY, EACH DAY OF THE WEEK

Out-of-hours provision (before lessons)
Lessons (starting and finishing times in the morning)
Lunch break
Lessons (starting and finishing times in the afternoon)
Out-of-hours provision (after lessons)
Monday
Not set
No earlier than 7 a.m.
At least 30 minutes
No later than 8 p.m.
Not set
Tuesday
Not set
No earlier than 7 a.m.
At least 30 minutes
No later than 8 p.m.
Not set
Wednesday
Not set
No earlier than 7 a.m.
At least 30 minutes
No later than 8 p.m.
Not set
Thursday
Not set
No earlier than 7 a.m.
At least 30 minutes
No later than 8 p.m.
Not set
Friday
Not set
No earlier than 7 a.m.
At least 30 minutes
No later than 8 p.m.
Not set


Weekly Number of Lessons

The weekly number of lessons is given by the curriculum, up to the maximum of 35 lessons per week (in case of practical training and work practice within the practical education up to the maximum of 40 compulsory lessons per week), or 40 lessons for courses where an aptitude test is a part of the entrance examination, or 46 lessons for a sports training secondary general school (sportovní gymnázium). The organisation of the evening, distance, e-learning or possibly combined forms is described in the chapter on Adult Education and Training, section Vocational Education.


Organisation of the School Day

The daily timetable is derived from the total number of lessons at the particular educational level and from regulations dealing with the beginning and the end of the education.

One lesson lasts 45 minutes, except for lessons of practical training and work practice which last 60 minutes. In justified cases lessons may be split or merged. The educational programme for pupils with special educational needs may specify a different length of school lesson.

The beginning and end of theoretical classes in day education is decided by the school head – classes usually start at 8 a.m., 7 a.m. at the earliest, and finish at the latest by 8 p.m. The maximum number of compulsory lessons in one day, including a lunch break, is 8, exceptionally 9, with a maximum of 7 lessons without a lunch break. There is a 15-20-minute break usually after the first two lessons and a break, usually of 10 minutes, between other lessons. The duration of the lunch break should be at least 30 minutes.

Practical training is included in courses with the apprenticeship certificate and in some courses with the school-leaving examination. Its inclusion in instruction is set by the school education programme. Traditionally, the education is organised in the way of weekly rotation of theoretical teaching and practical training. For day education, practical training is in units of one day. Morning lessons start no earlier than at 7 a.m., except in justified cases, when they may start at 6 a.m. for pupils of the 2nd–4th grade. Afternoon lessons end no later than at 8 p.m., or in justified cases at 10 p.m. for pupils of the third and fourth grade. However, pupils must have a break of at least 12 hours between the end of one day and the beginning of lessons on the following day. Practical training of pupils in the first grade can be a maximum of 6 (60-minute) lessons per day. There is a break of 15–20 minutes, usually after the second lesson of practical training in the school or in a school facility. Students carrying out their practical training in companies have the same breaks as their employees (in accordance with the relevant provision of the Labour Code). The time of breaks is not included in the total length of the teaching day.

Apprenticeship practice is carried out regularly as a part of education, work and art practice is in the form of compact blocs, usually during whole weeks.

Sports training comprises of training units of 45 minutes, with a maximum of 6 training units in one day. Morning lessons start at 7 a.m. at the earliest, or at 6 a.m. in justified cases, and afternoon lessons end no later than at 8 p.m., in justified cases at 10 p.m. However, pupils must have a break of at least 12 hours between the end of one day and the beginning of the following day on which lessons take place.

Extra-curricular Activities

Upper secondary schools can provide pupils with opportunities for extra-curricular activities for their leisure time, focusing primarily on active relaxation, development of their skills and interests, preparation for lessons, and participation in contests and shows. In out of school hours, pupils can also use guidance services (see chapter Educational Support in Guidance), services of leisure time centres (střediska volného času), school libraries etc. For more information about extra-curricular activities of pupils at the lower secondary level see chapters on Single Structure Education, Organisation and Governance, section on School Facilities and Funding in Education, section on Financial Support of Learners´ Families.


Legislation and Bibliography:

Education Act

Decree on Secondary Education and Education in Conservatoires