School nurse, school hygienist, dentist and dental hygienist
Pursuant to the legislation on healthcare for pupils, healthcare in schools for children and young people (except for stage II sectoral vocational schools and post-secondary schools as taking adult learners) is provided by a school nurse or school hygienist, and dental healthcare by a dental practitioner. Additionally, a dental hygienist may be involved in health education and promotion activities. In addition to specific qualifications (see below), the legislation requires that healthcare staff should have a contract with the National Health Fund (NHF) for the provision of healthcare services or should be employed, or practise their profession, in an entity which has concluded such a contract with the NHF as their salaries are paid by the NHF.
A school nurse (referred to in law as an educational setting nurse) (pielęgniarka środowiska nauczania i wychowania) is a nurse who:
- holds a Master’s degree in Nursing; or
- holds the title of Specialist in Nursing in Educational Settings (awarded upon completion of a postgraduate programme); or
- has completed a qualification course in Nursing in Education Settings; or
- holds the title of Specialist in Family or Paediatric Nursing obtained upon completion of a specialism training course which commenced after 23 August 2015; or
- is taking a specialism training course in Family or Paediatric Nursing.
The post of a school nurse may also be taken by:
- a nurse who holds the title of Specialist in Family or Paediatric Nursing obtained upon completion of a specialism training course which commenced after 23 August 2015; or
- a midwife who has completed a qualification course in Nursing in Educational Settings or an equivalent course and has at least 5-year work experience in an educational setting.
A school hygienist (higienistka szkolna) should have a qualification awarded upon completion of a medical training programme for the occupation of School Hygienist at the secondary education level, and at least 5-year work experience in an educational setting.
A school nurse or school hygienist provides preventive healthcare services to pupils either in a consulting room in the school or at a place specified in a healthcare service contract if a consulting room is not available in the school. A nurse or hygienist is also responsible for the so-called integration of healthcare activities for pupils. Thus, they collaborate with the dentist, parents and primary healthcare institutions. In particular, they seek advice, exchange information and undertake preventive healthcare activities together with the dentist and primary healthcare institutions, provide information to parents and pupils, and support them in using preventive healthcare services and carrying out doctor’s orders. A school nurse or hygienist also works together with the school head, teachers and a teacher-pedagogue, providing advice to the head and organising health education and promotion activities together with staff.
A dentist / dental practitioner (lekarz dentysta) has the required medical qualification (a degree obtained upon completion of a long-cycle Master’s programme in Dentistry) and fulfils the statutory requirements concerning dental care services, except orthodontics, for children and young people provided as part of publicly funded healthcare. A dentist provides services at a place specified in a healthcare service contract. This could be a dental surgery within or outside the school, or a mobile dental care vehicle, operated by the healthcare entity collaborating with the school. The responsibilities of a dentist include general dental care services for children and young people aged up to 18 years, and preventive dental care services for children and young people aged up to 19 years. Together with a school nurse or hygienist and the school head, a dentist is also involved in activities such as health education and promotion and prevention of tooth decay for pupils.
A dental hygienist (higienistka stomatologiczna) is a person who:
- has finished a public post-secondary or non-public post-secondary school with the public-school status and obtained the title of Dental Hygienist or a vocational diploma of a Dental Hygienist; or
- has completed a degree programme in the field or specialism of Dental Hygiene and obtained a Bachelor’s degree; or
- has completed a degree programme in the field related to dental hygiene, which comprises at least 1 688 teaching hours in the area of dental hygiene, and obtained at least a Bachelor’s degree.
Together with a dentist, a dental hygienist is involved in health education and oral health promotion activities for pupils.
All types of schools and other educational institutions employ teachers-librarians(nauczyciel-bibliotekarz). The position may be taken by a person who:
- has completed a degree programme in the field of Library Studies at the level required to take a teacher position in a given type of school or institution, and holds a teaching qualification; or
- holds a qualification at the level required to take a teacher position in a given type of school or institution and a teaching qualification, and has completed:
- a first-cycle programme, a non-degree postgraduate programme or a qualification course in the field of Library Studies; or
- a programme in the field / specialism area of Library Studies in a teacher training college (a short-cycle programme at the ISCED 5 level, not recognised as a higher education programme by national legislation); or
- a programme in a post-secondary librarianship school;
- has completed a programme in the field / specialism area of Library Studies at a teacher training college (a minimum requirement only for teachers-librarians at primary schools).
The responsibilities of teachers-librarians are specified in the statutes of a school (or another institution). In addition to working in the school library, their main responsibilities normally include training pupils in how to use the library as part of reading-and-information education.
Support teacher and teacher support staff
Nursery schools and schools attended by children and young people who have a disability or are socially maladjusted or at risk of social maladjustment employ additionally support teachers(nauczyciel wspomagający) and teacher support staff (pomoc nauczyciela).
Support teachers are required to hold a qualification in the field of Special Education. Their responsibilities include, in particular, conducting classes and other activities jointly with other teachers and specialists; conducting otspecialists her classes or activities in line with the individual needs of pupils; and supporting teachers and in conducting classes. The conditions of service for support teachers are the same as for other teachers (see Chapter 9.2).
Teacher support staff are employed in accordance with the labour law regulations. Staff taking the post should have a qualification at least at the primary education level and skills necessary to carry out the responsibilities assigned to them. The school education legislation does not specify any additional qualification requirements for support staff, but in practice nursery schools and schools often require or expect support staff to have a teaching / pedagogical qualification. Their tasks are defined by the head of a nursery school or school.