Establishment, registration and changes of private kindergartens and private schools
The first private schools in Bulgaria were established in 1992.
Private kindergartens and schools are those established by natural and/or legal persons as commercial companies, non-profit-making legal persons or cooperatives or as companies under the legislation of a Member State. They are established, transformed, modified and terminated in accordance with the requirements of the Pre-school and School Education Act and under the conditions and in accordance with the Commercial Act, the Non-Profit Legal Entities Act or the Cooperatives Act or under the conditions and in accordance with the legislation of a Member State.
As legal entities, they may have no other object of activity than that of a kindergarten or school and must comply with the State educational standard for pre-school and school education institutions. They may carry out their activities only after being entered in the register of pre-school and school education institutions under the conditions and in accordance with the pre-school and school education Act (PSEA). The Minister of Education and Science issues a certificate of registration.
Private kindergartens and schools are obliged to comply with the requirements of the UPEA and its implementing regulations. They may conduct education and issue documents for the completion of pre-school education, respectively for the completion of a grade, stage or level of school education in accordance with both the requirements of the UPEA and the legislation of another Member State.
A private school may be designated as an innovative school (a school that achieves improvement in the quality of education).
Private schools' curriculums must meet the requirements of the state curriculum. However, they are free to supplement their curricular with additional activities, e.g. intensive foreign language teaching, music, arts, ecology, management, trade and marketing.
Private kindergartens and vocational colleges have been on the increase over the past few years. This is a result of market demands and a shortage of municipal kindergartens and pre-primary groups in schools.
Private institutions in the pre-school and school education system shall be financed under the terms and conditions laid down in the law applicable to their incorporation.
Private kindergartens and schools are eligible for a subsidy from the state budget. Only those registered in the register of institutions in the pre-school and school education system may be included in the system of state funding.
State budget funds are allocated for resource support and for creating conditions for the inclusion of children and pupils in private kindergartens and schools and are determined according to the budgets of the municipalities on whose territory they are located. The municipalities allocate and distribute the funds among private kindergartens and schools on the basis of the number of children and pupils receiving resource support.
Private kindergartens and schools included in the system of state financing may not collect funds from parents for the education and training of children and pupils financed by the state budget. They ensure that not less than 20 per cent of the children and pupils enrolled in them, including children and pupils with outstanding talents and/or special educational needs, are educated free of charge.
Funds from the State budget for the costs of education and training of children and pupils in private kindergartens and schools shall be determined in accordance with the budgets of the municipalities in whose territory they are located. The municipalities allocate and distribute the funds among the private kindergartens and schools included in the system of State financing, on the basis of the number of children and pupils, the number of groups and classes, the type and number of educational institutions and the standard per child and pupil, per group and class and per educational institution set by an act of the Council of Ministers.
The municipality and the regional department of education exercise control over the expenditure by private kindergartens and schools of funds received from the State budget. Private kindergartens and schools included in the system of State financing receive, spend and account for the funds received from the State budget in compliance with the Accounting Act and applicable accounting standards, the PEA and the Regulation on the financing of institutions in the system of pre-school and school education. Private kindergartens and schools develop and validate a Cost Division Mechanism to distinguish costs financed by State budget funds. Private kindergartens and schools periodically submit to the Ministry of Education and Science information on the funds planned and the expenditure incurred, certifying their separation on the basis of the Mechanism. They also submit to the municipality through which they receive State funding periodic reports on the funds received and spent from the State budget for the education and training of children and pupils.
Private kindergartens and schools included in the system of State financing may collect funds from parents to compensate them for the costs incurred by them in providing and maintaining the facilities in which the activities of compulsory pre-school and school education of children and pupils are carried out.
The admission of pupils to private kindergartens and schools shall be carried out under the conditions and in accordance with the procedure laid down in their regulations.
The number of groups and the number of children per group in private kindergartens and the number of classes in private schools, the groups and the number of pupils shall be determined by the State educational standard for the physical environment and the information and library provision of kindergartens, schools and personal development support centres, in accordance with the capacity of the building fund, the specific requirements for the physical environment and the Regulation on the financing of institutions in the system of pre-school and school education.
The managing and control bodies of private kindergartens and schools are set out in the law under which they have been established.
Educational activities at private kindergartens and schools Are managed by the director or headmaster, appointed by the company or not-for-profit legal entity or cooperative. In the case of absence of the director of a private kindergarten or a private school, the acting director shall be appointed by the relevant bodies of the company, not-for-profit legal entity, or cooperative.
Labour contracts with educational experts at private kindergartens and schools shall be signed and terminated by the body which manages them and represents the relevant company, not-for-profit legal entity, or cooperative.
Academic autonomy and self-government
Private higher schools enjoy academic autonomy and self-government.
Academic freedom finds expression in the freedom of teaching, freedom of research, freedom of acts of creativity, and freedom of learning.
Academic self-government finds expression in:
- the electiveness of all bodies with a fixed term of office;
- the right of any private higher school to regulate its constitution and activities in its own Rules of Operation (Rulebook) in keeping with the Higher Education Act;
- the independent choice of faculty, admission requirements and forms of training students and postgraduates;
- the independent development and implementation of curricula and research projects;
- the choice of majors and minors to be taught.
For more information on private education in Bulgaria, visit its portal.