Slovenia - Country Background Information

Describing the forms of education in the country

The EASIE data collection covers all recognised forms of education at ISCED levels 02, 1, 2 and 3.

This means any type of education organised by or approved by any recognised educational provider in the public or private sector: municipality, local or regional educational provider from the public or private sector, working with/for ministries responsible for education and areas such as health, social, welfare, labour, justice, etc.

What is the compulsory education age range in the country?


Compulsory basic education in Slovenia is organised as integrated primary and lower-secondary education, i.e. as a single structure, nine-year basic school. Children enrol in grade one in the calendar year of their sixth birthday. School entry may be postponed by a maximum of one year. 

What are the typical age ranges for the ISCED levels?

3–5 6–11 12–14 15–18
Is private sector education covered by the data provided for the country?

Privately founded kindergartens and schools must meet the statutory requirements regarding the programme, the premises and staff qualifications. They provide their own officially recognised education programmes and receive public funding (in full or part). Private kindergartens or schools which hold concession are regarded as part of public network of kindergartens and schools and provide public programmes. The share of learners attending private kindergartens and schools is low (ISCED 0: 6%, ISCED 1 and 2: 1%, ISCED 3: 2%).

Is recognised public or private education organised by sectors other than education (i.e. health, social, welfare, labour, justice, etc.) in the data provided for the country?

The social-care residential institutes which fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities provide the special education programme. It is provided for children, youth and adults with moderate, severe and profound mental development disabilities.

The programme aims to stimulate the child’s development in the field of perception, physical, emotional and mental abilities, and communicative and social skills; train them to become conscious of health issues and living independently; enable them to attain basic knowledge and skills and get them accustomed in active and to some extent independent inclusion in the surrounding. It is organised in levels. As a rule, each level is made of three years: the compulsory part at levels 1, 2 and 3 and optional part at levels 4, 5 and 6, up to the age of 26 years. 

Are there recognised forms of alternative education covered by the data provided for the country?
Are there recognised forms of home schooling covered by the data provided for the country?

Parents have the right to educate their child at home while the child is formally enrolled in a basic school which is providing primary and lower-secondary education (ISCED 1 and 2). The school annually provides assessment of the learner’s knowledge. If the learner does not meet the required knowledge standards, they must attend education/lessons in the school from the next school year on.

Learners who attend home-based learning are considered as students of the particular basic school, therefore they are included in all relevant forms of recognised education. However, based on administrative data, there are approximately 0.2% learners educated at home (of all learners enrolled in any form of recognised education reported in Table 1 in row 1.2).

Identifying an ‘inclusive setting’ in the country

In the EASIE data collection, an inclusive setting is operationally defined as:

A recognised form of education where the child/learner follows education in mainstream classes alongside their peers for the largest part – 80% or more – of the school week.

The 80% time placement benchmark clearly indicates that a child/learner is educated in a mainstream class for the majority of their school week. At the same time, it acknowledges possibilities for small group or one-to-one withdrawal for limited periods of time (i.e. 20% or one day a week).

Very few participating countries can provide exact data on children/learners spending 80% of their time in a mainstream group/class. However, all countries can apply one of three agreed proxies that provide an approximation to this benchmark:

  • Placement in a mainstream class implies over 80% or more
  • Data is available on the number of hours of support allocated to a child/learner
  • Placement in a mainstream class implies over 50% or more.
Are you able to provide actual data to verify the 80% placement benchmark?
What an ‘official decision of SEN’ means in the country

In the EASIE data collection, the agreed operational definition is:

An official decision leads to a child/learner being recognised as eligible for additional educational support to meet their learning needs.

Countries may have different types of official decision, but for all official decisions:

  • There has been some form of educational assessment procedure involving different people. This procedure may involve the child/learner, parents, school-based team members, as well as professionals from multi-disciplinary teams from outside the child’s/learner’s (pre-)school.
  • There is some form of legal document (plan/programme, etc.) that describes the support the child/learner is eligible to receive, which is used as the basis for decision-making.
  • There is some form of regular review process of the child/learner’s needs, progress and support.
Please describe what an ‘official decision’ is in the country.

In Slovenia, the ‘official decision of SEN’ is a ‘SEN guidance decision’ (odločba o usmeritvi) issued by the National Education Institute of Slovenia in the administrative procedure which is regulated by law. The decision is based on an expert opinion of the multidisciplinary SEN guidance commission. 

The decision determines: the educational needs of the child, the appropriate education programme in which the child is/will be placed and the school/educational institution in which the child will be enrolled; the scope, form and provider of additional professional assistance; devices, premises and equipment and other conditions that need to be provided; a temporary or permanent attendant; an interpreter of the Slovenian sign language; reduced number of children/learners in the group/class; the time limit for testing the adequacy of the placement; and other rights regulated by law (e.g. free transportation).

The new Act Regulating the Integrated Early Treatment of Preschool Children with Special Needs is in force from 1 January 2019. It determines the procedure and stakeholders of integrated early treatment of pre-school children with SEN and those at risk. Early treatment centres form multidisciplinary teams which draft an individualised family support plan that includes recommendations for help and support best suited to the child’s and family’s needs. Regarding education, the plan may include specification of the suitable education programme, recommendations regarding steps needed for a child’s transition to kindergarten, how to provide inclusive environment, needed adjustments of organisation and transition between programmes, physical assistance, use of the sign language and communication appropriate to deaf-blindness, reduced number of children in a group, etc. Data on children (ISCED 02) included in early treatment is not collected at national level.

What educational assessment procedures are carried out and who is involved?

In order to establish the facts and circumstances necessary for the optimal placement of the child/learner, SEN guidance commission (komisija za usmerjanje) is established. The commission drafts an expert opinion. The opinion is based on available expert documentation relating to the special needs of the learner; the report of the school/educational institution including written report of the learner’s teacher; interview with the applicant (usually parents or school); where necessary, interview with the learner and/or after examining the learner; and if needed, acquired additional psychological and medical documentation. 

The National Education Institute of Slovenia sends an expert opinion to the parents or the applicant for the initiation of the procedure and to the educational institution in which the child/learner is or will be included. Parents or applicants may submit their comments on the provided expert opinion. On the basis of the comments submitted, the commission may supplement the expert opinion, give additional explanation or repeat the assessment procedure of the SEN learner. Prior to issuing a decision, the National Education Institute ensures that the school/educational institution fulfils the admission conditions.

Children with SEN and children at risk (ISCED 0) can be identified within the family, health system via primary preventive health care, and other treatment in a kindergarten, educational institution, social care institution, or via services of social work centres. For an individual child, a multidisciplinary team of members who are important for helping the child and the family in the field of health care, education and social care is formed within the centre for early treatment. The tasks of the multidisciplinary team are: diagnosis of the child; assessment of the abilities and needs of the child and their parents, drafting and monitoring of an individual family assistance plan, assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the individual family assistance plan, informing on possible forms of assistance and social rights, drafting a plan for the transition to kindergarten or the educational institution for children with SEN or the social welfare institutions and basic school.

What formal, regular review processes of a child/learner’s needs, progress and support are linked to an official decision?

If the time limit to test the appropriateness of the placement in the SEN guidance decision is set, the National Education Institute of Slovenia is obliged, on the basis of an opinion prepared by the school/educational institution in which the child/learner is enrolled and the opinion of the SEN guidance commission, to initiate the procedure for testing, and also to obtain a report on the implementation of the individualised programme and its evaluation. If it is established that the placement is appropriate, it is upheld. If it is established that the placement is not appropriate, it is amended in accordance with the established child placement procedure.

If the circumstances affecting the appropriateness of the placement of the child/learner change, a request for the amendment of the SEN guidance decision or the its early termination may be filed. The initiator shall clearly specify the facts and evidence on which the request is based and justify the benefits for the child/learner or the school/educational institution proceeding from a potentially amended SEN guidance decision. The previous decision shall be confirmed or amended.

The individualised programme has to be evaluated at least once in each educational period and amended if necessary.

According to the law the multidisciplinary team has to monitor the implementation of an individual family assistance plan and assess the achievement of the objectives of the individual family assistance plan.

What ‘out-of-education’ means in the country

Within the EASIE data collection, specific questions examine children/learners who are out of education. This means children/learners who should, by law, be in some form of recognised education, but who are out of any form of recognised education. A recognised form of education is any type of education organised by or approved by any recognised educational provider in the public or private sector.

Is there a formal definition of ‘out-of-education’ in the country?
Please describe which learners are considered ‘out-of-education’ in the country

All children and youth of certain age who are not enrolled in officially-recognised programmes.