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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: 21 March 2023

Teachers at public kindergartens and schools are civil servants. They are employed according to the procedure prescribed by law. Candidates for pre-school teachers and teachers apply for open recruitment positions published by kindergartens and schools. Candidates are selected by school head teachers and open recruitment commissions.

Working conditions at kindergartens and schools are roughly determined by general labour legislation, legislation on civil servants and school legislation. Individual aspects such as traineeship, teaching certification examination and advancement are stipulated by executive acts issued by the Minister of education. The scope of individual rights is subject to negotiations between the Minister and teachers’ unions. Negotiations are concluded with the Education Collective Agreement.

Planning policy

The government issues agreements on the student intake in all study programmes including pedagogical ones. However, this is not done on the basis of the actual employment demand but on the basis of suggestions by higher education institutions.  

Demographic projections, student intake, the number of employed teachers and the type of employment is monitored and published by the national statistical office (SURS). The Ministry responsible for education follows statistical information on student intake, departments and employment at kindergartens and schools. It also collects data and uses them for administrative purposes, especially for financing (salaries). The student: teacher ratio is determined by regulations (norms) in which rules on forming classes and groups, the number of teaching staff and similar are outlined.

The enrolment tender, the decision on student intake, grouping of students, job structuring and staff placement are responsibilities of the management of kindergartens and schools. Laws, Minister's regulations and the will of the founder or fund provider must be taken into consideration. It is these two who approve the final number of groups (classes) and the suggested job structuring (job systemization). For kindergartens municipalities make a decision, while for basic schools the state (for the standard programme) and the municipality (for the above standard programme) make a decision and for upper secondary school only the state. Based on the job structuring and acquired agreement the head teacher can advertise job positions for the following school year.

School management or their founders can only roughly plan the future long-term need for teachers. The decision on the intake numbers into the pedagogical study programme is in the competence of higher education institutions while the number of job positions also depends on the number of retirements since generations of school children are not enlarging. Retirements do not only depend on the age but also on the years of service, personal circumstances and the will of the employee. In addition, new retirement legislation is underway so the employees themselves do not know when they will be allowed to retire.

Entry to the profession

Pre-school teachers and teachers enter the pedagogical profession in two ways: applying for open recruitment trainee job positions advertised by the Ministry of education or by applying for open recruitment job positions advertised by kindergartens and schools.

Pre-school and graduate teachers should enter the profession by initially undergoing practical training under the mentorship of an experienced teacher, gradually taking over more responsibility. The Ministry of education advertises positions by means of open recruitment at least once a year. The open recruitment includes qualification requirements and candidate selection procedures. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available trainee positions, these procedures indicate the order of priority. Applicants who are unsuccessful can apply for a so-called volunteer traineeship. The selection and placement of candidates is under the domain of the Ministry. The interests of the kindergarten and school are taken into consideration. Applicants, who have a scholarship contract that stipulates a compulsory traineeship as part of that contract, are placed in schools by the Ministry of education without using the open recruitment procedure.

Applicants selected and placed by the Ministry enter employment relationships as trainees in a pre-school or a school for a maximum of 10 months, which is the duration of traineeship. During this time they receive a traineeship salary (70% of the basic salary). Before the traineeship concludes they need to take the teaching certification examination. Permanent employment is only possible after they pass the teaching certification examination and if there is a vacancy at a kindergarten or  school. Applicants – volunteer trainees conclude an agreement according to their status. After they have completed the traineeship, they return to the labour market as seekers of employment.

Kindergartens and schools usually select between applicants with appropriate qualifications and professional skills who have already completed traineeship and the teaching qualification examination. In rare cases - when there are no other applicants – the kindergarten or school can accept a pre-school teacher or a graduate teacher who has not yet completed the traineeship and teaching professional examination. In these cases they can employ them for a fixed duration.


Induction into teaching is specified by the relevant rules on traineeship and professional examination for education staff (sl) issued by the Minister responsible for education.

The induction may be organised as a traineeship. Trainees learn about all content needed for independent teaching as defined by the programme, as well as study for the professional examination. The traineeship lasts 6 to 10 months. In certain extraordinary circumstances, it may be reduced or extended. The mentor and the trainee together develop the relevant traineeship programme. The mentor has to meet certain requirements and conditions to provide the mentorship as an experienced colleague. The head teacher appoints the mentor. The mentor leads and guides the trainee until the trainee takes the professional examination. The mentor writes the final report on the trainee’s skills and evaluates the trainee’s competences for independent work.

The traineeship programme includes:

  • gaining knowledge of the real pedagogical process in a chosen subject field at a kindergarten or school, and
  • learning about various methods and forms of work.

The trainee improves own special didactical knowledge and skills in the relevant subject field. Learns how to develop the teaching or learning plan, prepare teaching or learning hours and the implementation. The trainee is learning by sitting in lessons of the mentor and other pre-school teachers or teachers. Cooperates in managing the class and in the activities of the expert bodies of the kindergarten or school, in preparing for parent-teacher meetings, as well as counselling activities. The trainee trains outside the kindergarten or school, as well, in particular, in the fields relevant to the professional examination.

The induction organised otherwise still has to follow the principles of induction and interaction between pre-school teacher or teacher beginner, mentor and head teachers. The implementation is subject to the employment status and teaching and workload of pre-school teacher or teacher beginner.

Teaching professional examination

The conditions for the professional examination: scope, content, organisation and procedure are specified by the relevant rules (sl) issued by the Minister responsible for education. This state examination is taken at the Ministry. Candidates have to have the educational qualification defined by law, specific scope of relevant pedagogical experience (five successful performances of direct teaching assessed by the mentor and head teacher). It all has to be verifiable with certificates that the candidates have to submit with the application.

The professional examination is oral.

The Minister responsible for education specifies the content in detail:

  1. Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia and the EU and regulations on human rights and the rights of a child,
  2. school laws, and
  3. knowledge of the medium of instruction.

The candidates take the examination before the examined by the examination committee that marks the knowledge of the candidate. Candidates who pass the examination receive a certificate with which they can apply for a permanent job at a kindergarten or school.

Professional status

Pre-school teachers and teachers in public kindergartens are civil servants according to the Civil servants Act. According to this act anyone who enters into a working relationship in the public sector is a civil servant.

For employment and working relationships of civil servants at kindergartens and schools as well as their rights and duties, the Employment relationships act (en), Collective agreement for education (sl), and the school legislation are used. Employment of civil servants must ensure equal opportunity for all applicants, so that the applicant with the best professional skills for the job is selected.

A kindergarten or school concludes employment agreements based on a vacant job position. The agreement stipulates the rights and obligations of the teacher as prescribed by regulations and the collective agreement. The employment agreement usually concludes the working relationship for an unlimited period but in some circumstances may also be for a limited period.

Employment may be concluded for full time or part time. An employment agreement can also be concluded with several kindergartens or schools if there are insufficient hours for full time employment in a single school. Irrespective of the duration of employment or working hours the agreement stipulates certain legal rights and rights determined by the collective agreement. The employment agreement can stipulate a 6-month trial period at most.

The employment agreement can be revoked by common agreement or the employee can unilaterally break it. In legally permitted cases the kindergarten or school can also break the agreement.

Code of ethics

In 2002, the Education, science and culture trade union of Slovenia passed the declaration Education international on professional ethics, which declares the personal and collective professional responsibility of pre-school teachers, teachers and other professionals working in the field of education. The Slovenian association of catholic pedagogues (DKPS) has its own code of ethics, as well.

Replacement measures

In replacing a temporarily absent pre-school teacher or teacher, kindergartens and schools use different measures. Sudden or short-term absences are resolved with regular teachers substituting for the absentees. The head teacher can assign an additional workload or extra teaching hours. Increase in the workload or overtime can be paid but is normally mutually settled, where they exchange their teaching duties with other teachers.

In case of a longer absence of a teacher, kindergartens or schools can employ a new teacher. This is the case with maternity leave or a long-term illness. A substitute teacher who is employed for a limited period of time takes the status of a civil servant and enjoys equal rights and duties, which they can assert during their employment.

In special circumstances, kindergartens or schools can enter into work contract (Obligations code) for up to 10 months and up to a third of the weekly teaching duties. This is the case when an uninterrupted pedagogical process needs to be assured only in a particular school year. Work contractors are not entitled to any rights arising from the employment relationship.

Supporting measures

Pre-school teachers and teachers do not have an organised counselling service; however, there have various sources of assistance and counselling available at all times of their career. Teacher beginners can consult their mentors during their traineeship, at the beginning of their employment, and during studying for the professional examination. They can also seek help and support from the head teacher or their assistants.

All kindergartens and school have to have an organised counselling service for children, basic and upper secondary school pupils, parents, as well as teachers.

Counselling staff may be:

  • psychologists
  • pedagogues
  • social workers
  • social pedagogues
  • special pedagogues, as well as
  • graduates of the study programme Social inclusion and fairness in handicap, ethnicity and gender, mental health in the community, supervision, personal and organisation counselling, or inclusive pedagogics.

The counselling service operates by the national programme guidelines that specify among other, the work areas of the counselling service. Counselling staff pursues three related and often intertwined types of activities: help and support, development and preventive activities, as well as planning and evaluation. The counselling service at kindergartens or schools helps and works towards helping all participants (children, pupils, apprentices, students, pre-school teachers, teachers, leadership, and parents) and the education institution as a whole realise successfully the basic and, within this scope, all other system defines general and special educational goals.

Help sources available at all time are the pedagogical advisors of the National education institute. The units of the Institute are located all over Slovenia. Pedagogical advisors are in constant contact with kindergartens and schools. The so called Study Groups are organized by all subject areas where pre-school teachers and teachers meet, develop new ideas, exchange experiences and solve professional issues. Vocational schools teachers can collaborate with pedagogical advisors of the National institute for vocational education and training. Teachers of adults can find support in the experts from the Slovenian institute for adult education.

Slovenian educational network offers internet classrooms for individual subjects and topics. The website offers every pre-school teacher or teacher their own web community in which they can share experience, find seminars and advice for their area and useful websites.

Teachers who work with mixed classes containing students with special needs, learning difficulties or from various cultural and linguistic environments can teach in classes with a lower number of students. They have access to seminars and supplementary training courses focussing on working with students with diverse needs. They can also find assistance in experts for special needs education who can be employed at the school or from a mobile service.


Pre-school teachers and teachers are civil servants. Their salaries are determined by the Public sector salary system Act (sl), which stipulates common salary bases of all employees in the public sector, so that it enforces equal pay for work in comparable work positions and titles. Depending on the level of difficulty, work positions are divided into nine tariff grades. Work positions are placed on a wage grade from 1 to 65. The salary of pre-school teachers and teachers are determined according to the matrix scale model in which wage grades, title grades and past work are combined.

Basic salary

The salary is made of basic salary, performance-related benefits, and other supplements. The basic salary of pre-school teachers and teachers is determined by a wage grade of the respective post, by the title awarded with promotion as specified by the rules on promotion of education staff to titles (sl).

Promotion according to wage grades and titles

The salary grade scale is specifid by law. The scale ranks posts by level of educational qualification needed for a particular post. The levels of salary grades are adjusted annually. The level for pre-school teachers and teachers (as well as for other civil servants) is determined by the Collective agreement for the public sector (sl).

As by rules on progression of education staff to higher salary grades, pre-school teachers and teachers may advance to a higher salary grade within their post or title for 5 salary grades at most, namely every 3 years for 1 or 2 saley grades a a time. It is the decision of the head teacher who examines the situation related to promotion at least once a year. The requirements and conditions for the promotion to a higher salary grade:

  • performance in view of work results
  • autonomy
  • creativity and diligence
  • reliability
  • quality of cooperation
  • organisation of work, as well as
  • other work-related skills.

Pre-school teachers and teachers can be promoted to lifelong titles mentor (Mentor), svetovalec (Advisor) and svetnik (Councillor).

Lowest and highest basic salaries

Since 1 October 2022Min. (per month)Max. (per month)
Salary gradeBasic salary (gross)Wage gradeBasic salary (gross)
Pre-school educationpre-school teacher321,552.31442,485.30
Basic schoolteacher321,552.31462,688.10
Upper secondary schoolteacher321,552.31462,688.10

A little over 22% in contributions for social security and income tax (from 16 to 41%) is deducted from the gross salary. For more information on teacher salaries please see the publication Eurydice Teacher's and school head's salaries.


As specified by general rules that apply to all civil servants and by the collective agreement pre-school teachers and teachers are entitled to supplement for:

  • job position

  • years of service

  • mentor to a trainee, form teacher

  • third cycle study programme degree if it is not a job requirement

  • less favourable work conditions: teaching in combined classes, classes with children with special needs, hospital classes, for teaching three or more subjects

  • special workloads: for working in shifts, in the afternoon, overtime, larger workload, and

  • performance.


The collective agreement stipulates that pre-school teachers and teachers are entitled to a monthly food allowance and annual leave allowance. They also get transport allowance for coming to and going from work, business trips and professional development seminars they are sent to by the head teacher. In individual cases, the municipality of kindergartens and schools in remote places can also secure an apartment for the pre-school teacher or teacher. Pre-school teachers and teachers are entitled to an award after 10, 20 or 30 years of service. When they retire they are entitled to a severance pay at retirement. In case of death, disability, longer illness or natural disaster the family may be entitled to aid if they ask for it.

Pre-school teachers and teachers receive wage compensation (from 80% to 100%) for sick leave, work related injuries, annual leave, public holidays, professional development and strike.

In addition to social security contributions, the state pays pre-school teachers and teachers compulsory pension, disability and health insurance, for work related injuries, employment and parenting leave. In addition they have also been entitled to collective voluntary pension insurance since 2004.

Working time and holidays

The full workload of pre-school teachers and teachers according to the general legislation is 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, or 40 hours a week. Full time work includes the right to a 30-minute lunch break.

Pre-school teachers

In a 40-hour working week pre-school teachers must instruct 30 contact hours at a kindergarten, while their assistants must instruct 35 contact hours. Pre-school teachers prepare for their work (regular syllabi design, methodological preparation and didactic aids and toys preparation) and execute it. They document it. They follow the development and progress of the children and record it in writing. They organise cultural, sporting and other events for pre-school children and prepare and lead trips and camps. They take part in organising everyday life and work at the kindergarten, collaborate with colleagues, professional staff and external experts and parents. They take part in continual professional development and update educational methods and contents. They work as mentors to trainees.


Within the 40-hour work week teachers have a legal pedagogical load defined pedagogical hours per week. Normally, a pedagogical hour equals 45 minutes.

The teaching load of a basic schoolteacher is 22 hours, and 25 hours in after school care and hospital school classes. Basic schoolteachers of the medium of instruction (Slovenian, Hungarian and Italian) teach 21 hours per week.

Teachers of general and technical subject in upper secondary schools have to teach 20 hours a week, with some exceptions. The law specifies that upper secondary school teachers of the medium of instruction (Slovenian, Hungarian and Italian) teach 19 hours a week. Teachers of practical lessons and skills teach 25 hours a week.

The head teacher may assign teachers to teach additional 5 hours a week within the 40-hour weekly load, which is compensated with benefit to salary. The workload may also be reduced by 3 hours, which then also means a lower salary.

A teacher's workload may be divided in three categories:

  1. Teaching load or time teachers spent to provide lessons and other forms of organised direct working with students

  2. Developing teaching material for lessons: content and methodological planning and preparation of didactical aids, as well as correcting and assessing the work of students

  3. Other work related to the realisation of the education programme specified by law includes:

  • cooperation with parents
  • participation in the school’s expert bodies
  • class teacher duties and responsibilities
  • organised professional education and training
  • collecting and processing data related to performing educational and other work
  • mentoring pupils, apprentices, students and HVC students, and cooperating with schools and higher education institutions which educate education staff
  • mentoring trainees
  • maintaining study rooms, collections, school workshops, sports halls, playgrounds, gardens, etc.
  • organising cultural, sports and other generally beneficial and humanitarian activities to involve pupils, apprentices or students
  • planning and supervising organised school excursions, trips, competitions, outdoor school, holiday retreats and camping, and
  • other duties and responsibilities specified in the annual work plan. Individual duties are not time standardised. 

Form teachers have their teaching load reduced by one and a half pedagogical hour. Other teachers may also have reduced teaching load if they pursue other activates, in particular related particularly to external examinations.

Annual leave of pre-school teachers and teachers

Duties of pre-school teachers and teachers are allocated throughout the school year, that is from the beginning of September to the end of June. Annual leave is in June and August. A day or two of annual leave can be used during autumn, Christmas-New Year and winter holidays.

Annual leave of pre-school teachers and teachers may be 20 to 35 working days for full time employees, depending on the level of educational qualification, years of service and particularly demanding work (e.g. working with special needs children). Staff over 50 years of age are entitled to an additional 5 days of leave (but not more than 35 days in total).

Additional paid leave is also possible in the case of illness, care of a family member, training, preparation and sitting the teaching certification examination, taking part in cultural and sports events of national and international importance, natural disasters, wedding, birth of a child, death in the family, moving house and humanitarian activity.

Promotion, advancement

Promotion to titles

By law (ZOFVI) pre-school teachers and teachers can be promoted to titles:

  1. mentor (Mentor)
  2. svetovalec (Advisor), and
  3. svetnik (Councillor).

The relevant rules on promotion to titles (sl) issued by the Minister of education specify the requirements and conditions for promotion, criteria for assessment of conditions, and procedures. It is the Minister who decides on the promotion, namely at the recommendation of the head teacher or even pre-school teachers or teachers themselves. The specified requirements and conditions for promotion include:

  1. years of work experience
  2. performance
  3. continuous professional development , and
  4. additional professional duties.

Candidates have to collect a certain number of points awarded for meeting the conditions. The higher the title, the more points are needed. Titles are lifelong and pre-school teachers or teachers keep them even if they change jobs or find employment in another kindergarten or school.

Career advancement

In the structure of kindergartens and schools there are not many chances for career advancement of pre-school teachers and teachers. Possibilities are restricted to management and leadership posts, which are: Head of unit, Assistant head teacher and Pre-school head teacher or School head teacher. The requirements to be appointed to a head teacher position are prescribed by law.

Anyone who satisfies the conditions for a pre-school teacher, teacher or a school counsellor, has at least five years of work experience in education, the title of counsellor or advisor or has held the title of mentor for five years and has completed the school leader examination (it can be taken also within one year after appointment) can be named a head teacher of a public kindergarten or school. If the candidate has not completed the National school for leadership in education and passed the examination they can apply for a position of the assistant head teacher. There are no special conditions prescribed for heads of a unit or subsidiaries.

For the job position of a pedagogical advisor at the National education institute, National institute for vocational education and training and the Slovenian institute for adult education 10 years of work experience at a kindergarten or school is needed.

In addition to appropriate qualifications, school inspectors must have 7 years work experience in a pedagogical, advisory, research and development or administrative field of education and have passed the inspector certification examination.

Mobility and transfers

The head teacher can offer a pre-school teacher or a teacher a new employment agreement for a different post suitable for their qualifications or in a different location. A pre-school teacher or a teacher can do a part of their teaching duty at a different kindergarten or school. In urgent cases, and with equal salary, a head teacher or a teacher can be offered a less demanding job position.

If the post of a pre-school teacher or a teacher is retracted (if there are not enough students) the redundant teacher can be employed by another kindergarten or school ignoring the open recruitment procedure. In such transfers, the Ministry of Education is involved. In the new post the teacher remains in the same wage grade.

Pre-school teachers and teachers can ask to terminate their employment contract. The notice period is 3 months.


If the education programme changes or intake of students decreases, the head teacher can decide to terminate the employment of a pre-school teacher or teacher. The head teacher can also do this if the Minister amends the rules on norms and standards.

The head teacher has to notify the Ministry responsible for education about the decision. The Ministry can find appropriate job positions for a redundant teacher. If there is no post available, the pre-school teacher or teacher is let go and is entitled to a severance pay.

If an agreement between the Ministry and the head teachers of the previous and future kindergarten or school with a new job position is successful, then a pre-school teacher or teacher is employed at the new post. If they refuse reassignment without just cause, the employment relationship is terminated and they are not entitled to severance pay.

The head teacher has the duty to terminate the employment agreement of a pre-school teacher or a teacher in case of a severe breach of work duty or if they have been convicted by a final judgement for an intentionally committed criminal offence.

Retirement and pensions

Pre-school teachers and teachers may retire under common conditions and requirements of the Pension and disability insurance Act.

The right to retirement pension is subject to age and pensionable period. Both conditions have to be met.



Pensionable period

60 years

40 years

65 years

no less than 15 years