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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Continuing professional development for teachers working in early childhood and school education


9.Teachers and education staff

9.3Continuing professional development for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

There is no single comprehensive legislation that applies to the professional development of teachers and their further education. Provisions concerning in-service training for pre-primary, compulsory and upper secondary teachers are in their wage-contracts, in laws and regulations for individual teacher education institutions and in central legislations on individual school levels.

Emphasis has been placed on making it possible for teachers to have access to in-service training or further education. Teacher education institutions offer such programmes. 

Educational authorities, at state level and municipal level, have adopted the policy of encouraging teachers themselves to bring about innovations and initiate developmental and in-service training projects. Individual Pre-primary schools, Compulsory schools and Upper secondary schools are required by law to develop local professional development schemes for teachers. In-service training projects are often initiated by the associations of teachers of a given subject and in some cases by local education offices. 

According to laws on compulsory and upper secondary education there are provisions on sabbaticals for teachers. Teachers must apply for leave of absence to the respective authorities. There are comparable provisions in the wage-contract between the municipalities and the Association of Pre-primary School Teachers.

Organisational Aspects

Continuous professional development of Compulsory school teachers and Upper secondary school teachers is part of their contracts on salaries and working conditions. CPD is option in negotiations of municipalities and their pre-primary school teachers.

The Council of Continuous Professional Development of Teachers was established by the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in 2013. It is led by the ministry, with strong representation from the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities and various stakeholders of the educational system. 

Incentives for Participation in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Activities 

In most teachers’ wage-contracts, teachers are expected to spend time on in-service training, preparation and other duties outside presence in school.