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

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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

Arrangements for children aged up to 3 years

Child care can be provided not only by crèches and kids clubs, but also by day-care providers or child minders and nannies.

A day-care provider or child minder (opiekun dzienny) is a natural person employed by the commune (gmina). The commune covers the costs of his/her civil liability insurance. The day-care provider takes care of children aged 20 weeks and above. The maximum number of children under their care is normally 5. However, the maximum number is reduced to 3 when the group of children includes a child who is under the age of 1, is disabled or requires special care. Such child minders should have qualifications which are required to work in crèches or day care units or provide guarantees for appropriate child care, and should have suitable premises which ensure safe conditions for children. The commune can provide or furnish premises for child minders. Those who do not hold the necessary qualifications are required to complete a relevant course. A child minder works with parents, e.g. involving them in a supporting role during classes with their children. The commune council defines the amount and conditions for the remuneration of child minders.

A nanny (niania) is a natural person employed on the basis of a written contract for the delivery of services concluded with parents of children aged 20 weeks and above. Social security and health insurance for nannies are covered partly by the Social Insurance Institution (calculated for the minimum wage), and partly by the child's parents (for the amount above the minimum wage).

Arrangements for children aged 3 and above

Until recently the school education legislation did not allow providing school education in settings other than pre-school institutions (nursery schools and pre-school classes in primary schools, including nursery schools with integration classes and special nursery schools) discussed in the previous sections. Despite that, due to the steady decrease in the number of pre-school institutions, mainly for economic reasons and in particular in rural areas, local initiatives were undertaken until 2007 to provide short-time pre-school activities in settings like children’s clubs or pre-school centres. However, there was no basis for them in national legislation. They were established by foundations and associations in cooperation with communes (gmina).

Between 2004 and 2008, within the framework of the Sectoral Operational Programme 'Human Resources Development' (EU structural funds), the Minister of National Education provided financial support for NGOs, selected in an open competition for 'Alternative pre-school education settings', which implemented their projects in rural areas across the country. These projects increased considerably the interest in pre-school education for 3-5 year olds in rural areas. Organisational arrangements and methodological approaches developed for alternative pre-school settings encouraged the establishment of pre-school units and centres which complement the network of pre-school institutions in rural areas.

On 7 September 2007, the Polish Parliament amended the School Education Act, allowing the provision of pre-school education and care for children aged 3-5 in settings other than nursery schools and pre-school classes in primary schools. As envisaged by policy makers, alternative settings should be created by communes (gmina) in areas with special demographic and geographical conditions as supplementary to the existing network of pre-school education institutions.

Like nursery schools, alternative settings can be public or non-public. Establishing and administering public pre-school education settings is one of the statutory tasks of the commune. However, other public pre-school education settings can also be created by legal entities and natural persons on the basis of a permit from the competent commune. In this case, they receive a grant from the commune which amounts to at least 50% of current expenditure per child as incurred by a public nursery school in a given commune.

In order to provide pre-school education in an alternative non-public setting, legal entities and natural persons should be included in the register of non-public schools and other educational institutions which is kept by the commune. A subsidy for a non-public setting amounts to at least 40% of current expenditure per child as incurred by a public nursery school in a given commune.

As in nursery schools, alternative settings implement the national core curriculum for pre-school education and classes are conducted by teachers who hold qualifications required for work in a nursery school. Pedagogical supervision over alternative pre-school settings is exercised, like in the case of pre-school education institutions, by the head of the regional education authorities (kurator oświaty). This arrangement is in force as from 1 January 2008.

On the basis of the amended School Education Act, the Minister of National Education has adopted a regulation on alternative pre-school education settings, conditions for their creation and their operational arrangements. The Regulation distinguishes two alternative settings mentioned above: a pre-school centre which provides classes on some days of the week, and a pre-school unit which provides classes throughout the year, except for breaks determined by the managing body of the centre. The minimum number of working hours is 3 hours a day and 12 hours a week for both settings. In both settings, classes are organized in groups of 3 to 25 children. The managing body of the pre-school unit/centre lays down its organisational arrangements, ensuring in particular safe and healthy conditions for education.

Moreover, there are many examples of alternative education in terms of curricula. Pre-school teachers often apply methods such as those used in Montessori or Waldorf and other pre-school institutions. Teachers often use these methods on a selective basis and create their own approaches adjusted to the needs of their environment. The so-called Wrocław School of the Future is an example of an original approach to pre-school education in terms of curricula and methodology, extending beyond the traditional cognitive paradigm. The main approaches to work with children are situated within the “paradigm of imagination”.