The fundamental issues of employing teachers are stipulated in the Act on Public Education. Teachers have the right and obligation to attend the in-service teacher trainings held and prescribed for teachers, and to train themselves on a continuous basis.
The work carried out in educational institutions and by teachers is supported by pedagogy-related professional services. (9.2.) The range of pedagogy-related professional services covers the assistance and organization of teachers’ training, in-service training and self-training. In-service training is intended to renew, extend and develop the knowledge and skills inevitable in the frames of education and teaching to hold direct sessions with children and students, organize the activities of the public educational institution. Based on the Government Decree on Regulating the Key Elements of the In-service Training System and following from the renewal of the scope of information (consequent upon the new content in teachers’ training) and the changes in public education, the in-service training is aimed at reforming teachers’ profession, imply the development of teachers’ competences and the transfer of information regarding the management of educational issues and institution operation.
Under nationally uniform professional management and in the frames of performing public obligations in state-governed public education, pedagogy-related professional services may be provided in pedagogical institutions operated by an entity operating educational institutions, and, under the conditions stipulated in legal regulations, by a budgetary institution that operates (with the permit of the Minister responsible for education) in the procedural order stipulated in the legal regulation but not as the operator of a public educational institution or not as a public educational institution. State-funded educational institutions and institutions for special pedagogical services employ pedagogy-related professional services from the Educational Authority – a public educational, pedagogical service providing body.
Pedagogical Educational Centres fulfil the local obligations of the Educational Authority connected with the pedagogy-related professional services defined in legal regulations (with special consultants’ participation).
The obligation concerning teachers’ professional development is stipulated in a government decree in Hungary. The decree defines two fundamental forms in teacher training:
- in-service training, which is an obligation every seven years; and
- in-service training in preparation for the teachers’ special examination.
Teachers are subject to 120 hours’ (45-minute lessons) in-service training obligation every 7 years. The in-service training obligation can be fulfilled by completing the following:
- 30-60-120-hours-long accredited in-service training program for teachers;
- teachers’ special examination;
- completing tertiary educational training (undergraduate level or master level training, specialized post-graduate training, training in a partial field) which authorizes the graduate to occupy in a teacher’s job;
- participating in complex development projects in cooperation with the teaching staff, potentially measured in the student’s efficiency;
- trainings for ICT development;
- foreign language training.
Maximum 25% of the extension training obligation may be completed by participating in a research-based scholarship program, by trainees’ professional support, by self-training, in min. 5 and max. 30-hours-long non-accredited extension training or by offering consultancy for the teachers’ community.
Starting in the 1990s, understanding the systematic process of public education, the social functions of the institutional system, the management of educational issues, the rules of legitimate and efficient operation has, in addition to professional knowledge and vocation, become an ever increasing expectation in connection with operating the system of public educational institutions. This training means a training to be completed in a specialized training programme (organized by a tertiary educational institution) and ending with a diploma, and the completion of this training is a precondition to reaching certain grades in the pedagogical career (see Chapter 9.2), serving as school head, and leading students’ pedagogical practice.
According to the decree, the head of the educational institution drafts a five-year in-service training program, taking into account the pedagogical program. The in-service training program is approved by the maintainer, after having asked for the opinion of the teaching staff. The extension training program may be reviewed once a year, in agreement with the maintainer. The head of the educational institution makes an enrolment plan covering one academic/school year to implement the in-service training program. The enrolment plan is drawn up by the head of the public educational institution with the participation of the teachers’ professional partnership or, in lack of such a professional partnership, of the persons employed in the same position and potentially available for substituting the absentees. The teaching staff in the educational institution assesses the previous in-service training period before preparing the new in-service training program. All in all, it can be said that teachers’ in-service training takes the needs of the teachers, the school and the maintainer into account.
Teachers’ in-service trainings, taking the form of training courses, have two basic forms: in-service training in tertiary education or teacher in-service training programme. The latter is implemented in 30, 60 or 120-hours-long in-service trainings for teachers. The in-service training program of a public educational institution may only include teachers’ in-service trainings authorised by the Educational Authority. The application for the authorisation of a training should be submitted to the Educational Authority. In the course of the proceedings the Teachers’ In-service Training Accreditation Committee reviews the training and makes a proposal to the Authority on the approval or rejection thereof. The permit is valid for 5 years. Teachers’ approved in-service trainings may as well be launched by other organizations, in the frames of the launch agreement. The Educational Authority must be notified of the agreement within 8 days of having concluded the launch contract. The Educational Authority keeps a register of in-service trainings launched for teachers.
Tertiary educational institutions offer formal in-service trainings for teachers in the framework of post-graduate trainings. Post-graduate trainings are 1-2-year(s) long, typically correspondence trainings, ending in 60-120 credit points. The precondition to launching a training course is the registration of the training by the Educational Authority, which means the definition and publication of the training and output requirements of the specialized in- service training. Four-term-long, 120-credit-point trainings resulting in the teacher’s special examination represent a special form of post-graduate trainings. The first two terms in teachers’ trainings for the special examination cover general basic training, this is identical in each special examination. The second two terms are linked to the field of the special examination. Certain jobs in public educational institutions are subject to a special examination for teachers (e.g. a special examination for teachers managing public educational institutions is required for managing an institution; mentor’s special examination is necessary to fulfil the mentor’s duties).
The in-service teacher training is organised in or out of teaching time. The substitution is solved on the basis of the in-service teacher training plan of the school. (Chapter 9.2)
Incentives, supporting measures and funding for Participation in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Activities
The teachers’ motivation for professional development is primarily provided through the teachers’ new advancement, employment and wage system, the so-called teachers’ career path system (see Chapter 9.2).
Teachers’ in service training is a self-financed educational form; the State offers a grant to help cover the costs. The grant helps develop the expertise adjusted to local demands and prompts the beneficiaries to choose economical, yet efficient training forms, as it defines the in-service training program of the public educational institution in its institutional competence. The state also provides in-service trainings for teachers free-of-charge, which are carried out by the territorially competent Pedagogical Educational Centres.
Taking part in the national pedagogical-professional audits and in the qualification examination as an expert or as a consultant performing a pedagogical-professional service assignment, the criterion of the successful completion of the Master teacher qualification examination and the qualification procedure is the public education activity, and to accomplish the in-service trainings for teachers – defined in the Ministry of Human Capacities Decree 15/2015. (III. 13.) on the Requirements of the Mandate of the Public Education Experts and on the Chairman of the Upper Secondary School Leaving Examination.