- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
The 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education in Bulgaria distinguishes education providers by ownership, level of education, and type of education they offer, and it also describes the structure of the education system by level.
By form of ownership, there are state-owned (публични), private (частни), and religious (религиозни) providers. The state-owned providers are further divided into central (държавни), which are owned by the central state through a line Ministry, and municipal (общински) which are owned by municipalities (See Art. 35 and Art. 36 of the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education). Providers in the system of higher education can be state-owned and private, as described in the 2020 Higher Education Act, Bulgaria also has specialized schools (специализирани училища), which can cover all levels of school education and include Bulgarian schools abroad (средни училища), schools in correctional institutions (училища в местата за лишаване от свобода), schools established under international agreements, vocational schools - secondary schools with vocational training courses (общообразователни училища с обучение за получаване на професионална квалификация), sports, cultural and art schools as well as schools under the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence. The specialized schools (специализирани училища) are state-owned (публични).
On tertiary level, the 2020 Higher Education Act describes the following types of providers, by profile: universities and specialized higher schools (университети и специализирани висши училища) colleges in the structure of universities and specialized higher schools (колежи, в структурата на университети и специализирани висши училища); colleges (колежи).
There are no specific articles providing definitions about the non-state actors in the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, as well as in article 40 in the 2020 Higher Education Act or any other law, ordinance or regulations. They are stated as natural and/or legal persons.
Primary school education (начално образование) starts at the age of 7 and covers Grades 1-4 until the age of 10 (Parents can also opt for enrolling their children in the primary school a year earlier, at the age of 6). Lower secondary education (прогимназиално образование) starts at the age of 11 and its theoretical duration is three years (Grades 5 to 7 and age group 11-13). Upper secondary education (средно образование) spans grades 8-12 and covers the age group 14 to 18. Pre-primary, primary, and secondary education until Grade 10 are compulsory.
Institutions in municipal ownership are funded from the local budgets following a unified (единен) standard that is based on the number of students enrolled. Those that are central are funded directly from the state budget. Municipal providers can become central and change their source of funding accordingly in case they are deemed to have become of national importance.
School education is free of charge for Bulgarian citizens, citizens of EU members states who live in Bulgaria, citizens of third countries who are holders of permanent residence permits or are entitled to long-term or prolonged stay in the country, as well as members of their families, people admitted in accordance with an international treaty or agreement; in accordance with a special law; seeking or granted international protection in the country; minors who are not Bulgarian citizens, people seeking (or granted) international protection based on the Asylum and Refugees Act.
In 2020/21, there were 1 948 general secondary schools, of which 1 859 (which includes a total of 8 special schools-central) were state-owned. Most of these state-owned schools are municipal. There are no available statistics in NSI about the exact number.
Some of the state schools offer a combined pre-school and school education. Such combined solutions are usually available in locations where they cater for the needs of several municipalities at once which may not have their own kindergarten and/or school.
Non-state managed, state schools
There is no evidence of such schools in Bulgaria.
Non-state funded, state schools
State education institutions can also complement the public funding with donations from private sources as stated in the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education.
Independent, non-state schools
Although non-state actors can establish educational institutions, private education providers are still a minority. In 2020/21, there were 97 private general secondary schools (versus 1851 public schools). There is no available information about their exact type, the only available information is about the type of education provision which can be obtained via the Register of institutions in the preschool and school education system (each school or kindergarten has to be checked individually as there is no summarized/aggregated information).
All types of educational institutions are available in the Register, which is maintained by the Ministry of Education and Science. More in-depth information can be provided per school or for a specific city/town. Some of the private schools and kindergartens follow the Montessori method, but this can only be inferred for kindergartens that refer to the method in their official names.
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
According to the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education (Art 10, Art 282 and Art 287), private kindergartens and schools can receive state funding after an application (made by a private school or kindergarten) and in accordance with the state educational standard for funding. The application is made through a written form (application form) approved by the Minister of Education and Science. The private kindergartens and schools have to submit additional documents except for the application form as part of the application process. The requested documents are the following: private kindergarten or school activity book; expenses division mechanism and reference for the planned funds regarding the current budget year. The application is evaluated by a commission chosen by the Minister of Education. Based on this evaluation the Minister of Education approves or rejects it. If they are approved for state funding, they can carry out activities against payment only outside the ones funded by the state. These kindergartens and schools have to include in the state funding 20% of all children and students who applied and got accepted in these private schools for the current school year. Gifted children and students or students with special educational needs can attend school/kindergarten for free.
Contracted, non-state schools
No information was found.
Homeschooling is not officially recognised as a valid form of schooling, but there are changes in one of the additional forms of education provision – independent (самостоятелна) form of education - which provides an option for an individual educational program. The independent form of education is a type of distance (absence) form of education in which students training and education process is independent and subjects exams are taken by the student, according to the school curriculum. According to the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, an independent form of education provision can be provided to a student because of health reasons; family reasons; to gifted students or students with special educational needs and now this form is available to students in the compulsory school age bracket at the request of the student or the parents. The training is carried out based on an individual study plan.
Some of the parents worked with the Ministry of Education and Science in order to make changes in the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education allowing them to choose other educational options similar to distance learning.
Some parents organize themselves in a private parent cooperative in which include their children under the age of 6 years.
The other schooling types are daily; evening; extramural; independent; distance; combined; education through work (dual system).
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
No information was found.
No information was found.
The governing bodies of public education institutions (here are covered all state-owned (публични) (central (държавни) and municipal (общински) schools and kindergartens (nursery groups part of kindergartens or separate nurseries)) and private (частни) providers) are the Ministry of Education and Science, the national education inspectorate, the regional education inspectorates and kindergartens, schools and service units (specialized institutions for the implementation and promotion of activities related to the implementation of educational policies, including the support for the inclusive education process and the information and technical services provided to the pre-school and school education system) directors.
According to the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, the National Assembly accepts the National Program for the Preschool and School Education and Development proposed by the Council of Ministers. The Minister of Education and Science has control over all types of kindergartens, schools, service units and education activities for all levels of education and all types of providers - state-owned (публични) and private (частни). The regional education inspectorates are territorial administrations for public education system management and control.
Based on the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, all private kindergartens and schools management and control bodies are determined by the law (Commercial Law, 2006 Law on Non-Profit Legal Entities and 1999 Cooperatives Act) under which are established. Private kindergarten and school’s director leads the institutions’ educational activity within his/her powers, following the National educational standards.
There are also service units, which can be central and municipal. They are specialized institutions for the implementation and promotion of activities related to the implementation of educational policies, including the support for the inclusive education process and the information and technical services provided to the pre-school and school education system. The state-owned (публични) service units cover in most of the cases the work of the personality development support centres. This applies to both central and municipal service units.
The National Assembly and the Council of Ministers regulate higher education. The state management of higher education determines the general framework and conditions for the Higher Education System. The Minister of Education and Science applies the national policy regarding higher education. The 2020 Higher Education Act provides full academic autonomy to higher education institutions. The National Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation (NAEA) is a statutory body for evaluation, accreditation and monitoring of the quality in higher education institutions and scientific organizations aiming at the enhancement of their teaching and research, as well as of their development as scientific, cultural, and innovative organizations.
Vision: Accourding to the Strategic Framework for the Development of Education, Training and Learning (2021-30), the main goals towards education are reducing the dropouts of school, providing qualitative and innovative education for all children, providing material base as well as teachers with the required qualifications, etc. The institutions in the system of pre-school and school education have to be able to offer a safe, healthy, ecological and supportive environment, where educational traditions, innovative pedagogical solutions and digital development meet. In this document, there is no differentiation between the type of education providers state and non-state.
Based on the National Strategy for the Pedagogical Staff Development one of the state goals regarding the pedagogical staff is to include more pedagogical specialists from the private kindergartens and schools in additional training and qualification courses.
Private universities are excluded from most funding opportunities. Changing this will require amendments in the 2020 Higher Education Act based on the Strategy for the Development of Higher Education in the Republic of Bulgaria 2021-30.
Nurseries are structures with medical and other specialists providing upbringing, education and training to children at the age of three months up to three years. Nursery groups for children from the age of 10 months to 3 years of age can be opened in kindergartens. They can be municipal and private. There are no specific articles in the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education regarding them except Article 24 regulating the nursery groups part of kindergartens.
Pre-primary education is the first level of compulsory education with an official entrance age of four years and a theoretical duration of three years until the age of 7. Kindergartens are institutions within the pre-school and school education system for raising, education, and socialization of children from the age of 3 years up to the age of 7 years in line with the state pre-school education standard and the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education.
All state-owned (central (държавни) and municipal) and private kindergartens may work on the basis of copyrighted and innovative programme systems in accordance with the state education standard for pre-school education.
The total number of kindergartens in 2020/21 was 215 666, of which 210 792 were state-owned and 4874 were private. Of these, most were municipal. The only kindergartens under the responsibility of central authorities are those established under the Ministry of Defence (there are 7 kindergartens in the country with such status based on the Ministry of Defense’s State kindergartens organization and activity regulations).
All private kindergartens and schools are treated as legal entities (юридически лица) by the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, Legal Entities for Non-Economic Purposes Act and Cooperatives Law. Beyond that, there is no official statistic based on which one could identify which of the private pre-schools are operated by NGOs, religious organizations, etc. However, there is a private schools national register (this register is similar to the National one which covers all types of educational institutions including the private ones, but the private school's national register covers only the private educational institutions). The type of education provision provided by them is available in this register based on their names.
Registration and approval: The 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education states that private schools can bе opened or transformed after a request made by a Bulgarian natural person or legal entity and are not budgetarily supported. Private schools can be approved as innovative schools as municipal ones.
All private kindergartens and schools are included in the National educational register. The required documents are: legal entity’s information; a unique identifier or BULSTAT (after registering with the Commerce Register a company needs to apply for a BULSTAT code, BULSTAT number/code or simply BULSTAT is a unified code which certifies the legality of a business and under which a company is signed in the National Statistics Agency); information about the kindergarten or school’s director; the academic year from which the entry is required; type of educational institution (school); educational/training type/form and study day organization; educational institution profiles or professions; headquarters and official address of the kindergarten or the school, as well as the address where the educational process will take place; kindergarten or school’s name.
When applying for the National educational register, all private education institutions have to provide the documents, determined by the state educational standard for the institutions in pre-school and school education (Ordinance № 9 of 19 August 2016 for the institutions in the system of pre-school and school education). For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Licence: See Multi-level regulations.
Profit-making: See Multi-level regulations.
Taxes and subsidies: Private schools can receive donations. These schools and kindergartens are registered as non-profit organizations based on the non-profit legal entities act and as such can receive donations from local and foreign individuals and legal entities, parents, community members etc. donations can be received both as financial resources or as material things (computers, learning materials, etc.).
Curriculum or learning standards: See Multi-level regulations.
Teaching profession: See Multi-level regulations.
Fee-setting: See Multi-level regulations.
Admission selection and processes: See Multi-level regulations.
Policies for vulnerable groups: See Multi-level regulations.
Reporting requirements: See Multi-level regulations.
Inspection: See Multi-level regulations.
Child assessment: See Multi-level regulations.
Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.
Registration and approval: See Multi-level regulations.
Licence: See Multi-level regulations.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): While no specific regulations on WASH were found, in the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education compliance is stated that all educational institutions must provide conditions that guarantee the protection and promotions of students’ health.
Profit-making: See Multi-level regulations.
Taxes and subsidies: See Multi-level regulations.
Curriculum and education standards: See Multi-level regulations.
Textbooks and learning materials: According to the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, in preschool education are used connoisseurs books and textbooks, while in school education are used textbooks and teaching aids. All textbooks, books and materials have to be in accordance with the State educational standard. All students should receive library and information services from the school library and free access to information. The education in central (държавнo) and municipal educational institutions in Bulgaria is free and students have the right to use their material base for free. This is valid in most cases for private schools and kindergartens.
In the Art. 7. (1) of the Ordinance No. 10, of 19.12.2017, Introductory books, textbooks and teaching aids, is stated that the Minister of Education and Science approves a list with the cognitive books, textbooks and study sets, which can be used in the system of the pre-school and school education for each school year.
According to the Decree No. 79 of the Council of Ministers of 13.04.2016 on providing for free the use of cognitive books, textbooks and training kits, the State aims to provide to students the cognitive books for all kindergartens and the textbooks for children up to VII grade are free, as well as the special subjects textbooks for students with sensory disabilities up to XII grade and the ones for general education subjects in Braille. This concerns the central (държавни)and municipal educational institutions, as well as the private ones.
The cognitive books for all educational areas are free for all children in kindergartens or schools enrolled in pre-school groups. A textbook or a study set for each general education subject is free for the students up to IV grade, the same is valid for the students from V up to VII grade. One textbook or a study set for each general education subject in Braille is available for free use for students in need up to XII grade, as well as a textbook for each special subject for sensory disabled students up to XII grade.
Teaching profession: See Multi-level regulations.
Corporal punishment: Corporal punishment is prohibited. In the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education аre described the requirements and restrictions for individuals working with children, as well as students rights and obligations.
Other safety measures and COVID-19: For the beginning of the current school year 2020/21 because of COVID-19 Guidelines, rules and measures for educational process during the pandemic were released by the Ministry of Education which regulate the educational process during in-person attendance in school and during the distance learning. This document is valid for both private and state educational institutions.
Fee-setting: See Multi-level regulations.
Admission selection and processes: See Multi-level regulations.
Policies for vulnerable groups: See Multi-level regulations.
Board: The 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education contains several regulations regarding the appointment, the rights and duties of educational institutions heads. The heads of non-state schools and kindergartens are decided by the company, the legal entity with the non-economic goal or the cooperative.
Based on the type of state-owned educational institution (central, municipal or the ones under the Ministry of Defence and Sport), the heads/directors are selected and managed by the Minister of Education, the municipality/ the local mayor or by the Minister of Defence and Sport.
The rights, duties and procedures for selecting co-management bodies are determined in the same Law as well as in the state educational standard for teachers, principals and other pedagogical specialists status and professional development. This applies to both state and non-state institutions.
The boards of trustees are independent voluntary associations to assist the activities of the educational institution. Any school, kindergarten or personality development support centre may have only one board of trustees.
The boards of trustees are established as not-for-profit legal entities. They are established by the kindergarten director, the school headmaster, or the director of the personality development support centre, or parents, teachers, or public figures.
Reporting requirements: See Multi-level regulations.
School inspection: See Multi-level regulations.
Student assessments: Student assessment rules are defined for both state-owned and private educational institutions in Ordinance No. 11 of 01.09.2016 on evaluation of students’ learning outcomes, as well as in the Preschool and School Education Law. Although the requirements are the same for all educational institutions, there are specifics based on the type of education (vocational, economical, general education school, etc.).
Diplomas and degrees: According to the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, all students acquire diplomas for secondary education after successfully finishing XII grade. All students attending professional schools receive a certificate of professional qualification in addition to the diploma for secondary education. Private schools may conduct training and issue documents for completed all grades and stages of school education,.
Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.
On tertiary level, the 2020 Higher Education Act describes the following types of providers, by profile: universities and specialized higher schools (университети и специализирани висши училища) colleges in the structure of universities and specialized higher schools (колежи, в структурата на университети и специализирани висши училища); colleges (колежи); independent colleges (самостоятелни колежи) and specialized higher schools (специализирани висши училища).
There are 38 state-owned higher education institutions (публични висши учебни заведения): universities and specialized higher schools (университети и специализирани висши училища) (16); colleges (21); independent colleges (самостоятелни колежи) (0); colleges in the structure of universities and specialized higher schools (колежи, в структурата на университети и специализирани висши училища) – (1).
Finally, there are 16 private higher education institutions (частни висши учебни заведения): independent colleges (самостоятелни колежи) (4); universities and specialized higher schools (университети и висши училища) – (12).Higher education providers can be state-owned and private. The state-owned higher schools are established and carry out activity based on the provided state property (buildings and other immovable properties, държавна собственост) and finances. They may acquire the right of ownership over immovable property, as well as to receive income from them.
Registration and approval: According to the 2020 Higher Education Act, Art. 15. (1) A higher school (covers all types of higher educational institutions like universities, colleges, and schools named as higher schools, which provide education similar to the colleges) is estabshed and transformed on the basis of a project, in which: 1. socially acceptable goals are set; 2. contains a description of the basic units and/or the higher school’s affiliates, the necessary educational documentation and data for the scientific-teaching staff, the material base and the administration; 3. self-management is ensured, guaranteeing the basic academic freedoms; 4. (amend. National Newspaper 48/04) meets the state requirements. The project must receive a positive assessment by the National Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation. Private higher schools are established after a request made by a natural or legal person to the Ministry of Education and Science. A project for the higher education institution should be submitted as part of the needed documents which are evaluated. The project has to present a description of the main units and/or branches, data for the scientific and teaching staff, material base and funding. The establishment project should also be included. The project is evaluated by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency after an ordinance made by the Minister of Education and Science. The project is evaluated based on the following standards: quality assurance policy; programs development and approval; students training, teaching and assessment; students admission, development, teaching resources and students support; information management; public information; ongoing monitoring and periodic programs review; periodical external quality assurance.
Licence: If а higher school does not receive accreditation or does not comply with the requirements stipulated in the 2020 Higher Education Act, it is closed.
Profit-making: In the 2020 Higher Education Act, there is no specific article regarding profit-making neither for the state higher instituions, nor the private. The law regulates only the funding options for both types of higher institutions. Resolution No. 61 of the Council of Ministers 02.04.2020 regulates the option for profit by state universities through scientific research.
Taxes and subsidies: Higher schools corporate tax under part two and income tax under part five of the Corporate Income Taxation Act for their main activity, as well as for their activity regarding the PhD students. According to the 2020 Higher Education Act, the State has to provide conditions for free higher education development and access to highеr education. This covers the whole higher education system (state and private) and includes conditions and opportunities for the higher education development, tax relief and material base, buildings (the last option applies only for state universities). The private higher education institutions do not receive state funding nor do their students receive state scholarships.
All private universities have the same rights but do not receive state funding. The required funding for one student’s education comes as a fee from the student.
Funding can be received by private higher education institutions also through donations, wills, inheritances, sponsorship; own revenue from researches, expert-consulting, artistic-creative works, medical and sports activities, from intellectual property rights, as well as economic activity related to the higher school, application fees, income from training, postgraduate qualifications, administrative services for people who are not students and other activities related to the learning process. The Academic Council approves the funding’s distribution from tuition fees and the state budget between the main units and the branches.
Curriculum and education standards: The 2020 Higher Education Act regulates all higher education institutions regardless of their ownership. Higher education is acquired in higher schools, accredited by the National Agency for Assessment and Accreditation and established under the conditions and order determined by this law.
The educational process in higher schools is carried out based on the educational documentation for each discipline, which covers qualification characteristics by degrees, curriculum, curricula of the studied disciplines and the educational process annual schedule. According to the 2020 Higher Education Act, higher-school tuition shall be conducted pursuant to tuition documentation for each speciality, comprising the qualification descriptions by degrees, the curriculum, the programmes of study in all subjects and courses offered and the annual tuition schedule. Higher-school tuition is conducted in mandatory, elective and optional (facultative) subjects (courses). Each student should be able to choose subjects (courses) within the approved curriculum in the respective major (speciality).
Teaching profession: The higher school has the right to regulate and choose its own academic staff in accordance with the 2010 Law For The Development Of Academic Staff.
The 2020 Higher Education Act and the 2010 Law For The Development Of Academic Staff set the conditions and requirements for the academic staff as well as the decision making bodies at the national, regional and local level, covering the various academic career stages.
The average academic staff monthly salary amount is approximately 1 750 BGN, varying based on the higher school and depending on the respective higher school’s budget and Regulations.
Fee-setting: In the 2020 Higher Education Act is stated that the Council of Ministers based on the Minister of Education and Science’s proposal approves the state-owned higher schools and the scientific organizations' fees for students and PhD students application and training.
Admission selection and processes: The 2020 Higher Education Act does not contain any specific regulations concerning admission. A bachelor program admission is based usually on the national assessment test/ matura results. There are specific fields which require different or additional exams as Medicine.
Board: All higher schools have rectors and a council that manages the institution. The governing bodies of higher education institutions are elected for a four-year term. The higher school‘s rector is elected by the General Assembly. Private higher education institutions may have different structures, management styles and designations of governing bodies, only if this does not violate academic freedoms.
Reporting requirements: According to the 2020 Higher Education Act, аn annual higher school’s report is provided each year. This report contains educational institutions financial and natural indicators, as well as the results of the internal education system for evaluation and maintenance of the quality. This information is published on the higher school website.
Inspection: The quality of the higher educational institutions is maintained by the institutional accreditation provided by the National Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation.
Assessment: According to the 2020 Higher Education Act, all higher schools determine the way of conducting their examination procedures. The student's knowledge assessment and skills are determined during the curricula and the programs. The main form of assessment is an exam, which is written, except when the discipline and/or module requires otherwise.
The student's knowledge and skills are assessed according to a six-point system, which includes: excellent (6.00), very good (5.00), good (4.00), average (3.00) and weak (2.00). The examination assessed with at least an average (3.00) is considered as passed.
Diplomas and degrees: The higher school issues a diploma for completed higher educational qualification, a European diploma application, a certificate for professional qualification and other basic documents, determined by an ordinance adopted by the Council of Ministers.
Sanctions: If the accreditation recommendations and requirements are non-fulfilled, the higher school receives sanctions defined in the 2020 Higher Education Act: educational capacity reduction; program accreditation assessment reduction; accreditation withdrawal of the higher school, professional direction or professions.
Most of the regulations, acts, laws and ordinances presented below apply to all educational institutions regardless of the level and type of education provision. They cover pre-primary, primary and secondary education. The regulations discussed in this section are mainly based on the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education and its supporting ordinances and regulations, they regulate the central, municipal and non-state education from pre-school to secondary education.
Registration and approval: According to the Art. 40 of the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education all private kindergartens and schools are opened or transformed after a request made by Bulgarian natural or legal persons and are not budgetarily supported. This request is approved with an order made by the Minister of Education and Science. All private kindergartens and schools are treated as legal entities. They use private properties, private state and/or municipal properties or properties provided by a third party. These properties have to be used only for carrying out their subject of activity.
Аll private kindergartens and schools with foreign participation are opened or transformed after a request by natural/legal persons, cooperations or companies registered under other EU country member’s law
The rules and steps for opening, closure and transformation of private kindergarten and school are also stated in the ordinance № 9 of 19 August 2016 for the institutions in the system of pre-school and school education).
All private kindergartens and schools established by cooperation between natural/legal persons, cooperations or companies under another EU country member’s law, have to submit all written evidence that they have the right to conduct the training in accordance with the foreign educational requirements.
The Minister of Education and Science have to take a decision in a month. If some of the requirements are not met the requester has the right to make the needed changes and corrections and to submit again its application.
Licence: The Ministry of Education and Science collects fees approved by the Council of Ministers regarding the opening or transformation of private kindergartens and schools; the fee is determined by the type of kindergarten or school. The licence approved by the Ministry of Education and Science has no expiry date.
Profit-making: All central (държавни), municipal and private educational institutions can generatе profit (additional financial resources) using their properties. This is stated as an exception for the central (държавни) and municipal schools and kindergartens in the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education.
Taxes and subsidies: According to the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, the state budget funding for the activities in the system of pre-school and school education are planned annually and cannot be lower as amount and percentage than the gross domestic product in relation to the state budget for the previous year.
The funds are distributed among the primary budget allocators, financing the central (държавни) and municipal schools and kindergartens, based on the number of children and students, groups and classes they have, types of educational institutions, standard for a student, group, class and educational institution. This funding applies for the private schools part of the state funding as well.
Schools and kindergartens can be funded by the state budget or the municipalities/local budgets (even in these cases the schools receive central (държавно) funding, or funding via different programs or projects approved usually by the Ministry of Education). Тhe educational institutions can collect own revenues from: state or municipal property rent; rental of real estate and movables; agricultural land and forests; realization of products and services from practical training; intellectual property, as well as donations, wills, fees and other sources.
Curriculum and education standards: According to the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, all kindergartens, schools and centres for personal development support have autonomy and carry out their activity in accordance with the normative acts. School’ autonomy includes the right to determine their profiles and professions and to decide their curriculum.
The autonomy of the central (държавни) and municipal high schools, secondary and specialized schools includes the right to participate in agreements for joint training with state-owned higher schools, as well as to acquire specialized training in the secondary level of education.
Teaching profession: Education institutions organize and decide their staff independently within the law. According to the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, in order to engage in teaching activities, teachers must have relevant education and pedagogical qualifications. There are no additional requirements for teachers in non-state educational institutions.
A person who is convicted of an intentional crime or has no right to practise the profession, as well as the ones with diseases and deviations, which may put in danger children’s lives and health cannot be hired. Educational institutions directors manage the contracts for all teachers and support personal.
The functions, professional profiles and positions required for a professional qualification, as well as the conditions and the order for acquiring the higher qualification, career development and pedagogical specialists attestation are determined by the state educational standard for teachers, principals and other pedagogical specialists status and professional development.
Regarding the private kindergartens and schools included in the state funding system, their number of teaching staff and positions are determined by the respective commercial company’s bodies, the non-profit legal entity or cooperatives.
Fee-setting: The tuition fee is determined by the owner of the private school and kindergartens and their organization rules.
In the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education is stated that children's parents, attending central (държавни) and municipal educational institutions shall pay fees for the maintenance of activities that are not financed from the state budget. The amount and payment procedure of the fees are according to the Local Taxes and Fees Act - for municipal kindergartens and schools; an act of the Council of Ministers -for state-owned kindergartens and schools. Parents do not pay fees in the cases set out in a statutory act.
Private schools and kindergartens accept students in exchange for fees (the needed amount for the required education provision per child) defined by them. Article 59 of the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Educationis states that children shall be enrolled in and leave private kindergartens under the terms and conditions laid down by the kindergarten and the tuition contract. According article 298 of the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education, the amount and the order for additional fees requested by the state kindergartens and schools but there is no information about the private kindergartens and schools fees. The children's parents shall pay fees for the maintenance of activities that are not financed from the state budget. The amount and payment procedure of the fees shall be laid down in the 2007 Local Taxes and Fees Act for municipal kindergartens and schools and an act of the Council of Ministers -for state-owned kindergartens and schools.
Admission selection and processes: All central (държавни) and municipal educational institutions accept in accordance with the national or additional admission plan.
The procedures and requirements for admission to private educational institutions are determined by their rules for operation and organization. As for the private ones receiving state funding the requirements for admission concerning them are determined by the rules in the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education and the state educational standard for funding.
This Law states that the terms and conditions for the establishment of the number of school forms and the organization of the individual instruction of a single pupil from the form shall be laid down in the state education standard for the financing of institutions and the state education standard for the physical environment and the information and library services at kindergartens, schools, and personality development support centres.
Policies for vulnerable groups: Students attending private educational institutions are entitled to the same concessions and benefits granted to ones attending central (държавни) or municipal schools and kindergartens by the state and local authorities. All schools and kindergartens have to follow the requirements in the 2017 Ordinance on inclusive education.
Inspection: According to the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education the educational process and the work of all kindergartens and schools (state, municipal and private) are organized and executed based on the state educational requirements. All educational institutions (central (държавни), municipal and private) must meet all requirements part of the Ordinance on the Physical Environment and the Information and Library Provision of Kindergartens, Schools and Centers for Personal Development Support.
Quality control is internal (done by the educational institution) and externally made by the National Education Inspectorate. The institutional audit and inspection aim to evaluate the educational and administrative processes. It is performed by the National Inspectorate of Education (Ordinance No. 15 of 08.12.2016 on Inspection of Kindergartens and Schools).
The external quality control executed by the National Education Inspectorate is made by schedule. Based on the Structure and functions of the National Education Inspectorate. All inspections are carried out by internal and external specialists.
Sanctions: Private schools and kindergartens can be closed when the requirements and regulations are not met; when the natural person, who has received permission for opening a kindergarten or school, has an effective sentence "imprisonment"; after a request made by the person, who has received permission for opening the kindergarten/school.
Private schools and kindergartens are also legal entities under the Commercial Law, the 2006 Law on Non-Profit Legal Entities and the 1999 Cooperatives Act) or the legislation of another EU Member. And as such in the 2006 Law on Non-Profit Legal Entities is stated that one of the options for their closure is their expiration as a legal entity.
Private tutoring is a widespread phenomenon in Bulgaria. There are centers which offer private tutoring for specific subjects or help for exams as well as private tutors which are not part of such organizations. Most of the private tutoring is unregulated and the income from these classes is not made official. There are no separate laws or regulations regarding them.
There are no regulations regarding private tuition in the 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education. Private centres provide additional courses and tutoring to children and private individuals can provide as freelancers additional work private tuition to children (here some of the incomes from this work are not declared and no taxes are paid).
However, the income from private tuition is not tax-free, based on the Income Taxes on Natural Persons Act and the person providing private tutoring has to pay advance tax every quarter by submitting a declaration under Art. 55 VAT.
The 2020 Law on Preschool and School Education states that a teacher cannot provide additional classes to his/her students.
This profile was drafted by the Network of Education Policy Centers (NEPC).