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

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Overview Hungary

Contents

Hungary:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Hungary:Historical Development

Hungary:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Hungary:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Hungary:Political and Economic Situation

Hungary:Organisation and Governance

Hungary:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Hungary:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Hungary:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Hungary:Organisation of Private Education

Hungary:National Qualifications Framework

Hungary:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Hungary:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Hungary:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Hungary:Funding in Education

Hungary:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Hungary:Higher Education Funding

Hungary:Adult Education and Training Funding

Hungary:Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Hungary:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Organisation of General Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Higher Education

Hungary:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Hungary:First Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Bachelor

Hungary:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Hungary:Second Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Hungary:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Hungary:Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Distribution of Responsibilities

Hungary:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Hungary:Main Providers

Hungary:Main Types of Provision

Hungary:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Hungary:Teachers and Education Staff

Hungary:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

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

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Management and Other Education Staff

Hungary:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Hungary:Management Staff for Higher Education

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Quality Assurance

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Educational Support and Guidance

Hungary:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Hungary:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Hungary:Mobility and Internationalisation

Hungary:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Mobility in Higher Education

Hungary:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Hungary:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Hungary:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:National Reforms in School Education

Hungary:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Hungary:National Reforms in Higher Education

Hungary:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Hungary:European Perspective

Hungary:Legislation

Hungary:Institutions

Hungary:Bibliography

Hungary:Glossary

The service conditions of civil servants, and within that group, teachers,  - that is at ISCED 0 level the kindergarten teachers, at ISCED 1 level the lower primary school teachers (grades 1-4), and upper primary school (grades 5-8) teachers teaching specific subjects, and at higher ISCED levels the subject teachers -  are defined at national, local and institutional levels. At the national level Parliament creates legislation on the basic framework and regulation of teachers. In state-maintained institutions a public employment status is established, regulated by the Act on Public Servants (Act XXXIII of 1992 on the status of public servants). The implementation rules concerning the various levels of education are regulated partly by Acts, by Governmental Decrees, and partly by Ministerial Decrees. These legal acts regulate the rights and obligations, special remunerations, etc. of teachers working in the various types of institutions.

Thewage matrix of public servants is regulated at central level. The task of public education is performed by the government, and within that, by the minister responsible for education, as the supervisory body as well as by the State run Central Institution Maintainer Organisation (Klebelsberg Centre). The Central Institution Maintainer Organisation reports directly to the Minister responsible for Education.

The general rule is that the head of an educational institution is appointed by maintainer of that institution (Act on Public Education, 83. § (1) f)). However,the Minister responsible for Education has the mandate to appoint the head of institutions maintained by the state. Employer’s rights are exercised by both the central unit of the Central Institution Maintainer Organisation and territorial unit thereof (there are 198 regional units, called educational district centres). In the case of institutions maintained by local councils, the appointment of the heads of the institutions and the employer’s rights belong to the competence of the city council. As regards to non-state maintained educational institutions, (maintained by a registered church, foundation, or enterprise) it falls into the competence of the management of the maintainer organisation.  

In non-state maintained institutions general regulations of labour law apply (Act XXII of 1992 on the Labour Code).

 

Planning policy

Since the 1st of January, 2012 educational institutions formerly maintained by local governments have been maintained by the state, with the exception of kindergartens, which continue to be maintained by local governments. Consequently, human resource planning is also carried out centrally, by the Central Institution Maintainer Organisation, which means an increased level of centralised competence as well as the chance for comprehensive, complex planning.  In state maintained institutions, (such as schools, dormitories, pedagogical services) the human resource needs can be immediately analysed based on the open positions, and human resource planning activities can be easily monitored.

The planning of the human resource demand for teachers in state run schools is also a central competence, but obviously, there is also data available on the needs of local government-maintained kindergartens and non-state maintained schools from the central human resource databases.  Since the shift from local council maintained system to state maintenance system in 2012, the employer’s rights have been exercised by both the central unit of the Central Institution Maintainer Organisation and territorial unit thereof. However, there is a small number of institutions that are maintained by other state organisations, such as practice schools of state maintained tertiary educational institutions, or some schools that are maintained by other ministries. Examples for this latter group of schools are thevocational training centres maintained by the Ministry of National Economy. These were established in July 2015 with the objective of providing a single organisational structure for vocational schools. Based on the Government’s decision, a separate maintainer structure was established for vocational schools, as a result of which the Central Institution Maintainer Organisation is now exclusively responsible for general public educational schools, excluding vocational schools.

An important element of the policy and human resource planning is that the central office responsible for the mid-level management tasks of the educational sector (Educational Authority, established in 2006)elaborates a plan every five years for the Minister of Education. This plan serves as a basis for decisions concerning the task allocation, institution operation and institution development tasks at local, regional and national level. The document includes plans concerning the composition, functioning, development and restructuring of the institutional system, furthermore, measures aimed at ensuring equal opportunities for children.

The development plans of Budapest and the counties include a situation analysis of the organisation of the various public education tasks, the objectives, tasks, priorities, as well as the mid-term plans for school enrolling processes. The school enrolment plan defines the total capacity of the various school types (based on the projected number of pupils), the tasks of each school in connection with the number of pupils enrolled and the preparation of pupils for further studies. Based on the projected number of pupils, the necessary human resource capacity and the number of teacher statuses in the schools can be planned.

As mentioned above, on the 1st of July, 2015 vocational training centres were established with the objective of performing the tasks of state maintained vocational training. The Director General of the centre is responsible for the planning of the human resource capacities (e.g. vocational teachers) under the supervision of the National Vocational Training and Adult Education Office.    

Entry to the profession

The general recruiting procedure for institutions is open-market recruitment. People are recruited for open positions in public education institutions and other state maintained institutions by the maintainers (local education district units of the central state maintainer, or the vocational training centre)  Vacancies that are obligatory to advertise must be published on the website of the Government Centre for Public Administration and Human Resource Services (https://kozigallas.gov.hu/pages/login.aspx?U=https%3a%2f%2fkozigallas.gov.hu%2fpages%2fhome.aspx) and in case of senior management positions - in the official journal of the Ministry responsible for education.

Decisions concerning positions of heads of institutions are made by the maintainer; in the case of state maintained institutions it falls into the competence of the head of the education district, or the head of the vocational training centres. As for institutions maintained by local governments, (that is, kindergartens) decision is made by the city council, or its general assembly. The head of the educational institution makes a recommendation on the person to be offered an open post, based on the submitted applications and the interviews. Then, the head of the education district selects the most appropriate candidate. If the head of the education district disagrees with the recommendation of the head of the education institution, the head of the Central Maintainer Centre (Klebelsberg Centre) appoints the person.

Employment is determined by the Act on Public education, the type of institution, and the level of education. The university level courses of general teacher training concluded with a degree entitling its holder to teach in lower secondary or in upper secondary education. Teachers who graduated from a college level course in the pre-Bologna system may teach in grades 5-8 of the single structure primary school. Now, teachers who graduated from a Bachelor course are eligible to teach in grades 1-4 of the primary school and kindergartens. Those with an appropriate university level teaching qualification could teach the vocational theoretical subjects of secondary vocational schools, while teachers with a college level teaching qualification could teach only the practical subjects of vocational training but this kind of education has since been discontinued. Students graduating from vocational teacher training are entitled to teach the practical subjects in vocational school types, the vocational school and the vocational secondary school.

 

Induction

In Hungary, the induction system was established with the introduction with the teachers’ career path system in September, 2013.

The first step of the advancement, employment and salary system of the recently introduced teachers’ career path system is the employment of university graduates in public education institutions in the framework of internship. Prior to the internship, students in teacher training courses have the chance to spend some time in practice schools maintained by their respective universities; this strengthens the relationship between trainee teachers, their universities and the educational institutions, and, as a result it facilitates the recruitment of teachers.

The employment of graduates is regulated in the Act CXC of 2011 on Public Education, as well as the Act on Public Servants. These Acts stipulate that teachers in the public sector can only be awarded an indefinite contract after working for 2 years as junior teachers in fixed-term employment. Junior teachers are supported by mentors (more experienced colleagues) selected by the school or kindergarten head.

 

Professional status

In public education institutions employer’s rights over teachers are exercised jointly by the head of the given institution and the head of the education district (in case of state maintained schools) and by the head of the vocational training centre,

Teachers may have two legal statuses: they can be employed as public servants or within the private sector. If working in a school maintained by the state or the local government, they may only be employed as public servants. If the teacher does not teach in an institution maintained by the local government or the state, (e.g. maintained by a foundation, church or privately) he/she is employed in the private sector.

The employment with an unspecified period is established based on mutual agreement of the parties (employer, employee). Such employment must be preceded by a process of application. Fixed term employment contracts can only be concluded under special circumstances (for example, replacement for a certain period of time). The co-called appointing document must include the following information: position, salary class, (in the case of an appointed manager, the classification of his/her position), the grade of the teacher within the classification system, the remuneration as well as the place of performance. The document can also address further issues in connection with the public servant status.

That legal status includes guaranteed salary promotion, and a remuneration package. In practice that means thatthe teacher must, each three years, be moved one salary class and grade higher. At the same time, (in addition to the system of obligatory advancement in every three years), the new teachers’ advancement path introduced in September 2013 implemented a five-grade teachers’ career path (see details later), according to which, the classification, advancement and remuneration of teachers are directly connected to the fulfilment of a set of external criteria and exams.The objective is to provide a predictable career. The public servant legal status comes with a set of compulsorily granted and optional allowances (e.g. bonuses). Another favourable feature is that the teacher will have a guaranteed paid holiday, and, should the job terminate, he/she is entitled to other employment suitable for his/her qualification in case the activity of the employer for which the employee was employed has terminated or the employer had to lay off workers or do restructuring and therefore is not in the position any more to employ the public servant, or the public servant is permanently unable to undertake his tasks due to health problems.

In the event that a teacher teaches in a school maintained by the state or local government, but not full-time, then he/she may be employed as a part-time public servant or with a part-time contract. The tasks performed by teachers employed part time are identical with their full time counterparts, the only difference being that the number of working hours are less.

Part time contract is usually concluded for a year or less, typically for unforeseen reasons when planning the human resource demand. In this case, the important difference compared to indefinite contract is that the teacher will not have a paid vacation, bonus, severance pay, etc., so as a service provider, he/she is in a vulnerable situation. However, the advantage is that this period of time is considered in the calculations of the teacher’s advancement path. Those employed part-time have similar duties, only their lesson number is for less time. The external (part-time) teacher is only obliged to hold the lessons, and his duties extend no further than that (no assessment and pedagogical and additional, institution-related duties need to be performed). Further limitations include thatexternal teachers can only have less than 40% of the working hours of full time teachers and that even though they may participate in the meetings of the teaching staff, he/she does not have the full range of voting rights.

If the teacher does not teach in an institution maintained by the local government, he/she must be employed on the basis of a working contract full-time or part-time. In such a case the working contract specifies the position, the wages, and the location of work. At the same time, the teacher is less protected than in a public servant status. First of all open ended employment is not compulsory, and other allowances/benefits are also more uncertain, e.g. in the event of the termination of the legal relationship, the employer does not have to offer another job. However, exactly in order to ensure protection, legislation requires that such teachers should have the same salary, working hours, resting time, promotions, and remuneration as public servants. In practice such teachers are contracted for a specific period, and they extend the contract several times. Such a practice renders teacher employees excessively exposed. Thereforethe Labour Code restricts it. It stipulatesthat employment contracts signed for definite periods of time may not cover a period more than five years in all. (The Labour Code lists some exceptions to that rule.) Included in that period are extended employment periods and the length of additional employment periods that are created within six months after the expiry of a previous employment of definite period.

 

Replacement Measures

With the recently restructured maintainer system (the shift from local council to state maintenance, except for kindergartens) the procedures in connection with replacement have also changed slightly, although in practice, the education institutions still tend to solve these kind of problems within their own competence. When preparing the timetable, the head of the institution, or the person responsible to do so – must ensure that each lesson should have an adequate possibility for replacement. Replacement should preferably be professionally equivalent (i.e. the absent teacher and the replacement teacher should be qualified to teach the same subjects, and if that is not possible, non-professional replacement must be arranged for. However, as a result of the reforms, within public education institutions maintained within the same structure (either state or local council), it is now possible to allocate an appropriate replacement teacher to an institution, who normally works in a different school. 

 

Supporting Measures for Teachers

The internship period of qualified new teachers, which is the first level of the teachers’ advancement system as well as the connected obligatory mentoring serves the purpose of supporting adequately qualified, newly recruited or fresh graduate teachers. In such programme new entrant orfresh graduate teachers may rely on the support and guidance of a more experienced colleague or a group of such colleagues. It institutionalises the opportunity for the new teacher to turn to a supervisor or mentor with any problems for the first two years. Assistance provided to fresh graduates is remunerative, since new entrants gain more experience and learn to take professional responsibility, which has a positive effect on pupils as well. In addition, the work of the mentor also becomes more conscious and of higher quality. The mentor-entrant relationship thus not only serves the purpose of support but also improves the work of the entrant. On the whole, it helps the organisation to become a Learning Organisation, promotes the dissemination of best practices and improves the quality of education.

Professional criteria concerning the length of internship are regulated by the law. These criteria include general ones and ones related to specific job titles.

General criteria provide that interns familiarise themselves with the working documents of the institution, its pedagogic objectives and the framework of their implementation, the rights and responsibilities of children, pupils, parents and teachers stipulated by the Public Education Act, general regulations concerning the supervision exercised by maintainers and the usage of educational documents.

Job-related criteria ensure that interns familiarise themselves with employment principles concerning their job, the practical tasks of organising training, the specific problems of teaching the children or pupils attending the institution and the means available for tackling these problems, they improve their skills needed for using teaching aids and get to know special tasks resulting from the mission, role and pedagogy programme of the institution. Interns have to become able to develop children or pupils with special needs, manage talent and develop skills in differentiated ways. These criteria are specified in detail by the internship code. The working hours of interns – just as the working hours of public servants employed as teachers – is 40 hours a week. In addition to deliver the obligatory lessons, interns can only be obliged to participate in the work of the teaching staff as well as preparatory and finishing activities related to their job. For the interns, visiting the classes of other teachers, consulting their supervisor, other colleagues or the head of the institution if needed is a significant opportunity for gaining practice, which may be undertaken by interns in the time between their compulsory lessons and the full working hours. Interns are supported by their supervisors, i.e. teachers appointed by the head of the institution, who have certain years of experience, have been employed by the school for a certain time and are experts in their profession. In the first two years of internship, formative assessment takes place, aiming at assisting interns with fitting in, developing their work, behaviour and motivation as well as professional development and support.

The evaluation of interns at the end of the academic year is arranged by their supervisors. They involve other colleagues participating in the development of the intern and also rely on the self-evaluation prepared by interns themselves.

According to the teachers’ advancement system introduced in 2013, the entrant teacher must work in the framework of an internship for two years, whichperiod concludes with an internship exam. The exam consist of two parts: The portfolio of the experience gained during the teaching internship must be uploaded to the online IT system operated by the Educational Authority. As a next step the teacher also has to defend it in from of a presentation in front of an exam panel consisting of two external experts and the head of the education institution, where the internship was carried out. In addition to the portfolio, the teacher also has to give two demonstration classes, again observed by two external experts and the head of the education institution. 

Theresult of the end of internship exam can be either “pass” or “fail”. If the teacher passed the exam he/she will enter the teacher grade of the advancement system. In case the teacher fails the exam he/she must perform an additional 2 years of internship. If he/she repeatedly fails the exam, his/her status will be terminated.

In addition to internship programmes, it is a permanent option for all teachers to take advantage of pedagogical, and other professional services. These are provided on a county level (organised by the pedagogical education centres of the Educational Authority, since they are responsible for pedagogical professional service provision), and include further training, counselling, and legal advice. In the event that a teacher faces a difficult professional, personal, etc. situation, he/she may rely on informal help from colleagues, and the principal, or may see the school psychologist if that is available.  

 

Teachers’ salaries

Teachers’ salaries have always consisted of at least three parts: wages in accordance with the wage matrix, plus supplements paid in recognition of extra tasks or conditions at the workplace. Wages in accordance with the matrix has been a function of the teacher’s qualification, and the number of years spent in the public service. The introduction of the teachers ‘career path the number of years served became even more emphasised.

The salaries of teachers working in an institution maintained by the state are based on the wage matrix of public servants. That contains the minimum salaries payable to qualified teachers working full-time without any supplementary payments. The guaranteed minimal salaries in the wage matrix are defined by the Parliament in the framework of the drafting the annual national budget.

Only under circumstances set out in the legal framework is it possible to diver from the wage matrix. The financial limits of the decision are set by the school maintainer, but the specific amounts are defined by the principal, whose hands are tied by the maintainer’s budget, and the institution’s own revenues. The possibility of paying more than the minimum is possible for outstanding performance, bonus, or awarding a title.

The salary is based on the assumption that the teacher performs his/her tasks in 40 hours per week. That includes compulsory lessons, optional lessons, and duties related to supervising the children.

A guaranteed remuneration and promotion arrangement is associated to the legal status of public servants. Teachers must be promoted one level each three years. For those performing excellent work, waiting time may be reduced between two promotions, and in the event of disciplinary penalty, the same waiting time may be increased.

When a teacher first enters the system, the employer must categorise him/her, and indicate that category in the appointment document (contract). The basis of categorisation is qualification, and time spent in the profession. If a teacher has several qualifications, only the one necessary for performing that work will be taken into account.

The teacher is granted a salary increase if he/she obtains the teacher’s professional examination, and may be granted a salary increase if his/her extra work (e.g. prepare student for a contest, participation in further training) is recognised by school management.


Allowances

The current legal framework makes a distinction between obligatory and optional allowances.

The basic salary is supplemented by overtime pay, and a set of supplementary payments. Statutory supplementary payment must be given for extra work, e.g. to leaders, form-masters, head of teaching staff, teachers helping the work of the students self-government, or those performing more complex work, e.g. those working with children with special needs, or in national minority education, in IT, etc., as well as on a geographical basis to those who work in a community disadvantaged from an economic and infrastructure point of view, or hit by a rate of unemployment in excess of the national average. There are optionally granted supplements, usually associated to extra work. Incentives not related to earnings include food contribution, support to purchasing books, reduced-fare travel cards, museum cards, library cards, discounted book purchases. The employer may even support employees through a preferential loan.

There is an opportunity to channel a salary supplement for outstanding performance in public educational institutions, so extraordinary work performance is acknowledged. It is awarded for an academic year, the same person can be entitled for the supplement more times.

 

Working time and holidays

 Teaching and working time

The weekly timetable of those in a teacher’s position consists of compulsory lesson time, and time to be spent on activities related to education. In practice, 40 hours a week is regarded as full-time employment, and in case of teachers 32 hours are fixed and have to be spent on education-related tasks. Approx. 22-26 lessons are compulsory lessons to be delivered.  Children spend compulsory lessons where the teacher is in immediate contact, or in lessons, teaching/educating the child. That includes time spent supervising children in breaks. Supervision is interpreted broadly as it includes the whole period beginning with the child entering the door until legally leaving the building, including the compulsory programmes, sessions in the school’s schedule. In the time that remains the teacher may prepare for the next teaching day, or do some overtime standing in for a colleague, or may hold structured optional classes if pupils so require (special student’s circle, catch-up class, etc.) or sorts out paperwork, or attends meetings.

Those employed part-time have similar duties, only their lesson number is for less time. The external (part-time) teacher is only obliged to hold the lessons, and his duties extend no further than that.

Holiday

The full annual basic holiday for teachers employed as public servants equals 21 working days. The basic holiday in the private sector equals 20 working days. However, the teacher is entitled in both cases to supplementary holiday of 25 working days. The employer may reserve 15 working days out of the 25 for working purposes, but only in the following cases: further training, training to improve employability, teaching/education as part of the school’s profile, or if the teacher’s annual holiday was granted during school time. Holiday must be granted primarily in the summer holiday.

In addition to ordinary holiday, other allowances may also be granted to the public servant. Those are at the principal’s discretion. Thus he/she may agree on a maximum of one year of sabbatical leave (e.g. study trips, writing a textbook, etc.), and similarly, those preparing for teacher’s professional examination are also entitled to working time allowance.

 

Promotion, advancement

Teachers must be promoted to a higher salary class. Promotion is likewise compulsory if the teacher passes a special examination. In the event of excellent working performance, or an award waiting time may be reduced by one year, however, as a disciplinary measure, it may also be increased by one year subject only to the employer’s decision.

The teachers’ advancement system introduced on the 1st of September, 2013 guarantees the career advancement of teachers. There are five grades within the system:

  1. Intern
  2. Teacher I.
  3. Teacher II.
  4. Master teacher
  5. Researcher teacher

 

It is mandatory for all teacher to at least reach the levels “Teacher I” and “Teacher II”.

After performing the initial two years of internship period and successfully passing the qualification exam, the teachers enter the “Teacher I” grade.

In order to advance to the grade “Teacher II”, he/she must have an additional six years of teaching experience. After six years He/she can voluntarily apply for a qualification procedure to advance to grade “Teacher II”, but after 9 years this procedure is obligatory.

Grades “Master teacher” and “Researcher Teacher” require 14 years of experience and an additional exam.

The number of “Researcher Teachers” is subject to a national quota, it cannot exceed 1% of  the total number of teachers.

 

Mobility and Transfers

Transfers are possible if a teacher is employed as a public servant. An important point is that public sectoremployees can only be transferred within the public sector, i.e. they cannot be placed in the private sector.

Transfers are based on a tripartite agreement, i.e. the former and the future employers must reach agreement with each other, and with the public servant concerning issues related to the transfer. The Act on the legal status of public servants requires that the new position, the location of his/her work, remunerations, and the timing of the transfer of the public servant must be agreed. Obviously, other issues may likewise be regulated in the course of a transfer.

Typically, transfers take place when the employer insists on employing a particular teacher, and turns to the employer of the teacher as a token of his confidence and recognition. By that gesture the new employer is shouldering the possible financial consequences of paying severance pay.

However, teachers may change jobs differently. The redeployment of teachers from one workplace to another is subject not to regulations of public education, but general employment legislation. It provides that a teacher may terminate his/her employment relation through mutual agreement, ordinary notice, and extraordinary notice. The teacher may take advantage of either of the first two any time, while with extraordinary notice the legislation requires that reasons should be given, and it sets a limit of one year from the action quoted as a reason. The most usual practice is terminating an employment relationship through mutual agreement.

A teacher changing workplaces takes with him/her his/her salary class and grade, i.e. he/she cannot face a situation less favourable than prior to the move as long as the move is within the teaching profession.

However,if he/she takes a position where the qualification requirements are lower, the classification of the position will be equivalently lower.

As long as he/she stays in teaching, but his/her position changes, i.e. he/she works on in a non-teaching job, it is no longer guaranteed that his/her salary will remain unchanged. That may mean a rise (e.g. if he/she goes to work in education administration, local government, Ministry of Education and Culture, etc.) as well as a drop.

 

Dismissal

There is legislation to specify the cases in which a teacher, working either as public servant or as an employee may have his/her employment relationship terminated. Employment is terminated immediately if the specified period of his/her employment expires, if the teacher dies, or if the institution ceases to exist without a legal successor. The employer may also terminate employment. This happens with a public servant through exemption, with immediate effect during the probation period, and through dismissal.

Exemption must be based on a specific reason (pl. professional incompetence, deficient quality of work, medical unsuitability, retirement, axing of jobs due to restructuring, etc.). There are, however, situations in which exemption is prohibited temporarily, e.g. during periods of inability to work due to disease, sick-pay for nursing a sick child, especially in this case during work performed abroad on the basis of mutual agreement, etc. Exemption is possible with limitations if e.g. the spouse has no earnings, or if the employee is a single parent, or her husband is a rank-and-file soldier, etc. Exemptionmust be justified. Notice period may be 2-8 months, depending on the time the teacher has spent in public servant legal relationship.

A rule to protect the interests of the teacher is that exemption may take place only – other than for reasons of incompetence – if the employer has no further jobs to fit the teacher’s degree and qualifications, or if the teacher fails to agree to employment in such a position. Exemption entitles the teacher to severance pay worth 1-8 months’ average salaries, depending on the period of service.

The situation with those working on the basis of a work contract is similar to the above. In such a case the principal may dismiss the teacher through ordinary notice, extraordinary notice, and with immediate effect during probation. Notice must be justified, and may only relate to the teacher’s abilities, his/her behaviour at work, and the employer’s operation. The employee must be given a chance to defend him/herself. Here, too, legislation provides prohibitions, and limitations to notice. The notice period may last from 1 month to 1 year, depending also on the time spent in employment. In the case of notice, the teacher is entitled to severance pay, the sum of which is dependent on the length of the employment relationship.

 

Retirement and pensions

Teacher’s retirement is not subject to any special legislation in Hungary, i.e. general social security legislation, and public employment legislation applies, the latter only for teachers in the public sector. General regulations enable payment of the full sum of the old age pension to persons having completed their 65th year of age, and completed at least 20 years of qualifying period. That rule no longer distinguishes between women and men.

There are temporary rules, however, that still contain regulations different for the two genders.

A teacher can opt for early retirement. As from 1 January 2009, women who have turned 59, and men who have turned 60, can retire early if they have at least forty years of service and, on the day when the pension claim is adjudicated, she/he has no employment relation that grants her/him social insurance coverage. Persons with at least 37 years of service and satisfy all the other preconditions for early old-age retirement, can be entitled to a reduced old-pension. In such cases the pension is reduced in proportion to the number of years that are missing from the age that would entitle the claimant to a full old-age pension.

Women who turned 57, or men who turned 60, prior to 1 January 2009, and have at least 33 years of service, or up to 38 years of service, can claim a reduced old-age pension at any time provided she/he cancels her/his social insurance relationship. In addition to the above, teachers recipient to early retirement pension, or other pension regarded identical to old age pension, or to disability, or accident related disability pension are considered retired in addition to the above.

The adjudication and disbursement of early retirement pension is based, as before, on an agreement between the employer and the employee. Such an agreement can be reached at the earliest one year before going into early retirement – supposing all the other preconditions of entitlement are met. The other preconditions are as follows: the required number of service years (at least 37) has to be obtained, a definite age (57 years) has to be reached, and the social insurance relationship (labour relationship, public employee status, public service status, employment by a court or the prosecutor’s office, subcontractor’s relationship, membership in a cooperative) has to be terminated by the time of the early retirement.

Pursuant to Government Decree 1700/2012, teachers reaching retirement age cannot be employed in state maintained public education institutions and public institution. Entering retirement age automatically terminates the public servant status.