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Poland:Organisation and Governance

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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

Poland has successfully developed a model of education where participation rates in education at all of the ISCED 4-7 levels (from upper secondary education to second-cycle programmes in higher education) for young people are relatively high as compared to EU countries, and a large proportion of young people hold at least upper secondary qualifications. At the same time, the number of early school leavers (ESL) has been reduced; this results from, among other things, a reform of education at the lower secondary level. Polish pupils’ achievements in reading, mathematics and science, according to results of PISA surveys, are currently classified at the forefront of EU countries. Between 2000 and 2014 Poland was among the countries which made most rapid progress in the EU with regard to increasing the number of young adults holding higher education qualifications in the 30-34 age group.

The Polish model of education has also been based on the principle of a relatively high degree of decentralisation of the management of the education system. When the School Education Act of 7 September 1991 (which is still in force) came into force on 25 October 1991, most of the educational tasks at the pre-school up to upper secondary school levels were gradually handed over to local authorities at the commune (gmina) or district (powiat) level. This has been combined with the growth of the non-public school education sector which has very extensive autonomy, while benefitting from public funding. A high degree of autonomy of schools and higher education institutions (HEIs) (also in the public sector) is guaranteed by law. Work has been undertaken to implement fully the European Qualifications Framework which facilitates comparison of learning outcomes between schools and their transfer abroad.

All these achievements were made possible by, among other things, a fairly modern legislative framework for education. The Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 1997 (Art. 70) grants the right to education to all and, at the same time, provides for the obligation to continue education until the age of 18. This obligation is carried out in school (full-time compulsory education) or non-school settings (part-time compulsory education) (see below).

Polish education is now facing significant challenges resulting from frequent and profound changes in the legislative framework, in particular in the School Education Act and related implementing regulations. Only a year ago, the previous primary school entry age (7 years) was reintroduced, while the entry age had been gradually lowered by one year between 2014 and 2015. For further details, see the chapter on Primary Education. A Bill ‘School Education Law’, published in September 2016, is to repeal the above-mentioned School Education Act of 1991. It is planned that the currently existing primary and lower secondary schools (6+3), leading to upper secondary education in 3- or 4-year schools, will be replaced by a single 8-year primary school, and that upper secondary education will be extended to 4-5 years. This will re-establish the model which had been in place in Poland before the school system reform of 1999/2000. Debates on the proposed change are ongoing. See also: National_Reforms_in_School_Education.

Polish education is gradually – though not without difficulties – opening up to non-formal education and continuing education. Since September 2012, the system of external vocational examinations has opened up to persons who have acquired vocational knowledge and skills outside vocational schools.

Moreover, changes implemented since October 2014 facilitate the validation of learning outcomes achieved outside the higher education system. Hopefully, these trends will continue also when new legislation currently being drafted is adopted.