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


2.Organisation and governance

2.7Administration and governance at local and/or institutional level

Last update: 15 March 2023

Primary and secondary education

At local level (prefecture) the responsibility for the management of school education lies with the Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education which have their offices in the capital of the prefecture and are governed by the respective Regional Education Directorate.  A director is the head of Education Directorates. Directors of Primary and Secondary Education have the overall responsibility for the administration and control of the operation of the schools in their area of competence. At prefecture level, the following councils operate:

  • Regional Service Councils for Primary Education 
  • Regional Service Councils for Secondary Education 

These councils are staffed by the Regional Directors of Primary and Secondary Education upon recommendation of the relevant Directors of Primary and Secondary Education and oversee teachers’ professional status issues.

A Local Selection Board is established by the regional director of education in each directorate of primary education and in each directorate of secondary education (law 4823/2021). It consists of:

  • The Director of Education as Chairman
  • The Education Quality Supervisor as Vice-Chairman
  • One Primary or Secondary Education Counsellor, as appropriate,
  • two teachers selected based on specific criteria.

Their term of office is four years, starting with the appointment of the selection board. The board's competences are:

  1. The drawing up of selection lists and the selection of:
  • Heads of primary, secondary school units and laboratory centres (ΕΚ)
  • Heads of education departments
  1. The selection of:
  • Head teachers at school units
  • Deputy heads of school units
  • Deputy heads and teachers responsible for EK sectors

Other decentralised services of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs that are subject to the relevant Directorate of Primary/Secondary Education are:

For schools within the district of a specific municipality, the following structures are in place:

  • The Municipal Education Committee is formed in every municipality and consists of representatives from the municipality, the parents' association, school heads, representatives from the productive groups and school teachers' unions. The committee makes proposals to the mayor and the municipal council on issues regarding the optimal organisation of schools in their area, the allocation of appropriations for operational expenses in schools, the establishment, abolition or merging of schools, the construction, repair and maintenance of school buildings.
  • School Committees are municipal or community legal entities. Each committee covers one or more state schools of primary or secondary education, depending on the local needs, as such are estimated by local authorities.  Participation in school committees' administration is mandatory for the school head/heads, a representative from the parents' association/associations, should there be any, as well as a secondary student representative. School Committees are assigned a) the management of the appropriations allocated to cover the operational expenses of the relevant schools and b) the adoption of measures to support the administrative management of school units.

The municipalities are also responsible for state infant/child care and child care centres, which operate as legal entities of pubic law under a standard regulation of operation determined centrally (Joint Ministerial Decision 41087/29-11-2017, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs). The provisions of this regulation are the minimum conditions of operation of all municipal infant/child care and child care centres. They are funded by the municipalities they belong to and the money paid by the parents. At school level (pre-school, primary and secondary education), a significant decentralisation of powers and strengthening of the role of the school is noticed. School units are administered by the school head, the deputy school head and the school teachers board. The school head is located at the top of the school community and carries administrative and scientific-pedagogical responsibility.  He/she is responsible for the school's smooth operation, the coordination of school life, compliance with the laws, circulars, official mandates and implementation of the decisions taken by the school teachers' board.  He/she is also responsible in cooperation with the school teachers' board, for planning and assessing the educational work of the school, as well as for preparing and implementing integrated action plans to improve it. The deputy school head replaces the school head in all function and helps him/her in his/her daily work.  He/she assumes some of the school head's responsibilities, so that the school head can deal with the school's educational work without distractions. The school teachers board is a collective body composed of the teachers working for the school, regardless of their employment status. It is chaired by the school head or the legal substitute.  the school teachers board is responsible for establishing guidelines for the optimum operation of the school. Decisions issued by the school teachers board always comply with the education legislation.  Furthermore, the school teachers board is responsible for implementing the curriculum and daily timetable, supervising pupils/students, keeping school areas clean and organising the school. It meets regularly, prior to the beginning of the school year and once at the end of every term and exceptionally, when necessary. A school board operates in every state school. It consists of the school teachers board, the members of the parents' association board and the representative from the municipality in the school committee.  It supports the operation of the school unit and is in contact with the local community.  It is chaired by the school head.  The school board meets necessarily 3 times a year, and exceptionally, at the request of the school head or the participating bodies. The school life counsellor is provided for in every secondary education school.This institution complements and assists the existing school supporting institutions i.e., the school board and the school head, without substituting them or the overarching supporting structures. He/She belongs to the school’s teaching staff and contributes to building trust among the members of the educational community. He/She intervenes, guides and informs students, parents and guardians on matters concerning the school unit, such as:

  • Crisis management (school bullying, cases of violence in school, aggressive behaviour)
  • Extreme behaviour (racism, diversity) prevention
  • Learning difficulties
  • Inclusion and integration
  • Students with particular capabilities, gifts and talents
  • Transition to other grades, school mobility
  • Counselling and parents groups

More information on the administration bodies of the schools can be found in Chapter 10.1 Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education.

Higher education

 Pursuant to article 16 of the Constitution of Greece and law 4957/2022, higher education institutions (HEIs) are self-governed legal entities of public law, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. The National Authority for Higher Education (HAHE) (law 4653/2020) is responsible for the evaluation and accreditation of HEIs, their individual academic units and their study programmes. HEIs establish and protect academic freedom in research and teaching, as well as free expression and exchange of ideas. The specific principles and rules of operation, the organisation distinctive targets each institution, within the framework set by the current institutional arrangements, are defined by the organisation and the internal regulation of the Institution.

The law 4957/2022 reforms and improves the legislative framework for the operation of HEIs, through a comprehensive approach that includes the consolidation, codification and radical reform of existing provisions. The aim of this reform is:

  • to upgrade the quality of the educational, research and scientific work of HEIs,
  • to upgrade the quality of their individual academic and research units and structures,
  • to reinforce their human resources,
  • to connect HEIs with the country's development needs and
  • to provide additional tools for the implementation of their strategic plan, the National Strategy for Higher Education and the National Strategy for Research, Technological Development and Innovation.

Higher education structure

In Greece, higher education includes:

  • Universities
  • Polytechnics
  • The Athens School of Fine Arts
  • The Higher School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE)

HEIs consist of Schools. Schools cover a series of related scientific fields and ensure an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research among its departments. Schools consist of Departments they supervise and coordinate. Departments promote a specific field of science, technology, letters and arts through education and research. Departments are further distinguished in Sectors which cover a part of the scientific field of the department and coordinate the educational and research work in their fields. Laboratories and clinics belong to a Sector or a Department. They may belong to a School, on certain conditions.  Museums belong to a Sector, a Department, a School or a HEI.

Administrative bodies of HEIs

The administrative bodies of HEIs exist on the levels of Institution, School, Department and Sector.   The administrative bodies of an Institution are the:

  • Management Council
  • Senate
  • Rector
  • Deputy Rectors
  • Executive Director

The administrative bodies of a School are the:

  • Deanship
  • Dean.

The administrative bodies of a Department are the:

  • The Department Assembly
  • Administrative Board
  • Chair of the Department
  • Deputy Chair

The administrative bodies of a Sector are the:

  • General Assembly
  • Director.

More information on the administration bodies of HEIs can be found in Chapter 10.5 Management Staff for Higher Education.

Lifelong learning

The national system of vocational education and training was established at the end of 2020. Law 4763/2020 aims at replanning the regulatory framework, restructuring and upgrading the vocational education, training and lifelong learning provided, initial and continuing, in a) structures, b) procedures, c) curricula and d) certifications. 

Post-secondary year-apprenticeship class

In each directorate of secondary education, one (1) administrative employee or teacher is designated as the directorate’s supervisor for apprenticeship for 2 years, if more than 4 classes operate in the directorate, otherwise, the coordinator for apprenticeship in the overarching regional directorate supports the classes.

Second chance schools (SDEs) 

SDEs governance and organisation matters are regulated, aiming at reinforcing their specific profile by distributing the competences taking into account their specific requirements. SDEs administration is exercised by the:

  • School head
  • Deputy school head
  • Teachers assembly

Vocational training institutes (IEKs)

The qualifications of the school heads and deputy school heads of the state IEKs that are under the competence of the Ministry of Education, are defined. The selection process and the selection criteria are specified, with a view to optimising IEKs staffing and efficient administration. IEKs administration is exercised by the:

  • Head
  • Deputy head

Lifelong learning centers (KDVMs) 

The essential conditions, regarding the management staff KDVMs must employ, are defined, with a view to better organizing, operating and assuring the quality of the services provided. KDVMs management staff comprises the:

  • Training director
  • Coordination/Education supervisor
  • Consulting supervisor, for continuing vocational training programmes or KDVMs offering consulting services
  • Administrative staff

According to the transitional provisions of the new law, upon completion of the Act “Lifelong Learning Centres (KDVM) – New Phase”, the competences of municipalities regarding lifelong learning, as detailed below, are abolished. There are approximately 186 municipalities providing programmes. From July 2019 until the end of March 2022 614 programmes have been completed. These programmes are expected to be continued unlit 2023.

Administration of KDVM, in accordance with law 4186/2013

The country's municipalities are the administrative bodies of lifelong learning at local level and play an important role as they activate the network of lifelong learning bodies in their areas.  They assume responsibility for offering the municipal citizens accurate, relevant, high-quality, easily accessible programmes associated with the local, and the wider environment. As provided in law 3879/2010, the municipality develops, within the local development programmes, the local lifelong learning programme, based on the National Lifelong Learning Programme and the corresponding regional lifelong learning programme. The local lifelong learning programme consists mainly of investments, programmes or specific general adult education actions as well as implementation actions of the public lifelong learning policy at a local level. Lifelong learning centres I and II (KDVM I and II) are set up and operate in accordance with law 3879/2010, in the interested municipalities. Specifically, the municipality units engaged in lifelong learning establish KDVMs, which implement general adult education programmes. At the level of educational unit, besides KDVMs, other lifelong learning providers are, inter alia, vocational training institutes (IEKs) and second chance schools (SDEs). The administration of the above is exercised by the:

  • School head
  • Deputy school head
  • Teachers assembly.

The school head and the deputy school head are seconded permanent teachers of primary or secondary education or permanent teachers serving under the General Secretariat for VET and Lifelong Learning. They serve a 3-year term. Their selection is carried out upon decision of the Secretary General for VET and Lifelong Learning. The procedure and the selection criteria are specified by a decision of the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs. The school head is responsible to comply with the laws, the circulars and the decisions issued by the competent administration bodies, for prompt and reliable communication and cooperation with the Ministry’s Services (central and regional), etc. The school head does not assume teaching duties. The deputy school head assists the school head in exercising his/her duties and replaces him/her. The teachers assembly is composed of the teachers serving at the unit regardless of their employment status. The school head chairs the teachers assembly. The latter is responsible:

  1. for contributing to to setting directions for implementing the educational policy at lifelong learning structures,
  2. for ensuring their smooth operation and 
  3. for setting pedagogically student issues.

More information on the administration bodies in lifelong learning structures can be found in Chapter 10.7 Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training.