Poland:Main Types of Provision

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Overview Poland

Contents

Poland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Poland:Historical Development

Poland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Poland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Poland:Political and Economic Situation

Poland:Organisation and Governance

Poland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Poland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Poland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Poland:Organisation of Private Education

Poland:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Poland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Poland:Funding in Education

Poland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Poland:Higher Education Funding

Poland:Adult Education and Training Funding

Poland:Early Childhood Education and Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poland:Primary Education

Poland:Organisation of Primary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Poland:Assessment in Primary Education

Poland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Poland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Poland:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Higher Education

Poland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Poland:First Cycle Programmes

Poland:Bachelor

Poland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Poland:Second Cycle Programmes

Poland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Poland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Poland:Adult Education and Training

Poland:Distribution of Responsibilities

Poland:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Poland:Main Providers

Poland:Main Types of Provision

Poland:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Poland:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Poland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Poland:Management and Other Education Staff

Poland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Poland:Management Staff for Higher Education

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Poland:Quality Assurance

Poland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Educational Support and Guidance

Poland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Poland:Mobility and Internationalisation

Poland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Mobility in Higher Education

Poland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Poland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Poland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:National Reforms in School Education

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

Poland:National Reforms in Higher Education

Poland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Poland:European Perspective

Poland:Legislation

Poland:Institutions

Poland:Glossary

Adult education and training programmes can be implemented both in formal and non-formal education systems.

Formal education is provided by public and private schools for adults for people aged 18 and above, who had not previously completed school education, as well as other institutions offering certified education and training. Formal education in schools for adults and certain out-of-school forms is provided on the basis of the core curricula for general and vocational education, responsibility for which lies with the Ministry of National Education. This sector includes also vocational qualification courses, vocational skill trainings and key competences workshops based also on the core curricula. Teaching programmes for general and vocational education are built on the basis of the core curricula and they are approved by a school head or a relevant institution. Financing of public schools and certain out-of-schools forms is a responsibility of local governments, whereas non-public schools receive funding from the state according to separate rules (see chapter on financing).

Teaching programmes applied in non-formal education are of much wider range due to huge diversity of institutions and individual adult recipients. Survey carried out in 2013 (within BKL) demonstrated adult education from a broader perspective, taking into account the labour market, competence demand and general life and economic growth conditions. Further research in that area confirms low participation in education and training among Poles and indicates that those involved are well-educated (e.g. professionals and management and engineering staff), employed in large companies and living in cities. Moreover, employers’ investments in human capital among their employees addresses those who already have high competences, while those with lower level of competences are rarely delegated to training. It has been observed that differences between those educationally active and those educationally passive are larger than the EU average. Despite official financial incentives to popularize participation in adult education, neither public funding of this type of activity produce anticipated effects nor the ESF funds fostered general participation in adult education. Research shows that this participation depends much on the work environment and that employers seem to fail in stimulating their staff to improve competences, addressing primarily those better educated employees rather than all personnel. Consequently, the limited educational activity among adult employees continues, especially that only a part of non-formal education participants pay for the training by themselves.

The results of PIAAC (2013) are revealing in terms of specific skills and competences that adults lack. Three areas were covered by the study: text comprehension, mathematical reasoning and IT skills. It occurred that the competences level is strongly correlated with the level of education held by the respondents and this correlation is stronger than in other countries participating in the survey. Those highly qualified employees and those employed in the service industry perform at the average level of OECD. The result for Poles aged 16-65, however, is lower than the OECD average, i.e. in the text comprehension the proportion is 267 (PL) to 273 (OECD), in the mathematical reasoning – 260 (PL) to 269 (OECD). IT skills among those surveyed are also lower than expected since only 19 percent of them have high skills in this field compared to 34 percent in the OECD average. These skills vastly depend on age, education level, place of living and labour market status – better results were achieved by people aged 16-24, with a HE degree, living in a city and those employed, although this last group in Poland shows rarer and less intensive use of a PC at work (46 percent does not use PC at all) than in other countries (30 percent - in the OECD). The best competences, comparable to other countries’ respondents in the same industries, are presented by those working in the area of modern services, so-called knowledge-intensive services, such as: IT, financing, insurance, communication, advertising, marketing, real estate, tax advisory and accounting.

Provision to Raise Achievement in Basic Skills

Programmes building key competences may be offered both within formal and non-formal education. According to the EU LFS 2013, 9.9 percent of adults aged 24-64 completed at most lower secondary school, whereas 0.7 percent of those surveyed have even lower level of education. Teaching programmes at particular educational stages (ISCED 1-3) correspond to the core curriculum for general education and have been implemented since 2012. Key competence courses are carried out by the institutions and centres in line with teaching programmes based on the chosen part of the core curriculum, content of which is a full responsibility of the Minister of National Education.

General competence courses end with a pass after the assessment set by individual institutions. Courses provided in public schools are free of charge, whereas those in non-public schools are partly paid by the participants. Funding of non-public schools may be subsidized from the public means.

In primary schools for adults in 2013/2014 there were 77 students, in the lower secondary school – 14.5 thousand, in general upper secondary schools – 197.6 thousand. One year earlier, key competence courses had 11.3 thousand participants, incl. 4.5 unemployed. Other courses and trainings in this field can be arranged by any entities, not only regulated by the educational law, which prepare teaching programmes, passing requirements and costs by themselves.

Key competence courses and trainings include for example language courses, IT training, entrepreneurship courses and other. Programmes building key competences cover also initiatives of the labour market active policies (Aktywne polityki rynku pracy, ALMP) e.g. digital education for those over 50 which gathered ca. 206 thousand participants since 2013 (Stowarzyszenie Miasta w Internecie, 2014).

Provision to Achieve a Recognised Qualification during Adulthood Certification

Programmes ending with certified learning outcomes for adults are, to a certain extent, parallel with programmes offered within formal and non-formal education. These are, apart from key competence courses (see 8.4.1), vocational qualification courses, vocational skill trainings, theoretical training tours for juvenile workers and other training enabling the acquisition of certified qualifications. Vocational qualification courses (VQC) base on the core curriculum for vocational education and address one qualification which is specified in the name of the course. Vocational skill trainings (VST) have the same basis, but they cover one part of learning outcomes, learning outcomes common for all occupations within one educational area and learning outcomes common for all occupations within the organization of small teams’ work. Non-formal education may be arranged on a full-time or part-time (weekend) basis. The National Centre for Vocational and Continuing Education within the project “Distance learning implementation and popularization system” made a list of 169 courses. Courses are addressed to the students of VQC, also schools and institutions can download them for free and install them on their own e-learning platforms.

Teaching programmes at particular educational stages in individual types of school (basic vocational schools, technical upper secondary school, post-secondary school) correspond to the core curriculum for vocational education and have been implemented since 2012 and is a full responsibility of the Minister of National Education. Teaching programmes in individual occupations as well as vocational qualification courses and vocational skill trainings are based on the core curriculum. Education in vocational school ends with a school leaving certificate and vocational qualifications (or learning outcomes assigned to individual qualifications) once the exam confirming these qualifications is passed. Graduates of general upper secondary school obtain a school leaving certificate which means upper secondary education level completed. They can take a matriculation exam and, once it is passed, apply for higher education institution.

Both QVC and VST end with a pass set by the institutions providing the training, which should notify a relevant regional examination commission about the training delivered. It enables the authorities to prepare the exam confirming qualification covered with the course.

Public schools are free-of-charge, whereas those attending non-public schools involve in the costs. Funding of non-public schools can be subsidized from public means.

In 2013/2014, in basic vocational schools for adults there were: 1,169 students, in technical upper secondary schools – 2539, in supplementary technical upper secondary schools – 16,934. All vocational schools for adults have been transformed into general upper secondary schools for adults as of 1 September 2015 (see 8.3.).

In 2013/2014, in schools for adults there were 561 training courses attended by 16.7 thousand participants:

  • 70.4 percent of them attended post-secondary schools, 14.7 – technical upper secondary schools, 10.7 – supplementary technical upper secondary schools, and 4.1 percent - basic vocational schools;
  • the most popular QVC in schools for youth and adults was underground resources exploitation, which was attended by 21.2 percent of all participants; the second popular was agricultural production, attended by 12 percent of all participants (source: “Education and Care 2013/2014” (Oświata i wychowanie) by GUS).

QVC may be provided in settings other than schools.

Provision Targeting the Transition to the Labour Market

The Act on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions defines a number of means for supporting the unemployed and those looking for a job. The labour market institutions, specified in the act, are responsible for coordination and implementation in this area. Job centres, directly supporting this target group, offer opportunities for development and acquisition of competences sought by their potential employers. Thus, they provide e.g. basic training service and other means of fostering continuing education among those unemployed and in search of a job.

Table 5. Means of fostering continuing education among those unemployed and in search of a job


Service type Entitled addresees Programme description Description of support for the programme
Referral to a training course
  • those unemployed
  • those searching for a job i.e. those who lost their job or will lose it soon, but have officially unemployed
  • those employed aged 45 and above

 

Training includes min. 25 hours per week, most often for 6 months, in justified cases – for 12 to 24 months

Group trainings organized by job centres or individual trainings acc. to participant’s interests. Institution providing trainings should be registered in the Training Institution Index.

Group training is funded by job centres; individual training may be funded from the public means in the amount of up to three average salaries.

Training participants are entitled to receive from 20 to 120 percent of the social benefit for the unemployed (the amount subject to the number of training hours). Job centres reimburse the expenses of medical and psychological examination necessary to participate in the training; and also for meals, accommodation and expenses incurred in case the participant takes constant care upon a child or an adult with disabilities.

Non-degree postgraduate studies   Any non-degree postgraduate study programmes offered at the market. Funded from the public means in the amount of up to three average salaries. Training participants are entitled to receive 20 percent of the social benefit for the unemployed
Credits for training   Any training in order to start or continue employment, changing jobs or starting own business. No interest credit in the amount up to four average salaries ; repayment period no longer than 18 months
Examination and licence funding   Exams leading to certificates, diplomas, specific professional entitlements or vocational degrees and license necessary to given occupations  
Occupational apprenticeships e The unemployed:
  • below the age of 25,
  • HEI graduates below the age of 27,
  • aged 50 and above,
  • with disabilities,
  • other in exceptionally difficult labour market status
Apprenticeships addressed to the unemployed in order to gain practical skills required for a job; organized at an employer’s, but without a contract; based on the agreement between the employer and the local authorities governing a relevant job centre; from 6 to 12-month-long; max. 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week The apprentice entitled to a scholarship of 120 percent of the social benefit for the unemployed
Vocational preparation of adults
  • the unemployed
  • those searching for a job
Vocational preparation means the acquisition of qualifications and occupational skills at the employer’s or in the training institution (based on the agreement between the employer/institution and the local authorities governing a relevant job centre).

Vocational preparation takes two forms:

  1. practical training in occupation that lasts 12-18 months and ends with an exam confirming vocational qualifications/journeyman exam;
  2. training for a specific work that lasts 3-6 months and ends with an exam in the training institution or exam confirming vocational qualifications.

Vocational training is carried out according to the programme; 80 percent of the teaching time is devoted to practical skills. Theoretical part (20 percent) may be followed in the course of training in the institution.

The employer appoints a special tutor to supervise the teaching process of each participant.

Training participants are entitled to receive 120 percent of the social benefit for the unemployed

Local authorities reimburse the employer for participant training expenses in the amount of 2 percent of the average salary each month of the training.

The employer receives also a 400 PLN bonus for each completed month of the training provided that the participant finished the training and passed a related exam.

 

Scholarship for continuing education The unemployed with no qualifications, who after 12-month-long search of a job, decided to continue education in upper secondary school or HE, and who got the financial entitlement to social support
Any programmes in upper secondary schools and HEIs. The scholarship is granted in the period of first 12 months of education in the amount of 100 percent of the social benefit for the unemployed monthly

Source: The Act on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions and Trainings, apprenticeships and other forms of qualification improvement among the unemployed: statistics 2009-2013

Apart from the above mentioned forms of support for the unemployed and these looking for a job, the act refers to the reimbursement system for employers investing in continuing education of their employees. Local authorities, upon the employer’s application, reimburse employees’ training expenses in the amount of 50 to 100 percent, and in the case of participants above the age of 45, as much as 80 to 300 percent of an average salary. In 2013, the Labour Fund granted the employers 35.8 thousand PLN for the reimbursement of training expenses.

According to data made available by the public employment service, in 2013 job centres reimbursed 128 million PLN for expenses of training institutions, examination and license acquisition, credits for training, non-degree postgraduate studies and employee trainings refunded to employers. Another 2 million was allocated to the vocational preparation of adults. The expenses are presented in the table below.

Table 6. Support for education and training of the unemployed and those in search of a job in 2013


Service type Expenses in 2013 Beneficiaries of the support Description of support for the programme
Referral to a training course 120,980.300 PLN, plus 85,600.000 for scholarships 84,240 participants of training, including 79,558 granted with scholarships. 66.8 percent of job centre clients got referrals for group trainings, i.e. covering fields indicated by job centres and contracted in a training institution selected by tender. Among all the participants: 38 percent were women, 25 percent – the unemployed aged 18-24, 26 percent – those aged 45 and above, 28 percent – those with post-secondary and vocational secondary education completed, 40 percent – those without a job for a long time. The efficiency of training increased – 47 percent of participants got employed in the period up to 3 months after the training.
There were 32,722 trainings carried out, incl. those of 31 to 80 hours (11,483 trainings). Only 901 trainings covered more than 300 hours.

The most popular courses carried out by job centres were: transport (incl. driving courses) – 16 thousand participants, management and administration – over 6 thousand, architecture and engineering – over 5 thousand, sales, marketing, public relations, real estate – over 4.7 thousand, accountancy, bookkeeping, banking, insurance, investing – 4.5 thousand

Non-degree postgraduate studies

 

5,187.700 PLN, plus 2,600 000 for scholarships 1,622 participants (scholarship applications in total: 2,453), 80 percent of which were women Data not available
Credits for training

 

65,100 PLN 17 persons
Data not available
Examination and licence funding

 

528,900 PLN 332 persons
Data not available
Occupational apprenticeships e 1,249,200,000 PLN 197 thousand participants, incl. 100 thousand unemployed below the age of 25
The most popular apprenticeships covered: office assistants – 43.5 thousand, sales and marketing, public relations, real estate – 18.9 thousand, gastronomy – 6.9 thousand, social support (incl. care services over the elderly, the disabled, children, and voluntary services) – 6 thousand, accountancy, bookkeeping, banking, insurance, investments – 5.3 thousand participants
Vocational preparation of adults 2,000 000 PLN, plus 4,600 000 PLN for scholarships 427 participants ( in 2012 – 347), 308 of which (in 2012 – 270) completed the training, incl. 161 who completed practical training in occupation and 145 – training for a specific work The most popular trainings covered: hairdressing and beauty services – 29 participants, tailoring and shoe services -22, technology and technology sales (incl. mechanics, metallurgy, power industry, electricity, electronics, telecommunication, metrology, car repair and maintenance)
Scholarship for continuing education 5,800 000 PLN 684 participants, most of which were those enrolled in upper secondary schools. Almost 73 percent of participants were women.
Data not available

Source: Trainings, apprenticeships and other forms of qualification improvement among the unemployed: statistics 2009-2013

Provision of Liberal (Popular) Adult Education

General competence programmes for adults, except key competence ones provided by in public and non-public school and out-of-school forms, have no public funding. These programmes include some non-degree postgraduate programmes, third-age universities, open universities, local cultural centres and NGOs. Their offer covers both courses for social or cultural development and sporting activities. There are no official statistics covering these types of education.