population 8 million

Population density

GDP per capita

Education expenditures


45,400 $ (2014)

7% of GDP (2010)

Hospital bed density

Physician density

Health expenditures

7,6 beds/1.000 people (2011)

4,83 /1.000 people (2011)

11,5 % of GDP (2012)



Following here you will find information about Hospital and Home Education (HHE) in those countries where HOPE has members.
The information has been researched and compiled by the HOPE Committee Member/s(CM) of the specific country; the information sources are listed at the end of this document.
We’ll be glad to get your feedback, please contact the CM of your country, or else – if your feedback is of a more general character – please contact the Board of HOPE.
You will find the e-mail addresses on this website under ‘Who We Are’.


Overview of topics; click on one of them and you will jump directly to the information:

1. HHE as part of the Education System

2. HHE Operation

3. Teaching Staff

4. Pupils

5. Some Thoughts about the Future

6. Sources and further Links



1. HHE as part of the Education System

HHE in Austria is part of the public education sector. It is provided in the hospitals of bigger cities, such as the capital cities of the Federal Provinces. In Vienna, HHE is well extended and the headmaster of the Vienna Hospital School manages more than 80 teachers in hospitals and day care facilities.
For some educational needs, esp. for the final high-school examinations there are associations annexed to State or private schools.
In bigger cities with more ill pupils in hospitals it is easier to establish independent hospital schools. In the hospitals of smaller towns, children stay only a few days in hospital and very often there is no teacher available. If the illness or the disorder is more severe, these children are transferred to specialized clinics in bigger cities and will have lessons there. This needs a good and established co-operation between schools and teachers.
There are laws and guidelines for teaching in hospitals and for pupils in medical care.
The teachers are in the employ of the federal provinces and they are paid by the Ministry of Education. Equipment and material resources are financed by the Federal Provincial Government and/or Municipal Authority and very often the hospital schools get support from the hospital management.


2. HHE Operation

A Hospital School can be an independent school or it can be an annex to a State or private school in a town.
Hospital Schools follow the national curriculum. All subjects are taught to pupils from 6 to15 years of age (German, Mathematics, English, Biology, Geography, Music …) and sometimes selected subjects for older students, depending on their needs.
We teach in classrooms, but also at the bedside in the children’s rooms and wards.
Classes are held like in other kinds of schools from 8:00 to 13:00 but, depending on the medical treatment, they are sometimes in the afternoon. Classes are held also outdoors (with psychiatric patients) and, when necessary, parents can come to consult teachers in the late afternoon or evening.
Education at home is available between two stays in hospital or after a stay in hospital to prepare the pupil for the return to their State or private school. The organization differs in the Federal Provinces of Austria. In Vienna, teachers of the Vienna Hospital School work with the children at home; in the other Federal Provinces of Austria, there are other models. If possible, local school teachers visit pupils at home to give lessons, and receive payment from social services.


3. Teaching Staff

Hospital teachers in Austria need to have a primary school teachers’ degree, a secondary school teachers’ degree or a degree for teaching pupils with special needs.
When they start teaching, pre-service training for the work in a hospital school is not necessary but several courses and in-service training are available, and the teachers are expected to attend these courses. Every teacher (not only the hospital teachers) in Austria has to take part in 15 hours further education annually and in addition has to take part in groups for teamwork, school development, instruction development, evolvement of teaching methods …
The teaching of ill children in medical care is not incorporated in the initial teacher training courses.
To work in a hospital, many additional abilities and faculties are necessary to be able to teach ill children. First of all, the teacher has to be a healthy, stabile and cheerful person who is able to appraise situations and necessities, moods and feelings.
He or she has to fit in the hospital environment, has to be able to co-operate with persons of other professions, has to be trained to overcome unprofessional pity and has to be willing to work on his/her own personality. A hospital teacher has to update his teaching methods and has to be informed about the school system in general and its code of laws.
The teacher’s main role is teaching and using pedagogical methods. But the aim of the teaching may vary from developing a new approach to learning to intellectual achievement to changing the behaviour in class or finding a new scheme for somebody’s way of life.


4. Pupils

Pupils are not ‘enrolled’ in the hospital school. They are given lessons in the hospital when they are patients there, but they stay enrolled in their own local school, which gives the marks and writes the annual report, after the hospital teachers send them the results of the examinations and tests made in hospital.
The main task is to teach the patients following the curriculum in the school in which they are enrolled, to examine them and work together with the teaches in these schools to secure that the reports are written and the pupils do not miss a school year. On account of the illness or disorder that a child has, different criteria have to be taken into consideration:
– somatically ill children need support to overcome their temporary restrictions
– seriously ill children need pedagogical methods to make their stay in hospital as interesting and diversified as possible, and they need the lessons as a means to express anxiety and fear
– children with psychiatric disorders, and who probably did not have tuition for a long time, need the teachers to get back to normal life and to be able to come to terms with new situations.
We teach children from the age of 6 to 15 years, and help adolescents to organize their learning and their tests, especially for their final exams.
In Vienna there are 80 hospital teachers and 5,000 patients a year: some stay only two days, some for more than 100 days. So the average teacher/pupil ratio cannot be given. The Austrian school law allows one teacher to be responsible for a ward, when throughout the whole school year at least 8 to 10 pupils are present daily.


5. the Future

A new development may be that hospital teachers are able to take on a consultant role in regard to ill children in State and private school classes.
We have to observe the plans of the Public Health System, but we must also try to get heard when a new hospital is planned. We would also like to be able to advise schools on several issues concerning what can be done, for example, in the case of psychiatric syndromes, eating disorders, school dropouts.
We are trying to get a better supply of teachers and lessons for pupils that are 15+.
We also hope that it will be allowed to adept the national curriculum to the state of health and capabilities of severely ill children


6. Resources and further Links

The following sources were used for the data and information given in this document:
Wikipedia – Austria
The World Factbook – Austria
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