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

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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

2017

The structural reform of the education system approved for implementation

Reform status: approved for implementation

The reform will be implemented between 1 September 2017 and the school year 2022/23. On the 1 September 2017 pupils graduating from year 6 of the primary school will become pupils of grade 7. At the same time gymnasia will be gradually phased out.  In the school year 2018/19 gymnasia will cease to operate  as the last cohort of pupils will graduate.

The new structure includes:

  • 8-year primary school
  • 4-year general upper secondary school
  • 5-year technical upper secondary school
  • 3-year trade school (stage I)
  • 3-year special school preparing for employment
  • 2-year trade school (stage II)
  • Post-secondary school.

The restructuring will take place on the basis of an Act of 14 December 2016 “Law on School Education” and an Act “Legislation introducing the Act – Law on School Education”.


2016

Third Age Universities

Reform status: call for proposals 2017

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education intends to support Third Age Universities – both the existing ones and the institutions which intend to start such initiatives.  .

The total budget earmarked for 2017 projects is 4 000 000 PLN. The call for proposals is open to the 30 November 2016.

For more information see section on Higher Education reform.

Results of the IVET reform debate

Reform status: proposal

Directions of change in initial vocational education (24 June 2016):

  • Gradual introduction of a dual training system
  • Inclusion of employers in the process of training and examining students
  • Establishment of a two-stage trade school
  • Establishment of Specialists Corps and of a separate Vocational Education Development Fund (Fundusz Rozwoju Edukacji Zawodowej, FREZ).

Active involvement of employers in the process of training and examining will include:

  • Creation of new professions and curricula for these professions
  • Preparation of teaching programmes for vocations (in cooperation with schools) with graduates’ skills adjusted to the needs of the local and regional labour market
  • Implementation of practical training (in cooperation with schools and practical training centres)
  • Equipping schools/practical training centres with state of the art technical and didactic equipment
  • Support to schools’ staff and involvement of employers in practical training of students.

Every district (powiat) will have one practical training centre. The centre will be responsible for coordination of vocational education, educational and career guidance and organization of vocational examinations.  Practical training centres will implement the continuing education of adults in response to employers’ needs in particular branches of economy. They will also act as certification agencies implementing the measures provided in the Integrated Qualification System.

Changes to the structure of vocational education - establishment of a two-stage trade school

The new trade school will include:

  • Stage I - 3 years. Upon its completion and passing a first vocational qualification exam the graduate will obtain a diploma confirming vocational qualifications. The graduate will be ready to undertake employment or continue education in the stage II of trade school.  
  • Stage II – 2 years. Upon its completion and passing of a second vocational qualification exam the graduate will obtain a diploma of technician and confirmation of upper secondary vocational education. The graduate of a trade school (stage II) with a title of technician can take a vocational matriculation examination (matura zawodowa) and continue education in a higher education institution in an area in which he/she obtained his/her title. At least 50% of classes in trade schools will be devoted to vocational training. 

The existing technical upper secondary school (technikum) stays in place with access to matura examination at basic or extended level and with a diploma confirming vocational qualifications. 

Further changes include:

  • Introduction of core curricula for educational and career guidance
  • Inclusion of educational and career guidance in core curriculum at every stage of education
  • Obligatory testing of student’s professional predispositions before the choice of educational path (in psychological-pedagogical support centres).
  • Establishment of Specialists Corps involving high level specialists from enterprises. Additionally a vocational education portal will be established in every region which will provide information on employers’ needs and practical training offers in enterprises.  

In the framework of changes to the initial vocational education system a new Vocational Education Development Fund (Fundusz Rozwoju Edukacji Zawodowej, FREZ) will be established. The Fund will contribute towards:

  • Equipping schools/practical training centres with state of the art technical and didactic equipment
  • Development of practical training centres network
  • Costs of practical vocational training at the employers
  • Organisation of practical placements for vocational education teachers (in-service training)
  • Provision of motivation allowance for initial vocational education teachers (in schools and in practical training centres)
  • Provision of additional trade qualifications to students in vocational schools
  • Provision of educational and vocational guidance.

The FREZ funds may come from the Labour Fund, State Treasury companies, and contributions by the employers’ associations.


Debate on IVET reform 

Reform status: debate

In March 2016 a debate on systemic solutions in IVET was held during a meeting held in Siedlce (Mazovia region) in the framework of three panels:

  1. The role of employers in the implementation of good change in vocational education.
  2. The condition of teaching facilities for practical training (upon implementation of the Human Capital Operational Programme 2007-2013) and further needs in this area.
  3. Structure and organization of IVET.

The meeting is one of the 16 regional debates to be held in Poland by the end of May 2016 (see also section on school education reforms).

2015

Dual vocational training – new legislation approved

Reform status: approved for implementation

New legislation namely the amended regulation by the Minister of National Education on practical vocational training stipulates measures for dual vocational education.

The following measures are in place:

  1. Definition of two forms of dual vocational training for practical training in enterprises:
  1. an employment contract with an indicated purpose of vocational preparation concluded between the young employee and the employer,
  2. an agreement on practical "on the job" training concluded by the school head and the employer who takes in students for this type of practical training;
  1. Assigning of each form of practical training to particular types of schools;
  2. Indicating the instruction time for practical training implemented at the employer’s on the dual training system basis;
  3. Allowing the employer to influence the teaching content of practical training which is implemented at his/her enterprise.

The Year of Vocational Schools

Reform status: under implementation

The school year 2014/2015 is the Year of Vocational Schools. The Ministry of National Education has started several actions aimed at improving provision of vocational education in the current and in the following school years, among others:

The programme’s goal is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the provision of vocational education. Its priorities include adjustment of vocational education to the needs of the labour market as well as strengthening co-operation between schools and entrepreneurs and organization of practical work placements.

Additional information in English is available on The Ministry's of National Education website.

2014

Vocational training within the Youth Guarantee programme

Reform status: introduced, under implementation

In May 2014 an amendment to the Act on the Promotion of Employment and Labour Market Institutions, in line with the main aims of the Youth Guarantee programme promoted by the EU, came into force. The amended regulation imposes obligation of the labour offices to offer help to young people under 25 years of age within 4 month since registration in the office (hitherto, they were obliged to do it within 6 months). The help offered to young people that is connected with education covers: (1) individually profiled job counselling; (2) access to professional training, vocational training programme, internships, subsidizing the cost of the exams or postgraduate studies, training loan, scholarship for continuing education (3) participation in an individual programme, containing different forms of professional mobilization. Moreover, as a result of this amendment, unemployed young people are provided with a personal counsellor and professionally profiled types of assistance.

Additional information in Polish is available on the Ministry's of Labour and Social Policy website.


National Training Fund – continuing education support

Reform status: under implementation

The National Training Fund (Krajowy Fundusz Szkoleniowy – KFS) has been established within the labour market service reform implemented from 2014. The fund is a part of the Labour Fund (national restricted fund combating unemployment) allocated to support employers investing money for the in-service training their employees. In 2014, the total amount was 40 million PLN, in the following years it will amount to 2 percent of the Labour Fund. Employers, once they applied for support to the local job centers, will be granted 80 percent of employees’ training expenses and, in the case of micro-enterprises, 100 percent. KFS means may be allocated for training need diagnosis, courses, postgraduate programmes, exam certificates, etc. Moreover, financing within KFS includes its promotion, diagnosis of qualification demand on the labour market, consulting and councelling for employers  as well as support efficiency. Priority areas for funding are set by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy upon consultation with Labour Market Board (advisory board to the minister). First two years of KFS focus on supporting continuing education of those over 45.

More information in Polish at the Public Employment Service website.


Trilateral training agreements

Reform status: under implementation

Trilateral training agreements have been introduced within labour market service reform implemented since 2014 and aim at adjusting training courses commissioned by the local job centres to the needs of employers. The agreement is concluded between a job centre, an employer and a training organization. Training for employees sent by job centres is going to be strictly adapted to particular employers’ requirements who would consequently be obliged to hire them. Such agreements are expected to improve quality and efficiency of training for the unemployed.

More information in Polish at the Public Employment Service website 


Professional activation for 50+

Reform status: introduced, under implementation

In February 2014 a new programme "Solidarity between generations - measures to enhance professional activity of people aged over 50" was announced. The programme defines measures helping to mobilize people aged 50+. Its general aim is to increase employment of people aged 55-64 years to 50% by 2020. The main actions in this programme aim at developing the competences of people over 50 years (also over 45 years). Among them, there are: (1) supporting the development of educational offer for people aged over 45 years (2) creating environment for the constant cooperation between the employers and the educational institutions (3) creating of the information system on the educational offer for people over 45 years (4) supporting professional development of educational staff specialized in education of people aged over 45 years (5) promotion of formal and non-formal educational institutions as well as of cooperation between regional and central authorities, aiming at widening of educational opportunities for people over 45 years (6) creating measures promoting continuing education among employees over 45 years and among their employers (7) promotion of educational and professional counselling for people of all ages, including also those over 45 years (8) supporting the institutions providing validation and certification of competences for people over 45 years.

Additional information in Polish is available on the Ministry's of Labour and Social Policy website.


Social activation (including educational activation) for people over 60 years

Reform status: introduced, under implementation

In January 2014 a Government Programme for the Social Activity of Seniors for 2014-2020 (for people over 60 years) was announced. It is a multi-range programme aimed at supporting social activity of seniors, including their educational activity. The activities funded under this programme are: (1) creation of offers corresponding to the needs of seniors in a difficult situation (2) promotion of the new measures aimed at motivating seniors to take up education in order to stay active (3) increasing competences of personnel involved into activation of seniors.

Additional information in Polish is available on the Ministry's of Labour and Social Policy website.