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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational variations and alternative structures in single-structure education


5.Single-structure primary and lower secondary education

5.4Organisational variations and alternative structures in single-structure education

Last update: 3 April 2024


Compulsory school attendance

Schools with separate first stage and mixed classes

The Education Act offers two measures which ensure operation of schools in small municipalities:

  • to establish a school which does not have all years, usually schools with separate first stage
  • to teach pupils from several successive years in one class at the first stage (schools with mixed classes)

Both options can be combined. In practice, school which has only the first stage is very common (1772, i.e. 42 % of all basic schools). These schools have either individual classes for every year, or from one to four classes where pupils from several years are mixed in different ways (so called málotřídní školy). Sometimes these schools do not have all years. There are also schools which have both stages, but pupils from different years at the first stage are mixed in one class. Exceptionally, there are also schools with only the second stage. (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.)

Multi-year general secondary schools

Pupils can, on their parents' request and if they meet the admission requirements, incl. standardised admission examination, complete their compulsory education at multi-year general secondary school (víceleté gymnázium). After the successful completion of the fifth year a pupil can enter an 8-year general secondary school, after seventh year a 6-year general secondary school. In 2022/23, 305 upper secondary schools provided an eight-year and/or six-year general programme. (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.)

Some six-year general secondary schools offer CLIL education in the study field Bilingual general secondary school.

Two school provide the eight-year or six-year study field Sports Training Secondary General School.


Eight-year conservatoires

Applicants who have successfully completed the fifth year of the basic school (základní škola) – ISCED 1 may be admitted to the eight-year dance programme of a conservatoire on the basis of an aptitude test. First four years correspond to the second stage of the basic school (ISCED 2). The schools follow separate Framework Education Programme for the Dance Field. It was prepared with regard to the Framework Education Programme for Basic Education. Nevertheless, a large part of the number of hours for the educational areas is devoted to the arts education and the total number of hours and the number of hours per week thus markedly exceeds the number of hours at the second stage of basic school. In 2022/23, 286 pupils attended the lower stage at 5 conservatoires. (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.)

Teaching some subjects in a foreign language at basic schools

According to the Education Act, a basic school (základní škola) can be granted the consent of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to teach selected subjects in a foreign language. The conditions are set by the Order regulating the procedure for authorising the teaching of certain subjects in a foreign language:

  • tuition/instruction is delivered by qualified teachers with minimum knowledge of the language C1 (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
  • the consent of pupils/students or their parents (if pupils are under 18 years of age) is needed
  • introduction of teaching in a foreign language (or languages) does not entitle the school to further financial costs
  • some other conditions

In the 2022/23 school year, 46 basic schools were granted this consent (the majority of schools teach selected subjects in English, 4 schools in German and 1 school in French). The range of subjects is wide, the ICT, the math and the subjects as drama, physical education, arts and music prevail.


Language training groups at basic schools

All foreigners (citizens of the European Union and other countries) have access to basic education as citizens of Czechia. If they stay in Czechia for more than 90 days, they are subject to compulsory school attendance. Under specified conditions, they are entitled to free Czech language tuition in the form of language training groups.


Teaching in national minority languages at basic schools

The members of national minorities have the right to be educated in the language of the respective national minority. In 2022/23 school year, there were 20 basic schools (základní školy) in Czechia providing the education of 2084 pupils in Polish. (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.)


Alternative education programmes at basic schools

Basic schools (základní školy) can use the principles of the alternative education programmes similarly as in nursery schools (mateřské školy).


Basic schools at medical facilities

The basic schools at medical facilities can also be considered an organisational variant of basic school.


Home education during compulsory school attendance

Compulsory school attendance can take the form of individual tuition (home education) without regular attendance at school.

Basic art education

Basic art schools (základní umělecké školy) provide basic education in individual fields of art. Compared with the basic education, they do not provide defined level of education (základní vzdělání). They are regulated by the Education Act and the Decree on Basic Art Education.

In 2022/23, there were 510 basic art schools operating, where 257 465 pupils were educated. (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.)


Objectives of education

Objectives of the basic art school according to the Framework Education Programme for Basic Art Education:

  • to create and develop pupils' key competences, thereby cultivate their personality in the area of arts and to motivate them for lifelong learning;
  • to provide bases of education in a chosen field of study respecting pupils needs and potential;
  • to prepare pupils professionally for studying courses and branches taught at upper secondary schools (střední školy) and tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) of artistic nature or at conservatoires (konzervatoře), possibly also at higher education institutions specialized in art or teacher training;
  • to motivate pupils to learn and cooperate through creating favourable social, emotional and working atmosphere.


Fields of study

In basic art schools it is possible to establish:

  • music field of study
  • dance field of study
  • visual arts field of study
  • drama and literary field of study


Types of study

Basic art schools organise:

  • preparatory school lessons
  • basic studies of the 1st and 2nd levels
  • studies with an extended number of school lessons
  • adult education

Preparatory school lessons for education in the basic studies of the 1st level have 2 grades at the most. They are intended for pupils from the age of 5 years and include cognition and verification of pupils' prerequisites and interest in art education. Pupils are led to elementary habits and skills, which are important for their further art development.

The basic studies of the 1st level have 4 to 7 grades and are intended for pupils from the age of 7 years. Their aim is to develop individual pupils' prerequisites, prepare pupils for unprofessional art activities or for studying courses and branches taught at upper arts secondary schools of artistic or pedagogical nature or at conservatoires.

The basic studies of the 2nd level have 3 or 4 grades and are intended for pupils from the age of 14. The studies stress practical use of gained skills and deeper development of pupils' interests. They enable their personal growth within active art production and encourage their further studying.

The number of grades of the basic studies of the 1st and 2nd level in individual art fields is specified by the Framework Education Programme for Basic Art Education.

Studies with an extended number of school lessons are intended for pupils in basic studies of the 1st and 2nd level who prove to have extraordinary talents and excellent educational achievements. Studies provide more extensive, deeper and more demanding training for exceptionally talented pupils, which prepare them for studying at upper secondary and tertiary professional schools and higher education institutions (vysoké školy) specialised in art or teacher training, and possibly lead them to the choice of their future career.

Adult education has 4 grades at the most. The length of education in these studies is specified according to the individual abilities of a pupil regarding his/her age. It enables further development in art areas in accordance with the conception of lifelong learning.


Organisation of basic art education


Admission requirements

The applicants who manifest prerequisites for education are accepted to the preparatory study.

The applicants are admitted to the basic studies of the 1st and 2nd level and to the adult education on the basis of successful passing of the talent examination and recommendation of the admission committee the members of which are appointed by the school head. The talent examination may be substituted by a successful completion of the basic studies in the preceding level. The school publicises the date when talent examinations take place 14 days in advance at the latest.

The school head admits a pupil to the studies with extended number of lessons on basis of a proposal made by the teacher of the main subject.

Extraordinarily gifted applicants who have not reached the prescribed age may exceptionally be admitted to the preparatory and basic studies. The applicants who are older than specified may be admitted to some of the higher grades of the basic studies according to the result of talent examination.


Grouping of pupils

Individual, group and team classes are organized in individual art fields of the basic art education. The number of pupils in individual subjects and departments and the nature of group and team classes is specified by the Framework Education Programme for Basic Art Education.



The amount of payment paid by pupils in preparatory studies, in basic studies of the 1st and 2nd level, and in studies with an extended number of lessons are determined in individual art fields in such a way that the average amount of determined payments does not exceed 110 % of the real average non-investment expenditure of the school for a pupil in the past calendar year, except for the costs to be used for education.

For adult education, the school head determines the amount of payment for education: for pupils who are at the same time attending the form of day attendance at an upper secondary school (střední škola), a conservatoire (konzervatoř), or a tertiary professional school (vyšší odborná škola), in accordance with the preceding paragraph; for other learners by at most the full amount of the average of real non-investment expenditures for a pupil in the previous calendar year.

The school can lend a musical instrument to its pupil on the basis of a written contract.

Teaching and learning in basic art education


Framework Education Programme for Basic Art Education

The concept and objectives of basic art education are included in the Framework Education Programme for Basic Art Education (FEP BAE, Rámcový vzdělávací program pro základní umělecké vzdělávání).




Pupil assessment

The assessment of pupil's educational achievements in the certificate may be expressed by marking, verbally, or by combination of both. The school head decides on the way of assessment.

Verbal assessment in the certificate consists in a specific verbal expression of the pupil's achieved educational level in relation to the objectives of education stipulated by the Framework Education Programme for Basic Art Education, in relation to his/her own resources, the pupil's approach to education, and his/her age.

In case of using the marking, the pupil is assessed in individual subjects in the certificate by the following scale:

  •   excellent
  •   very good
  •   satisfactory
  •   unsatisfactory

At the end of each term, they are comprehensively assessed by means of a scale:

  •   pass with distinction
  •   pass
  •   fail



A pupil who receives an overall assessment of passed or passed with honour at the end of the second term and who has successfully passed their progress examination, where this is prescribed by the Framework Education Programme for Basic Art Education prescribe so, can proceed to the next year or higher.

At the end of the first term or at the end of the second term, an exceptionally talented pupil may be transferred into some of the higher year without completing the preceding year or years; this is possible when they have passed their progress examinations in all compulsory subjects.

In justified cases, a pupil who was not assessed at the end of the second term may be permitted to repeat a class.

A pupil attending a course with an extended number of lessons who did not pass at the end of the second half term may be transferred back to the corresponding year of basic studies.



Basic studies of the 1st and 2nd level, studies with extended number of lessons, and adult education are completed upon passing the final examination. The final examination may take the form of a school-leaving concert or a display of works of art at an exhibition.