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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education


9.Teachers and education staff

9.1Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 5 February 2024

The minimum qualification required for kindergarten teachers (that is, teachers for pre-primary education in kindergartens) is the secondary vocational education in ‘Kindergarten Teacher Training’ study programme or ‘Kindergarten Teacher and Tutor Training’ study programme. Kindergarten teacher training is also provided by higher education institutions in Bachelor or Master study programmes. Kindergarten teachers obtain a Bachelor‘s degree in the study field Teaching, Tutoring, and Pedagogical sciences - Pre-school and Elementary Pedagogy study programme. 

Upon completion of the Bachelor’s degree, kindergarten teachers can continue with a Master study in pre-school pedagogy. 

Qualification required for primary school teachers (primary and lower secondary education) and secondary school teachers (higher secondary education) is a master’s degree in teaching, tutoring and pedagogical sciences with approbation usually in two selected study programmes: teaching academic subjects, teaching vocational subjects and practical training, teaching arts, pre-school and elementary pedagogy.

Music and Arts education for teachers in kindergartens (pre-primary education) and at the first stage of the primary school (primary education) are a part of the pre-school and elementary pedagogy study programme. Music and Arts education for the second level of the primary school (lower secondary education) are studied as approbation subjects in teacher training study programmes. Higher education institution graduates from art study fields with additional pedagogical education and conservatory graduates can also teach at basic schools of art and secondary vocational schools with a focus on arts.

Training of teachers for schools with children with special educational needs is provided in the study field of Special pedagogy in both bachelor and master study programme.

Qualified teachers can obtain specialisation in work with pupils with special educational needs through extension training.

The acquired teacher’s qualification has unlimited validity. 


Institution, level and models of training


Higher education study for teachers of all types of schools is comprised of two levels – the first level is completed by thesis defence and state examination, after which the Bachelor‘s degree is awarded (e.g. a kindergarten teacher, tutor, vocational training teacher). 

Graduates from the first level of higher education study can continue in some of the Teacher Training Master study programmes and obtain teacher’s qualification for pre-primary, primary, lower secondary, higher secondary education in a single or multiple subjects specialisation.


Admission requirements


Applicants for higher education teacher training are required to have completed the full secondary general education (ISCED 344) or full secondary vocational education (ISCED 354) and they are admitted to higher education institutions based on their application in the admission procedure.

Selection criteria for the candidates, requirements for study results from the previous level of education as well as admission procedures are defined by each higher education institution individually.

Every year, higher education institutions publish information on the offered study programmes, study combinations, admission requirements and dates on their web sites or in print. They also publish the information about the number of applicants to be admitted to each study programme.

Some study programmes require talent examinations. They are taken by applicants for the study of pre-school and elementary pedagogy and teaching arts subjects (arts, music) and teaching physical education.

Educational counsellors in secondary schools aid pupils in their choice of study. To help the prospective students, higher education institutions issue a collection of questions for admission examinations in individual subjects with compulsory and optional literature or organise training courses.


Curriculum, level of specialisation and learning outcomes


Teacher training at secondary vocational schools or higher education institutions/universities is organized according to the study programmes approved by the Ministry of Education. In addition to the theoretical preparation, the training of future teachers must contain continuous pedagogical practice that students complete over the course of their study. 

Teacher’s qualification can be also obtained through higher education study in a non-teaching study field at a university or a vocational higher education institution and a parallel or postgradual additional pedagogical study. The graduates will obtain professional and pedagogical qualification and teach the subjects they specialise in at respective secondary schools.

The additional pedagogical study is organised as qualification study, graduates become qualified to work as teachers, tutors, vocational training teachers, school coaches and pedagogical assistants. 

Graduates from non-pedagogical study fields who acquire qualification through the additional pedagogical study will obtain a certificate of qualification education. The certificate entitles them to teach secondary school vocational subjects that they graduated from.

Qualification in arts pedagogy is obtained through study at conservatories. Conservatories provide complex education in arts and arts pedagogy. They prepare pupils for a professional career in arts and teaching artis and vocational subjects in arts educational programmes. Conservatory graduates will obtain qualification to teach through the graduate examination, by which they will complete the higher vocational education and be awarded title DiS.Art. 


Teacher educators


Teacher educators in Slovakia are professional development teachers. These are teachers who work in the Methodology and Pedagogy Centre (An institution under the Ministry of Education whose main task is the facilitation of professional development of teachers of each type of school).

Professional development teachers:

  • implement educational programmes and participate in their creation,
  • participate in the creation of professional standards based on the research of professional competences,
  • provide counselling and cooperate with schools, school facilities and social assistance facilities in the area of professional development, 
  • perform activities related to performing attestations at attestation organisations, 
  • take part in activities of examination and attestation commissions. 

Professional development teachers are classified into the following categories: 

  • education instructor,  
  • professional development methodologist,  
  • attestation procedure consultant. 

Teachers‘ professional development provided by a professional development teacher, is a process of 

  • deepening, improving, and extending professional competences,  
  • acquiring professional competences for performance of specialised activities or managing pedagogical employee‘s work,  
  • acquiring professional competences of a higher career level,
  • verifying professional competences for assignment into a higher career level,
  • acquiring education to meet qualification requirements for further work activities or  
  • using and evaluating acquired professional competences. 

Teachers‘ professional development takes place in compliance with professional standards and in accordance with the current scientific knowledge, professional and social requirements for the performance of work activities. 


Qualifications, evaluation and certificates


Pedagogical employees can grow professionally in their careers on the vertical as well as the horizontal level.

On the horizontal level, thanks to the participation in different educational programmes within professional development and through the completion of the 1st and 2nd attestation examination, they gradually advance from the beginner teacher level to the following higher career levels:

  • an independent pedagogical employee,
  • a pedagogical employee with the first attestation and 
  • a pedagogical employee with the second attestation.

Advancement of employees to higher career levels is connected to higher salaries.

On the vertical level, depending on the completed types of training in professional development, pedagogical employees can perform either specialised activities such as class teacher, inducting teacher, etc., defined in the Act on pedagogical and professional employees, or become managing pedagogical employees, that is headteachers or headteachers‘ deputies. 

Performing specialised activities as well as those of a managing pedagogical employee is rewarded by an additional salary supplement.

Pedagogical employees are evaluated annually by their direct superior by the end of the school year. Beginner pedagogical employees are evaluated by inducting pedagogical employees. The evaluation of a pedagogical employee concerns the result, difficulty, and quality of work; and acquirement and use of work competences. Evaluation of a pedagogical employee is the basis for : 

  • an inducting pedagogical employee‘s recommendation to end adaptation education, 
  • creation of the professional development plan and the yearly learning plan and 
  • remuneration. 

The qualification that pedagogical employees obtain is valid for the whole duration of their work activity. 


Alternative training pathways


It is possible to obtain the teacher’s qualification through higher education study in a non-teaching study field at a university or a vocational higher education institution and a parallel or postgradual additional pedagogical study. The graduates obtain the vocational and pedagogical qualification and pedagogical competence to teach at respective secondary schools. 


Legislative references


National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts (Zákon č. 131/2002 Z.z. o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).

National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2019. Act No. 138/2019 on pedagogical employees and professional employees and on the change and supplement to some acts (Zákon č. 138/2019 Z.z. o pedagogických zamestnancoch a odborných zamestnancoch a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).

National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2008. Act No. 245/2008 on education and training (Education Act) and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Zákon č. 245/2008 Z.z. o výchove a vzdelávaní (školský zákon) a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).