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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Single-structure primary and lower secondary education


5.Single-structure primary and lower secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Compulsory basic education in Slovenia is organised as integrated primary and lower secondary education, i.e. as a single structure nine-year basic school. It is attended by children aged six to fifteen.


Pupils can obtain basic education in at public and private schools, but less than 1% of pupils attend private schools. Adapted basic education is also provided by educational institutions specialising in children with special needs. Adult students pursue basic education for adults at adult education institutions.


Legislation and legal basis

In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia (en), the basic school is mandatory and financed from public funds. In public schools, it is not permitted to teach religion (or provide confessional religious lessons with an intention to teach religion) and perform religious ceremonies, because the Constitution stipulates separation of religion from the state.

Terms and conditions for the provision of basic school education and the management and funding methods are regulated by the Organisation and financing of education Act (en).

The primary act for basic schools is the The Basic school Act (sl). It defines general basic education objectives and gives parents the right to choose the education method for their child. It prescribes components and the scope of compulsory and optional basic school programme. In addition, the Basic school act regulates enrolments, pupils’ rights and responsibilities, basic assessment and testing rules, conditions for progression to the next school year and the reporting on the end-of year results.

The act also regulates basic school education for children with special needs, the rights of migrant children, home education and basic school education for adults. The act makes a provision for the Minister to devise detailed rules, instructions, and guidelines for specific areas, as indicated in the subsequent subchapters.

Another relevant piece is legislation is the special School meals Act (sl). This act regulates the organisation of school meals, their quality, subsidies and schools’ duties to educate pupils in healthy nutrition.

Basic school objectives

The main basic school education objectives include:

  • to provide students with opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills consistent with their abilities and interests;
  • to foster personal development;
  • to develop the ability for life-long learning and continuous education;
  • to foster sense of belonging to one state, national identity and cultural heritage, as well as educate about common cultural values;
  • to develop respect for human rights, tolerance and acceptance of diversity;
  • to develop communication skills in the Slovenian language and foreign languages;
  • educate for sustainable development, for taking responsibility for one's actions, one's health, other people and the environment;
  • to develop entrepreneurial skills, innovation and creativity.

Outcomes for specific subjects and knowledge standards are laid down in the subject curricula.