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Greece:Quality Assurance 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

An integrated and uniform quality assurance system has been developed in primary and secondary education with the adoption of measures and forms of evaluation which take place on three different levels: system level, educational unit level and individual level. 

At system level, the establishment of the ‘Authority for Quality Assurance in Primary and Secondary Education’ (Law 4142/2013),  as well as the setting up of the Institute of Educational Policy - IEP (Law 3966/2011) constitute important recent institutional interventions. At this level, the respective laws foresee evaluation of the work provided in schools and other decentralized services and bodies under the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs; these laws also lay down mechanisms to monitor, study and evaluate the educational policy implementation, as well as to support and meta-evaluate school education evaluation systems.

At educational unit level (school/service/body), evaluation is based on internal evaluation (Law 2986/2002, Law 3848/2010, Ministerial Decision 30972/C1/5-3-2013, Law 3966/2011, Law 4142/2013).

The reform initiatives are complemented by the issue of the Presidential Decree on teacher evaluation (Presidential Decree 152/2013). 

The quality assurance system has a single form regarding pre-primary, primary and secondary education.

Responsible Bodies 

Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs

The Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs is the central body for educational policy making, through its individual bodies and services; it conducts research and studies; it assigns the elaboration of evaluation studies to expert committees; it participates in researches and cooperates with bodies in Greece and abroad, international networks, or organizations, such as OECD, EUROSTAT, the Hellenic Statistical Authority e.t.c; it develops indicator systems that provide information on significant educational parameters, that are being utilized in decision making and planning of education. 

Authority for Quality Assurance in Primary and Secondary Education (ADIPPDE)

By virtue of Law 4142/2013, the ‘Authority for Quality Assurance in Primary and Secondary Education’ (ADIPPDE) was set up. This authority is administratively independent and is supervised by the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs.  Its mission is to ensure high quality in pre-school and school education through the evaluation of the education provided and the support of national educational planning. Some of the Authority’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Monitoring, studying and evaluating educational policy implementation in primary and secondary education, as formulated with the support of the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP),
  • Evaluating the quality of the educational work provided in schools and in other decentralized services and bodies under the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, that exercise duties in primary and secondary education,
  • Supervising teacher evaluation in pre-school and school education where the Authority may participate via its representatives,
  • Meta-evaluating quality assurance measures in pre-school and school education.

Within the framework of its responsibilities, ADIPPDE formulates, organizes, specifies, standardizes and publishes a priori the evaluation processes and the corresponding criteria and indicators, abiding by respective international standards. It develops an integrated information management system and a database for education evaluation, in co-operation with the services and the bodies supervised by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. It provides support to schools, heads of primary / secondary education directorates and regional education directors regarding school internal evaluation. It also assists the Ministry’s services on any issue pertaining to the evaluation of the education provided and teachers. It conducts studies and research or assigns the elaboration thereof to other bodies; it cooperates or participates in international networks, bodies or organizations that perform activities relevant to its mission.

The Authority proceeds to internal evaluation of its operation and work, in accordance with the provisions of its organizational structure, and outsources its external evaluation to reliable and internationally renowned evaluators, organizations or evaluation bodies that develop a similar activity abroad and particularly in Europe. The Authority draws up and submits annual activity and self-review reports to the Minister of Education.

Institute of Educational Policy (IEP)

The  Institute of Educational Policy (IEP) was established by Law 3966/2011. It is a Private Legal Entity, supervised by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. It operates as the executive scientific body that provides support to the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. Its aim is primarily at scientific research and study of issues related to primary and secondary education and the transition from secondary to tertiary education, as well as the provision of scientific and technical support to educational policy planning and implementation.

As part of its responsibilities, IEP: 

  • provides advice or recommends to the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs on a series of issues such as: formulation, ongoing updating and optimized implementation of educational policy in all types of schools; primary and secondary education curricula, school textbooks and other teaching instruments; evaluation of the administrative and educational structures in primary and secondary education and teacher evaluation,
  • systematically studies issues related to schools’ operation and effectiveness, 
  • implements support actions on issues related to newly introduced educational reforms.

To fulfill its mission, IEP cooperates with the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the National Council for Education, Universities, the advisory boards of education, research foundations and organizations within the country or abroad and other bodies with a similar mission. 

Within the first quarter of each year, IEP submits an internal evaluation report to the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. Every two years the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs sets up a committee consisting of three experts to evaluate IEP's report data and carry out an external review of its operation. The committee drafts a report on the basis of IEP's report data and on-site visits.  

The same Law 3966/2011 abolished the Pedagogical Institute (PI) and the Educational Research Center (KEE), which up to that time were the designated bodies to evaluate schools’ educational work (Law 2986/2002, article 4).

Educational Unit

Pursuant to the Ministerial Decision 30972/C1/5-3-2013 whereby the institution of self-evaluation is generalized in all schools across the country, "the school constitutes the main body concerning planning and evaluation of the education it provides". 

As derives from Laws 3848/2010, 4142/2013, 3966/2011, a similar role is undertaken by the other decentralized services and bodies of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, which implement self-evaluation processes on their work.

All educational units are bound by the law to submit an annual self-evaluation report of their work.

Approaches and Methods for Quality Assurance

Evaluation of the Education System

Evaluation of Schools, Services, Bodies

By virtue of Law 4142/2013, with a decision of the Authority for Quality Assurance in Primary and Secondary Education (ADIPPDE), the quality of the educational work provided is evaluated in the area of competence of each Regional Education Directorate, Education Directorate or evaluated body. The Authority sets up one or more five-member evaluation committees per Education Directorate. These committees are established to evaluate the educational work of schools and other decentralized services and bodies of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs that exercise duties in primary or secondary education. 

Based on ADIPPDE decision, evaluation committees are set up by experts who are registered in a special registry. The committee assesses the quality of educational work on the basis of prefixed criteria (article 1, para. 9); it studies all relevant material and the data submitted by the Authority and visits, when required, the services or the bodies subject to evaluation. The evaluation committee draws up an evaluation report, which is submitted to the Authority’s Board, so that the relevant evaluation decision may be issued and published. The Authority’s decision may be positive, positive subject to certain conditions, or negative. The decision’s validity period shall be determined in each case by the Authority and shall not exceed eight years.  

The evaluation committees' reports and the Authority’s evaluation decisions are notified to the related services and bodies being evaluated and to the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs; the reports are uploaded on the Authority’s webpage. 

Education System Monitoring

The institutional framework for the operation of the Authority for Quality Assurance in Primary and Secondary Education (ADIPPDE) (Law 4142/2013) foresees inter alia the development of an integrated information management system of evaluation data pertaining to education, in cooperation with the services and the supervised bodies of the Ministry of Education, Researchand Religious Affairs. This system shall prospectively support monitoring of significant educational parameters at local, regional and central level.

Similarly, the Information Network of AEE (‘Evaluation of School's Educational Work - Self-Evaluation Process’)  (Ministerial Decision 30972/C1/5-3-2013),  which is supervised by the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP), is responsible for recording, processing and communicating to the superiors, report data regarding schools’ self-evaluation processes and results.

Finally, various services falling under the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs have developed information systems for data collection from schools (such as data on human resources in terms of teaching staff and student population and flow, building infrastructure e.t.c). Such data are utilized either in standard operations of the Ministry (transfers, secondments, appointments), or for monitoring education and updating the conventional indicators of education and social development (e.g. OECD indicators).  Recently, in the context of upgrading and modernizing its information technology infrastructure, the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs has proceeded to the setting up of a new information technology system ([1]) addressed to schools and its decentralized administrative structures. The new system shall replace and integrate formerly existing information technology systems (e-School, e-DataCenter, Survey, Integrated Information System for Personnel Management (OPSYD), e.t.c.) in a single digital environment.

Focused Evaluation Studies

The central bodies of educational planning in primary and secondary education (Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Institute of Educational Policy, Authority for Quality Assurance in Primary and Secondary Education) are implementing evaluation studies to examine selected aspects of development of the education system. Issues such as primary and secondary education funding, students’ performance in various subjects, graduates' integration into employment, school dropout rates, constitute indicative examples of such targeted evaluation studies that will enable an in-depth examination of issues of special interest. As far as educational policy priorities are concerned, the country implements similar studies at regional or national level; moreover, Greece participates in similar studies under the auspices of the OECD and other European and international networks and organizations.

Evaluation of School's Educational Work / Self-Evaluation Process

In accordance with Ministerial Decision 30972/C1/5-3-2013, which is underpinned on Laws 3848/2010 (article 32) and 2986/2002 (article 4), internal school evaluation shouldbe adopted in all schools and levels of education, beginning school year 2013-2014. Every year, schools should evaluate the quality of education they provide 'by means of the self-evaluation process.'

The ministerial decision provides detailed specifications for the implementation of internal school evaluation. In particular, it determines the purpose and key stages of the evaluation, the evaluation subject being specified in quality indicators, the support structures foreseen for facilitating the process of implementation, the main recipients of school evaluation reports, as well as the bodies appointed in charge to supervise and meta-evaluate the internal evaluation process. The ministerial decision determines, among others, the following:

School Head and Teachers Assembly are assigned the responsibility to apply the process. The evaluation process is carried out annually and is connected with the school’s broader educational planning and the elaboration of specific action plans; the aim is to improve educational work in the areas chosen by each school, depending on its particularities. The following stages reflect the sequence of tasks involved in the proposed self-evaluation process:

  • Evaluation of educational work,
  • Action planning for improvement,
  • Implementation, monitoring and evaluation of actions,
  • Evaluation and utilization of actions’ outcomes.

Education provided is assessed with reference to fifteen (15) quality indicators. These indicators constitute the proposed evaluation framework and correspond to the following analytical categories:

  • School inputs (indicators such as school premises, technical infrastructure, human and financial resources).
  • Educational processes (indicators such as school leadership, management and organization, teaching and learning processes, school climate and relations, programme implementation, interventions and improvement actions).
  • Educational outcomes (indicators such as attendance and dropping out, pupils’ attainment and progress, personal and social development of pupils, overall achievement of school objectives).

The educational material of AEE provides support to school units on the implementation of the internal evaluation process; the material which was created in the context of the pilot project includes indicative instruments and implementation processes, drafts of evaluation reports and examples of action plans. As laid down by the ministerial decision, this material is approved by the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs through a circular, which is formed upon the recommendation by the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP). In addition, it is uploaded on the IEP's webpage in order to be accessible by all schools all over the country.

Two additional structures, which were established in the context of pilot implementation, are officially provided for in the ministerial decision as significant support instruments for the institutionalization of school internal evaluation: the Observatory of AEE and the Information Network of AEE. Both structures shall be supervised by IEP, operation and management wise.

The Observatory of AEE (Evaluation of School's educational work – self-evaluation process) will support: the following-up of developments in evaluation issues at national and international level as well as the processing of relevant data and studies; the scientific support of School Advisors, School Heads and teachers in issues pertaining to educational evaluation; the exchange of know-how, experience and dissemination of best practices in specialized issues regarding evaluation.

The Information Network of AEE will allow the processing of school reports data and communication of information to educational authorities at local, regional and central level; it will also support School Advisors in utilizing school reports and in submitting proposals to the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. The Network will enable the ongoing flow of information to the Ministry in order to have all the data needed in educational planning and policies.

The school unit is the primary recipient of self-evaluation outcomes; the school uses these outcomes to develop actions, in order to cope with problems and weaknesses and improve the quality of the education it provides.  At the end of each teaching year, the school draws up an annual evaluation report on the School Head’s responsibility, in cooperation with the Teachers' Assembly and School Advisors. This report is uploaded on the school’s webpage and is submitted to the relevant (Primary/Secondary) Education Directorate, through the Information Network of AEE.

The annual evaluation reports of schools are forwarded through the Information Network to central bodies in charge of educational planning in order to support educational policy and decision making at central and regional level. 

The overall evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of school internal evaluation (meta-evaluation) is carried out every four years at regional level by Regional Evaluation Groups (POA); School Advisors and Education Directors participate in these groups. The report is submitted to the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.

Following a relevant recommendation by the Institute of Educational Policy, internal school evaluation framework, educational material and implementation processes may be updated and modified by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, depending on the new developments in education.

For facilitating effective implementation of school internal evaluation process, training seminars addressed to school advisors and heads of all primary and secondary schools of the country, were held at the beginning of school year 2013-2014.

Self-evaluation of other decentralized services and bodies of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs

Pursuant to the institutional framework in force, internal evaluation is the dominant form of evaluation being used not only in schools, but also in the decentralized services and bodies that assume responsibilities in primary and secondary education issues and fall  under the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.  According to Law 3848/2010,  ‘the Heads of Directorates and primary education offices draw up an action plan for each school year and submit relevant reports to the respective Regional Education Directors’. Respectively, the institutional framework regulating the operation of bodies, such as ADIPPDE (Law 4142/2013) and IEP (Law 3966/2011) foresees the internal evaluation of their operation and work. Based on the aforementioned framework, an annual self-review evaluation report is submitted to the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and constitutes the basis for the external evaluation of the work provided by external independent evaluators. 

Teacher Evaluation

The institutional framework for teacher evaluation is determined by the recent Presidential Decree 152/2013, whereby the relevant bodies, processes and criteria are laid down. The Presidential Decree also fixes the criteria for teachers’ promotion and their tenure evaluation in posts of responsibility.

A hierarchical type of evaluation is foreseen: it is carried out on the basis of specific criteria of educational and administrative evaluation by higher ranking individuals.  The teacher is assessed on the basis of administrative criteria by the school head of the relevant school and on the basis of educational criteria by the relevant school advisor.  The school advisor is assessed respectively by the Regional Education Director and the Head of Scientific and Educational Guidance.  The detailed process for both administrative and educational evaluation is defined by the evaluated teacher to the evaluator.  The evaluation includes discussion meetings, planning and preparation of observing the state of teaching, observation of at least 2 lessons, post-evaluation discussion and self-reflection, as well as the submission of a self-evaluation report and personal portfolio.  The administrative and educational evaluation process is completed with the drafting of an evaluation report.  A descriptive scale of graded criteria is used to mark the assessed teacher; his/her final mark is expressed rounded to two decimal places.

The administrative evaluation of teachers is performed at least once every two years and at least once every three years in case of teachers holding posts of responsibility.  The educational evaluation is carried out at least once every three years within a bimonthly evaluation period.

As regards teachers' guidance, the supporting, guiding and educative role of the School Advisor is still prominent. Pursuant to Law 1304/1982 and the Ministerial Decision F.353.1/324/105657/D1/2-10-2002, the School Advisor is bound to offer teachers scientific and pedagogical guidance, to support them in their daily teaching needs, to encourage initiatives and to create positive incentives in education.