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

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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

Primary and Secondary Education permanent teachers are public servants and as such, they are subject to the employees’ code for matters not regulated by special provisions applicable to them.  Both permanent teachers’ appointment and provisional substitute teachers’ employment are planned and carried out at central level. Teachers’ transfers, secondments and at the above-mentioned levels are also carried out centrally, while teaching hours and the amount of time teachers are obliged to spend at the school are laid down by regulatory documents which are common for all teachers throughout the country.  Ιnduction is also governed by rules, common for all teachers, while it is implemented at regional level at special centers, the so-called Regional Induction Centers (PEK).  Teachers’ advancement, promotion or dismissal fall under the regional service councils’ authority while salary grids, retirement rights, and statutory leaves are subject to the legal framework governing the entire body of public servants.

Planning Policy

By virtue of article 7, Law 3848/2010, a position coverage programming procedure based on certain criteria aiming at rationalising the management of Primary and Secondary Education teaching staff was implemented.

More specifically, permanent teachers’ appointment or provisional substitute and hourly paid teachers’ employment in Primary and Secondary Education as well as permanent teachers’ transfers and secondments are carried out after current teaching needs have been identified, based on the vacant organic positions resulting from teachers’ ipso jure retirement, or resignation from the service or based on the operational gaps due to a long term absence of in-service teachers in the form of statutory leaves, such as childbirth leaves, pregnancy leaves, maternity leaves, sick leaves, educational leaves and also possible redundancy of staff.

Such needs are identified through the following procedure: to begin with, the heads of school units are responsible for the registration, entry into the electronic system and updating, when modified, of data relating to said unit, such as operating classes, the number of students in each class, by grade, direction or other module, teachers positions, mandatory hours of work and full names of teachers filling these positions, the number of students attending the school unit and the number of serving teachers, the school schedule, the group of schools the particular school belongs to, teachers’ second specialisation, if any, the possibility of teaching subjects related to their specialisation and, above all, the vacant positions (organic or operational) expected to arise by August 31stof the current year.  Subsequently, the above-mentioned data are processed by the education directorate under which each school unit is subsumed and are finalised under the head of the school unit’s responsibility and following the Regional Service Council’s opinion.  The number of education gaps resulting from the gaps in Primary and Secondary Education Regional Directorates amounts to the number of existing needs for education staff per year and leads to the planning of new recruitments.

Regarding the recruitment planning policy in nurseries, the Standard Rules and Regulations, No. 12 - GG 497/B/2002 provide that every nursery section that accommodates twelve (12) infants must employ two (2) teachers and one (1) assistant.  Moreover, every childcare section accommodates up to 25 children with one (1) teacher and one (1) assistant and in any case, the teaching staff shall be provided each time pursuant to the existing provisions that regulate the teaching staff to children ratio.

Nevertheless, in accordance with Law 3833/2010, during the year 2010 no approval will be issued by the Three-Member Committee of PYS 33/2006, as in force, regarding the filling of vacant positions or recruitment of staff under private-law employment relationship of indefinite duration of Law 3812/2009.  For the same year, all recruitments and appointments of the said staff of the bodies thereof are suspended.  The appointment of successful candidates in the selection procedures of regular ASEP (Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection) staff and bodies, whose names have been posted on the final result boards after 1.1.2009, shall be gradually carried out in order of success until 12.31.2015.  For the period between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2016, the annual recruitment and appointments of permanent staff and staff under a private-law employment relationship of indefinite duration with the bodies of Law 3812/2009 cannot be greater than the overall ratio of one to five (one recruitment for) every five departures), for all the bodies.  Especially for the year 2012, the ratio of one to five is maintained for the organizations of Law 3812/2009, with the exception of the public enterprises, organisations and S.A. corporations of 3429/2005, for which the ratio is amended for 2012 from one to ten, i.e. one recruitment for every ten departures.  Departures are calculated on December 31 of the immediately preceding year and take the entire year into account.  If for any reason the overall recruitment is less than the ratio of one to five, the Minister of Interior, Decentralisation and e-Government, shall issue a decision regarding the filling of the remaining positions in the following year.

The recruitment of the preceding paragraphs are approved as appropriate by the Four-Member Committee of PYS 33/2006, as in force, based on priorities and needs, as these arise from the annual recruitment schedule, of all the bodies of Law 3812/2009.  By joint decision of the Ministers of Interior, Decentralization and e-Government and Finance, the priorities and criteria are defined for the allocation of the staff of the previous paragraph. By decision of the Minister of Interior, Decentralisation and e-Government the approved positions are allocated according to service and body.  The approved staff recruitments under a private-law employment relationship of definite duration and employment contract for the year 2011 are limited by the rate of fifty percent (50%) compared with the respective approvals of the year 2010 and by an additional ten percent (10%) in 2012.  For the years 2013 and 2014, the percentage shall be set at 20% compared with the previous year and at 10% for the years 2015 and 2016 compared to the previous year.  These restrictions do not apply to the approved recruitment of staff employed under a private-law employment relationship of definite duration and works contract that fall within the framework of research, development contracts and co-funded projects by the European Commission and third parties, if the payroll of this staff does not burden the State Budget in any way.  This limitation does not apply to recruitments of definite duration staff that are made for unforeseen needs and emergencies.  Furthermore, from the publication hereof, the secondment of educational staff to positions without full educational and teaching tasks is prohibited.  Under the responsibility of the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the existing secondments, upon this document entering into force, are mandatorily reduced by fifty percent (50%), no later than August 30, 2010.

Entry to the Profession

The standard qualifications for appointment in the public sector for University Education (PE) specialisations are described in P.D. 50/2001 as follows:
1.    For the PE industry of one or more specialisations whose title is the same as the title on the university degree or Higher Education Institute (HEI) diploma, the qualification for appointment shall be defined as the homonymous university degree or diploma of the domestic HEI, or equivalent foreign school with the respective specialty.
2.    In the event that a university degree or diploma from a domestic HEI is not provided for the branch or specialty defined by the previous paragraph, a university degree or diploma from a domestic HEI or an equivalent degree or diploma from foreign schools with a homonymous or similar title shall be accepted as qualification for appointment.

Moreover, pursuant to Law 3848/2010, teachers’ vacant positions as well as operational needs in Primary and Secondary Education are covered by candidate teachers achieving a passing score in the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection (ASEP) examination.  In particular, at the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs request based on the educational needs identified and recorded by Primary and Secondary Education Regional Directorates, ASEP, the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection, announces and conducts an examination for the preparation of a ranking list of teachers by branch and specialisation so that they can be appointed as permanent teachers or employed as substitute teachers in Primary and Secondary Education.

Greek citizens or citizens of the European Union Member-States or other countries outside the EU having however acquired Greek citizenship as well as the special formal qualifications required for entry in Primary and Secondary Education according to the provisions currently in effect (see “Institutions, Levels and Models of Education and Training”) are eligible to participate in the above-mentioned examination conducted every three years (Law 4093/2012).  According to Law 3848/2010, the certified Pedagogical and Teaching Proficiency for permanent appointment or employment in Primary and Secondary Education, is a prerequisite to participating in said examination while, according to Law 4186/2013, its acquisition is a requirement, for those admitted to Higher Education Institutions, as of the academic year 2013-2014 onwards.  Pedagogical and teaching proficiency is certified by means of: 

  • a certificate of successful attendance at a special studies programme of at least six months, held by a Higher Education Institution Department or by groups of affiliated departments of the same or more Higher Education Institutions to graduates having the special formal qualifications required for appointment  in Primary or Secondary Education according to the provisions currently in force.
  • a degree from a Higher Education Institution Department, whose curriculum provides the  theoretical and practical training required to this end and whose graduates obtain the special formal qualifications for appointment in Primary or Secondary Education according to provisions currently in force.  However, it is required that the Department curriculum includes teaching subjects falling under the following thematic areas: 1. Education and training issues. 2. Learning and teaching issues. 3. Special teaching and practical exercise (Law 4186/2013).
  • a degree from HEIs pedagogical departments (Primary Education Pedagogical Departments, Early Childhood Education Departments, Philosophy-Pedagogy-Psychology Departments, Philosophy-Pedagogy Departments) (Law 4186/2013).
  • a postgraduate degree or a PhD degree in education sciences.
  • a pedagogical degree from the Pedagogical Technical School (PATES) or the Higher School of Technology Engineer Educators (ASETEM), the former School of Teachers of Professional and Technical Education (SELETE)  or the Higher School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPAITE).

Degrees awarded by educational institutions abroad are accepted provided they have been recognised as equivalent by the National Academic Recognition Information Center (Hellenic NARIC).

Participants in the examination are initially ranked according to branch and specialisation and in descending score order on lists prepared and processed by ASEP.  Subsequently, separate lists of participants having achieved a passing score are prepared in descending order by branch and specialization.  The overall score results from the average score in all the thematic units examined while the passing score is achieved provided the candidate has accrued an average score of at least fifty five (55) points on a rating scale from one to a hundred and has received at least fifty (50) points in each thematic unit.

After the examination results have been finalised, the final ranking lists for Primary and Secondary Education teachers, having achieved a passing score are compiled by branch and specialisation by ASEP. 

However, by Ministerial Decision 49104/D1/10-4-2013, the appointment and employment transitory period foreseen by Law 3848/2010 has been extended, and permanent teachers’ appointment in Primary and Secondary Education shall be based by 60% on the ASEP examination appointment lists also for the school year 2013-2014 - the remaining 40% of teachers shall be appointed from the unified lists of provisional substitute teachers with actual teaching service - while current provisions on pedagogical and teaching proficiency shall remain in force for both the transitory period and the next two ASEP examinations, along with the provisions of Law 3848/2010, including the following degrees:

A)   from HEIs following Departments:

  • Pre-primary Education Pedagogical Department
  • Primary Education Department
  • Department of Pedagogical Sciences or Department of Pre-primary Education Pedagogical Sciences or Department of Primary Education Pedagogical Sciences of the University of Cyprus
  • Philosophy Department
  • Pedagogy and Psychology Department
  • Philosophy and Social Sciences Department

​B)   from Pre-primary Education Faculties

C)   from Pedagogical Academies

D)   PhDs or postgraduate titles in education sciences

Ε)    from Teacher Education Faculties

In Primary and Secondary Education, in addition to permanent teachers, provisional substitute teachers may also be employed after submitting a relevant request and on certain conditions, in the following cases:

  • If permanent teachers are, for any reason, absent from Primary and Secondary Education schools,
  • If there are extraordinary operating needs arising during the school year,
  • If the school timetable teaching and exercises hours at the same school of the same area or in a transfer area do not justify a permanent teacher’s appointment.

As regards substitute teachers’ appointment, in addition to the 40% of teachers to be appointed as permanent teachers in Primary and Secondary Education also in the year 2013-2014, due to the extension of the transitory period provided by Law 3848/2010 (Ministerial Decision 49104/Δ1/10-4-2013), until school year 2014-2015, teachers having completed by 30thJune 2008, actual 30-month teaching service as provisional substitute or hourly paid teachers in Primary and Secondary Education public schools shall be additionally appointed, provided there are teaching needs to be met, and by order based on their prior teaching service.  During said transitory period, substitute teachers who have completed 24 months of prior teaching service, have successfully participated in the ASEP examination and fall under special categories (parents of more than three underaged children, teachers with at least 67% permanent disability or teachers with children with at least 67% disability), are also appointed as permanent teachers.

Induction

The Induction Programme is addressed to newly appointed Primary and Secondary Education teachers, as well as those employed as substitute teachers.  According to Law 3584/2007, probationary training is mandatory for both the service and the employee.  This occurs during the first two years of the employee’s appointment and aims at familiarizing the employee with the object of his/her service and his/her duties as a Local Self-Government (O.T.A.) employee in general.  The competent services are required to ensure the provision of the necessary funds in the local budget.  An employee is not promoted past probationary level, if the probationary training has not been successfully completed.  As soon as the employee completes the probationary training, the promotion is conducted retrospectively with all the consequences.

The Induction Programme's overall duration is a hundred teaching hours and it includes three stages.  These stages are held in a successive order and are structured along threee basic dimensions: cognitive- workshop based, practical and reflective.  More specifically, the programme is based on fundamental adult education rules such as:

  • the decisive role of knowledge and experiences of the teachers receiving training,
  • their active participation in the training procedure,
  • the use of experiential training techniques,
  • the reflective nature of the training procedure.

The induction programme is coordinated by the Ministry of Education competent service, in collaboration with the of Educational Policy Institute (IEP), which determines the programme’s educational content as well as the Regional Training Centers the Coordinating Board of which is required to implement the programme, ensuring schools smooth operation without failing to take into consideration each area’s geographic particularities (decentralised and evening classes).

The induction programme’s educational content is determined upon recommendation of the relevant Educational Policy Institute (IEP).  IEP’s role is to monitor and assess developments in the field of education as well as the school and class actual needs and to draw up the induction programme’s educational content so that newly appointed teachers become oriented towards the educational system demands and are smoothly integrated into it. It should also be pointed out that although such a provision exists, mentoring does not apply for the newly-recruited educator.

In general, the induction programme, a dynamic process of constant updating and adaptation to the specific case by case needs, comprises thematic units pertaining to:

  1. the education organisation and management principles,
  2. classroom management basic principles,
  3. programming and organisation of the teaching material, preparation of lesson plans, teaching models and strategies encouraging students’ active participation and  initiative,
  4. modern teaching methods,
  5. the assessment viewed both as a pedagogical act and a research process in relation to the student and the teaching work,
  6. the utilization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in teaching.  

Stage A of the induction programme requires that teachers attend a teaching programme involving the above-mentioned thematic units common to all the participants. Stage B involves sample teachings attended by the programme participants in actual classrooms in the service areas.  In stage C, newly appointed teachers participating in the programme discuss the problems and the effective practices resulting from their teaching work during the school year and also assess the Programme.

Attendance to the programme is mandatory and varies based on the teachers’ prior service time. Stage A is held during the first fortnight of September and lasts 45 teaching hours for newly appointed teachers and 30 hours for substitute teachers. The total duration of stage B of the programme is 35 teaching hours and is held in November while stage C includes 20 teaching hours and is held at the end of the school year.  Stages B and C are attended only by teachers who, when appointed, have completed less than 8 months of prior teaching service in Primary and Secondary Education schools and on condition that they have attended Induction stage A.

Teachers’ educators come from the university as well as the broader educational community.  University and TEI Teaching and Research Staff members, school advisors, Primary and Secondary Education teachers with increased formal qualifications (postgraduate titles as well as knowledge and experience in specific fields-actions) but also private individuals with the necessary experience and the scientific knowledge may participate as teachers’ educators in the training programmes.

Professional Status

Permanent Teachers fall under the Permanent Civil Servants category and are subject to the Employees Code in a complimentary way.  Pursuant to article 103 of the Constitution currently in force, public servants, teachers included, placed in organic positions, are permanent employees.  Their promotion to higher ranks and salary grids is governed by Law 4024/2011 (see “Teachers Salaries”) and, with the exception of cases of withdrawal due to reaching the retirement age limit and completing thirty five years of service or due to dismissal by court decision, they cannot be transferred without prior opinion, or demoted or dismissed without the competent service council’s prior decision.

However, newly appointed teachers do not acquire a permanent contract immediately after appointment.  They serve for two years as probationary teachers in order to be prepared and assume fully their teaching and pedagogical duties. The preparation includes, inter alia, the newly appointed teachers’ familiarization with the educational environment and induction.  Permanent appointment takes places ipso jure two years after their appointment by a combined implementation of provisions: a) of paragraphs 2(a) and 3(a) of article 5, Law 2986/2002, as modified in paragraph 3c, of article 13 Law 3149/2003, b) of paragraphs 1 to 4 of articles 1 and 2 of Presidential Decree  140/1998, as modified in paragraphs 4 and  5 of article 6, Law 4024/2011c) of paragraphs 1 and  2 of article 40 and  paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 47 of the Employees’ Code (Law 3528/2007) and d) of  paragraphs 5 and 8 of article 4, Law 3848/2010,  while in case mandatory induction is not completed, they are not promoted according to the Employees’ Code, as this in not provided in the special provisions applicable to teachers.  As regards teachers’ assessment, the relevant Presidential Decree publication is still pending.

As regards substitute teachers, they are employed under a fixed-term contract governed by private law, while according to current provisions, the employment agency (the relevant Minister) is not granted the discretion to employ substitute teachers for a period shorter than the school year.

However, especially for private-law staff under definite duration, the recruitment decision shall also define the duration of the employment contract within the ceiling laid down in the relevant recruitment provisions (Law 3584/2007, article 170).

The provisions of Law 2527/1997 apply to works contracts.  For a better understanding of the process involved in concluding a works contract, we consider it necessary to cite the respective article of the law:  for the conclusion of a works contract between services or legal entities of the public sector and natural persons, pursuant to the provisions of articles 681 et. seq. of the Greek Civil Code or other special provisions (article 648 of the Greek Civil Code, a works contract has the object of one contracting party providing work to the other for a fee), the prior adoption of a joint decision by the Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation and any other competent Minister is required, which shall determine the number of persons to be employed, the specific project that they will perform, the time required for the total or partial delivery of the project, the amount of the contractor’s total remuneration, the place of execution of the project and that the work does not form part of the usual duties of the employees of the body in question, together with the reasons why the work cannot be carried out by its employees.  The works contract defines all the necessary terms and every detail in relation to the contractor’s rights and obligations. Works contracts that cover fixed and permanent needs are automatically and completely void.

Thus, according to the above provisions of Law 2527/1997, the O.T.A. employee is permitted to conclude a works contract for the duration of up to one (1) year, with natural persons for the provision of services or for conducting works.  For the lawful conclusion of these contracts, dependent employment must not be concealed, i.e. genuine works contracts which are concluded further to the decision of the General Secretary of the Region.  These contracts should not cover fixed and permanent needs that do not have a temporary nature, but originate from extraordinary events or arise periodically and have a limited duration (up to one year), which does not justify the employment of permanent staff or does not require specialised knowledge that the serving employees cannot provide and must be covered until the recruitment of permanent staff.

Replacement Measures

If permanent teachers are, for any reason, absent from Primary and Secondary Education schools or if there are extraordinary school operating needs arising during the school year, provisional full-time or part-time substitute teachers or hourly paid teachers are recruited under a fixed-term employment contract governed by private law after submitting a relevant request, in order to cover the teaching hours dictated by the school timetable.

Pursuant to Law 3848/2010, provisional substitute teachers’ employment in Primary and Secondary Education school units is based on ranking lists drawn up by branch and specialisation for each school year by the Ministry of Education. The above-mentioned lists are drawn up based on the teachers’ place on the ASEP examination final lists and their stated preferences.  If the number of the teachers registered in the above-mentioned list is not sufficient, employment of provisional substitute teachers is based on a complementary list of teachers not having achieved the passing score in the ASEP examination, based on academic and social criteria as well as criteria relating to prior teaching service, if any.  In exceptional cases where there are objective reasons not permitting the  provisional substitute teacher’s employment in Primary and Secondary Education school units, hourly paid teachers are recruited after submitting a relevant request.

Supporting Measures

School Advisors in collaboration with Primary and Secondary Education executives provide teachers with help in their work throughout their career. School advisors are burdened with the task of providing teachers in the areas under their jurisdiction with scientific and pedagogical guidance and support, encourage every effort for scientific research in the field of education and participate in the assessment of the educational work and the teaching staff at schools of the areas coming under their jurisdiction.  It is their duty to cooperate with teachers of their specialisation, with Heads of school units and students aiming at a smooth and unobstructed execution of the pedagogic and teaching work.  Moreover, School Heads must help teachers at the school units under their direction.

Finally, in addition to school advisors and heads of school units, the Centers for Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs (KEDDY), also help teachers to perform their work.  The above-mentioned centres constitute a decentralised structure of the educational system and operate at the prefectures seats.  Besides research with a view to finding out the kind and the degree of difficulties faced by students with special educational needs, ranging from serious health problems to specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysanagnosia or compound cognitive, emotional and social difficulties, these centres also provide consultation and information to the teaching staff and to all the participants in the educational process throughout education.

For the newly appointed teacher’s guidance and support, article 4 of Law 3848/2010 provided for the appointment of mentor but it was never implemented given that the above-mentioned Ministerial Decision determining the mentors’ specific qualifications, duties and way of selection was not issued.

Salaries

By virtue of Law 4354/2015, a reclassification on the pay scale of all public servants has been introduced.  Teachers that serve in Public Primary and Secondary Education Schools are also affected by this change.  More specifically, the grading on the pay scale of teachers (who are public servants and hold a HEI degree) occurs irrespective of the pay scale on which they are being placed.  The introductory pay scale is MK1 and the final one is MK19.  Public servants who belong to the same category and are on the same pay scale are entitled to the basic salary that corresponds to it, regardless of their specialisation.  It is required that the teacher (public servant) has completed at least two (2) years of service in the lowest pay scale, in order to  progress from the lowest  to the highest pay scale.  Holders of PhD or Master’s Degrees are favoured, while as regards the allowance for positions of responsibility received by Headteachers or Directors of School Units, or family allowances received by beneficiaries, these shall not be amended.  It should also be noted that the classification on the new pay scale will be implemented immediately, that is on the 1st January 2016; however, further salary progression will be suspended until the 31st of December 2017 and reactivated shortly after.

It should be noted that a salary cut was marked in 2012/2013 due to the economic crisis.  Law 4024/2011 introduced a new system for the calculation of salaries for all public servants and proceeded with the abolition of most bonuses and benefits.  In fact, Law Law 4093/2012 repealed the Christmas and Easter bonuses and the Annual Leave benefit.  Holders of a postgraduate degree advance in two pay scales over teachers who do not have one, while the doctorate gives a precedence of six pay scale.  The allowance for teachers serving at remote border areas and problem areas remains (which is set at 1,200 per year) as does the family allowance for minors and for children under the age of 24 years, who are studying in tertiary education. Finally, overtime should not exceed 20 hours per month and is paid at the rate of 10 Euros per hour.

Working Time and Holidays

Teaching hours - Time spent at the school unit

Primary and Secondary teachers’ working time (per week) is divided into two parts:

  • hours of teaching time (teaching schedule) per week and
  • the amount of time teachers remain at school to execute tasks assigned to them by the school administrative bodies.

The work in question usually involves matters contributing to the school’s smooth operation such as keeping students marks and attendance registers, informing parents on their children’s performance, supervising children during school breaks for safety reasons, preparing and gathering lesson material or correcting and assessing written assignments and tests.  Teachers may undertake the task of preparing educational programmes or other events of educational interest.  In any case, compulsory working time cannot exceed 6 hours per day and 30 hours per week for teachers without or with administrative tasks such as Heads, Deputy Heads of school units and school laboratories Directors, Pre-primary school teachers included (Law 4115/2013).  Law 3979/2011 applies to permanent staff under a private-law employment relationship of indefinite duration that are employed at 1st and 2nd degree OTA childcare centers and nurseries, which states that the weekly hours of work have increased from thirty-seven and a half (37 ½) hours to forty (40).

Pursuant to Laws 1566/1985, 2517/1997 and 4115/2013 on Primary Education and Laws 1566/1985 and 4152/2013 on Secondary Education, teachers’ compulsory teaching time per week is determined based on their branch, years of prior service and their administrative position as follows :

Pre- Primary Education

With article 39 par.5 (b) of Law 4115/2013 a 7th paragraph has been added to article 12 of Law 1566/1985, according to which Pre-primary school teachers’ teaching schedule has been established in a way similar to that of teachers, while decrease of teaching time as years of service increase and details pertaining to its implementation are regulated by Ministerial Decision.

Primary school education

Teachers serving in one-teacher, two-teacher and three-teacher primary schools

  • 25 hours

Teachers serving in four or more-teacher primary schools

  • 24 hours, up to four years of service,
  • 23 hours, between  10  and 15 years of service,
  • 22 hours, between 15  and 20 years of service and
  • 21 hours, more than 20 years of  service

Heads of Primary school

  • 20 hours, in four-teacher and five-teacher schools,
  • 12 hours, in six-teacher to eight-teacher schools,
  • 10 hours in nine-teacher and ten-teacher schools
  • 8 hours in eleven-teacher and twelve-teacher schools,

Secondary Education

Educational Staff

  • 23 hours, up to 6 years of service,
  • 21 hours, between 6 and 12 years of service,
  • 20 hours, 12  and above years of service

Workshop teachers of sectors falling under ΤΕ01

  • 24 hours, up to 7 years of service,
  • 21 hours, between 7 and 13 years of service,
  • 20 hours, 13 and above years of service

Compulsory teaching schedule for heads of school units and school laboratory centers directors is as follows:

Heads of School Units

  • 10 hours, when the respective school units have between 3 and 5 classes,
  • 9 hours, when they have between  6 and  9 classes, 
  • 7 hours, when they have 10 to 12 classes, 
  • 5 hours, when they have more than 12 classes.

Heads of School Laboratory Centers

10 hours

Deputy Heads of School Units and Staff in charge of School Laboratory Centers Sectors

16 hours

Staff in charge of Laboratories

20 hours

Master Technicians of sector DΕ01

28 hours

Technicians of sector DΕ01

30 hours

The above-mentioned teaching schedule for Secondary Education teachers has been in force as of 1-9-2013 while, upon completion of 20 years of service, the education staff of said level has a reduced by two hours schedule on a weekly basis. 

It should be noted that part-time substitute teachers’ schedule ranges from 4 to 15 hours per week (at both levels), while hourly paid teachers’ teaching schedule does not exceed four hours per week.  It is pointed out that full time substitute teachers’ teaching schedule is 24 hours per week in Primary Education, 23 hours per week in secondary education, while it is subject to reduction depending on the teacher’s years of prior service and based on what is respectively provided for permanent employees.

Holidays

During the school year, Primary and Secondary Education teachers are entitled to holidays amounting to two weeks during Christmas time and two weeks during Easter time.  In addition to the above mentioned holidays, during the school year, teachers have 6 -7 days of additional holidays, as do the rest of the public servants, corresponding to religious or national holidays.  After the end of the school year, more specifically as of June 22th for Primary education and June 30th for Secondary Education and until August 31st, Primary and Secondary Education teachers do not go to the schools given that they remain closed because of summer holidays with the exception of just one day per week (for handling administrative issues).  Primary and Secondary Education teaching staff is not granted regular leaves of absence, with the exception of emergency reasons in which case they do not exceed ten working days per year.  However, when conditions allow or demand it, several types of paid or unpaid leaves are granted, depending on the case, such as educational leaves, childbirth leaves, pregnancy leaves, leaves of absence for monitoring children’s upbringing, special parental leaves, recovery leaves etc.

The operation of Childcare Centers-Nurseries’ is defined in Article 11 of the Standard Operating Regulations.  They operate five days a week, i.e. from Monday to Friday commencing on September 1 and ending on July 31.  In areas where the mothers’ employment peaks during the summer period, the Childcare Center is able to operate in August and shut down for a total of one month during the months of June-July.  The Childcare Centers-Nurseries do not operate from December 24 until January 5 and from Holy Thursday until the Sunday after Easter.  The Childcare Centers-Nurseries also close during the official Public Services holidays, on the name day the Patron Saint of the Municipality or Community in which the Childcare Centers-Nurseries operates, or during a National Local celebration.  The Childcare Centers-Nurseries operate from 6:45 in the summer and close at 16.00.  By decision of the Board, the Childcare Centers-Nurseries’ working hours may be extended for an extra two (2) hours if it employs the necessary staff with the obligation of paying the staff compensation or if this is not possible, providing them with a day off.

Promotion, Advancement

Teachers are promoted from one grade to the next upon completion of the time of service stipulated by law and following the competent service council’s relevant decision (Law 1566/1985).

Teachers can serve public education officer posts provided that they meet the essential qualification requirements specified by the law.  Criteria vary by level of position and include pay scale, teaching time, relevance between the position and the teacher's specialisation, or possibly, additional higher education qualifications.

By virtue of Law 3848/2010 and Law 4327/2015 as supplemented by Law 4351/2015education officer posts include:

  • Early childhood education school advisors
  • Primary education school advisors
  • Secondary education school advisors
  • Special education school advisors
  • Primary education school heads
  • Secondary education school heads
  • Supervisors in two-teacher and three-teacher Kindergartens
  • School heads in four-teacher (and above) Kindergartens
  • Supervisors in two-teacher and three-teacher primary schools
  • Primary School school heads
  • Gymnasium school heads
  • General Lyceum (GEL) school heads
  • Vocational Lyceum (EPAL) school heads
  • Training Centre (EK) school heads
  • School heads in Primary Education Special Education Schools (SMEAE)
  • Special Education Gymnasium (EAE) school heads
  • Special Education Lyceum (EAE) school heads
  • Special Vocational Gymnasium school heads
  • Special Vocational Lyceum (EPAL) school heads
  • Experimental Kindergarten supervisors
  • Experimental Primary School school heads
  • Experimental and Model Gymnasium school heads
  • Experimental and Model Lyceum school heads
  • Music School School heads
  • Art School School heads
  • School heads in Special Vocational Education and Training Workshops (EEEEK)
  • Supervisors at Centers for Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support for Special Educational Needs (KEDDY)
  • Primary School deputy heads
  • Secondary School deputy school heads
  • Training Centre (EK) deputy school heads
  • Training Centre (EK) department managers
  • Deputy school heads in Special Primary Education Schools (SMEAE)
  • Deputy school heads in Special Secondary Education Schools (SMEAE)

School Advisors

Under Law 4115/2013, school advisors are pay scale C teachers who have served the respective level in primary or secondary public or private education for a minimum of twelve years; they must also have provided teaching services for a minimum of ten (10) consecutive years out of which five (5) at minimum at a school unit of the same type with the unit offering the advisor position.  Selection criteria for school advisors are based on credits earned through irreproachable procedures.  Criteria are stipulated by Law 3848/2010.

Other Education Officers

All education officers, excluding school advisors, are public education teachers selected on the basis of grading tables produced upon the award of credits earned according to the criteria specified by Law 4327/2015, as supplemented by Law 4351/2015.

General selection criteria for school advisors and other education officers are:

  • academic – pedagogical background and training
  • service status, experience in guidance/counselling and administration
  • personality and general background
  • contribution to the education process.

Mobility and Transfers

Primary and Secondary Education teachers are shifted either in the form of transfers within the country or in the form of secondments within and outside the country.  Transfers are implemented either for the benefit of the service, or due to staff redundancy or due to the teachers’ relevant request. By virtue of Law 4093/2012, transfers are implemented in cases of staff redundancy for the benefit of the National Economy and the educational system quality and at public expense, from one Education Directorate to another, from one school to another throughout the country, irrespective of the educational level or organic position, by decision of the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.

According to Presidential Decrees 50/1996 and 100/1997, Primary and Secondary Education teacher transfers, are divided into:

  • Τeaching staff transfers from and to experimental schools.
  • Teaching staff transfers from and to music schools.
  • Relocation of teaching staff from or to art schools.
  • Relocation of teaching staff from or to ecclesiastical schools.
  • Teaching staff transfers from and to schools for the Greek expatriates’ children.
  • Teaching staff transfers from and to Special Education and Training school units (SMEA).
  • Teaching staff mutual transfers.
  • Teaching staff transfers from one transfer area to another (prefectures or geographical entities smaller than prefectures are considered as such).
  • Teaching staff transfers from one school to another within the same transfer area.
  • Teaching staff transfers due to teaching staff redundancy in experimental schools, music schools, schools for the children of the Greek expatriates and Special Education and Training schools.
  • Special categories’ transfers.

Transfer applications are usually submitted by teachers every year in November and may be retracted by the end of December.  That said, in the last two years, the submission date of the relocation and revocation applications vary. 

Newly appointed permanent teachers obtain an organic position at the end of the first year while teachers’ transfers require that at least one year of service in said organic position be completed by August 31st of the year in which transfers are concluded (Law 4115/2013).  Newly appointed and transferred teachers’ time of service in provisional placement positions as well as the period for which teachers remain at the service councils’ disposal for any reasons provided they are not personally responsible, are taken into consideration in establishing their right for transfer.  As regards special categories’ transfers and the cases of transfers from a non special education to a Special Education and Training school (SMEA), completion of one year of service in the organic position in question is not required. 

Transfer areas by Regional Education Directorate and Primary and Secondary Education Directorate have been redefined by Ministerial Decisions 147801/Δ1/2012 and 152263/Δ2/2012 for Primary and Secondary Education respectively.

The Central Service Councils for Primary and Secondary Education (KYSPE and DYSDE respectively) as well as the Regional Service Councils (PYSPE, PYSDE) are the competent bodies for Primary and Secondary Education teachers’ transfers.  Most transfer categories are examined by the central service councils and are executed by Ministerial Decisions, while transfers from one school to another school within the same area, fall under the regional education councils’ exclusive responsibility.

The criteria for the teachers’ transfers examined by the central service councils are overall time of service, joint service, family reasons, living conditions in the school seats where they used to serve or are still serving, locality and teachers’ top-ranking preference.  As regards transfers examined by the regional service councils, they are carried out based on the same criteria with the exception of the top-ranking preference criterion. The points system is the basic criterion for relocations.  Teachers can state the area of their choice (up to 15 options), but more often than not, the area of their first choice is not given.  This is because of the high points that correspond to specific areas, and lack of permanent position vacancies in the specific area.  Furthermore, the possibility of their relocation is limited to the date that general relocations are to take place.  General relocations take place once every year.

Secondments occur either in the case of exceptional service related needs or due to teachers related needs, such as heavy or refractory diseases afflicting teachers themselves or members of their family by decision of the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and following the reasoned opinion of the competent service council.  In addition to health and family reasons, further secondment criteria are the teachers overall time of service, joint service, and locality.  Teachers are seconded either from one school unit to another or to the Ministry of Education Central Service or to the Primary and Secondary Education Directorates, or to legal entities of public law supervised by the Ministry or even to Greek schools abroad. By virtue of Law 3848/2010, decisions for secondments are not executed until the operational needs of the school the teachers are seconded from are met while secondments to schools in the country, to the central service of the Ministry of Education Research and Religious Affairs as well as to legal entities of public law supervised by the Ministry last one school year and end on August 31st every year.

Regarding the staff of municipal childcare centers and nurseries, the provisions of Law 4257/2014 apply, which states that the secondment of an O.T.A. employee is allowed to another O.T.A. (secondment outside the limits of the municipality in question), at the request of the employee and further to the positive opinion of the originating body, by decision of the host O.T.A. body that is competent for the appointment.  The secondment is for two (2) years and may be extended for one (1) more.  Moreover, according to Law 3852/10, legal entity staff may be seconded by decision of the municipal council and the opinion of the board of the legal entity, either to another legal entity under public law of the municipality, or to a municipal department (secondment within the limits of the municipality), notwithstanding the relevant provisions, and without having to submit a request.  The above staff may be assigned parallel tasks.  The salary of the seconded staff shall burden the host body.  

To this end, staff that is permanent and under a private-law employment relationship of indefinite duration and the staff of municipal childcare centers and nurseries may be seconded from one O.T.A. to another O.T.A.  Specifically, the relocation is activated at the request of the employee to an equivalent vacant permanent position.  The decision concerning the relocation is issued by the O.T.A. host body that is responsible for appointment, further to the consent of the OT.A. body that is competent for the appointment of the permanent position and the local service councils.  A summary of the decision is published in the Government Gazette.  Under the conditions and procedures of the preceding paragraphs a mutual relocation is allowed.  In this case, the positions that are to be relocated are deemed vacant.  The relocation of an employee is not permitted when the employee is required to serve at a particular O.T.A. for a certain period further to a special provision.  Employees are not relocated during the probationary period.  By exception, in accordance with the procedure of the previous provision, relocation is permitted before the expiry of that period in the case of mutual relocation and for compelling personal reasons.  Relocation is not permitted when he/she is the sole employee of the branch.  If there is no vacant permanent position, the relocation is effected by transferring the position.

In addition, 1st degree O.T.A. employees may be relocated to respective permanent posts in public services and legal entities under public law and vice versa.  The relocation requires an application by the employee, who must have completed his/her two-year probationary period and any other period of limitation in respect of special provisions, the opinion of the local service councils and the consent to the 1st degree O.T.A. body that is competent for the appointment.  The relocation from O.T.A.s to Public services and vice versa is carried out by decision of the Minister of Interior, Decentralisation and e-Government and the competent Minister and from O.T.A. to Legal Entities under Public Law and vice versa by a joint decision of the bodies that are competent for the appointment.

Transferred and seconded teachers within the country maintain their salary status.

Dismissal

Preschool, Primary and Secondary Education Teachers on permanent tenure may be dismissed in accordance with Law 3528/2007 as amended, and in effect, with Law 4325/2015 and Law 4369/2016, on the following grounds:

  • disciplinary action and permanent duty suspension
  • physical or mental incapacity upon interpretation issued by the respective Second Degree Health Committee
  • permanent termination of the post served
  • reaching retirement age (67) (Law 4369/2016)
  • inadequacy according to article 97 of the same law, which refers to the referral of an employee that is not eligible for promotion.  Specifically, an employee that remains stagnant twice at the same degree, although he/she is not eligible for promotion, is mandatorily referred, within two (2) months from the ratification of the relevant table, to the service council, which, with its reasoned decision and after a previous call thereof, for the provision of the necessary written or verbal explanations is able to dismiss him/her, or demote him/her by one level.  An appeal may be submitted against this decision to the Secondary Disciplinary Board.

In any of the above-mentioned cases, employment is terminated at any time during the year while vacancies resulting from dismissals are filled following the transfers, secondments or substitute teachers’ employment procedures.

According to Law 4186/2013 and Law 4386/2016, dismissal results in termination of employment.

Retirement and Pensions

According to Law 3584/2007, as regards the retirement of permanent employees (teachers of Primary and Secondary Education and the teaching staff employed in municipal childcare centers and nurseries), the following apply:

  1. The employee is automatically dismissed from service upon reaching 65 years of age.
  2. By exception, the employee is automatically dismissed from service upon reaching 60 years of age and completing thirty-five (35) years of actual and pensionable service.  If the employee has not completed thirty-five (35) years of actual and pensionable service upon reaching 65 years of age his/her stay in the service is extended until the completion of this service, however not beyond 67 years of age.
  3. For implementation of the preceding paragraphs, December 31 in the employee’s year of birth is considered the day of birth.
  4. Actual service means any service provided to the State, to a legal entity under public law, or to an O.T.A. employed under public or private law, or which is recognized as actual service based on special provisions.  The military service period prior to the commencement of employment is not considered actual service time.
  5. Employees, who retained the Social Security Institute (I.K.A.) insurance regime during their tenure, are automatically dismissed from service on the date that they submit their retirement documents from the local primary insurance fund, if they have fulfilled their thirty-five year pensionable service

Moreover, pursuant to Law 4186/2013, Primary and Secondary Education teachers’ resignation applications submitted in the last ten days of April are considered approved leading to ipso jure termination of employment at the end of the school year. Primary and Secondary teachers’ applications for resignation submitted after May 31st as well as during the following school year, are approved by decision of the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, following the relevant opinion of the Central Service Councils (KYSPE, KYSDE) for exceptional reasons such as heavy or refractory illnesses, proved by Health Committee or State Hospital certificates or for extremely serious family reasons.

With respect to employees in municipal childcare centers and nurseries under a private-law employment relationship of indefinite duration, in accordance with article 197 of Law 3584/2007, the following are defined:

  1. The staff of this Chapter, unless otherwise provided by law, is automatically dismissed from the service upon reaching 65 years of age.  For implementation of the preceding section, December 31 in the employee’s year of birth is considered the day of birth.
  2. Exceptionally to paragraph 1, staff that is not entitled to a pension is kept at the service until such right is fulfilled, however not beyond 70 years of age.  With regard to the retention of staff pursuant to the previous paragraph, an act is issued by the body that is competent for the recruitment.
  3. The provision of paragraph 2 shall not apply to those who have acquired the status of a State, or Social Security Agency retiree from their own service.
  4. For the termination of employment, according to this article, a declaratory act is issued by the body that is competent for the recruitment.

Moreover, article 201 of Law 3584/2007 provides that staff under a private-law employment relationship of indefinite duration is automatically dismissed from service on the date of the issue of the decision of retirement from the primary insurance fund, provided he/she has completed thirty-five (35) years of pensionable service.  The relative declaratory act of dismissal is issued no later than one (1) month from the notification of the decision for retirement by the relevant insurance fund.

As regards the retirement age limit, a fundamental change introduced by Law 3865/2010 “Reform of the retirement system in the Public Sector”, is the equalization of the retirement age limit for men and women.  Moreover, the new law regulations bring about changes in the retirement status of employees having established the right for retirement as of 1-1-2011 onwards, given that the length of pensionable service gradually rises from 35 to 37 years, as does the retirement age limit from 58 to 60 years. In other words, as of 2015 onwards, for the establishment of the right for retirement, the retirement age limit shall be 65 years for fewer than 37 years of pensionable service, or, for a reduced pension, 60 years for 37 years of pensionable service.  What constitutes a critical parameter of the said provision is the year in which retirement rights are established, that is, the year in which 25 years of actual pensionable service are completed, given that, it determines the overall pensionable service to be completed by the employee, the pensionable age and the potential for recognition of purchased notional time for underaged offspring and years of studies.