NON-STATE ACTORS IN EDUCATION

1. Terminology

2. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision 

2.2 Non-state education provision 

2.3 Other types of schools 

3. Governance and regulations

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

3.2 Supplementary private tutoring 

 

  1. Terminology

According to the Law of 24 September 2004 on preschool, primary, secondary, higher vocational, and other education (the Education Act), education institutions can be established (§ 8) by a) regions, municipalities or associations of municipalities, and ministries (public providers); b) registered churches and religious societies (church); and c) other legal entities or individuals (private providers). Non-state actors (b, c) choose one of the legal forms offered by the Commercial Corporations Act, such as a limited liability company, a public trading company, or a joint stock company. Some take the form of an NGO (public benefit society under the 1995-2014 legislation; since 2014, registered associations or registered institutes according to the Civil Code). Education Act introduced a new legal form – a school legal entity, which can be acquired by both state/public as well as private schools and school facilities. This possibility is currently used mainly by churches; most church schools have this legal form. Recognition of a school and related entitlement to state contribution is conditioned by the registration of the school in the school register.

According to the Higher Education Act, tertiary education institutions (universities) can be public, state (military or police universities), or private. Private universities must obtain state approval from the Ministry of Education.

 

  1. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision

State schools

In the Czech Republic, compulsory education includes the last year of pre-primary education, primary education (five years beginning at age six), and lower secondary education (four years beginning at age 11). Most schools providing compulsory education are public schools and are free. Pre-primary education is mostly provided in kindergartens (91.5% public), while primary and lower secondary education is mostly provided in basic schools (93.1% public). At the lower secondary level, 10% of students attend grammar schools that combine lower and upper secondary education. These are either six-year grammar schools starting with grade 8 (89.1% public) or eight-year grammar schools starting with grade 6 (89.5% public).

Non-state managed, state schools

There are no such schools in the Czech Republic.

Non-state funded, state schools

There are no such schools in the Czech Republic.

 

2.2 Non-state education provision

Independent, non-state schools

As of December 3, 2019, 19 independent schools established by embassies or foreign entities where compulsory school attendance was permitted were registered in the Czech Republic. There are also several other schools established by foreign entities that do not have a permit to provide compulsory school attendance. In addition to embassies, there are various associations, limited liability companies and international networks. Students attending those schools who want to have completed their Czech compulsory education are registered in a public school and regularly examined (as students in individual education – see the Homeschooling section). Independent non-state schools are attended by a very small number of children. They are not included in education statistics, exact numbers are not available.

State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools

There are two types of non-state schools providing compulsory education that receive financial subsidies from the government in the Czech Republic: church schools and private schools. The provision of contributions is conditioned by registration in the school register, is determined by the number of pupils, and is governed by the Act on the Provision of Subsidies to Private Schools, Preschools, and School Facilities. Unregistered schools do not receive support. The size of the contribution depends on the number of pupils as well as in public schools.

Church schools are provided by registered churches and religious societies which have been granted the right to exercise the special right to establish church schools. They are registered under the Ministry of Culture. In the 2020/2021 school year, 0.9% of kindergartens were church-run (educating 0.6% of students), 1% of basic schools (0.8% of students), 3% of six-year grammar schools (3.7% of students), and 6.3% of eight-year grammar schools (7.1% of students).

Private schools are provided by legal entities or individuals. Among the providers of private schools, profit-making organisations (mostly limited liability companies) slightly predominate over non-profit organisations (approx. 2/3: 1/3).

In the 2020/2021 school year, 7.6% of kindergartens were private (educating 3.6% of students), 5.9% of basic schools (2.1% of students), 17.9% of six-year grammar schools (14.3% of students), and 14.2% of eight-year grammar schools (10.8% of students).

Contracted, non-state schools

These schools do not seem to exist in the Czech Republic. The schools described in the previous section receive funding from the government, which is governed by law, but have no special contract.

2.3 Other types of schools

Selective paid-classes in public schools provided by private providers

Private organisations set up paid selective classes in public schools. They are usually classes with extended English teaching or bilingual classes with other services of superior quality (personal and social education, detailed feedback to parents, divided classes, etc.). Their share is, however, unknown, as they are not reported in the education statistics. Charging for services provided as part of a compulsory curriculum is not legal, so schools often try to keep it secret.

Homeschooling

The requisites of homeschooling are defined in the Education Act (§34b for pre-primary education, §41 for primary and lower secondary education) under the heading of individual education. Individual education is permitted by the principal of the school in which a pupil is registered if the following conditions are met: a) the reasons for individual education are given; b) suitable material conditions are provided; c) the person who will educate the pupil has completed ISCED 354 level in the case of primary education and ISCED 5 level in the case of lower secondary education, and d) suitable textbooks and teaching aids are provided. An individually educated pupil takes exams in the relevant curriculum for each semester in the school where he/she is registered. If he/she has not passed or if the legal conditions for individual education are not met, the school principal may terminate individual education. In the 2020/2021 school year, there were 4557 primary and lower secondary students (0.8% of all primary and lower secondary students) in individual education.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were closed in the 2019/2020 school year for three months and in 2020/2021 for seven months. All types of schools organised education through online teaching and assignments. Formally, however, this regime was different from home/individual education, as education remained the responsibility of the school, not the parents. According to the Czech School Inspectorate report Distance education in primary and secondary schools, about 10,000 students (1.0%) did not participate in education during the lockdown. During the pandemic, there was no specific policy for non-state schools and all schools proceeded similarly. Schools differed in the amount of online instruction.

Market contracted (Voucher schools)

There are no such schools in the Czech Republic.

Unregistered/Unrecognised schools

There are unregistered community schools in the Czech Republic. They serve children who are formally educated in the individual education regime. Unregistered schools are not registered in the school register and therefore do not receive state subsidies and are not kept in education statistics. No information was found about these schools as they are informal. They occur throughout the country. The parents form a group of children, hire a teacher and agree on how the organization of the instruction. These children can be registered in the homeschooling regime. The exact numbers of these schools and children educated in them are not known.

  1. Governance and regulations

The Czech Republic has a decentralised education system. The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MEYS) is responsible for the state, conception, and development of the education system, allocates financial resources from the state budget, sets out the qualification requirements and working conditions of teachers, and determines the general content of education from pre-primary to secondary level. MEYS decides whether a school will receive the registration or not. In the case of a basic school, the application should include also the statement of the municipality, in the case of the secondary schools the statement of the region. The regions (14) establish upper secondary schools (ISCED 3); the municipalities establish kindergartens (ISCED 0) and basic schools (ISCED 1, ISCED 2). MEYS is responsible for non-state provision at all levels.

Vision: The functioning of non-state schools is regulated by the Education Act of 2004 (for ISCED levels 0-4) and the Act on Higher Education Institutions of 1998 (for ISCED levels 5-8) and seems rather unproblematic. Although the growth of private schools is sometimes mentioned, the proportion of students educated in non-state institutions is still rather low (see Typology of provision section) and strategic documents do not address private schools and their future.

 

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education
 

Pre-school education is organised for children from two to six years in kindergartens. The pre-school year is compulsory and can be provided either in kindergartens or in preparatory classes in basic schools. In the 2020/2021 school year, 8.5% of kindergartens (educating 4.2% of students) were non-state.

More than two-thirds of non-state kindergartens are run by limited liability companies.

Facilities for children under the age of two are registered under the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and usually take the form of so-called children's groups. Their activities are regulated by Act No. 247/2014 Coll., on the provision of childcare services in a children's group. The founders of children's groups are employers, non-governmental organizations, individuals and limited liability companies.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: For a kindergarten to be entitled to state subsidies, it must be registered in the school register (see the Typology of provision section). The registration is conditional on meeting the legal conditions for the operation of a kindergarten. These are defined in Decree No. 410/2005 Coll. on Hygienic Requirements for the Premises and Operation of Facilities and Establishments for the Education and Training of Children and Adolescents. Decree No. 14/2005 Coll. on Kindergartens prescribes the number of pupils in a class (maximum 24), the scope of education, number of hours, conditions of care for the health and safety of children, and the size of the fee in public kindergartens.

Licence: No regulation was found. The regulations only describe the registration process.

Financial operation

Profit-making: The law does not prohibit profit-making.

Taxes and subsidies: There are no rules governing incentives. If a municipality is interested in establishing a private kindergarten, it can rent the building cheaply to its founder. Subsidies are governed by the Act on the Provision of Subsidies to Private Schools, Preschools, and School Facilities.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: For registered kindergartens, there is a binding Framework Educational Programme for Pre-school Education, which defines the compulsory content, scope, and conditions of education in kindergarten.

Teaching profession: The qualifications of a kindergarten teacher are regulated by the Act on Pedagogical Workers (§ 6). It is binding for all registered kindergartens. The minimum requirement is the completion of a secondary pedagogical school (ISCED 354). While the salaries of teachers in public kindergartens are governed by the rules for the remuneration of civil servants, the founders of private kindergartens are not bound by these rules.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: Parents pay a fee for the kindergarten and food. They can deduct the kindergarten fee from their taxes. In the pre-school year, which is compulsory, no kindergarten fee is required. Kindergarten fees in non-state kindergartens are usually higher than in public ones. They are not regulated.

Admission selection and processes: Public and private kindergartens set official criteria for enrolment. They usually include age (pre-school children have priority), place of residence (children from the catchment area have priority), and the attendance of a sibling at the kindergarten. The fact that kindergartens often tended to reject Roma children or children with special needs led the Ombudsman to issue Recommendations for Admission to Kindergartens in 2018. However, according to NGOs, these children are still discriminated against during the enrolment procedure.

Policies for vulnerable groups: Disadvantaged families can use state social support benefits. The system of state social support is regulated by Act No. 117/1995 Coll., on State Social Support. MEYS provides free meals to socially disadvantaged children. Families who receive an increased care allowance or benefits to meet their material needs or have a child in foster care are exempt from the payment of the kindergarten fee in public kindergartens.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Reporting requirements: Registered kindergartens are obliged to complete regular kindergarten reports. There are reports on enrolment at kindergarten, reports on children attending the kindergarten, including detailed information about their special needs, and reports on kindergarten staff.

Inspection: Kindergartens registered in the school register, both public and private, are regularly inspected by the Czech School Inspectorate. The inspection should take place at least once every 6 years in each school.

Child assessment: Children are not formally assessed during pre-primary education. Informal assessment is carried out by teachers. There is also an informal assessment carried out at the transition to basic school by school staff (see the Primary and secondary education section).

Sanctions: A kindergarten may be deleted from the school register at the request of the chief school inspector. The conditions under which the deletion takes place are specified in the Education Act. It happens mainly if the kindergarten does not provide education in accordance with the principles and objectives or the educational programmes set out in Education Act, or if a legal person who carries out the activities of a school or school facility seriously or repeatedly violates legal regulations related to the provision of education and school services.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: For a school to be entitled to state subsidies, it must be registered in the school register (see the Typology of provision section). The registration is conditional on meeting the legal conditions for the operation of a school. These are defined in Decree No. 410/2005 Coll. on Hygienic Requirements for the Premises and Operation of Facilities and Establishments for the Education and Training of Children and Adolescents. Decree 48/2005 Coll. on Basic Education and Certain Requirements for Fulfilling Compulsory School Attendance prescribes the organisation of education, enrolment in basic education, the number of pupils in classes (maximum 30), the provision of textbooks and teaching aids, assessment, and educational measures/penalties. Regulations are the same for all registered schools regardless of the type of founder.

Licence: No regulation was found.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): Regulated by Decree No. 410/2005 Coll. on Hygienic Requirements for the Premises and Operation of Facilities and Establishments for the Education and Training of Children and Adolescents.

Financial operation

Profit-making: The law does not prohibit profit-making. More than two-thirds of non-state basic schools are run by limited liability companies.

Taxes and subsidies: There are no rules governing incentives. If a municipality is interested in establishing a private school, it can rent the building cheaply to its founder. Subsidies are governed by the Act on the Provision of Subsidies to Private Schools, Preschools, and School Facilities.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: For compulsory education, there is a binding Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education, which defines the compulsory content and expected student outcomes at the end of primary and lower secondary level for all registered schools.

Textbooks and learning materials: Textbooks and teaching aids at a set price are provided free of charge to pupils in compulsory education.

Teaching profession: The qualifications of teachers in primary and lower secondary education are regulated by the Act on Pedagogical Workers (§ 7, 8). They are binding for all registered schools. The requirement is the completion of tertiary education (MSc) in the field of education. While the salaries of teachers in public schools are governed by the rules for the remuneration of civil servants, the founders of private schools are not bound by these rules. They have full autonomy.

Corporal punishment: The Czech Republic accepted the Convention on the Rights of the Child; corporal punishment is thus forbidden in all schools.

Other safety measures and COVID-19: Regulations related to COVID-19 are identical for all schools, regardless of the provider, and are changing rapidly.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: Education provided by regions, municipalities or associations of municipalities, and ministries (public providers) is free. Tuition fees in schools run by non-state providers are not regulated.

Admission selection and processes: Public schools have defined catchment areas. These catchment areas are binding for kindergartens and primary schools, which must accept children from the catchment area as a matter of priority. The catchment areas are not binding for parents, who can choose any school for their child. Non-state schools do not have defined catchment areas. Admission to basic education takes place in the form of an enrolment procedure, during which the child's school ability is informally verified. On the basis of the findings, the school may recommend a postponement of school attendance. In some selective public schools and non-state schools, the enrolment procedure sometimes takes the form of an entrance examination.

The NGO Awen Ameca, for example, is fighting for Roma children to be included in mainstream schools. In 2014, a fifth of pupils from excluded localities attended a segregated school.

Policies for vulnerable groups: Disadvantaged families can use state social support benefits. The system of state social support is regulated by Act No. 117/1995 Coll., on State Social Support.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

School board: The qualifications of a school principal are regulated by the Act on Pedagogical Workers (§ 5). The composition of the school board and its responsibilities are set out in the Education Act (§167).

Reporting requirements: Schools are obliged to complete every year regular statistical reports. There are reports on enrolment in school, reports on students attending the school, including detailed information about their special needs, and reports on school staff.

School inspection: Primary and secondary schools registered in the school register are regularly inspected by the Czech School Inspectorate. The Czech School Inspectorate a) obtains and analyzes information on the education of children, pupils and students, monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of the education system, b) ascertains and evaluates the conditions, course and results of education, according to the relevant school educational programmes, as well as the conditions and course of providing counselling services in schools and school counselling facilities, c) ascertains and evaluates the fulfilment of the school educational program and its compliance with legal regulations and the framework educational program, d) monitors compliance with legal regulations relating to the provision of education and school services, e) performs public administration control use of state budget funds allocated to the school. The inspection should take place at least once every 6 years in each school.

Student assessments: The rules for the continuous and final assessment of pupils are set out in Decree 48/2005 Coll. on Basic Education and Certain Requirements for Fulfilling Compulsory School Attendance and in the Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education and the schools specify them in their school educational programmes.

Diplomas and degrees: Pupils receive a report card twice a year on which they receive grades (usually on a scale of 1 – excellent to 5 – insufficient) for all subjects taught and for behaviour. The certificate from the ninth year is a proof of completion of compulsory education. The standards for individual subjects that the students are supposed to master by the end of compulsory education are specified in the Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education. At the upper secondary level, there are specific framework educational programmes for all upper secondary school fields that describe the standards for these field. In order to successfully finish upper secondary education, students at grammar schools and secondary technical schools have to pass the school leaving examination maturita leading to maturita certificate, students in apprenticeship schools the state vocational examination leading to vocational certificate. The examinations and certificates are the same for public and non-public registered schools.

Sanctions: Schools providing primary and secondary education may be deleted from the school register at the request of the chief school inspector. The conditions under which the deletion takes place are specified in the Education Act. It happens mainly if the school does not provide education in accordance with the principles and objectives or the educational programs set out in set out in Education Act, or if a legal person who carries out the activities of a school or school facility seriously or repeatedly violates legal regulations related to the provision of education and school services.

 

In 2020, private higher education institutions/universities were attended by 9.0% of tertiary education students. Private higher education institutions vary in their focus and their owners. The MEYS provides a list of registered private universities.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: The establishment and operation of higher education institutions is regulated by the Act on Higher Education Institutions. Private higher education institutions need to obtain state approval for their activities. The application for state consent should include: the strategic intention of a private university; data on staff, financial, material, and other aspects of the security of the activity of a private university; proposals for study programmes; draft internal regulations governing the organisation and activities of a private university, and the status of members of the academic community.

Licence: MEYS decides on the application for state consent on the basis of the opinion of the National Accreditation Office; therefore the consent of the National Accreditation Office is necessary for granting the state consent. It is usually given for ten years, then the accreditation process is repeated.

Financial operation

Profit-making: The law does not prohibit profit-making.

Taxes and subsidies: There are no incentives to support the establishment of private universities. Only subsidies for the payment of social scholarships are provided to private universities in the amount stipulated by law and under the same conditions and in the same amount as subsidies for accommodation scholarships at public universities. State grants may be awarded to a private university for research and development governed by special regulations governing the support of research and development (Act 130/2002 Coll., On the support of research, experimental development and innovation).

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: They are assessed by the National Accreditation Office when granting consent to the establishment of a university and when controlling its activities. Curriculum and standards must correspond to accredited fields. The Accreditation Office accredits universities as a whole as well as individual fields at these universities.

Teaching profession: They are assessed by the National Accreditation Office when granting consent to the establishment of a university and when controlling its activities.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: Fee-setting is within the competence of individual universities.

Admission selection and processes: Admission is within the competence of individual universities. Universities provide special support to students with special educational needs.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board: They are assessed by the National Accreditation Office when granting consent to the establishment of a university and when controlling its activities.

The bodies of a public university are determined by the Act on Higher Education Institutions, the bodies of private universities are defined by these universities.

Reporting requirements: A private university is obliged to submit an annual report to MEYS every year, to publish the strategic plan of the private university and the annual plan for the implementation of the strategic plan, to provide the National Accreditation Office and MEYS with information necessary for their activities under the law, and to carry out an internal evaluation of the quality of educational activities.

Inspection: The quality of universities is checked regularly by the National Accreditation Office that is responsible for maintaining their quality. The university is also obliged to carry out a self-assessment. The requirements for internal evaluation are specified in the Act on Higher Education Institutions (§ 77).

Assessments: Student assessment is within the competence of individual universities.

Diplomas and degrees: Private universities may have accredited bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programmes. Upon successful completion of the studies, the corresponding degrees are awarded.

Sanctions on institutional closures: The ministry may revoke the state approval of a private university if it violates the rules set out in the law or has had its accreditation for several educational programmes revoked.

3.2 Supplementary private tutoring

 

Entry/Establishment

Private tutoring is not regulated by law and is not recorded in any official statistics. Research studies show that this is a relatively widespread phenomenon that is becoming increasingly important. Tutoring is provided by individuals (including teachers) and tutoring companies, which are established according to the Commercial Corporations Act. These individuals and companies mainly provide preparation for entrance exams for a fee.

There are also a number of non-governmental organizations in the Czech Republic that provide tutoring free of charge to socially disadvantaged pupils (e.g. organisation People in need).

In the school year 2021/22, MEYS will support the tutoring of children whose education was negatively affected by the lockdown due to the COVID pandemic. Tutoring can be provided by teachers, NGOs and tutoring companies.

Financial operation and quality

No information was found. In practice, individual tutors should have a trade license and provide services in accordance with the Trade Licensing Act No. 455/1991 Coll.

Teaching profession

No information was found.

 

Last modified:

Fri, 03/12/2021 - 11:52