The Greek education system remains a fairly centralised system. The essential competences for educational policy and administration are all centralised. The Minister of Education and Religious Affairs is responsible for them.
The Institute of Educational Policy (IEP) was founded in 2011. It is a private law entity and operates under the supervision of the Minister of Education. It acts in the public interest with the aim to ensure free access to education for all children. It is also a scientific and research co-ordinating body. It provides constant scientific and technical support in the planning and implementation of educational policies to the Ministry of Education and its supervised bodies. It focuses on the areas below:
- Primary and secondary education.
- Education after the end of upper secondary school.
- The transition from secondary to higher education.
- Training of teachers.
- Tackling student inequalities, school drop-out and early school-leaving.
IEP assists the Ministry of Education in matters related to the assessment of the educational work as well as the evaluation of school units and teachers.
As regards school education, management and governance fall under:
- The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (central level).
- The regional directorates of primary and secondary education (regional level).
- The primary directorates of education and the secondary directorates of education (prefecture level).
- School units.
At central level, the Minister of Education is supported by collective and advisory bodies and institutions. He/she takes the key decisions relating to the long-term objectives and operation of the education system. For instance, the following issues are regulated centrally:
- Definition of curricula content
- Student textbooks authorship and distribution
- Allocation of teaching time
- Teacher education and initial teacher training
- Allocation of teachers and other school staff
- Teacher salaries and school financing.
At regional level, the regional education directorates exercise administrative control. They refer directly to the Minister of Education.
The regional education directorate is responsible for the administration and the scientific and pedagogical guidance of education in the region.
It supervises the implementation of the national education policy. Yet, it tailors it to match the specific requirements of the region. It also links the regional educational services with the central education authorities.
At local level, the educational policy is implemented and specified by the:
- Directorates of primary and secondary education under the competence of the regional directorate of education
- School units under the competence of the relevant directorate of education.
The administrative bodies at school level are:
- The school head
- The deputy school head
- The school teachers’ board.
They are also supported by:
- The school committee
- The municipal committee of education
- Parents’ associations, etc.
At local level, the recent reforms re-define the role of education institutions. They give more autonomy to the school unit along with the ability to plan, organise and assess its work.
Higher education institutions (HEIs) are self-governed legal entities of public law. They enjoy academic freedom. They are under the supervision of the state, which supports them financially.
At central level, the Ministry of Education, via the General Secretariat for Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth, plans, coordinates, monitors, promotes and forms the public policy for vocational education, vocational training, lifelong learning and youth, without discrimination or exclusions.
The General Secretariat for VET, LLL & Youth aims at:
- Developing, at national level, competitive human resources within the international economic environment.
- Ensuring rights and equal opportunities for all young people, including young people with disabilities and chronic diseases.
To achieve the aforementioned objectives the General Secretariat has the task of supervising the implementation of actions.