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Eurydice

EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Czechia

9.Teachers and education staff

9.1Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 20 February 2024

 

CHILDCARE STAFF IN CHILDREN'S GROUPS

Initial training of childcare staff in children's groups (dětské skupiny; children from 1 year of age to the beginning of compulsory schooling) according to the Act on Children's Group differs by the job description. The minimum upper secondary education (ISCED 344 or 354 or 353) is required. The initial training is not carried out within the pedagogical staff education system. The exception is the situation when the employee has pedagogical qualification (i.e. pre-primary teacher, primary teacher, teacher's assistant, SEN specialist and childcare educational worker). For more details, see Qualification of childcare staff and Curriculum and training of childcare staff.

 

EDUCATION STAFF AT SCHOOLS

The initial training of teachers in nursery, basic and upper secondary schools and conservatoires (mateřská škola, základní škola, střední škola, konzervatoře) is determined by the level of education the teacher is being prepared for and by each individual's area of specialisation. Depending on this, the teacher must have completed higher education (a Master's or a Bachelor's degree), tertiary professional education or secondary education. For more details on the initial training of teachers for each individual educational level, see Institution, levels and models of training and Curriculum, level of specialisation and learning outcomes.

A teaching qualification is necessary for teachers from pre-primary to secondary levels (although the specialisation is sufficient for teachers of tertiary professional institutionsvyšší odborné školy).

Higher education of teachers takes place either as concurrent or consecutive. In the concurrent study both professional and pedagogical preparations take place together (including practice), which is the case of teaching courses at pedagogical faculties. The consecutive study is a study where students first take courses at a non-pedagogical faculty and then they complete their pedagogical education by studying a consecutive Bachelor's programme or a lifelong learning programme at higher education institution (vysoká škola).

At present, study in the majority of study fields is already structured in Bachelor's and consecutive Master's study (with the exception of teacher training for the first stage of a basic school – the primary level, which is a 5-year non-structured Master's study). There is no in-service qualifying phase or transitional period between the training and employment set for starting teachers at any level of education. Professional training is a part of their study.

The ratios of each basic components of professional preparation as expressed in percent, credits and hours according to ECTS for education staff categories is given by the Framework Requirements for Study Programmes to Obtain Professional Qualification to Practice Regulated Profession of Education Staff.

 

Qualification scope (specialisation)

Teachers for the first stage of basic school are qualified to teach all subjects taught at this stage. Teachers of other educational levels may be qualified to teach more subjects (most frequently two subjects) or just one subject (as, for example, language teachers, teachers of various artistic subjects and physical education, teachers of vocational subjects or teachers of practical training). Qualification to teach another subject can be acquired in courses leading to the extension of qualifications within lifelong learning study programme provided by a higher education institution; the programme's duration is at least 250 hours. Nevertheless, university graduates of teaching study programmes are qualified to teach all of the subjects at the given educational level/stage, regardless of their specialisation.

Teachers in classes and schools for pupils with special educational needs must have, in addition to teaching qualification, a special educational qualification.

 

Specific teacher qualification requirements for teaching arts subjects, physical education, foreign languages and religion

Initial training for teachers of arts subjects (music and art), physical education and foreign languages, who teach in basic and secondary schools and conservatoires follows the same rules as the initial training of teachers of primary level and teachers of secondary general level. However, the Act on Education Staff also stipulates other possibilities of qualification acquisition:

  • Teachers of music and art at schools on the primary and lower secondary education level can complete the study field Teaching for Basic Art Schools.
  • Artistic vocational subjects at upper secondary school, conservatoire or basic art school (základní umělecké školy) can be taught also by a person who is or was an art performer, but does not hold a required qualification (qualification is recognised only for subjects relevant to his/her specialisation and for the specific school).
  • Physical education in lower and upper secondary education can be taught by graduates of programmes focused on physical education and sports (not only the graduates of the study field for teachers).
  • Foreign languages at both stages of basic schools and at upper secondary schools can be taught by persons acquiring qualification for teachers at language schools authorised to organise state language examination. Since 2015 an educational worker whose mother language is the relevant foreign language or has mastered the foreign language at the level of mother language and who is higher education graduate (in the case of conversation in a foreign language – upper secondary education completed with Maturita examination) in any study field even in non-teaching specialisation is also considered to be fully qualified for foreign language teaching or conversation in a foreign language.
  • Religious education at all educational levels can be taught by Master's degree graduates in Theological studies (initial teacher training is not required) or Pedagogical/Social sciences (followed by initial teacher training). In addition to professional qualification requirements under the Act on Education Staff, religion teachers must have a mandate to teach issued by the statutory body of the Church or a religious society, in the case of the Roman-Catholic Church by the statutory body of the respective bishopric.

 

Other exemptions

Since 2015 the school head can under some circumstances recognise the professional qualification also to persons mentioned below that do not fulfil the basic prerequisites. Such a teacher can work only half-time and as a part of this working relationship he/she has to perform relevant activities (art performance, art creation, coaching or activities in the field in which he/she is a recognised specialist). The exemption is recognised only for the time when all conditions are satisfied. The prerequisite is recognised:

  • at second stage for basic schools and upper secondary schools to art performers, fine art artists and qualified coaches and only for teaching of subjects related to the art and coach qualification;
  • at second stage of basic schools to teachers qualified to teach artistic vocational subjects at upper secondary schools and only for teaching of subjects related to their specialisation;
  • at upper secondary schools to recognised field specialist and only for teaching of subject related to his/her field specialisation.

In some cases, the qualification can be forgiven completely.

Teacher's assistant

At schools and school facilities the school head may take on a teacher's assistant (or more teacher's assistants). Employing a teacher's assistant is one of support measures for children, pupils or students with special educational needs. Teachers' assistants carry out direct educational activities so they are considered as members of education staff.

The Act on Education Staff distinguishes two categories of a teacher's assistant. For each of them, a different qualification is set:

  1. A teacher's assistant who performs a direct pedagogical activity in a classroom, in which pupils and pupils with special educational needs are educated, or in a school providing education for children and pupils through the form of individual integration. Required qualification: higher education, tertiary professional or secondary education with a Maturita examination in a pedagogical field; at least secondary education with a Maturita examination in a different field supplemented by a programme of lifelong learning at a higher education institution focused on pedagogy, by study of pedagogy or by study aimed at teacher's assistants. (sec. 20, par. 1 of the law)
  2. A teacher's assistant who performs a direct pedagogical activity based on supplementary educational work in a school, in a school facility focused on interest education, in a school educational or boarding facility, in a school facility aimed at fulfilment of institutional or protective care, or in a school facility aimed at preventive and educational care. Required qualification: apart from previous point following qualifications are sufficient to perform the profession of a teacher's assistant: secondary vocational education with a VET certificate supplemented by study of pedagogy; secondary education in a field focused on teacher's assistant training; secondary education supplemented by study of pedagogy or study aimed at teacher's assistants, basic education supplemented by study for teacher's assistants. (sec. 20, par. 2 of the law)

 

Institutions, levels and models of training

For information on initial training for childcare staff in children's groups (dětské skupiny), see Qualification of childcare staff.

A Master's degree is the prevailing requirement for the training of education staff (teachers). Nevertheless, it is sufficient for teachers to have completed tertiary professional or secondary education and to have passed their Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška) to work as a teacher at a nursery school (mateřská škola); as a teacher of practical education and job training at an upper secondary school (střední škola) or a tertiary professional school (vyšší odborná škola); as a teacher of arts subjects in a basic art school (základní umělecká škola), upper secondary school or conservatoires (konzervatoře). In all the above-mentioned cases, the teacher has to have a teaching qualification with the exception of teachers of tertiary professional schools, where a pedagogical qualification is not required. Teacher training can have a concurrent form (academic and professional educational study is combined) or a consecutive one (graduates of the academic fields fulfil their educational qualification in Bachelor's study or in further education).

Qualification of childcare staff in children's groups

According to the Act on Children's Group, the childcare staff in children's groups (dětské skupiny) can have a capacity (special qualification, professional capacity, special capacity or professional qualification) for performance of some professions mentioned below:

  • a general nurse (všeobecná sestra): relevant Bachelor's study programme (ISCED 645) or tertiary professional education (ISCED 655); the study is planned for the minimum of 3 years and covers 4600 hours (in tertiary professional education usually 3.5 years), at least 2300 and at most 3 000 study hours is carried out in practical training
  • a midwife (porodní asistentka): relevant Bachelor's study programme (ISCED 645), the study is planned for the minimum of 3 years and covers 4600 hours, at least 1800 study hours is carried out in practical training
  • a children's nurse (dětská sestra): relevant Bachelor's study programme (ISCED 645) or tertiary professional education (ISCED 655); practical training in both cases is at least 2000 hours
  • an emergency care professional (zdravotnický záchranář): relevant Bachelor's study programme (ISCED 645), the study is planned for the minimum of 3 years and covers the minimum of 1800 hours in practical training
  • a practical nurse (praktická sestra) (former healthcare professional): relevant upper secondary education with Maturita examination (ISCED 354), the study is planned for the minimum of 4 years and covers at least 1200 hours in practical training
  • a healthcare-social worker (zdravotně-sociální pracovník): accredited health Bachelor's or Master's study programme in social specialisation (ISCED 645 or 746) in social specialisation at tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) or higher education institutions (vysoké školy) (ISCED 645, 655 or 746) and accredited qualifying programme or qualification of a general nurse and specialised study programme; the total period of the study is at least 3 years, of which practical training is at least 1000 hours
  • a physician (lékař): six years Master's study programme at higher education institution (ISCED 746)
  • a health services psychologist (psycholog ve zdravotnictví): accredited Master's study programme and qualifying programme or specialised education provided by HEI; the accredited Master's study programme lasts the minimum of 5 years (ISCED 746) out of which at least 100 hours is practical training
  • a clinical psychologist (klinický psycholog): at least five years of one-field of Master's study programme of psychology (ISCED 746) and accredited qualifying programme or specialised education; these two programmes have the minimum of 10 years of duration in total out of which at least 400 hours is practical training
  • a social worker (sociální pracovník): relevant Bachelor's (ISCED 645) or Master's study programme (ISCED 746 or 747) or Doctoral study programme (ISCED 844) oriented to social work, social pedagogy, social care, social pathology, law or special pedagogy; another variant is tertiary professional education (ISCED 655) in study programmes focused on social work and social pedagogy, social pedagogy, social and humanitarian work, social work, social-law activities, charity and social activities
  • a social services assistant (pracovník v sociálních službách): various fields with upper secondary education with a Maturita examination
  • a pre-primary teacher (učitel mateřské školy)
  • a primary teacher (učitel prvního stupně základní školy)
  • a special education needs specialist (speciální pedagog)
  • a teacher's assistant (asistent pedagoga) according to the § 20 par. 1 of the Act on Education Staff
  • childcare educational worker (vychovatel)
  • a nanny for children in a children's group (chůva pro děti v dětské skupině): certificate of professional qualification (within the National Qualifications Framework - without the need for prior formal education); some organisations offer exam preparation or retraining courses (EQF 4)
  • a nanny for children under school age (chůva pro děti do zahájení povinné školní docházky): certificate of professional qualification (within the National Qualifications Framework - without the need for prior formal education); some organisations offer exam preparation or retraining courses (EQF 4)

Qualification requirements for individual professions are based on the relevant departmental regulations. On top of the previously mentioned, alternative ways of obtaining a professional qualification could be defined and a qualification or qualifications obtained based on applicable regulations are accepted.

Two other conditions in the area of professional competence to work in a children's group apply:

  • At least one of the childcare worker must have the medical professional competence (general, practical or child nurse, emergency care professional, physician, etc.) or the professional qualification "nanny for children in a children's group".
  • When caring for children older than 3 years (more precisely from 1 September following the child's 3rd birthday, i.e. from the day when the child is entitled to a place in nursery school), the care provider must ensure at least 20 hours of care provided by a childcare worker with pedagogical qualifications.

 

Qualification of pre-primary teachers

Pre-primary teachers

The Act on Education Staff stipulates various ways leading to the qualification of a pre-primary teacher:

In the upper secondary schools (střední školy), future teachers of a nursery school (učitel mateřské školy) usually take a four-year study programme specialising in the Pedagogy of Pre-School Education and Extra-Curricular Activities. The typical total length of training for the future teachers of pre-primary education is 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of a basic school (základní škola) and 4 years of an upper secondary school, ending with the Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška), leading to ISCED 354 level of education. Teaching is carried out according to the approved Framework Education Programme (FEP) for this field of study. The School Educational Framework defines the minimum of 10 weeks in practical training and the minimum of 7 weeks in instructional training for the whole time of study. Shortened study with Maturita examination is also provided within upper secondary schools.

The typical total length of training at the tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) consists of 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of a basic school, 4 years of an upper secondary school, ending with a Maturita examination, and 3 years of tertiary professional school. Graduates achieve ISCED level 655. According to the Education Act and to the Decree on Tertiary Professional Education, the teaching must include practical and professional training. The length of the training is set by the accredited study programmes. In one of the schools providing programmes of the Pre-primary and extracurricular education students participate in both uninterrupted and parallel teaching practice.

It is possible to qualify as a nursery school teacher at some higher education institutions (vysoké školy). Training in a Bachelor's programme lasts 3 years, the achieved level is ISCED 645. The typical total length of training consists of 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of a basic school, 4 years of an upper secondary school ending with a Maturita examination, and of 3 years of Bachelor's studies at the faculty of education. Teaching practice is an important element of the training. Study programmes include parallel and uninterrupted teaching practice in the length of a few weeks. According to the Framework Requirements for Study Programmes to Obtain Professional Qualification to Practice Regulated Profession of Education Staff, the students must have a controlled and reflected practice of 10 – 15 % of the length of study, i.e. 540–810 hours (18–27 credits).

 

Alternative pathways

Since 2005, some persons who completed their study programme in special pedagogy at a higher education institution or, since 2012, also at a tertiary professional school are qualified as pre-primary teachers.

Since 2012, it is also possible to attain the qualification of pre-primary teacher in study leading to the extension of professional qualification in lifelong learning of higher education institutions programme specialised to train pre-primary teachers. This way is intended for individuals who completed their study programme in primary teachers training or training for childcare educational staff, training for teachers of leisure activities (pedagog volného času) or the study programme Pedagogy or a field of study for training childcare educational staff at tertiary professional schools.

Teachers who completed the upper secondary education in the study programme for childcare educational staff are obliged to take an individual examination (jednotlivá zkouška) corresponding to a part of the secondary Maturita examination relating to the teaching in pre-primary education.

Non-teaching workers

In the classes of forest nursery schools (lesní mateřské školy), where more than 8 children are present, the work is performed simultaneously by a non-teaching worker (nepedagogický pracovník). They have the professional qualification prescribed by the Decree on Pre-primary Education for professions as follows:

a) general nurse (všeobecná sestra), children nurse (dětská sestra), midwife (porodní asistentka), emergency care professional (zdravotnický záchranář), or

b) pre-primary teacher (učitel mateřské školy), childcare educational worker (vychovatel), or

c) nanny for children under school age (chůva pro děti do zahájení povinné školní docházky).

 

The qualification of pre-primary teacher is one of the possible qualifications of teacher of preparatory class in a basic school (učitel přípravné třídy základní školy); the other is the qualification of primary teacher (učitel prvního stupně základní školy).

 

Qualification of primary teachers

The responsibility for the preparatory education of teachers for the first stage of the basic school (základní škola) rests solely with the faculties of education. It is at a Master's level and usually lasts 5 years. Graduates are qualified to teach all of the subjects at the first stage of a basic school, they can also specialise in a chosen subject at some schools.

The typical total length of training for future teachers is 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of a basic school, 4 years of an upper secondary school (střední škola) ending with the Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška), and 4 to 5 years of Master's study at a faculty of education, leading to a qualification at ISCED 746 level.

The type and length of the professional training differs at individual universities (there are class observations, pre-service, parallel and uninterrupted teaching practice). According to the Framework Requirements for Study Programmes to Obtain Professional Qualification to Practice Regulated Profession of Education Staff, the students must have a controlled and reflected practice of at least 10 - 15 % of the length of study, i.e. 900 – 1 350 hours (30-45 credits).

 

Alternative pathways

Individuals who completed a Master's study programme in special pedagogy in which framework they gained knowledge in methodology of the first stage subjects can also teach at primary level. These programmes are also offered by other than faculties of education.

Graduates of Master's study field of Pedagogy or Bachelor's / Master's study programmes in educational sciences intended for training of pre-primary teachers (učitel mateřské školy), teachers of general subjects of the second stage of the basic school (druhý stupeň základní školy) or secondary school (střední škola), childcare educational staff (vychovatelé) or teachers of leisure activities (pedagog volného času) can attain the qualification for teaching at primary level in study leading to the extension of professional qualification within lifelong learning programme aiming at preparation of primary teachers which is organised at higher education institutions (vysoké školy).

For teaching at primary level, teachers of general subjects of the second stage of the basic schools or can gain the qualification by completing the additional study leading to the extension of professional qualifications via life-long study programmes at a higher educational institution.

Teachers may gain other qualification pathways for teaching specific subjects (foreign languages, artistic subjects, religion).

The qualification of primary teacher is one of the possible qualifications of teacher of preparatory class in a basic school (učitel přípravné třídy základní školy); the other is the qualification of pre-primary teacher (učitel mateřské školy).

 

Qualification of teachers of general subjects (lower and upper secondary education)

Teachers of general subjects at the second stage of the basic school (základní škola), at upper secondary schools (střední škola) and at conservatoires (konzervatoř) must have a Master's qualification. Accredited study programmes at most faculties already follow the two-stage structure (usually a three-year Bachelor's and a consecutive two-year Master's study programme).

The most important institutions for the initial training of teachers of general subjects are the faculties of education. The teachers can also gain their qualification at other faculties, e.g. of art, of natural sciences, mathematics and physics, or at faculties of physical education and sports, in the fields of Teacher Training for the second stage of the basic schools or secondary schools (this qualification is also valid for the second stage of the basic school).

Teachers may also qualify by studying for a Master's degree in the field of study which corresponds to the subject to be taught (and not focused on teacher training), and by consecutive higher education study in a Bachelor's study programme or study in the field of pedagogical sciences within the lifelong learning programme provided by a higher education institution which trains teachers of general subjects at the required school level.

Teachers of foreign languages, physical education, arts subjects, and religion may gain their qualification in other ways.

The typical total length of the training of future teachers in concurrent studies is 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of a basic school, 4 years of an upper secondary school ending with a Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška), 3–4 years of Bachelor's studies and 1–3 of Master's studies at a higher education institution (vysoká škola). Pedagogical training of graduates from non-pedagogical fields of studies usually represents a further 3-year Bachelor's study programme or 2 years of studies in a lifelong learning study programme at a higher education institution (it is not required for Physical Education teachers who graduated in the study fields aimed at physical education and sport). At the end of the study the teacher has the qualification at ISCED 7 level (ISCED 747 in the case of Bachelor's study programme and follow-up Master's study programme or ISCED 746 in the case of Master's non-structured study programme).

The type and length of the professional training differs at individual higher education institutions. According to the Framework Requirements for Study Programmes to Obtain Professional Qualification to Practice Regulated Profession of Education Staff, the students must have a controlled and reflected practice of at least 8 – 10 % of the length of study, i.e. 720–900 hours (24–30 credits).

Teachers are normally qualified in two subjects. A teacher who is fully professionally qualified in a teacher training programme at a certain education level can teach other subjects than those which he/she has specialised in (it is not valid for teachers who attained the qualification of the bases of one of exemptions). Teachers of the second stage of a basic school and teachers at upper secondary school or conservatoire are trained together or separately (in this case the qualification for upper secondary level is applicable for teaching at lower secondary level, in the opposite case, teachers must complete a qualification in further education). For more details, see Transmission of qualification levels.

 

Qualification of teachers of vocational subjects (upper secondary education)

In vocational education, there are teachers of general subjects as well as:

  • teachers of theoretical vocational subjects
  • teachers of artistic vocational subjects at an upper secondary school (střední škola), conservatoire (konzervatoř), and basic art school (základní umělecká škola)
  • teachers of practical education (praktické vyučování)
  • teachers of practical training (odborný výcvik).

 

The teachers of theoretical vocational subjects study for Master's degrees (usually following a Bachelor's programmes) at various types of higher education institutions (vysoké školy) or faculties. Only at individual universities in some fields (e.g. technical, economic, medical or theological), the training is concurrent. Most often, the consecutive model is used – teachers have to gain a teaching qualification after their technical (academic) training:

  • in a three-year Bachelor's study in pedagogical sciences for Teacher Training Programme for Secondary Schools;
  • through study in the field of pedagogical sciences within the lifelong learning programmes at higher education institutions aimed at teacher training for secondary schools or the second stage of the basic school which lasts 250 lessons minimum;
  • or through the study of pedagogy for at least 120 lessons in institutions for in-service training of education staff or at higher education institutions.

The graduate qualification corresponds to the level ISCED 7 (ISCED 747 in the case of study of Bachelor' programme and follow-up Master's programme or ISCED 746 in the case of Master's non-structured programme). The typical total length of the training of future vocational subject teachers includes 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of a basic school (základní škola), 4 years of a secondary school with the Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška), a 3 to 4-year Bachelor's degree and a 1 to 3-year Master's degree (or 4 to 5 year of undivided concurrent Master's degree study programmes, which are currently in decline, being replaced by the two-stage model), and usually consecutive pedagogical training. According to the Framework Requirements for Study Programmes to Obtain Professional Qualification to Practice Regulated Profession of Education Staff, the students must have a controlled and reflected practice of at least 12 % of the length of study.

 

Teachers of artistic vocational subjects at upper secondary schools, conservatoires and basic art schools can obtain their professional qualification as follows:

  • at higher education institutions of arts (the typical length is 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of basic school, 4 years of upper secondary school with the Maturita examination, 3 to 4 years of Bachelor's study (ISCED 645) or 1 to 3 years of Master's study (ISCED 747), and in the consecutive teacher's study;
  • teachers at basic art schools also in concurrent study in Mater's programmes focused on training of basic art schools' teachers or focused on training of teachers of the following general subjects: Playing the Instrument, Voice Performance or Visual arts (mostly at faculties of education);
  • in concurrent study at conservatoires – the typical length of training is 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of basic school (základní škola) and 6 years of conservatoire or 5 years of basic school and 8-year conservatoire (dance; ISCED 554) – or in consecutive study, in the case they acquired only the upper secondary education with Maturita examination in conservatoire (ISCED 354);
  • at tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborná škola) – the length of training is 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of basic school, 4 years of upper secondary school with the Maturita examination and 3 years of tertiary professional school (ISCED 655) – and in the consecutive teacher's study;
  • or at upper secondary schools – the length of training is 1 year of pre-primary education, 9 years of basic school and 4 years of upper secondary school with the Maturita examination (ISCED 354) and in the consecutive teacher's study.

 

Teachers of practical education and teachers of practical training get their vocational qualification in the fields of study which correspond to the nature of the practical education:

  • at higher education institutions (ISCED 645);
  • at tertiary professional schools (ISCED 655);
  • most frequently at upper secondary schools (with the Maturita examination, ISCED 354, in the case of vocational training also VET final examination (závěrečná zkouška) when school leavers obtain a VET certificate (výuční list), ISCED 353).

They must also have a teaching qualification (see above – teachers of theoretical vocational subjects). Teacher training for practical education and practical training can be finished after 4 years of study at an upper secondary school, after 3 years at tertiary professional school or after 3–5 years of study at a higher education institution. Initial teacher training must follow.

The 2015 amendment to the Act on Education Staff introduced some exemptions which enable to employ also persons (mainly art performers, fine art artists and recognised specialists in the field) who have not qualification mentioned above.

 

Qualification of SEN teachers

Teachers who carry out direct educational activity in classes or at schools for children or pupils with special educational needs may obtain their qualification in the same way as other teachers of the given educational level and extend it through a Bachelor's degree, specialising in special educational needs or through a lifelong learning study programme with the same focus.

Teacher of preparatory class in a basic school (učitel přípravné třídy základní školy) does not have to have special pedagogical qualifications.

Pre-primary teachers may qualify by studying special needs pedagogy (of any specialisation) at a higher education institution or tertiary professional school.

Basic school teachers have the opportunity to obtain a qualification in a Master's study program focused on special needs pedagogy for teachers. In addition, for secondary school teaching, graduates of this programme must complete a qualification in a lifelong learning programme at higher education institutions aimed at training for teachers of the second stage of the basic school or secondary school.

Teachers of the first stage of the basic school (primary teachers) can also complete a Master's degree programme in special needs pedagogy (without a specialisation for teachers) and a lifelong learning programme at a higher education institution aimed at training primary teachers.

Teachers of the second stage of the basic school can also complete a Master's degree programme in special needs pedagogy (without a specialisation for teachers) and a Bachelor's degree programme aimed at training for basic school or secondary school teachers, or a lifelong learning programme at a higher education institution aimed at training for basic school or secondary school teachers. They can also be graduates of a Master's programme focused on primary school teaching and a lifelong learning programme at a higher educational institution focused on special needs pedagogy.

Admission requirements

 

PROFESSIONALS AT CHILDCARE FACILITIES FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS OF AGE AND CHILDREN'S GROUPS

Requirements for admission into study programmes that provide qualifications for professionals working in children's groups (dětské skupiny) or at childcare facilities for children under 3 years of age (zařízení pro péči o děti do 3 let) are similar to those in other study programmes of relevant levels – see admission to upper secondary schools (střední školy), admission to tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy), admission to Bachelor's degree programmes and admission to Master's degrees programmes.

 

EDUCATION STAFF AT SCHOOLS

The following section focuses on the requirements for admission to study programmes providing concurrent teacher education or educational components in the case of teachers' continuing development.

Upper secondary schools, conservatoires and tertiary professional schools

Entry to study programmes for teachers and to other study programmes at upper secondary and tertiary professional schools and conservatoires (konzervatoře) is regulated by the capacity of any given school and by the long-term objectives of individual regions. The basic conditions are set by the Higher Education Act, the details by the respective decrees.

The requirements for admission to the upper secondary school courses which train for pre-primary teachers are identical to those for the admission to other courses for the upper secondary school, namely successful completion of compulsory schooling or successful completion of the basic education before completing the compulsory schooling and passing the admission proceedings. The standardised admission examination in Czech language and literature and mathematics is always held within the admission procedure. A school admission examination is usually also held (by decision of the school head), a part of which is most often an interview and examination music education, and also an examination in speech skills, art or physical education. A further requirement may be to have excellent marks in the study at the basic school (základní škola).

Admission to a conservatoire which trains teachers for the art vocational subjects requires passing the enrolment proceedings which take the form of an aptitude examination. All six-year courses require the student to have completed compulsory schooling or successfully to have completed basic education before completing compulsory schooling. Pupils who have successfully completed the 5th grade of a basic school may be accepted onto the eight-year courses.

Admission to a tertiary professional school for pre-primary teachers is conditional on passing a Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška) at any upper secondary school. Applicants also have to have a good state of health. The admission usually includes a test of ability (in music and art) and tests aimed at identifying personality skills suitable for performance of the profession.

Higher education institutions

According to the Higher Education Act, higher education institutions (vysoké školy) training teachers admit:

Setting up of the admission requirements is under the responsibility of each faculty or higher educational institution. In the case of admission to study in a Master's degree programme which follows the bachelor's study program, the college also determines the conditions related to the similarity of study programs or the number of credits obtained during study in selected types of subjects. The decision about whether an applicant is admitted or not to a higher education institution is under the responsibility of the dean (děkan) of the faculty (if the study programme is provided by the faculty) or the rector (if the study programme is provided by the higher education institution). At private higher education institutions, admission to studies is decided by a body designated by internal regulations. The date of application is determined by the individual higher education institution. In general, admission to programmes of higher educational institutions, including teacher training, is primarily limited by the capacity of each institution. Decision-making on the number of students admitted to particular fields and forms of study are fully within the competence of public higher education institutions and their faculties. One of the factors in making decisions is amount of financial resources available, depending on the funds the school gets from the State budget and their allocation to university faculties.

Enrolment proceedings differ among faculties. In some cases, they consist of a written and an oral examination in the relevant subjects and an interview aimed at discovering the student's motivation and personal suitability for the studies as well as their overall cultural awareness, in others they take the form of a general written test. Some faculties admit all applicants without entrance examinations. For arts fields and physical education, and sometimes also for teaching at the first stage of a basic school, applicants must undergo a test of their abilities, which is a pre-condition for permission to take the above mentioned exams. Applicants for special pedagogy courses are usually required to have certain practical experience in working with the disabled.

 

Czech citizens, citizens of other European Union member states and persons who are authorized to reside in Czechia have the same right to study in a study programme for teachers at all levels. There are neither requirements concerning the age of the applicants for study programmes for teachers at any level, nor are there any requirements concerning the place of residence of applicants to institutions of higher education.

Website www.infoabsolvent.cz, administered by the National Pedagogical Institute (Národní pedagogický institut), enables applicants search study programmes of upper secondary schools, tertiary professional schools and higher education institutions by level of education and by graduates qualification; the specific requirements for admission are also lists.

 

Curriculum, level of specialisation and learning outcomes

Curriculum of education of childcare staff in children's groups (dětské skupiny) – see Curriculum for the training of childcare staff in children's groups).

The differences in the content of training of future education staff (teachers) at individual educational levels are described in six sections. There is no unified compulsory curriculum for teacher training at higher education institutions (vysoké školy), but certain components are always present: education in a specific field (education in the field of future teaching), pedagogical education (psychological, pedagogical, didactic) and pedagogical practical training and general education (e.g. ICT or a foreign language). The extent of each mentioned component may vary. Since 2016, the condition for granting accreditation of a study program, the completion of which immediately meets the professional requirements for the performance of a regulated profession, is the consent of the competent recognition body that graduates of the study programme will be adequately prepared to perform this profession (in the case of teachers Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports). The ratio of basic components of training, which is expressed in percentages, credits and hours according to the ECTS system, for individual categories of pedagogical staff is given by the Framework Requirements for Study Programmes to Obtain Professional Qualification to Practice Regulated Profession of Education Staff.

In the case of teacher's assistant (asistent pedagoga), the content of education is not uniform. The standards of the study for gaining the professional qualification, including its general content, are issued by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Professional qualifications of the teacher's assistants see 9.1

Training associated with school management (i.e. school heads) is not included in the compulsory curriculum of prospective teachers.

Before 1989, the management of heterogeneous groups of pupils did not represent a particular problem because there was a tendency to create relatively homogenous groups of pupils in the Czech education system (with the exception of schools with mixed age classes). This changed gradually during the 1990s and a process of integrating children who are disadvantaged in terms of health or social condition into the general population was launched, and relevant legal regulations were gradually adopted. Institutions training education staff should take the existing legislation into account. They should also take into consideration current curricular documents, general educational principles and current issues on knowledge of the world.

There is no general directive requiring teacher training to include developing the ability of future teachers to deal with pupils or their parents, although this is in fact generally included in the curriculum of each individual institution in some way.

 

Curriculum and training of childcare staff in children's groups

The content of education defined for childcare staff working in children's groups (dětské skupiny) differs according to the category of profession. Students (partly with the exception of a children's nurse) are not initially prepared for the work at these institutions.

The profession qualification of nanny for children in a children's group (chůva pro děti v dětské skupině) and nanny for children under school age (chůva pro děti do zahájení povinné školní docházky) is possible to get without previous formal education based on an exam. Some organisations offer exam preparation or retraining courses. The content of the courses depends mainly on the content of the examination, it can also include practice.

The content of education of pre-primary teachers (učitelé mateřské školy), primary teachers (učitelé prvního stupně základní školy), childcare educatinal staff (vychovatelé), SEN specialists (speciální pedagogové), and teacher's assistants (asistenti pedagoga) is listed in the sections on educational staff.

The content of medical study programmes at higher education institutions (vysoké školy) – for positions: general nurse, child nurse, midwife, emergency care professional, physician, health-social worker (všeobecná sestra, dětská sestra, porodní asistentka, záchranář, lékař, zdravotně-sociální pracovník) – is created by each school itself. The programmes, however, come under the accreditation according to the Higher Education Act – within the framework following from institutional accreditation or from accreditation of a study programme by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education along with the declaration of the Ministry of Health. The similar procedure applies to programmes of tertiary professional education.

The content of the field Psychology is accredited according to the Higher Education Act – within the framework following from institutional accreditation or from accreditation of a study programme by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports after consultation with the Ministry of Health publishes Framework Education Programme for upper secondary education in healthcare study programmes. Graduates of the study programme for practical nurse (praktická sestra) acquire basic knowledge in the field of childcare and psychology.

Creating educational programmes for social workers (sociální pracovník) in tertiary professional and higher education lies within the responsibility of individual institutions. It comes under the accreditation according to the Higher Education Act (within the framework following from institutional accreditation or from accreditation of a study programme by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education) or according to the Education Act (given by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on the basis of a recommendation of the Accreditation Commission for Tertiary Professional (Non-university) Education). Training programmes for social services assistants (pracovník v sociálních službách) come under the accreditation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The programmes are focused on basic knowledge in psychology, supportive methods of active learning, and methods in education and education for leisure activities. The identical educational themes occur in the Framework Education Programmes for secondary education of social care positions (issued by the Ministry of Education).

 

Curriculum and training of pre-primary teachers

At the central level, the content of future teachers' training at upper secondary schools (střední školy) is determined by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The instruction follows the school education programmes created according to the Framework Education Programme for the educational field Pedagogy of Pre-School Education and Extra-Curricular Activities. The timetable includes general subjects – e.g. Czech language, a foreign language, mathematics, social sciences education, natural sciences education, aesthetic education, health education, ICT education and physical education, and vocational education such as economy training, pedagogy and psychology, didactics of pedagogical activities (aesthetic and emotional education of children, fine arts, music education, music movement education, word and film art education, drama education etc.). The minimum number of weekly lessons for the whole period of education is 128, with a maximum of 140 lessons. The minimum number of lessons in the week is 29, the maximum is 35. The framework of timetabling the curriculum also contains a minimum number of 26 available lessons that help create the school's profile, strengthen lesson allowances in individual educational areas, support interest orientation of pupils or extend another foreign language tuition. Practical school placement with the minimum length of 10 weeks during the whole period of study and a teaching practice with the minimum length of 7 weekly lessons during the whole period of study are a compulsory part of the curriculum.

Tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) decide on the content of their courses independently. The educational programme is subjected to accreditation of the Ministry of Education according to the Education Act.

The content of the higher education is in the competence of higher education institutions (vysoké školy); however, it is subject to accreditation according to the Higher Education Act (within the institutional accreditation or in the form of the accreditation of a study programme granted by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education). As a regulatory tool of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, methodological material for assessment of higher education study programmes has been created, whose graduates will acquire the professional qualification of education staff – Framework Requirements for Study Programmes to Obtain Professional Qualification to Practice Regulated Profession of Education Staff.

 

Curriculum and training of primary teachers

The faculties of education are autonomous to a large extent as regards the proposed content and character of individual study programmes; however, the proposed study programmes are subject to accreditation according to the Higher Education Act (within the institutional accreditation or in the form of the accreditation of a study programme granted by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education). As a regulatory tool of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, methodological material for assessment of higher education study programmes has been created, whose graduates will acquire the professional qualification of education staff – Framework Education Programme for the educational field Pedagogy of Pre-School Education and Extra-Curricular Activities.

The initial training of teachers of the first stage of the basic school (základní škola) is a concurrent course. The curriculum generally consists of six basic modules:

  • a subject module (the basics of all educational areas taught at the first stage of the basic school)
  • a pedagogical and psychological module (including practical training)
  • a university basics module (philosophy, history, rhetoric, ecology, computer technology etc.)
  • a didactic module (theory and practice of teaching individual educational areas at the first stage of the basic school)
  • an upgrading module
  • a specialisation module (the systematic study of the chosen specialisation – either one of the subjects focused only on educational care or language)

Each student usually chooses an area of specialisation – e.g. music, visual arts or physical education, foreign languages etc. The studies usually consist of ten terms, each of 12–15 weeks.

 

Curriculum and training of teachers of general subjects (lower and upper secondary education)

Higher education institutions (vysoké školy) are autonomous to a large extent with respect to the content and character of the individual study programmes; however, the proposed study programmes are subject to accreditation according to the Higher Education Act (within the institutional accreditation or in the form of the accreditation of a study programme granted by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education). As a regulatory tool of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, methodological material for assessment of higher education study programmes has been created, whose graduates will acquire the professional qualification of education staff – Framework Education Programme for the educational field Pedagogy of Pre-School Education and Extra-Curricular Activities (see Accreditation and external evaluation in higher education in Chapter 11).

The curriculum of teacher training in general subjects consists of subject studies and pedagogical training (teaching methodology, pedagogical and psychological courses and practical training), and possibly of general education (e.g. foreign language).

The Bachelor's programme usually includes some pedagogical components but may be fully academic (mainly at non-educational faculties).

Usually after a two-year follow-up Master's programme, it is possible to obtain full qualification for teaching. These programmes mainly focus on the teaching of subjects and other pedagogical fields; students take teaching practice and develop knowledge in the given subject.

Graduates of Bachelor's study programmes focused on teaching do not have to study the follow-up Master's study programme in the case they have obtained a Master‘s degree in a different programme, because these Bachelor's study programmes include pedagogical disciplines.

The teachers at the compulsory lower secondary level or teachers of general subjects at upper secondary schools (střední školy) / conservatoires (konzervatoře) are usually qualified as subject specialists or semi-specialists. The subject combination of specialists depends on their choice at the beginning of their studies and can be selected from a list of combinations or from a list of individual subjects set by the faculty. The situation differs among faculties. The study usually lasts 3 years in Bachelor's programme and 2 years in Master's programme. There are two terms in each school year, every term includes 12–15 weeks of lessons.

 

Curriculum and training of teachers of vocational subjects (upper secondary education)

Teachers of theoretical vocational subjects at upper secondary schools (střední školy) are mainly trained as specialists in their fields in Master's study programmes at higher education institutions (vysoké školy), at some universities the concurrent model of study also exists (similarly as for teachers of general subjects).

The content of the art teacher training depends on the level of their education and the teaching (pedagogical) part of the training is similar to that for teachers of theoretical vocational subjects. Education at conservatoires (konzervatoře) includes a general, vocational (art) and pedagogical component. Some higher education programmes also include pedagogical training.

The teachers of practical education or practical training obtain a vocational and teaching qualification separately (the consecutive model).

In the case of the consecutive model of study, the content of the vocational (technical) education and training differs according to the level of education:

At upper secondary level the schools (and the conservatoires) prepare school education programmes on the basis of central Framework Education Programmes.

Tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) decide on the content of their courses independently. The educational programme is subjected to accreditation of the Ministry of Education according to the Education Act.

Higher education institution are autonomous to a large extent with respect to the content and character of the individual study programmes; however, the proposed study programmes are subject to accreditation according to the Higher Education Act (within the institutional accreditation or in the form of the accreditation of a study programme granted by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education). As a regulatory tool of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, methodological material for assessment of higher education study programmes has been created, whose graduates will acquire the professional qualification of education staff – Framework Education Programme for the educational field Pedagogy of Pre-School Education and Extra-Curricular Activities.

The consecutive pedagogical training consists of pedagogy, psychology, teaching methodology, and usually the teaching practice. The teaching programme is accredited by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (in the case of the Bachelor's programme according to the Higher Education Act (see above), in the case of the study in the field of pedagogical sciences within the lifelong learning programme at a higher education institution or in the case of the study of pedagogy at a higher education institution or an in-service training institution according to the Decree on In-service Training of Education Staff. Higher education institutions have the possibility to carry out the lifelong learning programme even without the accreditation, however, they usually do not do so.

 

Transmission of qualification levels

  • Only the pre-primary teachers who obtain their professional qualification through a Master‘s programme focused on special pedagogy for teachers can teach at higher levels of education.
  • Teachers trained specifically for pre-primary education at higher education institutions (vysoké školy) can teach at the first stage of a basic school (základní škola) only if they extend their qualification by a lifelong learning programme provided by a higher education institution which is aimed at pedagogy for primary education teachers.
  • Teachers in preparatory classes of basic schools can have the pre-primary or primary teacher qualification.
  • Graduates of the programmes for primary teachers can teach at pre-primary level if they extend their qualification by a lifelong learning programme at higher education institution, focused on pre-primary teacher training.
  • In order to be able to teach at the lower secondary level, teachers for the first stage of the basic school have to extend their qualification, either by the study in a Bachelor's programme, or by a lifelong learning programme provided by a higher education institution which is aimed at teaching of general subjects at the second stage of basic school or by a shorter supplementary study for the broadening of their professional qualification. The study does not qualify to teach in upper secondary schools (střední škola).
  • Teachers for the lower secondary level who obtained their qualification in a teacher training programme for lower secondary level education (or for lower and upper secondary level of education) have to extend their qualification in order to teach at the primary level in a relevant lifelong learning programme at the higher education institution (see above) or in a shorter supplementary programme for the broadening of their professional qualification.
  • For education at the primary level, teachers trained for general subjects specifically at upper secondary educational level have to fulfil broadening study in the lifelong learning programme carried out by a higher education institution which is focused on primary teacher training (a shorter supplementary programme is not sufficient).
  • Finally, those with a qualification for the lower secondary level of education must also extend their qualification by a study in a Bachelor's programme or in a lifelong learning programme if they wish to teach at an upper secondary school or by a shorter supplementary study for the broadening of their professional qualification.
  • Teachers with a qualification for the general subjects at upper secondary level can teach at lower secondary level without any other qualification requirements.

 

Curriculum and training of SEN teachers

The content and scope of the curriculum of special needs training for teachers in classes or schools for children, pupils or students with special educational needs (with disabilities) varies according to the type of a higher education institution (vysoká škola) and the type of study.

The content of the study of special needs pedagogy is accredited according to the Education Act in the case of tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy), or according to the Higher Education Act in the case of study programmes at higher education institutions (vysoké školy). The study is focused on the education and training of people with some kind of disability or disadvantage, their socialization, from their birth to the end of life.

Compulsorily or optionally, it includes basic courses in patho-psychology, paediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, and in individual fields of special needs pedagogy (etopaedia, logopaedia, surdopaedia, tyflopaedia, psychopaedia, and somatopaedia). As part of their Master's study programme, students usually choose 2 specialisations, which are then in accordance with  the final state examination. The curriculum generally also includes practical training in special classrooms/schools or at special needs facilities, and/or clinical training. The study for the 1st stage of basic schools (základní školy) oriented on special needs pedagogy also includes vocational basics and the teaching methodology for educational areas of the 1st stage. The study for the 2nd stage oriented on special needs pedagogy presupposes the concurrent study of one of the general subjects.

 

Teacher educators

Teachers of primary, lower secondary and upper secondary level (základní školy and střední školy) and also pre-primary teachers (mateřské školy) are prepared at higher education institutions (vysoké školy). Requirements for academic staff who teach future teachers define the universities themselves, it is usually Master's, Doctoral, or another academic degree. According to the law, teachers at universities do not need to undergo professional training in teaching. Teachers who provide training in teaching may be specialists in various educational or psychological fields, or experts on a particular subject specializing in didactics.

Teacher educators of future pre-primary teachers at upper secondary schools (střední školy) must have a qualification prescribed generally for teachers of upper secondary schools and do not need any other qualification or training. Teachers of professional training may be graduates of Master's degree programmes in the field of education, special educational needs, psychology, etc., they should also have the pedagogical qualification to teach at upper secondary schools. Faculties of education provide study programmes oriented on the teaching of pedagogical and psychological subjects at upper secondary schools. Teachers who train future pre-primary teachers at tertiary professional schools must have the generally prescribed professional qualifications for teachers at tertiary professional schools and are not required to undergo any further specialised education or training. Teachers of professional training may be graduates of Master's degree programmes in the field of education, special educational needs, psychology, etc., no other requirements are set. Admission requirements, curriculum and assessment in Master's degree programmes is the responsibility of the higher education institutions.

For teachers who train future teachers of artistic vocational subjects at conservatoires, it is sufficient to be qualified for teaching at conservatoires. They may not have a specific qualification for teaching future teachers.

If in the case of the consecutive model the initial education is carried out in Bachelor's study programmes, the information mentioned in the first paragraph applies to teachers. Similar conditions apply to lifelong learning programmes at higher education institutions. Special requirements apply to teachers at school facilities for the further education of education staff.

Teachers introducing new teachers into practice, if appointed by the school head, may not have any special qualification (a basic qualification is sufficient).

 

Qualifications, evaluation and certificates

 

Childcare staff in children's groups

Examinations for professional qualifications of nanny for children in a children's group (chůva pro děti v dětské skupině) and nanny for children under school age (chůvy pro děti do zahájení povinné školní docházky) within the National Qualification System are organised by a so-called authorised person. The examinations are carried out according to the qualification and evaluation standards, which in both cases include topics such as health and safety, methods and forms of educational work with regard to children's age, developmental stages and support of social and emotional development of early childhood or adherence to ethical principles. Applicants after successfully completing an examination obtain a diploma.

The following links are relevant to professionals working in children's groups (dětské skupiny) who are prepared for the professions at upper secondary, post-secondary non-tertiary and higher education.

 

Education staff at schools

The evaluation of future teachers and their certification depends on their level of education. They do not differ from the evaluation and certificates of those studying a different field of study.

For the methods of evaluation at individual types of schools see

If the future teachers are required to have a Bachelor's degree, they take the state final examination at the end of a three-year Bachelor's degree programme, which also usually includes the defence of a final thesis. The subject matter is optional and is set by individual faculties. The successful graduates obtain a Bachelor's degree (Bc.). In a Master's study programme, students take the state final examination, which always includes the defence of a thesis. Other parts of the examination are determined by the individual faculties. Successful graduates obtain a Master's degree (Mgr.), or in some fields other titles. The state examination takes place in front of the board; the course of the exam and announcement of the result is public. Only professors, associate professors and professionals approved by the science board are entitled to examine during the state examination. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports can appoint other members of the examining board.

In the case of the consecutive pedagogical training, the certification differs according to the type of training:

  • A Bachelor's degree course at a higher education institution (vysoké školy) leads to a final state examination (including defence of a thesis); after passing the examination, graduates obtain a Bachelor's degree.
  • A lifelong learning study programme at a higher education institution is completed through the final examination and defence of a final thesis: successful participants receive a certificate confirming the completion of the relevant course.
  • By studying of pedagogy at an institution for in-service training of education staff successful participants receive a certificate on the basis of a final examination and defence of a final thesis.

The terms of conditions concerning the recognition of qualifications awarded by teachers do not differ in different regions.

 

Alternative training pathways

Details on alternative training pathways of professionals working in children's groups (dětské skupiny) see in Qualification of childcare staff.

Apart from the consecutive and concurrent models the Act on Education Staff enables several other ways for attainment (recognition) of teaching qualification: