Local communities are politically organised as municipalities. The Constitution defines municipalities as local self-governed communities which are, in principle, financed from their resources. These include taxes, benefits and property-related duties. Economically weak municipalities are subsidised by the government.
In the area of education, the municipalities are end responsible for:
- Founding public kindergartens, basic schools, music schools and residence halls for pupils
- Determining basic education providers, music education providers and providers of educational programmes in residence halls for pupils
- Granting concessions to private kindergartens for the provision of public service
- Founding and funding adult education organisations, and
- Approving annual adult education programmes.
By top-level rules, municipalities provide funding for:
- Preschool education provided in kindergartens
- Specific material costs: rooms, equipment and maintenance of basic and music schools
- Additional activities offered by basic schools
- Investments in basic schools, music schools and adult education organisations as well as in ethnic community education, and
- Transportation of pupils.
Decision-making powers on education-related affairs which are under the authority of municipalities rest with municipality councils, mayors and other local community bodies.
In terms of the direct management of kindergartens and schools, municipalities are involved through their representatives on kindergarten and school boards.
Local communities have no direct authority in the governance and administration of upper secondary schools and higher education institutions.
Early childhood and school education
Administrative bodies in public kindergartens and basic schools include school councils and head teachers.
The kindergarten or school council includes representatives of the founder, staff and parents. In upper secondary schools, councils also include two student representatives.
The founder – the municipality or the government – participates in the management of kindergartens and schools through representatives on the council and directly through administrative procedures.
Among other things, a public kindergarten or school council is responsible for:
- Appointing the head teacher and relieving them from the office
- Adopting the development plan of the kindergarten or school, the annual work plan and the implementation report
- Adopting the annual report on the self-evaluation of the school or kindergarten
- Deciding on the introduction of above-standard and other programmes.
- Discussing reports on education-related matters
- Deciding, as the second-instance body, on appeals regarding the status of pupils, apprentices, students at higher vocational colleges and adults (depending on the institution in question) as well as on appeals regarding the rights, obligations and responsibilities of employees
- Addressing matters submitted by the assembly of education staff, andragogic assembly or assembly of lecturers, school inspection, representative trade union, parents' council, or the community of pupils, apprentices, or students (depending on the type of institution).
Councils of parents consist of one representative per each. These representatives are elected by parents at the class parent-teacher conferences. They recommend and give consent to above-standard programmes and appoint their representatives to school/kindergarten councils, but overall, their role is an advisory one. Since 2008, parents have had the right to adopt their programme of cooperation with the school/kindergarten and their councils may form local or regional networks, which may further form a national association
The head teacher undertakes two roles. One is a pedagogical leader and the other manager. The head teacher is responsible for the implementation of regulations. Within this framework, however, his or her decision-making regarding human resources and the allocation of funds for material costs is autonomous.
According to the Organisation and Financing of Education Act, the head teacher is, among other things, responsible for:
- Organising, planning and managing the work at the kindergarten or school
- Drafting the development programme and the annual work plan of the kindergarten or school
- Promoting the professional development of education staff and deciding on the promotion of employees to higher wage grades
- Supervising the work of counselling services
- Informing parents about the work of the kindergarten or school and amendments to rights and obligations of pupils, apprentices and upper secondary students
- Deciding on corrective measures
- Ensuring the implementation of decisions adopted by the State authorities
- Deciding on the employment relationships and the disciplinary accountability of employees;
- Ensuring and determining quality through self-evaluation and an annual report on the self-evaluation of the school or kindergarten.
Education staff is organised in expert bodies such as the assembly and the working group of preschool teachers/teachers/lecturers. These bodies make autonomous decisions on professional issues, and disciplinary issues, and they provide their recommendations regarding the appointments of head teachers.
For further information see Management and other educational staff.
Institutions providing education at the tertiary level are more autonomous than those at lower levels of formal education.
Higher vocational colleges organise their management and expert bodies depending on whether they are founded by the government or the private sector, and whether they are independent or branches of another institution or business entity.
Management bodies comprise the director or head teacher and the school council or strategic council. In addition to the representatives of the founder and staff, management bodies include representatives of students and employers.
Higher vocational colleges have an evaluation and quality assurance committee, which cooperates with other evaluation bodies in tertiary education. Schools can join the national professional Association of Slovenian Higher Vocational Colleges. The national association cooperates with councils of experts on behalf of higher vocational colleges and represents these colleges in accreditation and evaluation bodies and international associations such as EURASHE.
Universities and independent higher education institutions are autonomous institutions, as stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia and the Higher Education Act. They have the freedom of research, production in arts and communication of knowledge. They also have the right to independently manage their internal organisation and bodies. The Higher Education Act stipulates key structures and responsibilities. In more detail, the responsibilities and other aspects (such as the composition of various bodies, elections and terms in office, and the decision-making procedures) are specified by the statutes of higher education institutions.
The Higher Education Act stipulates that university bodies include:
- Managing board, and
- Student council.
Bodies of university members (faculties) include:
- Academic assembly, and
- Student council.
Bodies of independent higher education institutions (i.e. those that are not affiliated with a university) include:
- Academic assembly
- Managing board, and
- Student council.
The senate is an expert body, and it must be composed in such a way as to equally include all scientific and artistic disciplines and expert areas. The senate includes lecturers, the rector or dean, respectively, and representatives of the student council and students. Student representatives constitute at least one-fifth of the senate.
The academic assembly of a university member (faculty) or an independent higher education institution includes all lecturers, scientists, higher education associates, and students (one-fifth of the membership). The academic assembly elects the senate, and it considers work reports and makes recommendations and initiatives for the senate to consider.
The managing board is the administrative body of a higher education institution. It decides on issues of material nature and ensures uninterrupted material management. In public higher education institutions, the managing board includes representatives of the founder, academic and other employees, students and employers. The composition of the managing board in a private higher education institution is laid down by its founding document and statutory documents.
The rector manages, represents and advocates for the university, convenes the senate sessions, coordinates the educational, scientific, research, artistic and other activities of the university, oversees and is responsible for the legality of activities, upon approval by the senate adopts quality measures, assures monitoring and evaluation, and reports to the senate, the managing board and the founder at least on an annual basis. The rector is elected by lecturers, scientists, higher education associates and students.
A dean has similar responsibilities at the level of a university member (faculty) as the rector does at the university level and is the expert leader of the university member. Further specifications of the dean's authority and responsibilities as contained in the founding document.
The student council is made up of student representatives. It formulates opinions and provides input to the relevant and competent bodies on matters related to student rights and obligations. In cooperation with the student community, it adopts and undertakes the programme of interest activities.
Universities and other higher education institutions founded by the government are the owners of their property: they can use it and manage it according to their memorandum of association and standing rules. They can misappropriate and place a burden on the real-real estate and equipment of high value which was purchased with public funds, only with the founder's consent. The funds gained from property sales may be used for investments, maintenance or equipment.
The management bodies in adult education comprise the council and the director. The latter is the management body and andragogical leader. The management and administration of public adult education institutions are regulated by rules which apply to schools and are in principle organised in the same way. The council of an adult education organisation includes representatives of the founder and employees and students at the institution.