The right and duty of pre-school teachers and teachers to continual professional development is specified by law and the Collective agreement for the educational activity (sl), as well as with the relevant Rules. The collective agreement specifies the right of education staff to up to 5 days of in-service training or 15 days over three years. The Ministry responsible for education opens invitations for in-service training for pedagogical staff and co-finances it. The aim is the professional development of education staff, the development of public kindergartens and schools, as well as the development of the system as a whole and thereby improving its quality and efficiency.
The relevant Rules (sl) issued by the Minister responsible for education specifies the organisation and financing of the programmes, decision-making bodies and their responsibilities, as well as the awarding and recognition of points for career advancement of pre-school teachers and teachers.
The CPD programmes qualify pre-school teachers and teachers for different posts, for teaching a new subject or a subject on a higher level. Providers of these programmes are higher education institutions that have developed and implemented the programmes in accordance with the rules on higher education. The law also prescribes the programme for head teachers is also prescribed – compulsory for all who wish to apply for the position of head teacher. It is implemented by the National school for leadership in education.
The CPD programmes are shorter programmes of career development aimed at professional and disciplinary development of education staff, namely: programmes of professional training, thematic conferences, extraordinary programmes, as well as project programmes.
Every year, the Ministry responsible for education announces a public call for proposals and co-financing of continuous development programmes. The Ministry outlines the priority topics and fields. The Council of experts for general education defines priority themes on the recommendation by the Ministry and in co-operation with the development and counselling institutes. The programmes are then selected by the tender commission and approved by the Minister's decision.
Kindergartens and schools plan the CPD for their education staff in the annual work plan. It is state-funded. The state has set up the network of CPD providers and programmes on offer. Since the CPD is the right and obligation of education staff, pre-school teachers and teachers get paid study leaves and their travel costs and participation fees reimboursed. Fort his purpose, the state and municipalities provide funds to cover material cost of participation.
It is up to pre-school teachers and teachers to decide on the training programmes they want to take. The training for changes of major curricular or other reforms is either compulsory or recommended, as well awarded with points (for promotion).
The Ministry of education has been surveying the realisation and efficiency of the system. It carries out periodic evaluations of the CPD programmes.
Incentives, supporting measures and funding for participation in continuing professional development (CPD) activities
There are various incentives and measures set up to support centrally the continuous professional development of pre-school teachers and teachers:
- free training
- compensation for travel and other cost of training
- leave of absence for training
- points for promotion to titles
- salary add on for receiving proper formal educational qualification
- financial support for continuing formal education at higher levels, and so forth.
As specified by the collective agreement for education, the teachers have the right to 5 days of professional training per year or 15 days every 3 years.
The Ministry of education allocates funds to cover the cost of participation in programmes of professional development for teachers. Teachers may take the training during their regular work, they get a paid leave of absence. They are also compensated for travel and stay expenses during and because of training.
Teachers receive points for participating in programmes of continuous professional development that count for their promotion to titles. This is further motivation for education staff to pursue training.
By law teachers who complete the professional development study programme receive salary add on if they start teaching 3 subjects. The salary benefit is given to teachers who complete CPD programmes and by it acquire higher formal educational qualification, for example: academic specialisation and third cycle degree.
The relevant rules on the selection and funding of CPD programmes specifies the procedure, offer and funding of CPD programmes, as well as awarding points for promotion. The Ministry has been co- or financing the programme providers, as well. Schools receive funds to cover the participation costs.
As specified by the relevant rules on study support teachers may apply for financial aid in a public call for grants.