Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice



Last update: 27 November 2023


Academic Programmes Quality and Resources Unit

The Academic Programmes Quality and Resources Unit (APQRU) is the administrative arm of the Programme Validation Committee (PVC) of the University of Malta. The Programme Validation Committee is entrusted by the University Senate to ensure that programmes of study offered by the University are of the required academic standard, are supported by the necessary resources and are responsive to national and market needs.

Access to Communication and Technology Unit (ACTU)

The ACTU Special and Inclusive Education Network is housed within the Student Services Department (Directorate for Educational Services) and is the leading unit in Malta providing access to communication and technology through the use of unaided means of communication such as key-word signing and gestures and/or aided means of communication (including graphic symbols and electronic devices).

ACCESS - Disability Support Unit (ADSU)

ADSU is present on the University of Malta's campus and provides the services of a coordinator to assist students having visual, hearing and physical impairments.

Advanced Level

The Advanced Level General Certificate of Education, commonly referred to as an A-level, is a qualification offered by a general education institution. A-level programmes are spread over a two-year period and are recognized as the standard for assessing the suitability of applicants for tertiary academic courses.

Alternative Learning Programme

A programme whereby students who do not register to sit for optional examinations at the end of compulsory education are encouraged to take an educational or vocational course that may help them to enrol at VET institutions.

Autism Support Team

The Autism Support Team assists parents of children within the autism spectrum. While this group does not work directly with children, the latter benefit because their parents are alerted about the importance of early intervention.

Church Schools

Schools administered by Catholic religious orders or the dioceses of Malta and Gozo. These schools, which are grant-aided private schools, cater for children from pre-primary level up to upper-secondary level.

College Middle Schools

As from school year 2014/2015 the secondary school cycle within compulsory education is now made up of two phases. During the first two years of the secondary cycle (Years 7 and 8) students attend College Middle Schools following which they proceed to College Secondary Schools (please see below).

College Principal

The College Principal is responsible for the overseeing to the administration and management of the schools constituting the College, as well as the delivery of the curriculum at primary and secondary level. College Principals are appointed on the basis of a three-year performance contract.

College Secondary Schools

College Secondary Schools are general education state schools where students are in mixed ability classes and teachers use differentiated teaching methodologies. These schools are co-educational and include Years 9 to 11, that is the last three years of compulsory education.

Complementary teacher

Specialised teachers tasked with giving specific literacy lessons to children who have been identified as not attaining the expected competences in literacy

Controlled Assessment

An assessment set by the MATSEC Examination Board in the form of an examination and conducted under controlled conditions within a school environment


A programme run by the University of Malta aimed at providing all students at the university with the opportunity to enrich their academic studies with extra skills and experiences that can add value to their knowledge base. The activities are intended to provide the opportunity for a more holistic approach to formal education without the added stress of tests and examinations.

Education Officer (EO)

An Education Officer is responsible for ensuring standards and quality in teaching and learning. The role is both supportive as well as inspectorial.


EkoSkola is the Maltese equivalent of an international programme called Eco-Schools.  EkoSkola aims to raise pupils’ awareness of environmental and related sustainable development issues through classroom study together with school and community action.

End-of-Primary Benchmark Assessment

An assessment introduced in June 2011 and held with pupils at the end of primary education. This assessment tests pupils in Maltese, English and Mathematics. The languages assessment includes four components; reading, writing, oral and aural while the Mathematics assessment includes a mental test besides the written component. The End-of-Primary Benchmark Assessment has a diagnostic function.

Formative Assessment

Assessment of learning that aims to collect detailed information that can be used to improve educational instruction and student learning whilst it is happening

Ghozza Service

Ghozza is a section of the Guidance and Counselling Service within the Student Services Department. It provides a support service and an educational programme to unmarried pregnant minors.

Guidance Teacher

The Guidance Teacher offers educational and career guidance and information to students and provides support to students having personal issues and problems.

Head of Department

A Head of Department is responsible for promoting and supporting the subject area that falls under his / her remit.

Head of School

The Head of School is responsible for the administration and management of a school as well as the delivery of the curriculum at primary or secondary level.

Independent Schools

Fee-paying private schools run by a board of Directors / Governors. Schools in this sector cater for children from pre-primary age up to upper-secondary age.

Inclusive Education Coordinator (INCO)

Inclusive Education Coordinators (INCOs) support schools in the implementation of the Inclusive Education Policy. INCOs support the school's Senior Management Team (SMT), parents, teachers and Learning Support Assistants and help to coordinate service provision for pupils with special educational needs attending mainstream schools.

Kindergarten Assistant (KA)

Kindergarten Assistants are in charge of children and classes at pre-primary level.

Learning Support Assistant (LSA)

A framework of learning outcomes in all subjects taught in compulsory education from early years (ISCED Level 1) till the end of the secondary education cycle (ISCED Level 3). It serves as a national benchmark of excellence for all schools, providing parents, teachers and other stakeholders with an understanding of what children and young people should know and what skills should be acquired.

Learning Support Assistants work with students who have been assessed as having Special Educational Needs. They can either support one student on a one-to-one basis or up to three students assessed as requiring shared support.

Malta Government Scholarships Scheme (MGSS)

Scholarship scheme funded through national funds and aimed towards increasing high quality post-graduate education.

Maintenance Grant

A financial grant given by the state to students in post-secondary and tertiary education sectors. It consists of a yearly sum together with a regular monthly stipend.

Matriculation Certificate (MATSEC Certificate)

The Matriculation Certificate is awarded once student obtain enough grades in two subjects studied at Advanced Level, three subjects studied at Intermediate Level together with a further subject known as Systems of Knowledge.

National Apprenticeship Scheme

The National Apprenticeship Scheme aims to gradually replace the current two apprenticeship schemes (namely the Technician Apprenticeship Scheme [TAS] and the Extended Skill Training Scheme [ESTS]) over a process of three years started in 2013. All apprenticeship callings under the National Apprenticeship Scheme will be pegged to the level descriptors as specified in the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF). This Apprenticeship Scheme has been transferred under the authority of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), that is Malta’s leading VET institution, so as to run in parallel with other vocational educational training courses.

National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE)

The Commission’s remit includes the licensing, accreditation and quality assurance of further and higher education in Malta. It also regulates the validation of informal and non-formal learning both at secondary schools level as well as in further and higher education.

National Curriculum Framework

The NCF provides the framework guiding teaching professionals in providing children and young people with an appropriate entitlement of learning that enables them to accomplish their full potential. The main trust of the NCF is to enable teachers to respond to children’s interests, arouse their curiosity and instill an inquiry-based approach to learning.

Performance Management and Professional Development Programme (PMPDP)

A programme that is intended to be atool for teacher appraisal whilst also enhancing the individual's professional development components.

Peripatetic Teachers

Peripatetic Teachers serve in primary schools. Each teacher teaches in a number of schools on a roster basis. They teach one particular subject such as physical education, science, art, drama, music, Health and Safety and Personal and Social Education. They also advise the Head of School and teachers and help in activities organized by Schools/Colleges.

Pre-Primary Education

Attendance at pre-primary level is not compulsory. It is estimated that around 100% of children aged 4 years in Malta and Gozo attend pre-primary school. At this age, no formal teaching takes place. The main objectives are to develop children’s social attitudes and communication skills.

Principal Education Officer

A Principal Education Officer is responsible for approaching schools that are to undergo a review,  lead the team of school auditors in the carrying out of the school review; ensure that a report of the reveiw is compiled; forward the report to the Head of School concerned and finally present the Director General DQSE with the report together with the supporting documentation of the process.

Resource centres

These centres were formerly special schools but were turned to resource centres to support inclusion of students with individual needs from all mainstream schools in Malta and Gozo.

School Counsellor

School Counsellors provide support to students when problems, mainly of a personal and psychological nature, arise or when students ask for guidance or information on personal issues.

Secondary School Certificate and Profile (SSC&P)

Certificate awarded by secondary schools to certify that students have completed their secondary education. This certification recognizes and certifies non-formal and informal educational experiences undergone during the secondary cycle.

Secondary Education Certificate (SEC)

A certificate awarded to learners who sit for national examinations set by the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC) examination board of the University of Malta.

Senior Management Team

The Senior Management Team within the school usually comprises the Head of School, Assistant Head/s and Head of Department/s but may vary from one school to another.

Service Manager

A Service Manager ensures the appropriate provision and the coordination of school and student services in particular areas at national, College and school level.

Statementing Moderating Panel (SMP)

The Statementing Moderating Panel is the body empowered to develop a statutory assessment of the support required by students with special educational needs in order to ensure a quality education for students.

Systems of Knowledge

Systems of Knowledge forms part of the MATSEC Certificate. Its subject content is divided into four modules: Democratic values and citizenship; Aesthetics; Science and Technology; and Sustainable Development. Students are expected to be able to work with concepts that allow them to engage with and critically understand concrete experiences in order to attempt interpretation.

Tapering of social benefits

A scheme introduced in 2014 which encourages persons, who were recipients of Social Assistance or Unemployment Assistance or Special Unemployment Benefit for at least 1 year in the last 3 years, to enter the work force without losing such benefits instantly, but in a gradual manner over a period of three years.

Teacher Mentor

Teacher Mentors are selected through internal calls issued by the Education Directorates. Their responsibilities include support, coaching and facilitation of self-evaluation during a newly qualified teacher's induction process and at any time as determined from time to time by the Head of School in consultation with the College Principal.