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

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Overview Portugal

Contents

Portugal:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Portugal:Historical Development

Portugal:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Portugal:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Portugal:Political and Economic Situation

Portugal:Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Portugal:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Portugal:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Portugal:Organisation of Private Education

Portugal:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Portugal:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Funding in Education

Portugal:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Portugal:Higher Education Funding

Portugal:Adult Education and Training Funding

Portugal:Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 3 years

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

Portugal:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Portugal:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Portugal:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Higher Education

Portugal:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Portugal:First Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Bachelor

Portugal:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Portugal:Second Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Portugal:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Portugal:Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Distribution of Responsibilities

Portugal:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Portugal:Main Providers

Portugal:Main Types of Provision

Portugal:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Portugal:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Portugal:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Portugal:Management and Other Education Staff

Portugal:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Portugal:Management Staff for Higher Education

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Portugal:Quality Assurance

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Educational Support and Guidance

Portugal:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Portugal:Mobility and Internationalisation

Portugal:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Mobility in Higher Education

Portugal:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Portugal:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Portugal:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:National Reforms in School Education

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

Portugal:National Reforms in Higher Education

Portugal:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Portugal:European Perspective

Portugal:Legislation

Portugal:Institutions

Portugal:Glossary

Planning policy

Over the past years, a significant drop in the number of students, consequence of the fall in the birth-rate has resulted in less school staff positions.

When applications are open for teaching positions in Schools / Groups of Schools, the number of vacancies is previously established. The process is carried out by the leadership of each School / Group of Schools in close connection with the Regional Services of the Ministry of Education (Ministério da Educação - ME), using the basis of the statistical data as per the full annual timetables requested by the schools during the previously three years.

Review of the legal regime of Nannies concerning the access to the career and the development of the activity: the activity of the nannies can be developed in the private market (publically non-subsidised) and the provision of services done directly with parents. The activity of the nannies in the private market can be pursued only after authorization from the competent authorities of the Institute for Social Security, IP. The authorization depends on the fulfilment of a set of requirements and conditions.

Entry to the Profession

In 2014, Decree-Law no. 83-A/2014, 23rd May, which altered the legal framework of the recruitment system implemented by by Decree-Law no. 132/2012, 27th June, which replaced Decree-Law no. 20/2006, 31st January, which had been given new wording in 2009, with the publication of Decree Law no. 51/2009, 27th February.

The Directorate General for School Administration, which is the Ministry of Education’s central department, is the entity responsible for teacher recruitment and gives the go-ahead on positions in the teaching career or contracts awarded teachers in accordance with temporary needs.

The means of recruiting kindergarten teachers and teachers for the various stages of education is through launching a nationwide public recruitment contest which is disseminated in the government gazette (Diário da República) and on the Directorate General’s website. Applications are made exclusively through filling an electronic form where the candidates have to include their personal and professional details and say in which schools they would like to have a teaching position. The way the contenders are graded is based on factors such as the marks they received in their teaching qualifications, their years of teaching experience and the classification they received for their commitment to and performance in teaching (liable to earn them a bonus of one or two points if they were classified as “Very Good” and “Excellent”). Provisional lists are then published giving the order of the successful and unsuccessful applicants. Thereafter, a period follows in which the applicants are able to put in a claim requesting that their details be corrected. The final lists of the contenders include the excluded applicants, the successful teacher placements in the schools of their choice and teacher placements in schools other than the ones requested.

The schools are also able to contract teachers directly for filling temporary teaching positions or for training teachers in specific technical areas as laid down in Decree-Law no. 83-A/2014, 23rd May. However, this only happens after the Directorate General of Human Resources in Education has been unable to place teachers as for example, when there is a scarcity of teachers in particular groups of recruitment or in specific technical areas where recruitment is made exclusively through the schools directly contracting teaching staff.

In 2009, the Schools / Groups of Schools falling within the Educational Territories for Priority Intervention were able for the first time to launch their own recruitment campaigns in order to fill vacancies in their teaching staff, in conformity with the terms laid down in Ordinance no. 365/2009, 7th April.

Currently in Portugal, an action plan is being drawn up in order to guarantee the quality, attractiveness and relevance to the job market of education and vocational training via partnership with enterprises and other bodies. This plan includes a revision of the initial teacher training model for primary and secondary education teachers, in order to improve quality, as well as redefining the system of access to the teaching profession.

Induction

In Portugal, there is no programme specifically designed to place teachers in schools at the beginning of their teaching careers. However, in the regulations for teachers' access to careers in state schools (2007), a probation period lasting at least one school year was stipulated.

It is undertaken in the school where the teacher is working, focussing on capacity and integration, adaptation and participation in educational community activities, as well as the didactic, pedagogical and scientific abilities required to achieve high levels of proficiency that inexorably contribute to the success of students and the educational system.

The teacher on probation is accompanied by another teacher to assist him with didactic, pedagogical and scientific plans. Whenever possible, this teacher is from the same recruitment group, positioned at scale 4 or higher, and has a minimum of a Good grade for their last performance review, subject to the provisions of paragraphs a) and b) no. 4 of article 31 of the Teaching Career Statute (ECD).

The teacher (support teacher) who assists the teacher on probation is chosen by the department coordinator, by the teachers’ council of the recruitment group they belong to, or by the director of the school cluster or non-grouped school.

Professional Status

Teachers occupying a place on the staff of a School / Group of Schools or on the staff in a teaching zone as a result of nationwide teacher recruitment, are given a public-employee labour contract of unlimited time which will only cease when early retirement is taken, or when the maximum age limit for teachers has been reached (70 years of age), or in the event of illness, death, rescission or any other reason, or as a result of disciplinary action.

Teachers carrying out duties in order to answer sporadic or temporary needs, do so on fixed- or unlimited-term contracts.

The labour contract is always subject to a written agreement and is obliged to mention certain aspects (namely, the kind of contract it is, the contracted activity, the career, the employee’s category and income). Furthermore, the fixed-term contract should indicate the reason for being such a contract; as it is a short-term contract, it should give the date on which the contract ceases.

Until such a time as they come to occupy a place on the teaching staff, teachers are awarded (fixed- or unlimited-) term contracts as a result of being placed either by the nationwide recruitment contest or by receiving a direct school contract. The method the school has of hiring teachers represents one of the changes whereby the school’s autonomy has been reinforced and it has become one of Portugal’s educational policy measures.

For teachers applies to General Employment Law for Public Office approved by Law no. 35/2014, 20th June, as adapted for their own status (ECD).

Replacement measures

Ordinance no. 17387/2005, 12th August, deliberated on replacement lessons in order to ensure that missed lessons would be fully compensated for, despite the unpredictable absence of the respective teacher. Replacement lessons should preferably be given by teachers who have not been given their teaching timetables or who have few lessons in their timetables. Within this context, replacement lessons are deemed included in the respective teacher’s teaching activity and as such, they are liable to generate further income in overtime. The need for replacement teachers owing to illness, maternity leave, retirement and other reasons, is filled in by requesting timetables at the Recruitment Exchange (which has data on teacher applicants who failed to receive a teaching position and are awaiting placement). In the event the Recruitment Exchange has no candidates available, then under Decree-Law no. 132/2012 mentioned above, the school can contract replacements staff directly.

Supporting Measures

The Teaching Career Statute of pre-primary, basic and secondary teachers, approved by Decree-Law no. 139/-A/90, 28th April, according to the following Decree-Laws no. 1/98, 2nd January, no. 121/2005, 26th July, no. 229/2005, 29th December, and no. 15/2007, 19th January, republished by Decree-Law no. 270/2009, 30th September, amendment by Decree-Law no. 75/2010, 23rd June, and by Decree-Law no. 41/2012, 21st February, defines, in Chapter II, rights and duties, the right to technical, material and documental support, exercised over the necessary resources to teaching training and personnel information, as well as to educational activity.

Salaries

Pre-Primary Education and Basic and Secondary Education:

The state-employed teachers salary scale, approved by Decree-Law no. 15/2007, 19th January, amended by Decree-Laws no. 270/2009, 30th September and no. 75/2010, 23rd June and no. 41/2012, 21st February, are based on indexed scales.

The salary regulations for teachers in pre-school education and compulsory and secondary education are established by the joint order from the Prime-Minister and the Minister of Finance after negotiations with the teachers’ union representatives.

According to Decree-Law no. 75/2010, 23rd June, and by Decree-Law no. 41/2012, 21st February, the teaching career of pre-primary, basic and secondary teachers working in public education is included in a single category, structured in 10 echelons whose duration and remuneration are indicated below:

Echelon 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Index 167 188 205 218 235 245 272 299 340 370
Income (Euros) 1,518.63 1,709.60 1,864.19 1,982.40 2,137.00 2,227.93 2,473.46 2,718.99 3,091.82 3,364.63
Duration blocks 4 years 4 years 4 years 4 years 2 years 4 years 4 years 4 years 4 years
Wage reduction 18,63 59,84 65,25 69,38 91,92 106,47 145,75 185,04 244,69 288,34
Wage with the reduction 1.500,00 1.649,76 1.798,94 1.913,02 2.045,08 2.121,46 2.327,71 2.533,95 2.847,13 3.076,29

Notes: a) Wage reductions - from January 2011 onwards, the total gross wages above €1500 per month were cut according to article 19 of the State Budget Law; b) According to Decree-Law no. 41/2012, 21st February, teaching career is divided into 10 echelons. The index of each echelon is presented in the above table, as well as the respective remuneration. In Portugal the Teaching Career Statute is the same for all teachers of pre-school, basic and secondary education.  

The average number of years that a reference teacher must complete to obtain the maximum basic statutory salary is: about 34 years in the case of a regular career. Teachers stay, at least, four years in each echelon, except in the 5th echelon where they may stay only two years.

School heads are teachers in the position or that have duties of director, deputy and assistant director. There is no difference between school heads in different levels. The amount that they receive is calculated in function of their career, position and number of students in their school cluster or school. The allowances are only paid twelve times per year, i.e., school heads do not receive the supplement in the end of the year and holidays payment (Order no. 5/2010, 24th December).

Private schools regulate their teachers' salaries in function of a pay scale which is different from the pay scale used at public schools. This pay scale has a role of guideline for private schools but is not binding.

For more information please check the report “Teachers' and School Heads' Salaries and Allowances in Europe”, which is annually updated.

Working Time and Holidays

Timetables:

The teaching staff’s working day is laid down in the Teaching Career Rules for Kindergarten Teachers and Basic and Secondary School Teachers.

Teachers are obliged to work thirty-five hours a week over five working days.

The weekly timetable includes a classroom teaching component and a non-teaching component that are necessarily registered in the timetable with the exception of the non-teaching component reserved for individual work and which is calculated to occupy 13 hours a week.

Teachers in pre-school education and the 1st stage of compulsory education teach 25 hours a week.

Teachers in the 2nd and 3rd stages of compulsory education and in secondary education have a weekly teaching load of 22 hours a week.

The teaching load of teachers in the 2nd and 3rd stages of compulsory education, in secondary education and in special education is successively reduced until a limit of no less than 8 hours a week, reached in the following cases:

  • Two hours reduction as soon as teachers reach 50 years of age and have been teaching for 15 years;
  • A further two hours off as soon as teachers reach 55 years of age and have been teaching for 20 years;
  • A further four hours off as soon as teachers reach 60 years of age and have been teaching for 25 years.

The hours taken off the teaching component are added onto the non-teaching component which is service rendered in the interest of the school, with its respective register in the working day.

Teachers of pre-school education and of the 1st cycle of basic education, completing 60 years old, independently of any other requirement, may apply for a reduction of five teaching hours.

When teachers in pre-school education and the 1st stage of compulsory education reach 25 and 33 years of service, they may apply for total release from classroom teaching, for a period of one school year.

Holidays

Every year, teachers have the right to a holiday period as established in the rules for public employees. Teachers have their holidays between the end of the school year and the beginning of the next school year.

The annual holiday period is 22 working days.

One extra day is added to the annual holiday period for every 10 years the teacher has been effectively teaching.

Lessons are interrupted during the Christmas, Carnival and Easter periods.

Promotion, Advancement

Pre-school education and basic and secondary education

Progress up the teaching career ladder consists of reaching a higher echelon and increasing one’s salary that is related with the echelon.

In order to advance in one’s teaching career, it is necessary to comply with all the following demands:

  • A minimum period of active teaching time spent on the echelon immediately below;
  • A qualitative classification no lower than “Good” in the latest teacher evaluation;
  • Attending and passing further training or specialised training for at least half of the assessment cycle that corresponds to no less than twenty-five hours (25) on the 5th teaching echelon or fifty hours (50) on the other teaching echelons.

Apart from the above-mentioned requirements, rising up through the 3rd, the 5th and the 7th echelons means that as from 01/09/2010, the teachers have to undergo:

  • lesson observation – when progressing to the 3rd and 5th echelon;
  • lesson observation and establishing annual vacancies (legislated in a Government Order) destinated to teachers who have been evaluated and received Good – when progressing to the 5th echelon;
  • establishing annual vacancies (legislated in a Government Order) destined for teachers who have been evaluated and received Good – when progressing to the 7th echelon

Note: In conformity with the stipulations laid down in No. 9, Article 24 in Law No. 55-A/2010 , 31st December (Law on the State Budget for 2011), the time spent teaching in 2011 does not count when considering promotion and progress up the scale. The same applies for Laws on the State Budget for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Mobility and Transfers

Pre-school education and basic and secondary education

The means through which teacher mobility is carried out, are: recruitment contests, exchanging places, and being requisitioned, detached and commissioned into service.

Another kind of mobility pertaining to teachers in pre-school education and compulsory and secondary education in public schools, is by moving between the levels or stages of teaching and between the recruitment groups.

Teachers may compete with each other to move between levels or stages of teaching and between the recruitment groups provided they have the professional qualifications demanded at these levels, stages or groups. When a teacher transfers to another school, it is because a recruitment contest has been launched to fill a position at the School / Group of Schools, as stipulated in Law No. 83-A/2014, 23th may.

The mobility system laid down in articles 67 and 68 in the Teaching Career Rules (requisition and detachment, respectively) is only applicable to tenured teachers working in schools or school clusters and tenured teachers working in the pedagogical area.

If a teacher wishes to integrate into a teaching career in public education, the time spent teaching in private schools is counted, provided the teacher is duly qualified to work in public education and that the private school or cooperative is lawfully registered.

Dismissal

Teaching staff applies General Employment Law for Public Office approved by Law no. 35/2014, 20th June,with adaptations the ECD provides with the expulsive penalty in case of very serious offense, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education (ME).

Retirement and Pensions

Pre-school education and basic and secondary education

Since 2006, where retirement conditions and the calculation of pensions are concerned, the mechanisms joining public employees social welfare and the general social security system, have been producing effects on teachers’ retirement.

Therefore, in agreement with the following table, a completed career means that the minimum amount of teaching service is gradually being increased from what it was in 2005 - 36 years service. Service requirement now add on another ½ a year for every year, until 40 years of service have been completed as from 2013. The same evolution happens with the minimum age, that will be 65 years old in 2015. 

Up to Year Minimum age Up to Year Completed years of service in the teaching career
Up to 31/12/2005 60 years old Up to 31/12/2005 36 years
1/1/2006 60 ½ 1/1/2006 36 ½
1/1/2007 61 1/1/2007 37
1/1/2008 61 ½ 1/1/2007 37 ½
1/1/2009 62 1/1/2007 38
1/1/2010 62 ½ 1/1/2007 38 ½
1/1/2011 63 1/1/2007 39
1/1/2012 63 ½ 1/1/2007 39 ½
1/1/2013 64 1/1/2007 40
1/1/2014 64 ½ 1/1/2007 40