Educational institutions at pre-school level, at primary school and at lower secondary school level
The individual schools are altogether decentralised administrative bodies (so-called „dependent establishments under public law“). Schools are responsible for themselves as a whole and generate their own structures within the given framework of rules. In order to optimally carry out the given assignments a particular school may consult authorities and other institutions. The authorities determine goals and general conditions of overriding importance for the schools and the various types of school. Doing this the authorities enable the schools to generate creative space for a flexible, efficient and pedagogically appropriate implementation of educational tasks. Particular bodies of the state schools are determined in the School Organisation Ordinance as follows (Art. 28ff):
The school management is responsible for the administration and organisation of school procedures and the supervision of teachers with respect to their complying with their service agreement. Within this framework the school management has to conduct a yearly job appraisal with every teacher. They are involved in staff decisions with the Office of Education and are required to participate in management meetings organised by the Office of Education. The school management heads the staff meetings and follows relevant pedagogical issues in interaction with the Office of Education; the school management then initiates adequate processes of educational development based on these observations. Furthermore the school management is responsible for the allocation of the pupils and the form teachers to the individual classes, it is responsible for the timetable, for the administration of the budget, for dispensations, for the administration of student data, for the reporting procedures (annual report), for registration and archiving of the school documents, and for public relations.
Teaching staff meetings
Teaching staff meetings include all the teachers teaching at a particular school. Meetings may focus on thematic or departmental topics (e.g. the departments at Liechtenstein Gymnasium). Staff meetings particularly consider questions of school development, they also supply their own house rules
Staff meetings are run by the school head. Decisions are based on simple majority; for particularly important matters a qualified majority may be applicable. In the event of a tied vote the head of school has the casting vote. If the head of school is not in the deputy head takes the chair.
These so-called class conferences include all the teachers teaching a particular school form. Responsibilities of the class conferences are determined in the Ordinance on Admission and Progression and Transfer within Secondary Level (2001), and in the Ordinance on Curriculum and Progression in the Upper Secondary Level of the Liechtenstein Gymnasium (2001).
The class conference decides on marking, on the assessment of conduct, and on the progression to the next grade whereas the form teacher is responsible for the calculation of the average mark. In addition the class conference makes an application or rather gives a recommendation to the attention of the Office of Education for a pupil to be admitted at another type of secondary school without exam; the class conference also decides on the implementation of the final exams at Ober- and Realschulen. Parents or mature students may file an appeal against the decisions of the class conference at the Office of Education within 14 days of the notification.
Besides decisions that are relevant for pupils and students the class conference also treats general subjects, methods and pedagogical issues that concern a particular form. The class conference is headed by the form teacher, decisions are made based on simple majority. In the event of a tied vote the form teacher has the casting vote. In questions of progression to the next class, or of change of school, and in recommendations for transfer to another school the teachers have one vote for every subject taught. Teachers in the function of form teacher and teachers in remedial education have an additional vote.
The rights and obligations of the particular teachers are detailed in the Teachers' Service Conditions Law (Art. 18ff). Teachers are required to follow the directives of the authorities, but they are authorised to make suggestions to improve educational procedures; they are also obliged to participate in staff meetings, in committees and working groups focusing on the development of education and the organisation of the school. Teachers are entitled to „adequate representation“ in these groups.
The teachers are asked to prepare their teaching according to curricula and pedagogical principles. They may choose within a variety of methods the ones most appropriate to reach their goals in the organisation of teaching, or the ones most suitable to meet the needs of their students or their own interests in general or in particular situations. Excursions lasting several days and school camps abroad need to be approved by the Office of Education.
Teachers are responsible for the pupils and students entrusted to them at school, during and after lessons, at break time, and at all school events. Evaluation of the individual teacher is done by the Office of Education (inspectorate) and by the school management based on regular lesson observations and on job appraisals. At Liechtenstein baccalaureate school the evaluation is done by additionally consulting a member of the Teaching Commission.
Teacher evaluation is relevant to the salary. In the case of inadequate performances the Office of Education initiates appropriate measures in agreement with the school management and if applicable with the teacher in order to address the observed shortcomings. Disciplinary proceedings are detailed in the Teachers' Service Conditions Law.
The form teacher coaches the pupils and students in educational and personal matters, teachers also counsel classes and parents. The teacher's duties particularly include: Cooperation with other teachers, other experts (e.g. remedial education teachers, teachers for German as a second language), and with special bodies (e.g. school social work, school psychology services), information to and counselling of pupils and students and parents in educational and pedagogical issues, cooperation with the parents concerning the organisation of class-related subjects.
Participation of students and parents
The role of the parents in learning and education environments is clearly described in legislation and in the curricula, e.g. in the School Organisation Ordinance: „School and parents cooperate with regard to educational and pedagogical respects of the students. The teachers need to maintain personal contact with the parents of their students and must inform about diligence and performance (...).“
Based on the School Organisation Ordinance the schools and the individual teachers are required to cooperate with the parents and to encourage participation of the pupils and students. This includes written information, parent-teacher meetings, organisation of information days and parents' evenings; schools should also encourage parents' visits to the school and external school events.
Elements of further importance are the exchange of information and the cooperation with parents' associations (School Organisation Ordinance art. 33.) Parents however are themselves required to cooperate with schools and are entitled to information on all matters concerning their child (School Organisation Ordinance art. 34). With respect to parents' associations the School Organisation Ordinance states as follows: „Students' parents may found parents' associations in order to reinforce the cooperation with schools. The parents' association may make suggestions and requests in matters concerning them.“
Parents and other legal guardians are required to support compulsory education, to ensure regular school attendance and to encourage the child to keep the school rules; in cases of non-fulfillment or infringement by a student the parents may be hold responsible with penalties up to CHF 5000. Rights and responsibilities of the students and disciplinary proceedings are described in the School Organisation Ordinance (Art. 22-24). Measures for the encouragement of the right to participate and to share responsibilities include the lessons, promote self-assessment and the involvement in drafting school rules, planning and implementing school events, and cooperating in the organisation of school rooms and recreation rooms.
Secondary schools usually cooperate more with students in decision making processes, which is usually done by electing a class representative in every particular class. These representatives give the class a voice, they communicate in this way with individual teachers about the concerns of their fellow classmates. The Gymnasium offers the statutory form of the student council electing a head boy or head girl. The school council consist of nine students maximally who may legally form student groups to address their own issues, e.g. the formation of discussion groups, the promotion of international contacts or the support of charity organisations.
Institutions in post-secondary education
The following describes the administrative forms of institutions in higher education and in continuing education and training. In the sector of advanced vocational education (tertiary B) Liechtenstein currently does not offer any programmes. Public educational institutions at post-secondary level are organised as autonomous establishments/foundations under public law. These include University of Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein Music School, Liechtenstein School of Arts, „Adult Education Liechtenstein“ Foundation, and the Agency for International Educational Affairs (national agency for EU programmes). The administrative form of these public institutions is detailed in specific laws. Besides, there are private institutions that are also addressed in relevant legislation.
The law on higher education states higher education institutions to be either foundations/establishments under public law (public) or to be legal entities under civil law (private). Higher education institutions hold the right to self-administration within the legal framework (Higher Education Law).
Legislation however affirms authorisation by the government in every case. A prerequisite for authorisation is a positive assessment of the concept that – among other things – describes the responsible bodies, the legal form, the organisational structure, the appointment procedures, financial and personal structures, the participation of teaching staff and students, and the quality assurance system.
Decision making processes, competences and responsibilities must be made plain in the concept. The members of the higher education institutions, especially the students, teaching staff and administrative staff are entitled to an adequate form of participation. The particular form of participation must be specified by the individual higher education institution. In addition higher education institution have to establish their own appeals committee. The skeleton law further regulates the make-up and the appointment of the teaching staff consisting of professors and further teaching staff. The procedures for the acquisition of teaching qualifications have to be approved by the government.
Labour law and service law are determined autonomously by individual higher education institutions.
Responsible bodies and function holders of the administration at University of Liechtenstein – being a public body – are detailed in the Law on the University of Liechtenstein.
The University Council is the overall authority of the university. The rector and a representative of the Office of Education have a seat with consulting character, the rest of the members (5) are appointed by the government. The government's focus is on appropriate representatives with sufficient expertise (education sector, sciences, specialists, management); the focus is also on gender. The members of the rectorate are appointed by the University Council, the rector as the chair of the rectorate is appointed after public advertisement. The rector is in charge of the operational management of the university and governs the supervision of the university administration; the rector coordinates planning activities and acts as the external representation of the university. The Senate consists of the professors and representatives from non-professorial academic staff, from students and from members of the administration. They consider issues of adademic development (curricula, programme regulations, and examination regulations). Their rights and obligations are determined in the university statutes. The advisory board for the appointment of professors is responsible for the preparation of the appointment of professors. Composition, constituting procedures and regulations about decision making are detailed in the university statutes; the board must include two external professors. Non-professorial academic staff represents the academic and artistical members of staff, lecturers and assistant professors. The matriculated students make up the student body. The government decides on a recognised audit company as auditors. University statutes and organisational regulations determine composition and categories of university staff and their duties. Service and salary regulations are released by the University Council.
Continuing education and training
The authorities in public institutions of general continuing education and training are determined as follows:
- board of trustees
- managing board or rather board of directors
As an umbrella organisation the „Adult Education Liechtenstein“ Foundation is responsible for adult education in Liechtenstein. Its purpose of activities is in strengthening and professionalising adult education with the task to coordinate adult education in Liechtenstein, to allocate the financial resources approved by the parliament according to the purposes of the Law on the promotion of adult education, and to generally promote and plan adult education in Liechtenstein. Quality control of the whole range of course offers in cooperation with the providers is of high significance, too. „Adult Education Liechtenstein“ Foundation has a special focus on satisfactory recognition and on an adequate position of adult education in Liechtenstein's educational landscape. Within the framework of the law on the promotion of adult education course providers eligible for funds are described as follows:
- charity associations located in Liechtenstein that are recognised by the tax administration as charitable organisations and that are active in the sectors named in article 3 [of the law on adult education]
- the Roman Catholic Church and other religious communities recognised by the government
- the municipalities
Besides, there are various private (profit-oriented) and professionel providers of adult education courses. These organisations and providers are autonomously organised.