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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational variations and alternative structures


6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.10Organisational variations and alternative structures

Last update: 5 April 2024


Organisational variations of upper secondary education


Sports Training Secondary General Schools

Teaching in the four-year field of study Sports Training Secondary General Schools (gymnázia se sportovní přípravou) is provided according to the Framework Education Programme for Sports Training Secondary General School. The general part of this programme is identical with the Framework Education Programme for Secondary General Education. The specific part consists of physical education and sports training to which 64 teaching hours are devoted out of the 184 hours of total compulsory number of weekly teaching hours during studies. Apart from the obligatory standardised admission examination, the aptitude test is a part of the admission procedure to the educational field Sports Training General Secondary Schools. In 2022/23, there were a total of 17 upper secondary schools providing the Sports Training Secondary General Schools. All of them provide 4-year programmes, in addition, one provides 8-year and another 6-year programme. (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.)

Bilingual General Secondary Schools

On the basis of the Government Regulation on the System of Fields of Studies, a new educational field “Bilingual General Secondary School” (dvojjazyčné gymnázium) has been introduced in 2016, which has replaced the previous one. The standardised admission examination is a part of the admission procedure to this educational field.

The schools teach according to the school education programmes created on the basis of the Framework Education Programme for Bilingual Secondary General School. The instruction according to the pilot programme was verified from 2009 to 2015. The Framework Education Programme is valid for all six years of studies. It also includes the basic education provided in the first two years of studies. During the initial two years, foreign language teaching is intensive – 10 hours per week, as a minimum; in the next four years, at least a half of the subjects is taught in a foreign language (English, German, French, Spanish and Italian). According to the Framework Education Programme for Bilingual General Secondary Schools, education in a foreign language leads to the competence level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Moreover, the framework education programme stipulates that pupils also learn another language, with the requirement of attaining the competence level of B1.

In the 2022/23 school year, there were the following numbers of bilingual general secondary schools providing education in Czech and:

  • English – 4 schools / with 1464 pupils
  • French – 4 schools / with 628 pupils
  • Spanish – 5 schools / with 819 pupils
  • German – 3 schools / with 586 pupils
  • Italian – 1 school / with 171 pupils.

(Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.)

Teaching some subjects in a foreign language at upper secondary schools

According to the Education Act, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports can authorise any school (based on a successful application) to teach selected subjects in a foreign language in all grades if personnel and other conditions are fulfilled, same as for the teaching some subjects in a foreign language in basic schools. In the school year 2022/23, 73 upper secondary schools (střední školy) were awarded this authorisation for 30 fields of study (including schools which provide vocational courses), but many of them did not use it.


Language training groups

For foreign pupils at higher educational levels, until now there has not been specific free language training set by law. As part of the amendment to the Decree on Secondary Education and Education in Conservatoire, the language training groups were set up for the pupils-foreigners of mentioned schools for 2022/23 school year, similar to those for pupils-foreigners in compulsory education.


Teaching in national minority languages at upper secondary schools

Members of national minorities have the right to be educated in their minority language. In the 2022/23 school year, there was one upper secondary school providing tuition in Polish for 314 pupils (source: Statistical Yearbook – Education. Performance Statistic Indicators). In addition, one upper secondary school (střední škola) offers education in Polish language in groups within the field of business academy.


Alternative directions of education at upper secondary schools

Upper secondary schools (střední školy) can use the principles of the alternative education programmes.

Holistic education based on pupils' developmental needs, focused on personal development, is offered by the Waldorf Lyceums (lyceum) – educational field Combined Lyceum completed with Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška). The main principles in teaching at these schools are:

  • teaching in blocks, which allows pupils to study the subject matter in depth, in context, allows not just to stay informed, but to get to understand things, to own thinking and opinion;
  • phenomenological (exemplary) learning, in which pupils deeper focus on selected phenomena; together with the teacher, pupils then include such phenomena in the system context; the approach develops the ability to research and discover, detect, and specify a problem, to explore different solutions;
  • discovery based learning, where there is no transfer of completed knowledge, but pupils come to knowledge together with the teacher, participate in finding solutions, may come up with their own ideas and views of the matter;
  • focus on the development of general methodological, social and personality competences.


Art education


Education in conservatoires

Art education at secondary and tertiary level (ISCED 244+354+554) is provided by conservatoires (konzervatoře). Separate parts Organisation of conservatoires, Teaching and learning in conservatoires and Assessment in conservatoires are devoted to conservatoires, which are considered as an independent type of school.


Basic art schools

Basic art schools (základní umělecké školy) provide basic art education in some of the individual fields of art (music field of study, dance field of study, visual arts field of study, drama and literary field of study). These schools do not provide any level of education (defined by the Education Act or the ISCED classification).


Language education

The language schools (jazykové školy) authorised to organise state language examinations provide language education for the public in different types of courses (basic, conversation, preparatory courses for language examinations, etc.), often offering quite a wide range of languages.

The attendance is not limited by age – adults as well as pupils and students may attend the lessons. Some types of language education are intended especially for the upper secondary school-leavers. This is the case of the one-year post-secondary foreign language courses following a Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška), in the day form of study (ISCED 454). Other courses at language schools do not provide level of education defined by ISCED.

In 2022/23, there were 21 language schools authorised to organise state language examinations. They offered courses mainly in English and Czech, but also in many other languages. (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.)