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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Administration and governance at local and/or institutional level


2.Organisation and governance

2.7Administration and governance at local and/or institutional level

Last update: 27 November 2023

At the local level:

Education governance at the local level is carried out by municipalities. The municipality is the basic administrative-territorial unit of local self-government in the Republic of Bulgaria. Municipal education authorities are part of the state territorial structure and are involved in the implementation of the municipalities' education policy. Municipalities are territorial administrative bodies that are not included in the management structure of the education system, but by the terms of the Pre-school and School Education Act, they perform important functions and assume responsibilities for education in their locality. They conduct and supervise:

  • compulsory school education up to the age of 16;
  • health and security provision in kindergartens and schools;
  • funds for the maintenance, construction, furnishing and major repairs of schools, kindergartens and service units;
  • facilities for canteen meals, dormitories, recreation, sports facilities and transport for children, pupils and teachers; and free transport for children, and pupils and free transport for pupils up to the age of 16 for central schools.
  • сcholarships and special allowances to pupils.

Municipal institutions in the pre-school and school education system are financed through the municipal budget. Within the powers available to it, municipalities monitor the enrolment of pupils in schools, the coverage of children subject to compulsory preschool education before their entry into the first grade, take measures to prevent adolescents from dropping out of the education system, allocate earmarked funds, and create appropriate conditions for the development of children's and pupils' abilities and interests. 

The municipalities shall pursue an active policy in the education sector in accordance with their statutory powers, which shall promote equal access to quality education and inclusion of every child and every pupil, equality and non-discrimination in pre-school and school education; 

coordinated and efficient allocation of students to appropriate classes, support for pre-primary education in all eligible areas, stimulation of development in centre schools and upgrading of school facilities and equipment.

At the school level:

The school head is the authority for management and control of state and municipal institutions in the system of pre-school and school education. The school head manages and represents the institution concerned and organises and supervises the overall activities of the institution in accordance with the powers laid down in the state educational standard on the status and professional development of teachers, principals and other pedagogical specialists. In the exercise of his/her powers, the school head issues orders. In the management and control of teaching, learning, teaching and creative, sporting and administrative activities, the school head may be assisted by one or more deputy school heads.

The Pedagogical Council (PC) is a specialised body for discussing and tackling major pedagogical issues in the kindergarten, school and personal development support centre. The PC includes all pedagogical specialists and deputy directors without teaching work. The principal is the chairperson of the pedagogical council. Representatives of the public council, the board of trustees, the medical personnel serving the school, kindergarten or personal development support centre, pupils and other persons may participate in the meetings of the PS with the right to vote in an advisory capacity. The school's PS adopts: the school's development strategy for the next 4 years with an action and financing plan annexed to it; the school's rules of procedure; the school's curriculum; the forms of education; the school's annual activity plan; the curricula for individual education;  measures to improve the quality of education; a programme for the prevention of early school leaving; a programme for the provision of equal opportunities and for the inclusion of children and pupils from vulnerable groups; proposes to the principal the opening of interest activities; makes proposals to the principal for the awarding of pupils and the imposition of appropriate sanctions; determines school symbols and rituals and other distinctive signs and other activities. 

The Public Council is a body for supporting the development of the kindergarten and the school and for civic control of their management. It is established to create the conditions for active and democratically functioning communities at each kindergarten and each school.

Boards of Trustees are independent voluntary associations to support the activities of the educational institution. Only one board of trustees may be established for each school, kindergarten or personal development support centre. They shall be established as non-profit-making legal entities for the purpose of carrying out activities of public benefit and shall organise their activities in accordance with the conditions and procedures of the Law on Non-Profit-Making Legal Entities and in accordance with the provisions of the Pre-school and School Education Act, the statutes or their founding act. The board of trustees is established on the initiative of the principal or of parents, teachers or members of the public. The bodies of the board of trustees shall be the general assembly and the board of trustees. The main purpose of the board of trustees is to support, assist and promote the development of the kindergarten, school or personal development support centre.

Higher Education 

Universities are granted academic autonomy. Academic autonomy includes academic freedoms, academic self-government and inviolability of the university campus. Academic self-government is expressed in: electability and mandating of all governing bodies; the right of the higher education institution to regulate its structure and activities in its own regulations in accordance with the Higher Education Act; independent determination of the scientific and teaching staff, the conditions of admission and the forms of training of students, doctoral students and postgraduate students; independent development and implementation of curricula and research projects, etc. The governing bodies of the higher education institution are the General Assembly, the Academic Council and the Rector. The General Assembly of the Faculty is composed of members of the academic staff on basic employment contract, representatives of the administrative staff, students and postgraduate students of the Faculty. The Academic Council shall be the governing body for the teaching and research activities of the University. The Rector represents the University and is by right a member of the Academic Council and its Chairman.

Education for adults

Licensed Vocational Training Centres provide vocational training to persons aged 16 and over, and Licensed Information and Guidance Centres provide vocational guidance to students and others. They are established under the Vocational Education and Training Act and according to their status they are public, municipal or private, Bulgarian with foreign participation and foreign. The National Agency for Vocational Education and Training issues the licences for both types of centre.

The Employment Agency in Bulgaria and its subordinate local branches - employment offices, is an agency under the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. It is responsible for employment encouragement, labour market monitoring, vocational guidance, and education and training of the unemployed as well as the employed (vocational training and incentive measures).  The employment offices play a major role in vocational training for the unemployed by contracting training courses to local education and training providers and financing the training. 

Trade unions are now independent representative organisations. The rapid changes in society and legislation have forced them to adapt - the need for vocational education and training as well as democratic education in the sense of building an active civil society in Bulgaria. The courses are also open to non-union members.