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Greece:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

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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

Funding

The most significant aspects of national educational financing, the roles of main stakeholders and the different types of funding mechanisms at each level of the Greek education system are described below.

Funding of Early Childhood Education and Care

Pre-school Care in our country is provided by Day and Baby Nurseries falling under the purview of the Municipalities, as well as by respective private structures. In accordance with the standard Regulation of Operation of Municipal Public Law Legal Entities Day and Baby Nurseries (Joint Ministerial Decision No. 16065/17-04-2002), the purpose of Day and Baby Nurseries is to provide modern Preschool Education, assist children in growing in every aspect and pass smoothly from the family into the school environment, provide daily maintenance and care for children and, lastly, assist parents.  Part of the PADF 2014-2020 and in particular the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development- Education and Life Long Learning” (O.P.H.R.D.) is the Act “Harmonization of Family and Professional Life”.  The beneficiary of the acts is the Ministry of Interior Affairs. The act provides care places to infants, toddlers, children and adolescents with disabilities in corresponding structures.  The aim of the act is to facilitate the access of benefiting mothers to employment and to have their family and professional lives harmonized, by providing care services for children and dependents.

With regard to the selection of the benefiting mothers, family, working and economic criteria are taken into account, which are determined following consultation between the Ministry of Labor, Social Security and Welfare and the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece.  The act is implemented by the Greek Society of Local Development and Local Government GSLDLG S.A.

The resources of Day & Baby Nurseries are:

  • Grants and any other benefits granted by the State or any Agency, Legal or Natural Person either to the Legal Person of the Day and Baby Nurseries or through the Local Government Bodies (LGB) on their behalf.
  • The annual ordinary grant and every extraordinary of the relevant any special grant of the relevant Local Government Body to it.
  • All kinds of offerings, donations, legacies and bequests.
  • Property proceeds.
  • Proceeds from alimony.

The wage cost of the personnel employed at the Municipal Nurseries is covered by the Ministry of Interior Affairs through the Municipalities by means of monthly regular grants.  For the purposes of allocating such grants, the minimum operating cost of an LGB is taken into consideration, as well as other criteria, such as demographic, and geographical ones.  With regard to the operating expenses (expenses for building maintenance, heating costs, etc.), the amounts are allocated based on the needs.  Furthermore, there are also the Regional Operational Programmes implemented by the Interim Managing Authorities, which finance infrastructure projects such as the construction of new buildings or the provision of the necessary equipment.

Funding of Primary Education

Pre-primary School (Nipiagogeio) and Primary School (Dimotiko Scholeio) constitute Primary Education and are supervised and financed by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.  The purpose of the public funding is the provision of public, free and high-quality education for all.

As mentioned, Primary Education is financed centrally by the state budget through the Regular Budget and the Public Investments Programme. Also, centrally, the Computer Technology Institute & Press DIOPHANTUS organises, coordinates and implements the production and distribution process of textbooks in all Public Primary and Secondary Education Schools throughout the country, as well as in Greek Schools abroad under decisions by the Minister for Education, Research and Religious Affairs.  At the same time, the company Building Infrastructure S.A. is responsible for the construction of schools in Attica and the procurement, storage and distribution of equipment for schools (e.g. desks, benches, blackboards etc.) throughout Greece.  Moreover, the company constructs school buildings anywhere in Greece following programmatic agreements or similar ministerial decisions, whenever requested.

At a regional level, regional operational programs are implemented by the Regions to fund specific infrastructure projects.

School Committees (Scholikes Epitropes) are established at local level.  They are municipal or community legal entities entrusted with the management of appropriations allocated by the Ministry of Interior to cover the operational costs in Primary Schools.  With regard to maintenance and repair expenses for school buildings, the Ministry of Interior Affairs distributes funds to municipalities, which in turn, depending on the size of the action undertaken, either manage them themselves or grant them to the school boards following the decision of the Municipal Council, in order to have them allocated based on the needs.  The allocation by the Ministry of Interior Affairs to the municipalities takes place by taking the following criteria into account, i.e. the number of classes in school buildings by 30% and the number of pupils by 70%.  The funds allocated by the Ministry of Interior for the transfer of pupils are also managed at regional level.

Finally, it is worth noting that the expenses for school traffic wardens, who are volunteers providing services to Primary Education Schools, where this is necessary for the protection of the pupil population due to traffic conditions, takes the form of monthly remuneration paid by the School Boards for covering their travel expenses.  The relevant amounts are allocated by the Ministry of Interior to Municipalities and by Municipalities to the relevant School Board, following a decision by the Municipal Council in order to allocate them accordingly.

Funding of Secondary Education   

Lower Secondary Schools (Gymnasia), Upper Secondary, General and Vocational (Geniko Lykeio, Epangelmatiko Lykeio - EPAL) as well as Vocational Schools constitute the secondary level of education. The purpose of public funding is the provision of public, free and high-quality education for all.

According to those applicable to Primary Education, Secondary Education is financed by the State Budget through the Regular Budget and the Public Investments Programme at central level.  Also, centrally, the Computer Technology Institute & Press DIOPHANTUS organises, coordinates and implements the production and distribution process of textbooks in all Public Primary and Secondary Education Schools throughout the country, as well as in Greek Schools abroad under decisions by the Minister for Education, Research and Religious Affairs.  At the same time, the company “Building Infrastructure S.A.” is responsible for the construction of schools in Attica and the procurement, storage and distribution of equipment for schools (e.g. desks, benches, blackboards etc.) throughout Greece.  Moreover, the company constructs school buildings anywhere in Greece following programmatic agreements or similar ministerial decisions, whenever requested.

At a regional level, regional operational programs are implemented by the Regions to fund specific infrastructure projects.

At local level, School Committees (Scholikes Epitropes) operate, being Municipal or Community Legal Entities entrusted with the management of appropriations allocated by the Ministry of Interior to cover the operational costs in Secondary Education Schools.  With regard to maintenance and repair expenses for school buildings, the Ministry of Interior Affairs distributes funds to municipalities, which in turn, depending on the size of the action undertaken, either manage them themselves or grant them to the School Boards following the decision of the Municipal Council, in order to have them allocated based on the needs.  The allocation by the Ministry of Interior to the Municipalities takes place by taking the following criteria into account, i.e. the number of classes in school buildings by 30% and the number of pupils by 70%.  The funds allocated by the Ministry of Interior for the transfer of pupils are also managed at Regional level.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Interior Affairs directly subsidises Municipalities of the country, where there are Music and Art Junior High Schools and Lyceums, for providing board to the pupils thereof.

Financial Autonomy and Control

Schools in Greece are not autonomous in the following sectors of responsibility:

  1. In the use of public resources for capital expenditure, for any purchases and acquisition of electronic equipment (PCs).
  2. In funds raising and, in particular, sponsorships and donations, the renting of school premises for activities beyond the school schedule and loans.
  3. In the use of private resources for purchasing movable and immovable assets or for recruiting teaching and non teaching staff. All these are decided at a central level by the supreme educational authorities.

However, the new institutional framework on local government is an effort towards the autonomy and independent management of Primary and Secondary Education school units.  Pursuant to Law 3852/2010 "New Architecture of Local Government and Decentralized Administration-Kallikratis Programme",  the abolition of all previous School Committees serving as administration bodies and the replacement thereof by two new school committees for every new broadened municipal authority is stipulated.  In particular, a school committee for Primary and a School Committee for Secondary Education have been set up.  In every Municipality, these two School Committees have been granted autonomy to handle the operational costs of schools in their field of responsibility.

More specifically, the work of each School Committee is the management of the appropriations allocated to cover the operating costs of schools (heating, lighting, water, telephone, sewer, purchase of consumables etc.), the execution of works for the repair and maintenance of schools and any kind of equipment, the addressing of the respective directorates of Primary and Secondary Education for the procurement of furniture, equipment and books, the management of the income from the potential running of school canteens, etc.

The income of School Boards derives from the subsidies from Municipalities, school property proceeds, the disposal of asset, any kind of contributions, donations, legacies and bequests and any other legitimate source.

Following a decision by the School Board, a specific amount is determined which is made available to every school principal in order to address the operational needs of schools.

For the purposes of auditing the financial management of the School Boards, the following books must be necessarily kept:

  • “INCOME - EXPENSES” book.
  • Statement of receipts - payments (in each school).
  • Booklet (block) of triplicate Payment Receipts.

Within the first 15 days of January next year, School Principals send the original statements of receipts and payments, together with the respective supporting documents, to the School Board.

The President of the School Board shall submit a copy of the “INCOME - EXPENSES” book to the Board of Directors of the School Board by the end of February each year, as well as a brief annual report table for the preceding fiscal year, together with the relevant documents.

Based on the “INCOME - EXPENSES” book and the report table, the board of directors of the School Board audits the financial management details and decides on its approval by means of a decision thereof, taken by the end of March. The decision of the Board of Directors of the School Board is subject to approval by the relevant Municipal Council.

In accordance with the Ministerial Decision 16065/2002 - "Standard Regulation of Operation of Municipal Public Law Legal Entities Day and Baby Nurseries", the Board of Directors (of the Legal Person) is responsible for the administration and management of the property and resources of the legal entity, for the approval and submission of the annual budget, report and balance sheet for the preparation of investment programs and other development activities programs. With regard to the budget, the report, the treasury service, the loans, the property and the general economic management, the relevant provisions applicable to municipal day and baby nurseries are the same as those applicable to Municipalities. Furthermore, procurements are performed in accordance with the relevant provisions on the procurement of Local Government Bodies, as they apply each time.

Fees within Public Education

There are no tuition fees in Greek public education.

Attendance in Primary Education State Schools, Pre-primary and Primary schools, is free of charge and includes the provision of textbooks and any additional material to every pupil.

Attendance at Public Secondary Schools is also free and includes the provision of the textbooks to each pupil, as well as the provision of accompanying teaching aids.

Municipal Child and Infant/Child Centers (Paidikoi Stathmoi, Vrefonipiakoi Stathmoi) may require board fees on a monthly basis from the families of hosted children, depending on their economic capabilities.  The Board of Directors in these centers determines the circumstances for a family to be exempted from this contribution or pay a lower one.  The children of working parents and economically weak families from the Local Government Organisation area shall take precedence in enrollment in such centers. 

Financial Support for Learners’ Families

A financial support is foreseen for low income families (certified income of 3, 000 Euros), amounting to three hundred Euros (300) for every pupil (up to the age of 16 years)  every year, after the end of the school year, for every child attending compulsory education in a State School (Law 3879/2010).

Financial assistance to the families of pupils also takes the form of facilitating the transportation of pupils to schools.  Thus, the transfer of pupils residing in remote areas to state schools is carried out based on Ministerial Decision 24001/11-6-2013, from the Regions, either by means of special student vouchers or by a public service provision agreement, depending on the distance measured in kilometers between the place of residence and the school.  If the transportation of pupils is considered impossible or uneconomical and the pupils have settled in another house close to the school, solely for the purpose of attending such school unit, a monthly allowance of 85 Euros is granted.  If they are transferred on the responsibility of the persons having parental custody or their lawful supervisors, an allowance shall be granted calculated on the basis of kilometric (single) distance between the place of residence and the school, with a cost equaling 0.35 €/ kilometer and on the basis of the pupil’s school attendance days.  This allowance shall not exceed 1, 500 Euros per pupil, per school year.

In Municipal Day and Baby Nurseries, the transportation of children can take place by means of transportation provided by them.  The cost of transporting children shall be decided by means of a decision by the Board of Directors of the legal entity and may be covered with an additional contribution from the parents, depending on their financial ability.

Family allowances provided by law, are divided in two categories: an allowance for the under age child or the student and an allowance for families having more than  three (3) children.  The former, is granted by the employer to the employee, paid either with a salary or a wage, for every child not being married and younger than the 18th year of age, or the 19th, if it attends Secondary Education.  If the child attends Upper Secondary or Higher Education, as well as Vocational Training Institutes (Institouta Epangelmatikis Katartisis), the allowance shall be granted throughout the attendance year, as foreseen by each Faculty’s organisational charter, but under no circumstances will it be extended beyond the 24th year of the student’s age.  The allowance in question for civil servants amounts to fifty (50) Euros for one (1) child, to a total of seventy (70) Euros for two (2) children, to one hundred and twenty (120) Euros for three (3) children and to a total of one hundred and seventy (170) Euros for four (4) children while being increased by seventy (70) Euros for each additional child (Law 4024/2011).  

A family with more than three children, and in particular those families with three and more dependent children are given a special allowance, fixed at five hundred (500) Euros per year for each child, provided that the taxable family income is up to forty five thousand (45,000) Euros for the families with three children.  The aforementioned ceiling of family income is increased by three thousand (3, 000) Euros for families with four children and by four thousand (4,000) Euros for every additional child for the families with more than four children (Law 4141/2013).

According to Law 4172/2013, the “dependent members” of the taxpayer include, inter alia, unmarried children if they are minors up to 18 years or adults up to 25 years and are attending schools or vocational training or education institutes, either domestically or abroad. However, although there is no obligation for submitting an income tax return, there are no tax exemptions for the afore-mentioned cases.

Financial Support for Families of Pupils with Special Educational Needs

The same applies as in the financial support for Learners' Families.

Furthermore, the transportation of SMEA pupils (pupils with special needs) from their place of residence or a specific place of gathering to the school they are attending and vice versa takes place without any kilometer limitations.  The afore-mentioned pupils are transported with the means of Municipalities and Regions or, if this is not feasible, by means of a public agreement on the provision of services.  If these pupils are transported under the responsibility of those having the parental responsibility or of the legal guardians thereof, an allowance is granted calculated on the basis of the (single) mileage distance from the place of residence to the school at a rate of €0.35/km for every day the pupil has attended school.  The annual cap of one thousand and five hundred (1, 500) Euros applicable to the rest does not apply to SMEA pupils.

Moreover, hearing aids are provided to pupils of public education (up to the age of 20), as well as to those who attend private schools which provide special education or special vocational training and have hearing problems.  The maximum amount for each hearing aid cannot exceed one thousand and five hundred (1, 500) Euros.

Financial Support for Learners

In Public Primary and Secondary Education, textbooks and additional material are offered free of charge and the transfer cost of pupils from remote areas is covered. Moreover, under specific conditions, free board, accommodation and financial support to a limited number of pupils are provided based on socio-economic criteria.

Social support to pupils encompasses scholarships, donations and financial support by various foundations, Natural Persons and Legal Entities of Private Law, to learners and schools of all grades-levels of education. No special tax reliefs are provided for parents of pupils in Primary or Secondary Education, taking into account that the tax relief system is associated with the general government's policy and does not coincide with any financial support provided to pupils' parents. 

According to Law 4186/2013, scholarships or awards may be awarded to the pupils of Vocational Lyceums from the State Scholarship Foundation. For the preparation of the relevant programmes, educational, social and developmental criteria are taken into consideration, such as academic performance, marital status, income and occupational sectors, disciplines and specialisations identified as particularly important for the growth of the national economy.

All pupils are provided with health care through their parents who are directly insured with a Public Insurance Fund.

Private Education

Private Pre-primary Schools operate in Greece, under the competence of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, exercising supervision and control through regional administration bodies, just like primary schools in every region.  Private primary and secondary education schools are run with the same structure and function as the respective state schools, award equivalent certificates and adhere to the curriculum in force.  The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs is the competent authority to grant license to Natural Persons and Legal Entities for the establishment of Private Schools.

In Private Schools of every category, tuition fees are paid in exchange for the services provided.  The tuition fees for Pre-primary Schools (Nipiagogeia), Primary schools (Dimotika Scholeia), Lower and Upper Secondary Schools (Gymnasia, Lykeia) of Private Education cover the following:

  • Teaching of all subjects based on specific number of teaching hours, taught in every private school class (the Ministry of Education class timetable), compulsory for all pupils (compulsory subjects).
  • Teaching hours of compulsory subjects taught beyond the mandatory teaching and
  • Tuition fees for non compulsory subjects, educational or other activities and any transportation charges for the transfer of pupils (options).

Should the Private School offer courses for the International Baccalaureat (IB) or should it offer courses in both grades of education, tuition fees are adjusted accordingly.  Any tuition fees discount, in case of two brothers or sisters, is decided by the school itself.  Health and security benefits are offered, as well as meals, but not family allowances or tax exemptions arising from private school attendance.       

The amounts of tuition fees are fixed autonomously by Private Schools, which do not collect any other revenues, because there is no state subsidy to Private Education in Greece.  Article 11 of Law 3279/2004, which provided that the tuition fees applicable each year to the first grade of Pre-primary, Elementary, Junior High Schools and Lyceums were determined by the schools, whereas each year the tuition fees’ increase rate for the next grades was determined by means of a decision by the Minister for Development fixed on the basis of a mathematical formula, was abolished by virtue of a Legislative Act.

With regard to the transportation of pupils to and from the Private School, this is often done by means of school buses owned by the school.  as far as the raise in tuition fees is concerned, legislation regulates the sum for every school year.

Private Schools are accountable to the local Tax Authority, where their business activity is registered.