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Greece:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

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Overview Greece

Contents

Greece:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Greece:Historical Development

Greece:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Greece:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Greece:Political and Economic Situation

Greece:Organisation and Governance

Greece:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Greece:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Greece:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Greece:Organisation of Private Education

Greece:National Qualifications Framework

Greece:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Greece:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Greece:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Greece:Funding in Education

Greece:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Greece:Higher Education Funding

Greece:Adult Education and Training Funding

Greece:Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Primary Education

Greece:Organisation of Primary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Greece:Assessment in Primary Education

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Greece:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Higher Education

Greece:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Greece:First Cycle Programmes

Greece:Bachelor

Greece:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Greece:Second Cycle Programmes

Greece:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Greece:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Greece:Adult Education and Training

Greece:Distribution of Responsibilities

Greece:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Greece:Main Providers

Greece:Main Types of Provision

Greece:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Greece:Teachers and Education Staff

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Management and Other Education Staff

Greece:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Greece:Management Staff for Higher Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Quality Assurance

Greece:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Educational Support and Guidance

Greece:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Greece:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Greece:Mobility and Internationalisation

Greece:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Mobility in Higher Education

Greece:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Greece:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Greece:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:National Reforms in School Education

Greece:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Greece:National Reforms in Higher Education

Greece:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Greece:European Perspective

Greece:Legislation

Greece:Institutions

Greece:Glossary


Administration and Governance at Central Level

The education policy is defined at central level by the government, which also sets out the general policy to be followed at different policy areas. The Minister of Education is responsible for shaping the education policy and for monitoring its implementation, as well as for the administration of the education system. The Minister through the administrative services of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs prepares bills and decrees and issues relevant ministerial decisions, regulating the education system.

In order to perform his/her duties, the Minister may be assisted by the Alternate Minister or the Deputy Minister(s), provided that responsibilities between them are distinct.

The Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs includes four separate General Secretariats which are run by General Secretaries: 

In shaping policy, the Ministry's cabinet is supported by collective consultative/advisory bodies which are set up at national level. These bodies provide policy advice for school and higher education, lifelong learning, science and the arts.

The following Councils are set up in the Ministry of Education: 

  • The National Policy Council on Education, established pursuant to Law 4283/2014 (Government Gazette 189 / Decision /10-9-2014), is set up as an advisory body of the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. Its members are the ones that have served as Ministers competent for Education. The President of the Council is the Minister of Education and Foreign Affairs, with the competent Deputy Minister or Vice-Minister as his/her substitute. The participation in the National Policy Council on Education is voluntary and its members do not receive any remuneration or compensation for their participation.
  • The National Council for Education (ESYP), based on the Presidential Decree 127/2003, as the opinion delivery body vis-à-vis the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs on issues of educational planning and policy issues of vital importance. The following Councils operate within the framework of ESYP:
    • Higher University Education Council (SAPE)
    • Higher Technological Education Council (SATE)
    • Primary and Secondary Education Council (SPDE).
  • The National Council for Research and Technology (ESET), pursuant to Law 3848/2010, as senior opinion delivery body of the State, suggests the basic options upon planning the state research policy and delivers an opinion on all research and technology issues for which its opinion is required, in accordance with the provisions of the legislation in effect, as well as issues referred to it by the Minister of Education.
  • The Council for Lifelong Learning and Connection to Employment. According to Law 3879/2010, a collective body is set up, chaired by the Minister of Education, to support quality and effectiveness improvement of lifelong learning programmes and services provided and to connect them to the labour market needs.

The national quality assurance bodies are also an important component of governance at central level. These bodies are responsible for setting quality standards, performing evaluation, shaping and implementing policies and standards to improve the quality of education. They are independent administrative agencies supervised by the Minister of Education. Each year, they submit annual activity reports to the Minister of Education. For Higher and School Education respectively, the following structures exist:

  • The Hellenic Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, its mission being to ensure high quality in Higher Education. It supports the State and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in shaping and implementing the national strategy for Higher Education and assures the quality of HEI’s operation (Laws 3374/2005, 4009/2011).
  • The Quality Assurance Authority in Primary and Secondary Education, its mission being, pursuant to Law 4142/2013, to ensure high quality educational work in Primary and Secondary Education through the evaluation of education and support of the national planning in relevant matters.

At the same time, an essential role in the formulation of educational policy is played by the following entities which are supervised by the Ministry of Education:

  • The Institute of Educational Policy (IEP), an official scientific institution that supports the Ministry of Education in matters regarding Primary and Secondary Education, as well as in matters regarding the transition from Secondary to Tertiary Education. It aims at the scientific research and study of issues related to Primary and Secondary Education. It also aims at the continuous scientific and technical support of planning and applying the educational policy in these matters (Law 3966/2011).
  • The Institute of Computer Technology and Publications “DIOFANDOS” (ITYE), which is a research and technological institution, aiming at promoting research and the effective application of Information Technologies and Communications in the field of education, emphasising in the development and application of conventional and digital means in education and lifelong learning, the publication of printed and electronic digital material and the administration and management of the Panhellenic School Network (Presidential Decree 9/1985 and Law 3966/2011).
  • The National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications & Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP), which pursuant to Law 4115/2013, develops and implements an integrated national certification system of non-formal education (Initial and Continuing Vocational Training and General Adult Education System); it also supports scientifically the Vocational Guidance and Counseling Services in Greece.
  • The Foundation for Youth and Lifelong Learning (INEVIDIM), that aims at materialising actions, programmes and projects on a) Lifelong Learning, b) Youth, with emphasis in supporting innovation and c) managing issues related to pupil and student welfare (Law 4115/2013).

Finally, the formulation of educational policy at central level is also significantly influenced by the academic and educational community, scientific associations and trade unions, society and social expression media, as well as the educational unit itself; the latter provides central authorities with valuable information on its operation and the services offered.

The administrative structure of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, as provided by Presidential Decree 114/2014 "Organisation of Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs" (as amended and in force), includes the following services (Article 2):

  1. Offices of Minister, Deputy Minister, Vice Ministers, General Secretaries, Special Secretary: a) Political Office of the Minister; b) Political Offices of Deputy Ministers; c) Political Office of Mini Ministers; d) Office of General Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs; e) Office of the General Secretary of Religious Affairs; f) Office of the General Secretary for Research; g) Office of General Secretary for Lifelong Learning and Youth; h) Office of Special Secretary for the Management of Operational Program (OP) “Education and Lifelong Learning".
  2. General Secretariat of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs: a) General Directorate of Strategic Planning, Programming and E-Government; b) General Finance Department; c) General Human Resources Department; d) General Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education Studies; e) General Directorate of Personnel of Primary and Secondary Education; f) General Directorate of Higher Education; g) Independent Directorate for European and International Affairs; h) Independent Directorate of Education for the Diaspora, Intercultural Education, Foreign and Minority Schools; i) Special Service of Implementation of Educational Activities.
  3. General Secretariat for Religious Affairs: a) Directorate of Religious Administration; b) Directorate of Religious Education.
  4. General Secretariat of Research and Technology: a) Department of Planning and Programming Policies and Actions for Research and Innovation; b) Department of Support Actions of Research and Innovation; c) Department of Monitoring Research and Technology Organizations; d) Department of International S & T Cooperation; e) Special Service of Managing and implementing the actions of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs in Research, Technological Development and Innovation.
  5. General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning and Youth: a) Department of Lifelong Learning; b) Department for Youth; c) Independent Department for Strategic Planning; d) Independent Department of International and European Resources.
  6. Integrated Administrative Sector of European Resources: a) Specific Service for the Management of Operational Programme (OP) “Education and Lifelong Learning".
  7. Regional Departments of Primary and Secondary Education
  8. Independent units governed by the Minister: a) Independent Internal Audit Department; b) Independent Department of Parliamentary Control; c) Independent Department of Legislative Initiative; d) Independent scientific consultants’ office.
  9. The following also operate in the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs in accordance with the applicable provisions: a) Office of the Legal Adviser of the State; b) Service of Commissioner’s Audit; c) Fiscal Audit Service; d) Press and Public Relations Office supervised by the Minister.

Special Secretaries are the heads of Single Administrative Sectors and General Directors are the heads of General Directorates.

The following Councils are set up in the central service of the Ministry of Education:

  1. Central Service Council delivering an opinion on the service status of the permanent administrative staff.
  2. Central Service Councils delivering an opinion on the service status of teaching staff . 
  3. Selection Board of school advisors for Pre-school, Primary and Special Needs Education.
  4. Selection Board of school advisors for Secondary Education.
  5. Selection Board of Primary Education School Heads.
  6. Selection Board of Secondary Education School Heads.
  7. Supervisory Board of Secondary Ecclesiastic Education (ESDEE).
  8. Service Board of Secondary Ecclesiastic Education (YSDEE).

Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education

In school education, the responsibility for formulating educational policy lies mainly with the central educational authorities, including the development of the curriculum, the allocation of teaching time, the writing and distribution of textbooks, the placement of teachers and other school staff, as well as the funding of schools.

With regard to Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education, the following services of the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs are responsible:

  • General Department of Primary and Secondary Education Studies
  • General Department Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education Personnel
  • Independent Department Directorate of Education of the Diaspora, Intercultural Education, Foreign and Minority Schools
  • Special Implementation Service of Educational Actions

Higher Education

Higher Education Institutions in Greece (Universities, Technological Educational Institutes) are self-governed public entities, whose operation is governed by law (Law 4009/2011) as amended and in force.

The Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, supported by the competent central collective bodies (“Higher University Education Council –SAPE”,  “Hellenic Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education – ADIP”), is responsible for formulating higher education policy, for preparing regulations related to Higher Education Institutions and for supervising their operation. Under Law 4009/2011, every four years a national strategic plan for higher education is compiled by the Minister of Education, Research and Foreign Affairs, following a public consultation and the opinion of the Quality Assurance Authority for Higher Education.

National legislation has granted autonomy to Higher Education Institutions as regards their development policy, activities and institutional goals. However, the institutional governance structure of HEIs is organised according to national regulations which delineate the institutional-level governance bodies and their respective duties and responsibilities.

The Higher Education Institutes are funded by the state through the state budget and the public investment programme for Higher Education at the central level. The Higher Education Institutes assume responsibility for the management of resources deriving from the state funding and their own assets.

At the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the administration of Higher Education is applied by the General Directorate of Higher Education.

Lifelong Learning

At central level, the General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, via the General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning and Youth plans the public policy on Lifelong Learning, formulates the relevant rules, elaborates the national programme on Lifelong Learning, supervises the enforcement of public policy, the rules and the implementation of this programme and coordinates the overall Lifelong Learning administration system.

The General Secretariat of Lifelong Learning and Youth is responsible for the National Network of Lifelong Learning; in other words it is responsible for all lifelong learning bodies for which a special Registry is kept and for all programmes implemented by said bodies.

Administration and Governance at Regional Level

Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education

Regional education authorities implement and supervise the implementation of national educational policy. They also undertake the specification of such policy at regional level. Significant impetus towards decentralisation is outlined in the framework of Law 2986/2002, which established the regional structure of education, as well as in recent legislation that strengthens decentralised responsibilities of regional directorates of education.

The basic management and governance structure of Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education at regional level is the Regional Primary and Secondary Education Directorate. This is a decentralised service of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs that operates as a single structure for Primary and Secondary Education in each of the 13 regions of the country. The Regional Education Directorates are headed by Regional Education Directors.

The Regional Education Directorates of are responsible for the administration and the scientific and pedagogical guidance of education in the area of their competence, elaborating national educational policy according to regional circumstances and needs. They oversee the implementation of national educational policy and establish links between regional education services and central education authorities.

Every Regional Education Directorate includes the following departments:

  • The Administration Directorate.  
  • The Directorate of Scientific-Pedagogical Guidance in Primary Education.
  • The Directorate of Scientific-Pedagogical Guidance in Secondary Education.

The Administration Directorate is responsible for the administrative support of the Regional Directorate. 

The Directorate of Scientific-Pedagogic Guidance is responsible for supervising, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the work of school advisors, based within the Regional Directorate administrative boundaries.  

A Higher Regional Primary Education Service Council (APYSPE) and a respective one for Secondary Education (APYSDE), delivering opinion on the service status of teachers, operate in the seat of every Regional Education Directorate.

Other decentralised services of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs under the Regional Education Directorate are as follows:

  • Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education, and all regional education services which fall under their jurisdiction.
  • The School Advisors for Pre-school, Primary, Special and Secondary Education.
  • The Regional Training Centers (PEK).
  • The Centres of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Educational Needs (KEDDY).
  • The Environmental Education Centers (KPE).

Higher Education

Administration and governance of Higher Education at regional level is not applicable, since Higher Education Institutions in Greece are self-governed public entities, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.

Lifelong Learning

Law 3879/2010 defines the regions of the country as administration bodies in the National Network for Lifelong Learning. In this context, the units of the Regions that have responsibility in Lifelong Learning matters play a central role in decentralisation, strengthening and upgrading of Lifelong Learning opportunities provided for citizens and make them more accessible and more accurate. The National Lifelong Learning programme ensures the uniform programming of Lifelong Learning actions while the specialisation of programming is decentralised at a regional and local level. The responsibilities of the Region in Lifelong Learning are mainly related to vocational training.

Each region shall prepare, under the regional development program, the Regional Lifelong Learning Programme, which includes in particular investments, programmes or individual vocational training actions and in general implementation actions of the public Lifelong Learning policy at a regional level.

According to Law 4186/2013, a Directorate for Lifelong Learning is set up and has its headquarters in each regional unit of the country. Its responsibility covers the regional unity and its seat is the seat of the competent regional unit.  The Departments of Lifelong Learning constitute regional services that are decentralised services of the General Secretariat of Lifelong Learning of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.