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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Conditions of service for teachers working in early childhood and school education


9.Teachers and Education Staff

9.2Conditions of service for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 25 March 2024

In Lithuania, the general principles of teacher recruitment, qualification requirements for becoming a teacher, or raising qualification provisions on what is considered a pedagogical employee, their salary, workload, generalised duties at school, dismissal, and retirement conditions, are set at the state level – through laws and legislation, including, the Labour Code (Darbo kodeksas), government resolutions, and orders of the Minister of Education, Science and Sports. 

The school founder organises the qualification evaluation of teachers and others participating in the educational process, and also organises and coordinates the provision of educational assistance to pupils, teachers, the school and families.

The school head (principal) appoints and dismisses teachers, coordinates teachers’ workload with the school council (trade union), is responsible for the working conditions of teachers and other employees, recruits new teachers when required, promotes the professional development of teachers, and can lead the teacher certification commission.

Planning policy

The planning policy for teacher supply and demand is an integral part of education policy. Lithuania is facing an aging teaching community. The teaching profession is unattractive – not enough students enter pedagogy studies, and too few of them choose to teach. The need for teachers is taken into consideration while organising the system for teacher training and retraining, and implements measures to improve the working conditions of teachers and increase the attractiveness of careers.

The Education Development Programme 2021–2030 identifies the problem that the teaching profession is not attractive and that the system of teacher training and professional development does not meet the needs of the education system. It also sets out progress measures to address these problems.

In its programme for 2020–2024, the Government has identified Attractive Teaching Workplaces and Centres of Excellence for Teacher Training as one of its priority projects. The plan is to work together with municipalities and schools to enable teachers to fulfil their direct mission to educate creative, responsible and critically thinking children in Lithuania. It is important that the teaching profession becomes a promising one and that young people see the value in choosing teaching as a career. The plan is to strengthen teacher training centres and to bring the quality of teacher training up to international standards.

From 2016 to 2020, as part of the project, The Implementation of Skilled Labour Supply Analysis and Monitoring System – funded by the European Social Fund – the Teacher Workforce Forecasting Model was created. The purpose of this model is to provide preconditions for more accurate planning for teachers and others, admitted to studies providing pedagogical qualifications. In 2021 STRATA, the government’s Centre for Strategic Analysis, presented the results of Lithuania’s updated Teacher Demand Forecasting Model

Entry to the profession

Teachers, social pedagogues, psychologists and other educational staff are employed by the school head based on the requirements of the Labour Code (Darbo kodeksas) and the Teachers’ Admission and Dismissal Procedures Description (Mokytojų priėmimo ir atleidimo iš darbo tvarkos aprašas).

Educational institutions publish information about vacancies on their website. If a school does not have its own website, then the information is published on the websites of the Employment Services, the institution implementing the rights and obligations of the owner.

In addition to the usual documents, such as the application form and the document that confirms formal qualifications (e.g. a higher education diploma), candidates must submit the following to the educational institution:

  • a copy of the document confirming their teacher qualification (if such a requirement is established in the Law on Education (Švietimo įstatymas))
  • a copy of the document confirming that the candidate has attended a course teaching pedagogical and psychological knowledge (if such a requirement is established in the Law on Education).

The deadline for submitting documents is 14 days from the date the vacancy was announced on the website.

Applicants who meet the required criteria are invited for an interview with the principal. Three representatives of the school council can observe the job interview. The principal makes their decision following the interview and after listening to the opinion of the school council representatives.

More about the requirements for teacher qualifications is provided in Section 9.1., in the Chapter Requirements for a teacher’s qualification.


The Regulations on Teacher Training, (Pedagogų rengimo reglamentas) state that a teacher is considered to be a pedagogical intern in their first year of working in an educational institution. The idea of the internship is to ensure that a novice teacher can integrate smoothly into the community of the institution and receive targeted assistance during this period. The objectives, content, scope of activities and expected results of the pedagogical internship must be defined in the pedagogical internship programme.

The pedagogical internship is organized and implemented by the school where the novice teacher is employed. The school cooperates with the higher education institution selected by the novice teacher in this process. The higher education institution must one that conducts pedagogical studies. The appointed mentor, together with the internship supervisor appointed by the higher education institution, and the novice teacher, prepare the pedagogical internship programme. It is approved by the principal and a representative of the higher education institution participating in the internship.

The school appoints a mentor for the novice teacher. Novice teachers receive constant counselling, and didactic and subject support. The mentor may also use other pedagogical staff to provide this assistance. The novice teacher must also be provided with educational and technical assistance.

The higher education institution appoints an internship supervisor to coordinate the internship. They will periodically consult the novice teacher, the mentor or other members of the school community. They participate in discussions, evaluate the intermediate results of the internship, and organize improvements in the novice teacher’s competence.

The final results of the pedagogical internship are evaluated by the principal, taking into account the recommendations of the mentor and the internship supervisor. Other school members may be involved in the assessment. After completing a pedagogical internship, which is assessed as a minimum of satisfactory, teachers begin their independent professional activity.

Professional status

Employees of educational institutions and pedagogical staff of other institutions are employees of the public sector. This status, however, does not provide the special guarantees and obligations that the status of civil servant does. For example, a teacher is not employed for life, but at the same time there is no annual assessment of their performance. Teachers are appointed and dismissed in accordance with general labour legislation (the Labour Code). Under this code an employee’s job can be terminated at the end of the contract (if the contract is for a fixed period). If the contract is for an indefinite period, the contract may be terminated at the request of the employee, by mutual agreement, at the initiative of the employer, when the employee is at fault, and in certain cases when the employee is not at fault, for example, a school is closing. Details on the termination of contracts and pay-outs, can be found in the section “Dismissal” of this chapter.

Teachers are usually hired for an indefinite period. A teacher may also be hired to replace another employee on a fixed-term basis. For example, to replace a teacher who has taken maternity or paternity leave, because in Lithuania, maternity and parental leave can last up to three years.

Code of Ethics for Teachers (Pedagogų etikos kodeksas). The Education Act states that persons must be of impeccable reputation to work as a teacher. If a teacher has violated the requirements of the code by their conduct within the previous year, they are not considered to have an impeccable reputation. The Minister of Education, Science and Sport approves the Code of Ethics for Teachers. Each educational institution sets standards of ethics and behaviour for its community, taking into account the requirements of the code.

The code sets out the main requirements and obligations of professional ethics for teachers. Teachers should strive to treat students, their parents (guardians, caregivers) and other family members, colleagues and the community in an ethical and professional manner. According to the code, the main principles of ethical conduct and action are respect, justice, recognition of human rights, responsibility, fairness, care and solidarity.

Replacement measures

A replacement is based on a temporary contract of employment for a teacher who will fill in for another teacher for a maximum period of two months. When replacing teachers who will be absent for a longer period (e.g. in case of maternity/paternity leave), a fixed-term contract of employment is concluded with the replacement. Payment for substitution, when an assignment is agreed in writing, and temporarily performed by another teacher, may be to up to 30 per cent of the official salary.

Support measures

Under the Law on Education, the purpose of support measures for teachers is to provide informational, expert, consulting, and professional development assistance to enhance the effectiveness of education and promote the teachers’ professional growth. Assistance is given to teachers by providers of psychological, special educational, special, social educational assistance, specialists in CPD and healthcare, professional associations and others. In larger schools, educational support professionals are employed for at least part of the time. Other schools that do not have permanent staff on their team are able to turn to professionals contracted by the school owner. Teachers are encouraged to collaborate and share their best practices within the team in which they work.


The salaries of teachers working in state and municipal schools depend on the teachers’ pedagogical experience, their qualification category and the complexity of the activity. Teachers’ salaries are set out in Annex 2 to the Law on Salaries of Employees of Budgetary Institutions and Compensation of Members of Commissions (Lietuvos Respublikos biudžetinių įstaigų darbuotojų darbo apmokėjimo ir komisijų narių atlygio už darbą įstatymas).

The unit of the teacher’s salary coefficient is the basic amount of remuneration set out in the Law on the Establishment of the Basic Amount of Remuneration and the Adjustment of Appropriations for Remuneration (hereafter – the basic amount). 

Teacher’s salary = corresponding salary grade + the basic amount.

Determinants for the fixed part of a teacher’s salary are based on general education, vocational education and training, non-formal education programmes (including pre-school and pre-primary education) (basic amounts).

Qualification category

Components of salary 

Pedagogical work experience (years)

up to 2

more than 2 to 5

more than 5 to 10

more than 10 to 15

more than 15 to 20

more than 20 to 25

more than 25


No qualification categories awarded










Qualification categories awarded









Senior teacher  







Teacher methodologist     1,0921





Teacher expert    







The salary increases according to the complexity of the activity. For teachers working in general education, vocational education and training, non-formal education (excluding pre-school and pre-primary education), the salary may increases by 1–15% in the following cases:

  • If there are one or more pupils in their class (group) with medium, major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders
  • If the teacher of general or non-formal education (except pre-school and pre-primary education), works in a school (classroom) for pupils with major or severe educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders
  • If the teacher of general education or non-formal education (except pre-school and pre-primary education) works in a school (classroom) for students with special educational needs that have been acquired because of unfavourable environmental factors
  • They work in vocational education and training institutions (departments, groups, classrooms) for students with special educational needs
  • They work in social care institutions for children
  • When teaching a pupil who is being taught at home due to an illness or pathological condition
  • When teaching international baccalaureate programmes
  • General education and vocational education and training teachers who teach one or more foreigners or Lithuanian citizens who have come to live in Lithuania and do not speak the state language for the first two years after the beginning of the student’s studies in Lithuania
  • For those who teach subjects in Lithuanian in the III and IV gymnasium classes of general education schools where the curriculum is taught in a national minority language
  • Those working in general education schools in primary classes with 10 or more students, where teaching is conducted in the Lithuanian language, where at least 50% of pupils do not speak the state language. The regulation applies to schools in the following municipalities – Elektrėnai, Šalčininkai district, Širvintos district, Švenčionys district, Trakai district, Vilnius city, Vilnius district and Visaginas.

The salary for pre-school and pre-primary education teachers, and art education teachers working according to pre-school and pre-primary education programmes is increased by:

  • 5–10%: if there are 2 or more pupils in the group with medium special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders, and/or 1–3 pupils with major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders. If one or more foreigners or Lithuanian citizens who have come to live in Lithuania and do not speak the state language are educated in the group for the first two years from the beginning of the pupils’ studies in Lithuania.
  • 5–20%: if the teacher works in schools (groups) for students with major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders. If 4 or more students are educated in a group due to major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders – developmental impairment homes for infants, in social care institutions for children, for pre-school teachers working in developmental impairment homes for infants teaching pupils for whom home schooling is impossible due to illness or a pathological condition, or if 4 or more students are educated in a group due to major or severe special educational needs.

For all teachers, the salary may increase by up to 25% if the teacher meets two or more of the above mentioned criteria. Salaries can also increase by up to 20% according to other work criteria set by the school.

Working time and holidays


The working week of a pre-school and pre-primary education teacher is 36 hours. Of these, 33 hours are devoted to working directly with students. Three hours are devoted to indirect work with students – planning work, preparing documents related to education, cooperating with other teachers, parents (guardians) on educational issues, etc. The weekly working hours for a pre-school or pre-primary educator in schools or school groups for pupils with major or severe special educational needs due to congenital or acquired disorders, in sanatoriums or in a home for children with developmental impairment, are 26. Of these, 24 and 2 hours, respectively, are devoted to direct and indirect work with students.

The full-time post of teachers in general education, vocational training and non-formal education (excluding pre-school and pre-primary education) is 1512 hours per year; 36 working hours per week. This full-time post is divided into two parts:

  1. Conducting lessons, planning the educational process, preparing for lessons, assessing pupils’ work, leading the class.
  2. Activities for the school community and professional development.
 Hours per year Teaching lessons (contact hours) *, hours for planning the educational process, preparation for lessons, assessment of pupils’ work **, leading the class (group)*** Hours for professional improvement and work for the school community
Total - 1512 1010–1410 102–502

 *Trainee, i.e. those who have worked for less than 2 years as general education teachers have up to 756 contact hours a year. Vocational training and non-formal education (except pre-school and pre-primary) teachers have up to 924 contact hours a year; other teachers have up to 888 contact hours a year.

A primary class teacher’s full-time post is deemed to have 700 or more contact hours a year.

**Hours for planning the educational process, preparation for lessons and assessment of pupils’ work are set according to the teaching subject and the number of pupils in the class. This is approximately 40–60% of contact hours. The hours are set in the first appendix of the Ordinance of the Minister of Education, Science and Sport.

***Hours for leading the class depend on the number of pupils in the class.

Up to 11 pupils in the class −

not less than 152 hours a year.

12–20 pupils in the class −

not less than 180 hours a year.

21 or more pupils in the class –

not less than 210 hours a year.

Hours for the school community and professional improvement. The Minister of Education, Science and Sport has approved activities for the school community and professional improvement activities. A teacher must spend at least 102 hours a year engaged in these activities. Compulsory community hours are intended for working with parents – consulting and informing them, communicating and cooperating with them. These hours should also be used for cooperation with school staff on student development issues, planning and improving the school’s activities, i.e. participating in meetings and conferences.

Apart from the above-mentioned compulsory activities, a teacher can engage in optional activities, e.g., participate in the school’s self-government, in preparing the school’s education programmes, in the exchange of experience (mentorship, colleague consultation, teaching open lessons, etc.) and others. These activities can occupy up to 400 hours a year.

Professional development activities include activities such as participation in the institution’s learning community and inter-institutional cooperation activities and in non-formal adult education, the development of general and specific competences through self-learning, and the analysis of documents regulating teachers’ activities.

It is recommended that trainee teachers spend more time on professional improvement and enhancing their pedagogical skills. Skilled teachers are encouraged to share their experience.

Rest time. For the first time, the Minister of Education, Science and Sport has approved rules governing the arrangement of work schedules. This not only sets work time requirements but also the requirements for rest time. The possibility for remote work (where activities are outside the school) has been established.

Decisions on teachers’ workloads. The principal is no longer the only person to approve teachers’ workloads. Workloads are coordinated with the schools’ work council. If there is no such council present, workloads are coordinated with the employer-level trade union.


Annual holidays. All teachers, from pre-school teachers to vocational education and training teachers, are entitled to 40 days holiday a year (based on a 5 day working week) and 48 days (based on a 6 day week). If the number of working days per week is less or different, the employee must be granted an extended leave of 8 weeks.

The teaching profession is one of several professions for which longer holidays are provided. It is understood that teaching is associated with greater nervous, emotional and mental stress. In comparison, a non-stressful occupational worker is usually granted 20 days holiday per year.

During the first year of work, the teacher can take their holidays in summer. In the second year the teacher can use their holidays by coordinating their schedule with the principal. One holiday period must cover at least 10 working days.

Additional holidays. Additional holidays are granted in the following cases:

  • If the employee has uninterrupted service in that workplace. Teachers are entitled to a further 3 days holidays after 10 years of working in the same workplace. For each additional 5 years of service at that workplace, they are entitled to an additional 1 day of holidays.

Employees raising a disabled child under the age of 18 or two children under the age of 12 are entitled to one additional day off per month. For those raising three or more children under 12 – two days a month. The employee is paid their average salary for that day.


In order to advance in their teaching career, teachers must pass an attestation, after which they are awarded a qualification category. The higher the qualification category, the higher the component that is applied when calculating their salary. Four categories of teacher qualification have been established – Teacher, Senior Teacher, Teacher Methodologist and Expert Teacher. Assessment is carried out in accordance with the Regulations on Appraisal of Teachers and Specialists Providing Assistance to Pupils (excluding Psychologists) (Mokytojų ir pagalbos mokiniui specialistų (išskyrus psichologus) atestacijos nuostatai).

Teacher status does not mean that a teacher can automatically become a school principal or deputy principal. These positions are filled using recruitment and selection. For more information on the selection of principals, see Section 10.1: Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education. There are also certain requirements for school inspectors. However, the experience of a teacher can be an advantage when applying for a specified position.

Mobility and transfers

Teachers may work in various schools and hold posts in compliance with the qualification requirements defined by laws and legislation. Teachers may work in several schools simultaneously as long as they do not exceed the defined workload rates established in the Labour Code and other legislation.

A teacher who has undergone appraisal, retains their qualification category for those lessons of subjects taught, non-formal children education hours or educational duties performed for which they were previously granted appraisal when working in any general education institution (including the general education section of vocational education and training institutions), or non-formal education.

Pre-school and primary school teachers working as pre-primary schoolteachers and who have undergone appraisal, they retain any qualification categories previously awarded to them.

Teachers have the right to retain their qualification category when they move within the teaching profession from one educational institution to another.


Teachers are appointed and dismissed by the head of their educational institution in accordance with the Labour Code and the Teachers’ Admission and Dismissal Procedures Description (Mokytojų priėmimo ir atleidimo iš darbo tvarkos aprašas). Principals and teachers may be dismissed if their conduct, although outside working hours, is immoral and therefore incompatible with their duties and responsibilities.

Teachers are usually hired for an indefinite period. In this case, the employment contract may be terminated at the request of the employee, with the agreement of the employee and the employer, or at the initiative of the employer. The contract may also be terminated by the employer irrespective of whether the employee is at fault or not. If the contract is terminated by the employer and the employee is not at fault, for example, if the teacher refuses to work due to a change in their workload, the head of the institution must justify the reduced workload. If the workload decreases for objective reasons and the teacher refuses to continue working, they can be dismissed.

The head of the educational institution must notify the teacher about the termination of the employment contract one month in advance. If the employment period is less than one year this notice period is reduced to two weeks. If the teacher has less than five years left until retirement, the teacher must be notified two months or four weeks in advance (if the employment period is less than a year). If the dismissed teacher is raising a child under the age of 14, a disabled child under the age of 18, is pregnant, is disabled, or has less than two years left until retirement, the notice period for dismissal triples to 3 months and 6 weeks (if the employment period is less than years).

A teacher who is made redundant must receive a pay-out equal to twice their average monthly salary. If the employment period is less than one year, the pay-out is equal to half their average monthly salary.

An employee may also be hired to replace another employee on a fixed-term basis. For example, in Lithuania, maternity and parental leave can last up to three years, so an educational institution may look for a teacher to replace a teacher who has gone on maternity or paternity leave. It is usually clear for how long a person is being recruited to a substitute post. At the end of the term, the employment contract is terminated.

Retirement and pensions

Teachers are paid pensions in the same way as employees in other fields.

Up until 2012 the retirement age was 60 for women and 62 for men. Since 1 January 2012 and since 1 of January each subsequent year the retirement age has been increasing: for women – four months per year, for men – two months per year, until the retirement age of 65 years  is reached.

There is no specific document regulating statutory dismissal of educational staff once they have reached the official retirement age. According to the Labour Code, teachers may retire upon mutual agreement. Upon retirement, teachers may be offered part-time teaching hours at their school.

Following the introduction of the full-time payment system, pay-outs have been offered to senior teachers with relevant work experience. This measure has been agreed with the education trade unions. The pay-out is available to teachers of state or municipal schools working in pre-school, pre-primary, general education and vocational education and training programmes. A pre-requisite, is that the number of students per teacher must increase for the remaining teachers when a colleague retires. This means that no new teacher is recruited for the vacancy, and the workload is shared between teachers to create a higher workload for them (many teachers currently work part-time).

The amount of the pay-out per teacher:

Amount of pay-out

(Teacher’s average monthly salary [Mokytojo vidutinis mėnesinis darbo užmokesčio dydis – VMDU])

Duration of employment in the last institution before dismissal


2 VMDU <5
3 VMDU 5–10
4 VMDU 10–20
5 VMDU 20–25
6 VMDU >25

 * If a teacher takes a pay-out, they cannot continue to work as a teacher, but can work in other areas.