Privately founded kindergartens must meet the statutory requirements regarding the programme, the premises and staff qualifications. This is a precondition for kindergartens to be included in the register of the Ministry of education. This, in turn, is the precondition for kindergartens to begin providing their services.
The founder of a private kindergarten determines the kindergarten's programme. This may be the same as the public kindergartens’ programme. Private kindergartens may also devise their own programmes, but they must be approved by the Council of experts of the Republic of Slovenia for general education. Alternatively, kindergartens may provide an internationally recognised education programme that follows special pedagogical principles, such as Steiner, Decroly and Montessori programmes. Those kindergartens must be internationally accredited as providers of the respective programmes. It is also possible for accredited private teachers to provide programmes for preschool children at private homes. Additionally, legislation of 2016 allows for the implementation of international programmes that are accredited in other countries, provided they are registered with the Slovenian Ministry of education.
Private kindergartens may be publicly funded at the local level. Municipalities award public funding to private kindergartens that hold a concession as providers of public service and implement the same programme as public kindergartens. If they meet the statutory requirements, private kindergartens without concession may also receive local public funding. The requirements refer to the duration of the programme, the number of children, staff qualifications and access for all children.
In the school year 2021/2022, 118 private kindergartens were in operation. Nevertheless, the vast majority of children (94%) attended public kindergartens (862 units). (SURS, 2022)
Private basic schools
Private basic schools receive for the implementation of the programme 85% of funds allocated by the state or local community to the implementation of the public school programme (the one that was founded and accredited prior to 1996, when the Organisation and Financing of Education Act was adopted, is funded 100%). The Organisation and Financing of Education Act stipulates an exception: public funding is not granted if the enrolment in a private basic school jeopardises the existence of the only public basic school in the area. In total, less than 1% of school-age population attends a private basic school.
Private basic schools may develop their own programmes, but they must comply with the goals of education system and enable pupils to achieve educational standards that are at least equal to those of public basic schools. Compliance is assessed by the Council of experts of the Republic of Slovenia for general education.
The curriculum must contain a number of compulsory subjects. These include: Slovenian and/or Italian or Hungarian, mathematics, first foreign language, history, citizenship culture and ethics, sports, at least one natural science, one social science and one arts related subject.
The requirement of compulsory subjects does not apply to the programmes of private basic schools that are based on special pedagogical principles (Steiner, Montessori, etc.). However, these schools must also meet the educational standards that enable their pupils to graduate from basic school.
In 2021/2022, 6 private basic schools were in operations (2 Waldorf, 2 Montessori, 1 catholic, 1 Education for life). Less than 1% of school age children attend private basic schools. (Eurydice, 2022)
Private upper secondary schools
There are no vocational or technical upper secondary schools registered as private schools, therefore this section refers only to general upper secondary schools called gimnazija.
Private gimnazijas receive for the implementation of the programme 85% of funds allocated by the state or local community to the implementation of the public school programme (those that were founded and accredited prior to 1996, when the Organisation and Financing of Education Act was adopted, are funded 100%). The allocation is based on the same criteria as those that are valid for public schools. As is the case with basic schools, a private general upper secondary school must be approved by the Council of experts of the Republic of Slovenia for general education. This council reviews the proposed programme and certifies that the programme meets the standards of accredited programmes.
In 2021/2022, there were 142 public upper secondary schools (as single upper secondary schools or school centres), 6 private, and 5 institutes for SEN youth (Eurydice, 2022) in operation.
Private tertiary education institutions
Legal entities or private persons may found private higher vocational colleges, and they must inscribe them in the Registry of higher vocational colleges at the Ministry of Education. Private higher vocational colleges must fulfil the same requirements as public schools in terms of staff, premises, equipment and practical training.
Contrary to the public higher vocational colleges – where students mostly study full-time and do not pay tuition fees – private higher vocational colleges mainly enrol part-time students who pay tuition fees.
Private higher vocational colleges may also be granted concession to provide full-time programmes and receive public funding. For instance, in the academic year 2016/2017, there were only two such – publicly funded – programmes.
Private higher education institutions operate under similar terms as private higher vocational colleges. Likewise, they may be founded by legal entities or by private persons and must be inscribed in the relevant registry at the Ministry of education, which is the Registry of higher education institutions. They may also be publicly funded, provided that they hold a concession for their full-time study programmes.
In 2021/2022, there were 18 private short cycle higher vocational schools (29 public).
In the academic year 2021/2022, there were 39 independent private higher education institutions (and 1 public) registered at the Ministry responsible for education, as well as 3 universities (and 3 public). 12 independent higher education institutions held concession for at least 1 study programme, and 1 university for several programmes. (Eurydice, 2022)
Private adult education organisations
Publicly subsidized adult education organisations must be registered in the Adult education programmes registry at the Ministry of education. In addition, they must comply with formal requirements regarding their staff, premises and equipment. As of March 2023, the registry contained 214 providers, of which less than one-half were private institutions.
Providers of formal adult education (244 and 3,437 education programmes) in 2021/2022 were mostly private institutions and public folk universities. There was also an opulent provision of formal education for adults in upper secondary and short cycle higher vocational education, as well as at higher education institutions. Most programmes of non-formal education are not officially recognised and they are provided at public (60%) and private institutions (40%). (Eurydice, 2022)