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Poland:Reforms in School Education

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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

2014

E-textbook

reform status: under implementation

A new e-text book for grades 1-3 of primary school was presented during the Minister’s of National Education press conference.

This interactive e-textbook for early school education is the first part of the larger e-textbook programme for all levels of general education, from 1st grade of primary school up to the general upper secondary school. They will be all free of charge. All the educational materials will be available on-line for students and teachers at the beginning of the school year 2015/2016.

Additional information in Polish is available on www.epodreczniki.pl

Free textbooks

Reform status: introduced, under implementation

This reform aims:

  • to provide all primary schools with a free textbook for pupils in grades 1-3, covering Polish language, Mathematics, science and civil education; the reform will be implemented gradually - in the school year 2014/2015 for pupils in 1st grade and in the following years for the pupils in consecutive grades.
  • to introduce a target grant to bodies running public primary and lower secondary schools for purchase of textbooks and educational materials used in foreign language education in the grades 1-3 of primary school and textbooks and educational materials in grades 4-6 of primary school and in all the grades of lower secondary school. The reform will be implemented gradually, in the school year 2014/2015 for pupils in 1st grade of primary school and in the following years for pupils in consecutive grades of primary and lower secondary school;
  • to oblige all public primary and lower secondary schools to provide pupils with free textbooks and educational materials; the reform will be implemented gradually – in the school year 2014/2015 for pupils in 1st grade of primary school and in the following years for the pupils in consecutive grades.
  • to prohibit placing in textbooks exercises, tasks or commands so that the books can be used in the following years, as well as to prohibit placing in textbooks references to other educational materials offered by the publisher to oblige the teaching council to consult the parents council before deciding on a set of textbooks and educational materials to be used in the given school;
  • to lay down the rules for marketing practices used by the publishers in order to promote their textbooks in schools as well as to prohibit them to offer textbooks which can be purchased only with additional educational materials, against client’s will.

These changes are implemented to enhance the conditions in which the constitutional right to education is exercised and to ensure that the public authorities guarantee common and equal access to education for all the citizens.

Additional information in Polish is available on the Ministry of National Education’s website.


Changes in the reform of lowering the age of starting school education

Reform status: introduced, under implementation

An amendment of 19 March 2009 to The School Education Act lowered the age of starting school education to 6 years, yet the implementation of the reform was postponed for the 3 school years, i.e. until the 1 September 2014. Another amendment of 30 August 2013 which came into force on 1 September 2014 was introduced in order to minimize the fears of a group of parents whose children start obligatory school education at the age of 6 by, e.g. creating in the grades 1-3 of public primary school conditions similar to those in the nursery schools. In particular, this concerns restricting the maximal number of pupils in one class to 25 and placing the children of the same age in the same class. Moreover, on 1 September 2014 all the children aged 7 (born in 2007) and half of the children aged (6 born in the first half of the year 2008) will start obligatory school education. On 1 September 2015 7-year-olds (born in the second half of 2008) and all the 6-year-olds (born in 2009) will attend primary schools.

Additional information in Polish is available on the Ministry of National Education’s website


Teachers – assistants in early school education

Reform status: introduced, under implementation

Starting 4 June 2014 the Amended School Education Act allows for employment of teachers assistants in Polish schools, i.e. employment of the personnel supporting teachers providing education and care in grades 1-3 of primary school or the personnel of school day care units. A person employed as an assistant is required to have the same level of education as required from teacher employed in primary school and completed teacher training. Assistants are employed on the basis of the Labour Code, but also need to fulfill requirements stated in the Teacher’s Charter, including requirement that no criminal, disciplinary or incapacitation proceeding is pending against the applicant as well as the requirement of having no criminal record for the intentionally committed offense. This reform’s aim is to improve the quality of education and care for the youngest pupils of the primary schools.

Additional information in Polish is available on the Ministry of National Education’s website.


2013

Changes in the process of modernization of the School Education Information System

Reform status: introduced, under implementation

In the framework of the modernization of the School Education Information System (System Informacji Oświatowej, SIO), implemented since 2005, a number of measures have been undertaken in order to make it possible to collect all pupils’ personal data on the basis of the unique and anonymous common citizen identification number PESEL (on the basis of the law of 15 April 2011 on the school education information system). The database created as a result of these measures will allow to find the correlation between specific features of pupils, especially between their learning process and learning conditions and the learning outcomes (on the basis of external examinations). It will also help identify reasons for the failure to complete the compulsory full-time pre-school and school education and/or compulsory part-time education..The SEIS system gradual modernization project has been implemented since 2012.

The amendment of 22 November 2013 of the aforementioned law extended the functioning of the previous School Education Information System (implemented since 2005) and the usage of its data to 1 March 2017, in order to distribute the part of the general subvention for 2014-2016 directed to school education.

The measure used in the new School Education Information System, allowing for greater reliability of data on pupils and teachers, is the procedure of verification of pupils’ and teachers’ personal data (name, surname, PESEL identification number) gathered in the new System with the relevant personal data gathered in the PESEL system. The verification procedure started in January 2013 and soon after the launch it was discovered that the number of discrepancies between the data from the School Education Information System and PESEL system is higher than expected and more time is required for necessary corrections.

Additional information in Polish is available on the Ministry of National Education’s website.


Changes to the terms of employment for teachers

Reform status: planned

In July 2013 the Council of Ministers adopted the draft of the reform of the Teacher’s Charter prepared by the Minister of National Education The reform aims at increasing the quality of school provision by reinforcing the motivational character of teachers’ remuneration, increasing the importance of teachers’ professional development in order to meet the pupils’ needs, improving organization of school work and increasing parents’ involvement into school’ s matters

Additional information in Polish is available on the Ministry of National Education’s website.


2012

Reform of external exams – coherent with the changes in the core curriculum

Reform status: introduced, under implementation

The external exams have been reviewed in correlation to changes in the content of core curricula for general education (since September 2009 in primary and lower secondary schools – ISCED 1 and 2, and since September 2012 in upper secondary schools – ISCED 3 including vocational education at this level). At the end of 3-year education in a lower secondary school (ISCED 2, gimnazjum) in between September 2009 and June 2012 a new edition of the external examination was introduced. The new exam is more focused on the testing of such skills as reasoning and problem-solving, as well as transversal knowledge and skills. The remaining external exams in general education will be reformed at the end of the relevant stage of education, i.e.. in 2015. Since the reformed vocational exams are being implemented also within the educational stages (for defined separate vocational qualifications), first such exams have been organized since 2013 (based on the curricular reform introduced as of September 2012).

Additional information in Polish is available on the Central Examination Board’s website.


Changes related to the evaluation system in education including the system of pedagogical supervision

Reform status: implemented

Changes to the system of pedagogical supervision are focused on the reinforcing and improvement of the quality assurance system in education. These changes are to make possible a clear distinction and definition of tasks in the area of evaluation of educational activities of schools, educational institutions, checks on the fulfillment of legal requirements in terms of teaching, upbringing and care activities, other statutory activities of schools and educational institutions, support offered to the institutions and to teachers in their teaching, upbringing and care-related duties. Introduction of these changes is to contribute towards merging of learning outcomes validation systems (system of external exams) and of supervision and support to schools in their development. In the framework of these changes the teacher training institutions have been transformed into education development centres.


2009 - 2014

The new core curriculum

Reform status: gradual implementation

Adjustment of content of the general education to the needs of persons entering the developing civic society and rapidly modernized economy is one of the key elements of the education system reform. For this reason the reform of core curricula for pre-school and general education has been prepared and implemented in two stages – since September 2009 in pre-schools, primary schools and lower secondary schools and since September 2012 in general upper secondary schools. Since September 2012 a reform of core curricula for vocational education (in particular occupations) has been introduced in parallel to the curricular reform in general education. (For more information see chapter 14.2.3)

The new core curriculum for general education implemented in two stages has been formulated in terms of learning outcomes through defining requirements for the end of every stage of school education. This will allow for increased school autonomy in terms of organization of the educational process. More freedom and flexibility in organisation of school activities and more responsibility for precisely formulated learning outcomes can be pointed out as main aims of the introduced changes. The new educational offer stresses the development of self-reliance, creativity and responsibility for one’s own learning process. While respecting the Polish educational tradition, the set of eight key competences agreed at the EU level has been adopted. In the framework of the new educational offer lower secondary school and upper secondary school levels are considered as a one consistent 6-year learning stage. This stage of learning contains a comprehensive education period consisting of lower secondary education and parts of upper secondary education, which gives . , a solid foundation for further education based on key competences The curricular reform of the education system envisages strengthening of the foreign language teaching –first compulsory foreign language starting at the beginning of primary education and second compulsory foreign language from the beginning of ISCED 2. (In parallel compulsory language education is being introduced in pre-school education – for more information, please see chapter 14.2.1)

As from September 2014 the core curriculum for early grades of primary education has been changed. The change concerns abolition of list of knowledge and competences that the pupil should obtain at the end of 1st grade, as the early primary education is a 3-year process during which children should gradually gather knowledge and competences, in accordance with their capabilities.

Additional information in Polish is available on the Ministry of National Education’s website.