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Czechia: substantial funding change in education reform

On 1 January 2020, Czechia introduced changes to its system of regional education funding. The main modification is that school funding is no longer based on the number of students (per capita approach) but the real volume of teaching (the number of lessons taught), with financial resources allocated according to teacher salary amounts.

This opens the option of dividing classes into smaller groups to improve the quality of teaching. Until recently, schools, particularly those with Maturita study programmes, gravitated towards lowering their academic requirements to increase the number of newly admitted students. Often, even candidates with evidently very slim chances of successful graduation used to be admitted to study programmes and schools were striving to keep these students if possible.

Reform has brought an increased level of centralisation in regional education funding. A part of the existing national and regional normative amounts has been replaced by a scheme of normative amounts defined centrally by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Previously, it was not possible to consider important regional differences such as school sizes, sectoral structures of secondary and tertiary professional VET, shares of students in afterschool activities and education, or the financial demands of support provided to students with special educational needs.

Now, schools will be provided with sufficient financial resources to ensure quality teaching and adequate remuneration of pedagogical staff. Normative amounts for teacher salaries have been set, reflecting the average occupancy rate in classes and the proportion of students with special educational needs.

The change allows for the introduction of so-called multi-disciplinary classes, in which students from multiple VET study fields are educated together in general subjects while they are divided into smaller groups for vocational subject instruction according to the specific field. The maximum number of lessons is defined separately for each field of upper secondary education, form of education and type of class (composed of students from one field of study or multiple fields of study).

The Ministry of Education obtains necessary statistical data from so-called performance forms, which have indicators related to number of employees, number of pedagogical staff, number of newly admitted students, number of graduates, to the school in general and to its practical instruction centre. These forms have already been completed by schools for many years.

The funding of private and denominational schools remains unchanged for the time being.      

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ReferNet Czechia