Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
- Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
- Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Art. 5 States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.
- States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
- States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.
- Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
- States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.
- For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the present Convention, States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and services for the care of children.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible.
Charter of the Rights and Responsibilities of Parents in Europe
Raising children is a sign of hope. It shows that people have hope for the future and faith in the values they pass on to the next generation.
Therefore the responsibility of parents for their children is an irreplaceable cornerstone of society. Parents need not stand alone in bearing this responsibility, neither in the Europe of today nor that of tomorrow. The education community helps them with this task, social groups and institutions support them, public services offer material assistance and expertise.
Many people contribute to the raising of children in society, as children do not grow up in isolation but right in the middle of the real world. Growing up is thus much more than academic education, but is almost impossible without the efforts made by schools. Mutual support and mutual respect for the responsibility of parents and schools is the “conditio sine qua non” for raising children in our age.
The hopes of many people in Western and Eastern Europe are based upon a new cooperation on our continent, leading to increased unity and a common identity. Today’s young people will be citizens of the Europe of tomorrow, each with their distinctive spiritual and cultural background, each with their distinctive talents and expectations. For them and for ourselves we demand a democratic Europe, which will continue to regard its diversity as a source of inspiration. Education and schooling in Europe should be focused on this objective. If we want to achieve this goal, parents must work together: in schools, with schools, but also at European level and in national associations. Mutual inspiration and growth towards European solidarity are our objectives. EPA regards this as its “to be or not to be”. But even more is needed. Parents in Europe should have always the right to count on respect for their prime responsibility as educators of youth. This means recognition for their parental duties and emphasis on their task as prime educators for their children as well as support from dedicated people in education and society as a whole for their educational efforts. EPA wishes to formulate this philosophy in a declaration of principles, the “Rights and Duties of Parents in Europe”. We ask the European Commission and Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe to support this Charter and join us in its realization.
Rights and duties of parents in Europe
- Parents have the right to raise their children in a society without discrimination on the grounds of the colour of their skin, sex, ethnic background, nationality, beliefs, sex or economic position. Parents have the duty to raise their children towards a sense of responsibility for each other and for a humane world.
- Parents have the right to recognition of their primacy as educators of their children. Parents have the duty to raise children in a responsible way and not to neglect them.
- Parents have the right to full access to the formal education system for their children on the basis of their needs, talents and merits. Parents have the duty to commit themselves as partners in education to the school of their children.
- Parents have the right of access to all information at educational institutions which concerns their children. Parents have the duty to give to their children’s schools all information relevant for the attainment of the educational goals on which they work together.
- Parents have the right to make a choice for the education which is closest to their convictions and to the values they hold dear in raising their children. Parents have the duty to make well-informed and conscientious choices about the education their children should receive.
- The formal education system shall respect for the spiritual and cultural background of the children. Parents have the duty to raise their children to respect and accept other people and their convictions.
- Parents have the right to exert influence on the policy which their children’s school implements. Parents have the duty to be personally committed to their children’s school as a vital part of the local community.
- Parents and their associations have the right to be consulted actively about the policy of public authorities in education at all levels. Parents have the duty to maintain democratic representative organizations at all levels to represent themselves and their interests.
- Parents have the right to public material assistance to take away financial impediments to the access to education for their children. Parents have the duty to give both time and personal commitment to their children and their school to support its efforts in attaining educational goals.
- Parents have the right to high quality educational provision from the responsible public authorities. Parents have the duty to help each other to improve their skills as prime educators and partners in the home-school relationship.
The Constitution of the Republic of Poland
- Parents shall have the right to rear their children in accordance with their own convictions. Such upbringing shall respect the degree of maturity of a child as well as his freedom of conscience and belief and also his convictions.
- Limitation or deprivation of parental rights may be effected only in the instances specified by statute and only on the basis of a final court judgment.
- Parents shall have the right to ensure their children a moral and religious upbringing and teaching in accordance with their convictions. The provisions of Article 48, para. 1 shall apply as appropriate.
- Parents shall have the right to choose schools other than public for their children. Citizens and institutions shall have the right to establish primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education and educational development institutions. The conditions for establishing and operating non-public schools, the participation of public authorities in their financing, as well as the principles of educational supervision of such schools and educational development institutions, shall be specified by statute.
The Republic of Poland shall ensure protection of the rights of the child. Everyone shall have the right to demand of organs of public authority that they defend children against violence, cruelty, exploitation and actions which undermine their moral sense.
ACT of 26 January 1982 – Teacher’s Charter
1. Work of teachers, except for trainee teachers, shall be subject to assessment. Teacher’s work assessment may be performed at any time, not earlier than after a year from the previous assessment or assessment of professional achievements referred to in Art. 9c section 6 on the school headmaster’s initiative or upon request of:
1) the teacher;
2) the authority performing pedagogical supervision;
3) the authority governing the school;
4) the school board;
5) the parents board.
7. The authority referred to in section 6 shall assess the work of the school headmaster upon consulting the school board and trade union organisations active at that school. The provision of section 2 shall apply by work assessment of the school headmaster.
1. The probationary period, subject to section 2, shall last in order to be promoted to the grade of:
1) a contract teacher – 9 months;
2) an appointed teacher and a chartered teacher – 2 years and 9 months.
2. A contract teacher or an appointed teacher with at least PhD degree may apply for promotion to the next grade after a probationary period of 1 year and 9 months. The school headmaster may reduce the probationary period of a contract teacher to 1 year and 9 months in relation to teachers who were promoted according to Art. 9a section 3 and apply for the degree of an appointed teacher.
3. During the probationary period, teachers shall follow their own professional development plans approved by the school headmaster and respecting requirements referred to in Art. 9g section 10. Upon completion of the probationary period, the teacher shall submit to the school headmaster a report on fulfilment of the plan.
3a. In the case of an appointed teacher applying for promotion to the grade of a chartered teacher, appropriate professional achievements, in particular in the period before obtaining the grade of an appointed teacher, shall be considered fulfilment of relevant requirements referred to in Art. 9g section 10.
4. In the case of trainee teachers and contract teachers during the probationary period, the school headmaster shall assign a supervisor from among appointed and chartered teachers, provided that:
1) in nursery schools, schools and establishments referred to in Art. 1 section 2 point 2, also teachers in managerial positions may be supervisors of trainee and contract teachers;
2) in family care and education centres, also appointed and chartered teachers employed in a public adoption and care centre chosen by the supervising authority in agreement with the centre governing authority may be supervisors of trainee and contract teachers.
5. The supervisor of the probationary period referred to in section 4 should provide assistance to the teacher, in particular with regard to development and fulfilment of a professional development plan of the teacher during the probationary period as well as development of an assessment project of teacher’s professional achievements during the period.
6. Assessment of teacher’s professional achievements during the probationary period shall be determined by the school headmaster within maximum 21 days from the submission date of the report referred to in section 3, taking into consideration the fulfilment degree of the professional development plan of the teacher:
1) in the case of trainee teachers and contract teachers – upon familiarising with the assessment project developed by the supervisor and consulting the parents’ board;
2) in the case of appointed teachers – upon consulting the parents’ board.
7. The parents’ board shall present its opinion within 14 days from receipt of the notification of assessment procedure of the professional achievements of the teacher. Failure to present the opinion of the parents’ board shall not stop the whole procedure referred to in section 6.
8. Assessment of professional achievements of a teacher may be positive or negative. The assessment shall be made in writing and include justification as well as instruction about the possibility to submit an appeal.
9. The assessment of professional achievements of the teacher shall be subject to an appeal to the authority performing pedagogical supervision within 14 days from its receipt. The authority performing pedagogical supervision shall consider the appeal within 21 days. The assessment of professional achievements of the teacher formulated by the authority performing pedagogical supervision shall be final.
10. Should the authority performing pedagogical supervision fail to consider the appeal within the determined deadline referred to in section 9, the teacher shall be allowed to take part in an interview referred to in Art. 9b section 1 point 1 to the exam referred to in Art. 9b section 1 point 2, or to apply for approval of the commission referred to in Art. 9b section 1 point 3.
11. In the case of a negative assessment of professional achievements of the teacher, a renewed assessment of professional achievements may be carried out upon completion of one additional probationary period lasting 9 months, upon request of the teacher and consent of the school headmaster.
ACT of 7 September 1991 on the Education System
The education system shall provide in particular:
2) supporting the educational function of the family by the school.
1. Public nursery schools, primary schools and lower secondary schools shall organise religion classes upon request of parents, public upper secondary schools – upon request of parents or students themselves; upon turning 18, students shall decide themselves on participation in religion classes.
1. Public schools and establishments shall enable students to retain the sense of national, ethnic, linguistic and religious identity, in particular to learn the mother tongue, own history and culture.
2. Upon request o parents, the education referred to in section 1 may be conducted:
1) in separate groups, classes or schools,
2) in groups, classes or schools – with additional language, history and culture education,
3) in inter-school education groups.
1. Upon request of parents, a child who turns 6 before 1 September may start its education in the primary school if it shows an adequate level of psychological and physical development in order to start education at school.
8. Upon request of parents, the headmaster of a public or non-public nursery school, primary school, lower secondary school and upper secondary school which the child has been enrolled in may issue a decision allowing the child to fulfil the obligation referred to in Art. 14 section 3 outside the nursery school, pre-school class or another form of pre-school education and the schooling or education obligation outside the school, respectively.
1. Parents of a child subject to schooling obligation shall be obliged to:
1) carry out any acts necessary for enrolment of the child in a school;
2) ensure that the child attends school classes on a regular basis;
3) provide the child with conditions which enable preparing for classes;
4) inform, until 30 September each year, the headmaster of a primary school or a lower secondary school, competent for the place of residence of the child, that the child fulfils the schooling obligation in a manner specified in Art. 16 section 5b.
2. Upon request of the head of the commune (mayor, president of the city/town) in which a child lives, parents of the child subject to the education obligation shall be obliged to inform the commune head about the form of fulfilment of this obligation as well as any changes in this regard.
3. Parents of a child who fulfils the schooling or education obligation outside school according to a permit referred to in Art. 16 section 8 shall be obliged to provide the child with the learning conditions specified in the permit.
1. The authority governing the school or the establishment shall appoint the headmaster of the school or establishment.
2. Candidates for the position of the headmaster of a school or establishment shall be selected through a competition for the position. The selected candidate must not be refused to be appointed headmaster.
4. If nobody enters the competition or no candidate is selected in the competition, the governing authority shall appoint a chosen candidate headmaster upon consulting the board of the school or the establishment and the teachers board.
6. In order to hold the competition, the authority governing the school or the establishment shall establish a competition committee consisting of:
1) three representatives of the authority governing the school or the establishment;
2) two representatives of the authority performing pedagogical supervision;
3) one representative of:
- the teachers board,
- the parents board,
- trade union organisations, however, the representative of a trade union must not be an employee of the school or the establishment with regard to which the competition is held – subject to section 7.
The total number of representatives of bodies referred to in section 6 points 1 and 2 above must not be smaller than the total number of representatives referred to in section 6 point 3 above.
8. If the total number of representatives of bodies referred to in section 6 points 1 and 2 is smaller than the total number of representatives referred to in section 6 point 3, the number of representatives of these bodies shall be increased proportionately so that their total number is not smaller than the total number of representatives referred to in section 6 point 3.
9. Provisions of sections 6-8 shall also apply to a competition for headmaster position of a newly established school or establishment centre, provided that:
1) the representative of the teachers board shall be appointed from among representatives of teachers boards from all schools or establishments to be a part of the centre;
2) the representative of the parents board shall be appointed from among parents boards from all schools or establishments to be a part of the centre.
11. In the case of schools and establishments referred to in Art. 44 and Art. 52 section 1, representatives of the teachers board and the parents board shall not be a part of the committee.
1. The headmaster of a school or establishments shall, in particular,:
4) implement resolutions of the board of the school or establishment, and the teachers board adopted within their competences,
5) manage means determined in the financial plan of the school or establishment evaluated by the board of the school or establishment and be responsible for their proper utilisations, and may also organise administrative, financial and economic services for the school or establishment,
3. The headmaster shall be the manager of the work place for teachers and employees who are not teachers employed in the school or the establishment. The headmaster shall decide in particular on:
3) forwarding proposals, upon consulting the teachers board and the board of the school or the establishment, with regard to decorations, awards and other distinctions for teachers and other employees of the school or the establishment.
4. The headmaster of the school or establishment shall cooperate with the board of the school or the establishment, the teachers board, parents and students council in performance of his/her duties.
5. Meeting of the teachers board shall be organised before the beginning of the school year, in each school term due to classification and promotion of students, after the end of classes in the school year and when necessary. Meetings may be organised upon request of the authority performing pedagogical supervision, on the initiative of the headmaster of the school or establishment, board of the school or establishment, authority governing the school or the establishment or at least 1/3 of all teachers board members.
1. Competences of the teachers board shall include:
1) approving work schedules of the school or establishment upon receiving an opinion from the board of the school or the establishment,
3) adopting resolutions on educational innovation and experiments at the school or in the establishment upon receiving an opinion from the board of the school or the establishment about the projects.
1. The teachers board shall develop statute draft of the school or the establishment, or amendments to the statute, and present it to the board of the school or the establishment in order to be adopted.
1. Boards of schools and establishments may exist at schools and establishments.
2. The board of the school or establishment shall participate in solving internal issues of the school or establishment, as well as:
1) adopt the statute of the school or establishment,
2) present proposals concerning the annual financial plan of special means of the school or establishment and issue opinions about the financial plan draft of the school or establishment,
3) may submit to the authority performing pedagogical supervision over the school or establishment requests to check and evaluate work of the school or establishment, its headmaster or another teacher employed in the school or establishment; these requests shall be binding for the authority,
4) issue opinion about the work schedule of the school or establishment, projects of educational innovation and experiments and other matters essential for the school or establishment,
5) evaluate on its own initiative the situation and state of the school or establishment and forwards proposals to the headmaster, teachers board, authority governing the school or establishment and the educational board of the province, in particular with regard to organisation of extracurricular courses and facultative subjects.
3. In order to support statutory activities of the school or establishment, the board of the school or the establishment may collect funds from voluntary contributions and other sources. Principles of spending funds of the board of the school or establishment are specified by the rules and regulations referred to in Art. 51 section 5.
1. The board of the school or the establishment shall consist of, subject to sections 1a-1c, the same number of:
1) teachers chosen by the teachers;
2) parents chosen by the parents;
3) students chosen by the students.
1c. In schools and establishments defined in regulations passed under Art. 53 section 6 participation of parents in the board of the school or establishment shall not be obligatory.
2. The board shall consist of at least 6 persons.
3. Procedures applied to select members of the board of a school or establishment are specified by the statute of the school or the establishment. The statute of the school or the establishment may provide for extension of the board by persons other than listed in section 1.
4. The term of office of the board of a school or establishment shall last 3 years. The statute of a school of establishment may allow for change of one third of all members each year.
5. The board of a school or establishment shall adopt rules and regulations of its activities and choose a president. Board meetings shall be minuted.
5a. The rules and regulations referred to in section 5 above shall determine types of cases in consideration of which representatives of the students do not participate.
9. Establishment of the board of a school or establishment shall be organised by the headmaster of the school or the establishment on own initiative or upon request of the parents board, and in the case of lower secondary schools and upper secondary school – upon request of the students council, as well.
1. Parents boards representing the parents of students shall exist at schools and establishments, subject to section 6.
2. The parents board shall consist of:
1) in schools – one representative of each class board chosen in secret voting by the parents of students of a given class;
2) in establishment – at least 7 representatives chosen in secret voting by the parents of pupils of a given establishment;
3) in art schools – at least 7 representatives chosen in secret voting by the parents of students of a given school.
3. One student shall be represented by one parent in the voting referred to in section 2 above. The voting shall be conducted at the first meeting of parents in each school year.
4. The parents board shall adopt the rules and regulations of its activities which determines, in particular,:
1) internal structure and working mode of the board;
2) detailed procedure of conducting election to boards referred to in section 2 points 1-3, and of representatives of class boards referred to in section 2 point 1, to the parents board of the school or establishment, respectively.
5. Parents board may communicate with each other, defining principles and scope of their cooperation.
6. The minister in charge of education, and in the case of art schools and establishment – the minister in charge of culture and national heritage protection, shall determine in a regulation types of schools and establishments where no parents boards are established, taking into account organisation of the school or establishment, or lack of possibilities to direct participation of parents’ representatives in their activities.
1. The parents board may submit to the headmaster and other bodies of the school or establishment, authority governing the school or establishment, or the authority performing pedagogical supervision proposals and opinions with regard to all issues concerning the school or the establishment.
2. Competences of the parents shall include, subject to sections 3 and 4:
1) adopting, in agreement with the teachers board:
- the education programme of the school covering all the contents and activities of educational nature addressed to students and implemented by teachers,
- the prevention programme adjusted to the development-related needs of students and needs of a given environment, covering all the contents and activities of preventive nature addressed to students, teachers and parents;
2) issuing opinions about the programme and schedule aiming at improving efficiency of education at the school or establishment referred to in Art. 34 section 2;
3) issuing opinions about the financial plan submitted by the school headmaster.
3. In art schools where there is no general education provided the prevention programme referred to in section 2 point 1 (b) above shall not be adopted.
4. Should the parents board not agree with the teachers board with regard to the programme referred to in section 2 point 1 (a) or (b) within 30 days from the beginning of the school year, the programme shall be specified by the school headmaster in agreement with the authority performing pedagogical supervision. The programme specified by the school headmaster shall be applicable until the parents board adopts a programme in agreement with the teachers board.
5. In schools and establishment where no parents boards are established the programmes referred to in section 2 point 1 above shall be adopted by the teachers board.
6. Programmes referred to in section 2 point 1 shall not be adopted in schools for adults.
7. In public schools and establishments governed by legal persons other than local government units or natural persons, as well as in non-public schools and establishments, the programmes referred to in section 2 point 1 above shall be specified by the body indicated in the statute of the school or establishment.
8. In order to support statutory activities of the school or establishment, the parents board may collect funds from parents’ voluntary contributions and other sources. Principles of spending funds of the parents board are specified by the rules and regulations referred to in Art. 53 section 4.
1. Associations and organisations, in particular scout organisations the statutory aim of which is educational activity or provision of broader and richer spectrum of forms of educational activities of a school or an establishment, except for parties and political organisations, may be active at the school or establishment.
2. Commencing activities at a school or an establishment by an association or another organisation referred to in section 1 shall require consent of the director of the school or establishment given upon prior agreement on conditions of such activity and receiving positive opinion of the board of the school or establishment, and the parents board.
3. In schools and establishments defined in regulations passed under Art. 53 section 6, as well as in schools and establishments in which there is no board of the school or the establishment, the requirement to obtain a positive opinion of the board of the school or establishment respectively and the parents board referred to in section 2 shall not be applied.
1. A public school, subject to sections 1a and 2, may be closed down at the end of a school year by the authority governing the school, provided that the authority provides the students with the possibility to continue their education in another public school of the same type, as well as of the same or similar general vocational profile of education or providing education in the same or similar profession. The governing authority shall be obliged to notify of the intent to close the school down, at least 6 months before the planned date of closing: parents of the students (in the case of schools for adults – the students), the competent chief education officer and the executive authority of the local government unit in charge of governing schools of a given type.
1. The authority governing schools of various types or establishments may make a school centre of them. Such action shall not infringe on independence of the teachers boards, parents boards, boards of schools or establishments and students councils of particular schools or establishments, unless otherwise stipulated by the statute of the centre.
1. The headmaster of the primary school, lower secondary school, upper secondary school and art school may on his/her own initiative or upon request of the school board, parents board, teachers board or students council, upon consent of, respectively, the parents board and the teachers board, and if it was initiative of the school headmaster or the request was made by an entity other than the students council – also upon obtaining opinion of the students council, introduce the obligation for students to wear uniform attire at school.
3. Design of the uniform attire referred to in section 1 shall be specified by the school headmaster in agreement with the parents board and upon consulting the teachers board and the students council.
4. The headmaster of the school where the obligation for students to wear uniform attire has been introduced may, in agreement with the parents board and upon consulting the teachers board, determine situations in which the students are not obliged to wear uniform attire.
1. Upon request or consent of parents or an adult student, the school headmaster may consent to individualised education programme or plan with regard to the student and appoint the supervising teacher upon consulting the teachers board and the psychological and pedagogical counselling centre, including a specialist counselling centre. Refusal to give the consent shall occur based on an administrative decision.
1a. Upon request or consent of parents or an adult student, the headmaster of an art school which does not provide general education may consent to individualised education programme or plan with regard to the student which will be carried out under supervision of the teacher teaching the main subject of the student upon consulting the teachers board. Refusal to give the consent shall occur based on an administrative decision.