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Greece:Organisation of Primary 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

Geographical Accessibility

Greece has a particular geographic morphology dominated by mountainous regions and numerous islands, therefore rendering accessibility difficult. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs policy ensures that State Primary Schools exist country-wide, even in the most remote regions.

According to Ministerial Decision 24001/11-6-2013, Regional Authorities have the responsibility of free transport for primary education pupils residing at a distance greater than 1,200 meters from the school unit, through the use of special pupil cards or through a public service contract.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

To be eligible for enrolment in primary school Grade A pupils must be at a legally specified age (Presidential Decree 201/1998 and Law 2327/1995); i.e. on 31st December of the year of enrolment a pupil must have reached the age of six years.  Children are not required to sit maturity tests for enrolment in primary education.   Admission to a specific Primary School is determined by the pupil's permanent place of residence.  Each permanent place of residence may be identified with its primary school by reference to its location within a designated catchment area.  In exceptional circumstances, pupils who are resident outside the catchment area of a school may receive approval for admission by the responsible head at the Directorate of Primary Education.  Important family, medical and other reasons are the criteria for approving out-of-catchment-area admissions.

In accordance with the provisions of Presidential Decree 201/1998, as amended with Law 4229/2014 and Law 4238/2014, for entry into primary school Grade A, it is required that parents submit the following pupil documentation:

  1. Birth certificate issued by Municipalities or Community Divisions
  2. Student medical records or similar proof of vaccinations. 
  3. Personal Health Assessment Paper
  4. Proof of permanent address
  5. Confirmation of Pre-primary school (Nipiagogeio) attendance.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils

In primary school attendance is six years and includes the following grades: A, B, C, D, E, F.  Each one of them represents a certain level of knowledge defined at central level.  The level has universal validity for all schools and is described in detail in the curricula, which vary by grade and subject.

Pupils, who have turned six (6) years old by the 31st of December of the enrolment year, are entitled to enrol in the first grade of Primary School (Law 2327/1995).  Serious health reasons as well as the pupil’s severe inability to follow the first grade programme, certified by virtue of a certificate provided by a children’s Medical-Pedagogical Faculty, a state hospital or a pre-school advisor, accordingly, may result in a delay in enrolment.  In that case, the pupil may repeat attendance at Pre-primary school (Nipiagogeio), should his/her parents request it, where the pupil is admitted by priority and not by draw (Presidential Decree 201/1998).

In primary school, pupils progress to the next grade after receiving positive assessment results.  If unsuccessful, the pupil repeats the grade. Therefore, most children typically are taught in mixed-ability classes with children of the same age.  There are only a few exceptions, starting from Grade A, to which pupils who have reached the age of six (6) years are enrolled.

Primary Schools are characterised as single teacher, two-teacher or three-teacher and up to twelve-teacher based on the teachers – pupils ratio. Schools with few teachers form classes with up to fifteen (15) pupils per class, while schools with six (6) teachers and above have no more than twenty five (25) pupils per class (Joint Ministerial Decision F3/897/97657/C1/25-9-2006).  Otherwise, classes are further divided into smaller groups.

All primary education subjects are administered by a single teacher, with the exception of Art, Physical Education, Music, Foreign Languages and Information Technology (IT), subjects taught by specialist teachers.  When there are no specialist teachers for Art and Physical Education, subjects may be delivered by the main, classroom teacher.  Regarding smaller schools, when specialist subject teaching posts remain vacant, subjects may be delivered by the main teacher.

As regards the allocation of grades to teachers, the current Greek education law does not contain an explicit legal provision of a Law or
a Presidential Decree regulating this issue.  However, it is common practice to follow the following procedure: at the end of the previous school year or at the beginning of the new school year, classes are allocated to teachers upon recommendation of the school head and following a discussion with the school teachers board.  Teachers are allocated a class for no more than two consecutive years.  It is allowed, only in exceptional cases, to teach a class for three (3) consecutive years, as long as the school teachers board and the school advisor give their consent.

Organisation of the School Year

The organisation of primary education school time is determined at central level (Presidential Decree 201/1998) and is applied to all primary schools across the country and to all grades of the particular education level.

The school year for both public and private primary education schools starts on the 1st of September and ends on the 31st of August of the following year.  The teaching year starts on the 1st of September and ends on the 21st of June of the following year while lessons start on the 11th of September and end on the 15th of June of the following year.

The school year is divided into three terms:

1st term: from the 11th of September to the 10th of December<span style="font-size:small;"</span>

2nd term: from the 11th of December to the 10th of March

3rd term: from the 11th of March to the 15th of June

During the school year, there are normally shorter breaks of four (4) weeks at Christmas and at Easter.  Pupils’ long summer break starts on the 16th of June and ends on the 10th of September, while teachers’ summer holidays start on the 22nd of June and end on the 31st of August.

Primary schools are required to deliver teaching services for 170 days per year, i.e. a total of thirty-five (35) weeks per year, five (5) days each (Monday to Friday).

Organisation of the School Day and Week

School week consists of five (5) days, Monday to Friday.  According to Ministerial Decision F12/657/70691/D1/26-4-2016, taught times for all primary education schools are centrally regulated through current legislation as follows:

HOURS

DURATION

08:00 - 08:10

10΄

Student welcome

08:10 - 09:40

90΄

1st teaching period

09:40 - 10:00

20΄

Break

10:00 - 11:30

90΄

2nd teaching period

11:30 - 11:45

15΄

Break

11:45 - 12:25

40΄

5th teaching hour

12:25 - 12:35

10΄

Break

12:35 - 13:15

40΄

6th teaching hour (end of compulsory attendance)

13:15 - 13:20

All-day pupils to gather at refectory

13:20 - 14:00

40΄

School hour 1 / All-day schooling schedule

Lunch

14:00 - 14:15

15΄

Break

14:15 - 15:00

45΄

School hour 2 / All-day schooling schedule

Study-Preparation

15:00 - 15:15

15΄

Break

15:15 - 16:00

45΄

School Hour 3 / All-day schooling schedule

Subject choice (IT, Physical Education, English, Art, Music, Drama, Cultural Activity Clubs)

End of all-day timetable


Single Type of All-day Primary Schools

Single Type of All-day Primary Schools administer a compulsory programme of subjects for all pupils at all grades as well as an all-day schooling programme which takes place after the end of the compulsory timetable.

The minimum number of pupils for delivering an all-day programme is fourteen (14) for six-teacher (and above) primary schools.  All-day schooling is delivered for pupils whose both parents are under employment.  Evidence must be provided by submitting proof of employment.  The minimum number of pupils for delivering an all-day programme at four-teacher and five-teacher schools is ten (10).  Proof of employment is not required. If pupils are less than the required minimum, all-day schooling is suspended in both cases.

All-day Schooling programme for each grade starts at the end of the compulsory programme and ends at 16:00.  Timetable includes mealtime, rest time, one (1) school hour for study/preparation on a basic subject, and one (1) school hour for study/preparation on a selective subject (English, IT, Physical Education, Art, Music, Drama or Cultural Activity Clubs).