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Greece:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

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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

Types of Institutions     

General Lower Secondary Education is provided in Lower Secondary Schools.  The attendance is three (3) years and consists of Grades A, B and C. Students attend a common curriculum in all classes, without any differentiations. There are no study fields and no specialisation is provided. 

Lower Secondary Schools which provide training and preparation in specific professional fields, but not at the cost of general education, are Lower Secondary Music Schools, Lower Secondary Art Schools and Lower Secondary Ecclesiastical Schools.  Furthermore, there are Lower Secondary Schools which either offer experimental curricula, like Lower Secondary Model Schools and Lower Secondary Experimental Schools, or are oriented towards students with specific educational needs, like Evening Lower Secondary Schools, Cross-cultural Education Lower Secondary Schools, Minority Lower Secondary Schools, Special Education Lower Secondary Schools, Vocational Lower Secondary Schools, Second Chance Schools and the European Education School.

In this context, the types of schools, which provide Compulsory Secondary Education that leads to certification, are the following: 

Day Lower Secondary Schools 

Day Lower Secondary Schools are the main providers of General Compulsory Secondary Education, as they are attended by the majority of students in Secondary Education. They constitute over 90% of the educational institutions providing General Compulsory Secondary Education. 

Evening Lower Secondary Schools

Evening Lower Secondary Schools are attended by students over fourteen (14) years old, who are professionally employed. Attendance is three (3) years and consists of Grades A, B and C, which fully correspond to those of Day Lower Secondary Schools. There are seventy-three (73) Evening Lower Secondary Schools out of a total of one thousand six hundred and forty-five (1,645) Lower Secondary Schools in Greece.

The organisational variations of Lower Secondary Schools are the following:

Lower Secondary Model Schools and Experimental Schools 

According to Law 3966/2011, as amended by Law 4327/2015 and in effect, Lower Secondary Model and Experimental Schools consist of educational units - they cover all levels of education - where new curricula, syllabuses, educational tools, textbooks, educational approaches as well as administration and operation modes are set to trial. 

The administration of Lower Secondary Model and Experimental Schools on a national level is entrusted to the Administrative Committee for Lower Secondary Model and Experimental Schools, the members of which are assigned every three (3) years by decision of the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.  The Administrative Committee for Lower Secondary Model and Experimental Schools supports the implementation of the educational policy of Lower Secondary Model and Experimental Schools, promotes and exhibits their work, defines the framework of their experimental activities and decides on the acceptance criteria for these schools, following a petition from the Scientific Comprehensive Boards, which consist of one of the administration bodies on the level of educational unit.

The teachers occupied in these schools have high typical qualifications and teaching experience.  Apart from this, Lower Secondary Model and Experimental Schools serve, along with all other schools, the educational purposes and goals outlined in the relative legislation. 

There are eighteen (18) Lower Secondary Model and Experimental Schools in Greece.

Lower Secondary Music Schools

According to Ministerial Decision Γ2/3345/2-9-1988, Lower Secondary Music Schools aim at preparing and training students who wish to follow a career in Music, while at the same time providing them with general education in case they eventually decide to pursue a career in another scientific or professional field. 

According to Ministerial Decision 137506/Γ7/26-09-2013, Lower Secondary Music School students attend, apart from General Education classes, which are the same as those of Day Lower Secondary Schools, additional Music Classes which amount to thirteen to fourteen (13-14) hours of classes depending on the year of attendance. Successful completion of Music Education classes are a prerequisite for students of Lower Secondary Music Schools who wish to continue their studies in the school, regardless of whether the students fulfil the requirements for promotion to the next year of attendance according to the legislation regarding General Education in force. 

Students who have completed the attendance of Primary Education have the right to enrol to Lower Secondary Music Schools, following a selection procedure conducted by a special committee, assembled for every school separately.  The subjects in which candidates are evaluated are Rhythm, Dictée, Vocal Competence, Tone Identification and, optionally, competency in a Musical Instrument (European or traditional) - a minimum beginner competency level is required (Ministerial Decision Γ2/3850/16-6-1998).  

There are forty-five (45) Lower Secondary Music Schools in Greece.

Lower Secondary Art Schools

Lower Secondary Art Schools were founded according to Law 3194/2003 and consist of, according to Ministerial Decision 107922/Γ7/03-10-2003, the following study fields: a) Visual Arts, b) Theatre-Cinema, and c) Dance. 

The primary purpose of Art Schools is to encourage students to pursue their interest in the arts through preparatory learning programmes that help them build and develop their skills.  Students are asked to focus their studies upon one of the following areas of specialisation: Drama-Film, Dance (Classical and Contemporary) and Fine Arts.

In addition to all General Education Gymnasium subjects, Art Schools are delivering courses for all three areas of study.  Against this background and in accordance with Ministerial Decisions 7888/Δ2/19-2-2016 and 7885/Δ2/19-2-2016, Art School Curricula have been designed around subjects relating to all areas of specialisation.

Taught times for Art Schools have been extended and according to Ministerial Decision 106486/Δ2/29-6-2016 they amount to forty (40) hours a week. 

In order to enrol in grade A of Art School Gymnasiums, Primary School graduates are required to pass entrance examinations.  Each student has the option to apply for more than one area of specialisation.  When student receives offers of study in more than one area of specialisation, he/she shall accept offer in one area of his/her choice. 

A Student Selection Committee is formed in each Art School Gymnasium and for each area of specialisation, in order to process student selection for grade A.  The committee is constituted in line with decisions issued by the respective Municipal Director of Education following proposal by the Art School and approval by the Art Schools’ Committee of the Ministry of Education.

There are three (3) Lower Secondary Art Schools in Greece.

Lower Secondary Ecclesiastical Schools

Lower Secondary Ecclesiastical Schools serve the main purpose of educating students in the values of Orthodox Faith and Christianity, as well as the preparation and training of Clergy and Secular Executives of the Greek Orthodox Church, of high educational level and Christian morality.  There are seven (7) Lower Secondary Ecclesiastical Schools, of three-year attendance in Greece, and the education they provide is equivalent and equal to that provided by Day Lower Secondary Schools of General Education. 

The students of Lower Secondary Ecclesiastical Schools attend the same curriculum as that of Day Lower Secondary Schools of General Education, as well as some additional classes, namely The Old and the New Testament, Byzantine Music, Hagiography, Liturgical Life, Liturgies and Ecclesiology.

Lower Secondary Schools of Special Needs Education

Lower Secondary Special Education Schools are intended for students with special educational needs and, apart from Grades A, B, C offer an additional preliminary non-compulsory year of attendance.  Primary Education graduates with disabilities and special educational needs can enrol directly in Grade A of secondary schools; that is they can skip the preliminary year, following an evaluation by the relevant Centre of Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Special Education Needs and up to their nineteenth year of age (Law 3699/2008).  Taught times for classes taking place in grade A, B and C of Special Gymnasiums are specified in Ministerial Decision147356/Δ3/13-9-2016.

Special Needs Vocational Lower Secondary Schools 

According to Law 3699/2008, graduates of either General or Special Primary Education can enrol in Special Needs Vocational Lower Secondary Schools. Attendance lasts for five (5) years while at the same time a programme for the completion of nine-year compulsory education and vocational training are offered.

Taught times for classes taking place in grade A, B and C of Special Vocational Schools are specified in Ministerial Decision 148356/Δ3/13-9-2016.

Special Needs Vocational Education and Training Workshops (EEEEK)

Special Vocational Education and Training Workshops (EEEEK) are secondary education school units that, under Law 4415/2016, meet requirements of compulsory school attendance law. They fall under the Directorate of Secondary Education. 

On the recommendation of KEDDY centres, eligible for enrolment in EEEEK schools are General or Special Education Primary School graduates aged up to sixteen (16), who face difficulties in meeting the curricular requirements of lower secondary education, and students with disabilities or/and special educational needs.  EEEEK students are attending six (6) grades (A, B, C,  D, E and F).

More information on the school units operating within the framework of Special Education can be found in Chapter 12 of Eurypedia, "Pedagogical Support and Guidance”, and more specifically in section "Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education".

Lower Secondary Minority Schools 

In order to meet the educational needs of Muslims leaving in the geographical region of Thrace, two (2) Lower Secondary Minority Schools are in operation. These schools operate under the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) and in accordance with laws and regulatory decisions issued within the framework of International Cultural Agreements.  The curriculum of these schools is bilingual and includes Greek and Turkish classes, while subjects are taught in two (2) languages, Greek and Turkish.  The "Education of the Muslim Minority Children in Thrace" programme is implemented by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens since school term 2016-2017.  It delivers compensatory interventions such as providing school textbooks and supplementary learning resources for students and teachers in minority Gymnasiums, seminaries and public Gymnasiums operating in Thrace.  

Lower Secondary Cross-cultural Education Schools

Inclusion in education and social inclusion for immigrant-origin children based on the value of equity and with respect for their own cultural identity and tackling cultural and racist discriminations and xenophobia are the main objectives of Cross-cultural Eucation Schools.  Under Law 4415/2016, these schools are operating as Experimental Intercultural Education Schools.  They pursue collaborations with Greek Universities and implement experimental educational programmes pertaining to intercultural education and social inclusion regardless of race or cultural background.  Curricula and teaching methods are implemented in the manner of existing Experimental Schools.

School of European Education

The School of European Education was founded in Crete by Law 3376/2005.  The School strictly adheres to the syllabuses of the subjects that are taught in the European Schools and covers Nursery, Primary, Lower Secondary and Upper Secondary Education.  Children who fall into one of the categories listed below are admitted into the School of European Education: children of the employees of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) or any other institution of the European Union, children of the employees of International Organisations and Diplomatic services that are based in Heraklion, Crete, children who have graduated from the Primary Education cycle of the School of European Education, students transferred from other European schools or European Education schools (type II) as well as students residing in the wider region of the specific school (Ministerial Decision 179/84525/Z2/27-6-2008). 

At the School of European Education there are two language sections: Greek and English.  Students whose mother tongue is not that of one of the operating language sections, are required to take a test in the language of the section they wish to be enrolled to, in order to be examined if the level of their knowledge in the language taught at the specific language section will allow them to enrol in that specific language section.

Second Chance Schools

Second Chance Schools have been established under Law 2525/97 in order to provide flexible second-chance education services for adults who dropped out of school before completing compulsory education but wish to resume their studies and obtain certificate equivalent to the school-leaving certificate awarded by Gymnasiums.  Eligible to enrol in Second Chance Schools are persons of at least eighteen (18) years of age or persons who will become eighteen (18) years of age on or before December 31st of the current school year and have completed Primary Education.  

According to Ministerial Decision 5953/23-6-2014, Second Chance Schools are Adult Education Schools operating according to the philosophy and the principles of Adult Education.  Second Chance Schools operate under the General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning and Youth of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, which is responsible for their operation. 

The purpose of Second Chance Schools is the overall development of the students and their full participation in the economic, social and cultural reality, as well as and their effective participation in the workplace.  The duration of the training is set at two (2) school years.  However, the years of training do not correspond to the years of ordinary Lower Secondary Education Schools.  Therefore, only when the student has successfully completed his training, can he obtain a Leaving Certificate equal to the mainstream Lower Secondary Education Leaving Certificate. 

The curriculum is different than that of the mainstream education system as far as content, teaching methodology and students’ assessment are concerned.  Syllabuses in Second Chance Schools are open and flexible, and they aim at offering knowledge for the development of competencies and attitudes related to: 

  • the use of written and oral language in order to communicate,
  • the use of numbers in everyday life,
  • modern technology and especially computers,
  • natural sciences,
  • the use of the english language,
  • social sciences,
  • the natural environment,
  • culture,
  • the obligations and the rights of students as active citizens,
  • professional and working life, and
  • personal choices and interests (arts, music, sports, etc.).

There are sixty-three (63) Second Chance Schools in Greece.

Geographical Accessibility

In order to ensure the provision of Secondary Education to students of even the most remote regions, attempts are made for the geographical distribution of lower secondary education schools according to the needs and specificities of local conditions. In general, the establishment and operation of Lower Secondary Education schools is the result of cooperation, of recommendations and suggestions of the local community and the competent Educational Authorities.

The responsibility for the transportation of students living in remote areas, according to Ministerial Decision 24001/11-6-2013, as amended by Ministerial Decision 31636/9-9-2015 and in effect falls within the Region within the limits of which operates the school where the students are transported.  Specifically, the regions offer free transportation to students of Public Lower Secondary Education Schools, either via special student cards and transportation by own means for distances greater than two thousand five hundred (2,500) meters, or a public service contract for distances greater than three thousand (3,000) meters.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

According to Presidential Decree 104/1979, students must attend the Lower Secondary Education School in the region of their permanent residence.  In cities where several schools of the same school grade operate, the boundaries of the areas of each school, as well as the maximum number of students which can attend them, are determined by decision of the Director of Secondary Education.  Since school jurisdiction areas cannot be established under the jurisdiction of one single Education Director, they are defined by decision of the Regional Service Council for Secondary Education.

The attendance of Lower Secondary Education Schools is compulsory. In order to enrol in Lower Secondary Education Schools, students are required to hold a Primary Education Leaving Certificate.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils/Students   

Attendance in Lower Secondary Education Schools lasts for three years and includes Grades A, B and C.  Students enrol in Grade A of Lower Secondary Education Schools at the age of twelve (12), but it may sometimes extend beyond that age, for example for students who had to repeat the previous school year.  Attendance is mandatory in Lower Secondary Education schools, so long as the student has not exceeded sixteen (16) years of age (Law 1566/1985).  Each year consists of one or more classes, depending on the number of students, while the number of students per class should not exceed twenty-seven (27) in accordance with Joint Μinisterial Decision 129818/Γ2/16-9-2013.  Classes with more than twenty-seven (27) students are subdivided. 

In Lower Secondary Education school, the teaching of various subjects/classes as described in the curricula of Lower Secondary school years is conducted by teachers specialised in the respective subject.  For example, the teaching of History is entrusted to a Literature teacher, Mathematics to a Mathematician, Physics to a Physics teacher, etc.  For the smooth operation of the school unit, and if necessary, teachers are sometimes assigned the teaching of subjects/classes related to their specialisation, such as the assignment of the History class to a Foreign Language teacher. 
The assignments of Lower Secondary Education School classes to teachers of Secondary Education as assignments A and B are provided for by Ministerial Decision 94588/Δ2/9-6-2016 as amended and supplemented by Ministerial Decision 136680/Δ2/25-8-2016.

The distribution of school attendance years and classes to teachers is not specifically described in our educational law.  Therefore, due to the nature of the curricula and the number of subjects to be taught in Lower Secondary Education schools, there is no limitation to repeatedly assigning the teaching of each subject to the same teacher in a specific class.

Organisation of the School Year

The organisation of the school year for Lower Secondary Education is defined at central level.  The school year begins on September 1 and ends on August 31 of the following year.  The academic year for schools begins on September 1 and ends on June 30.

Classes, teaching and all examinations are running during school-term time. 

Between 1st and 30th June, schools are delivering:

  • The first period of examinations, which includes written follow-up tests on Group A subjects (subjects taught in Gymnasiums fall under three (3) groups).
  • the tuition support programme for students who do not meet next grade promotion or school-leaving requirements, and must resit an examination
  • the second period of examinations, which runs for students who must resit follow-up exams on certain subjects. These include an oral and a written test for Group A subjects. For all other subjects, tests are oral.

The days of teaching are approximately one hundred sixty (160) annually and they are organised in approximately thirty (30) weeks of five (5) days (Monday to Friday) per year.  The number of teaching hours on a weekly basis amount to thirty-two (32) for Day Lower Secondary Schools, while for Evening Lower Secondary Schools they amount to twenty-three (23). 

Timetables are set based on the Curricula by Ministerial Decisions and apply collectively to all General Lower Secondary Education Schools in Greece.  Details on the timetables of General Lower Secondary Education Schools can be found in the relevant Eurypedia chapter, i.e. in section "Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education"

Other types of Lower Secondary Education Schools follow a slightly modified timetable, like Lower Secondary Art Schools or Music Schools that apart from the established curriculum, students are also taught art or music subjects respectively.

School term includes Christmas and Easter holidays - four (4) weeks in total.   Summer holidays run from end-June to September 10th. 

Organisation of the School Day and Week

The weekly teaching time per class is defined at central level and has universal validity for all Day Lower Secondary Schools in the country.  Classes in Day Lower Secondary Schools begin at 08:15 and finish at 14:10, while in Evening Lower Secondary Schools they begin at 19:20 and finish at 22:55.  However, the distribution of classes on a weekly basis is not defined at central level, but it is decided by each school unit and developed according to its needs.

LOWER SECONDARY DAY SCHOOLS: TIMETABLE


Teaching hours Classes (begining and ending of classes)
Duration of teaching hours Duration of intervals
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY

1st
08:15 - 09:00
45' 5'
2nd
09:05 - 09:50
45'
10'
3rd
10:00 - 10:45
45' 10'
4th
10:55 - 11:40
45' 10'
5th 11:50 - 12:35
45' 5'
6th 12:40 - 13:25
40' 5
7th 13:30 - 14:10 40' -

LOWER SECONDARY EVENING SCHOOLS:TIMETABLE

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY

1st 19:20 - 20:00 40' -
2nd 20:00 - 20:40 40' 10'
3rd
20:50 - 21:30 40' 10'
4th
21:40 - 22:20 40' -
5th
22:20 - 22:55 35' -

In the context of remedial education and in order to enhance the educational and cognitive level of the students, the tackling of early leaving, social exclusion and social inequalities, remedial teaching classes operate in Lower Secondary Education Schools.

Every school unit, apart from teaching classrooms and auxiliary classrooms, should also have a gym, an event hall, a library and a natural sciences laboratory.  Every class is assigned its own classroom per year, while the rest of the school space is used alternately by different classes according to the needs of the weekly programme or any other special events.