Greece

Greece

population 11 million

Population density

GDP per capita

Education expenditures

82/km2

16,400 € (2014)

2,5 % of GDP (2015)

Hospital bed density

Physician density

Health expenditures

4,8 beds/1.000 people (2009)

6,2 /1.000 people (2009)

8,7 % of GDP (2013)

 

Introduction

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

The educational provision of pupils with medical and/or mental health needs either at hospital or at home is delivered through the public sector and is financed centrally by the Greek Ministry of Education both in terms of equipment and resources as well as teaching staff. Hospital schools in Greece have benefited a lot from private donations through charitable organizations or commercial companies.
 
HHE is organized and delivered in approximately the same way across Greece. However, there is an important difference on how this service is conceptualized at the North and South. In Thessaloniki (Northern Greece) hospital schools have been founded and operate as Special Education Needs Schools. On the contrary, in Athens (southern Greece) hospital schools were founded as mainstream schools. Nonetheless, all hospital schools operate in similar ways with small variations depending on the management team and the hospital teachers comprising the main teaching staff.
 
Currently there is no regulation regarding hospital education. The words ‘hospital education’ and ‘hospital school/teacher’ are not encountered whatsoever in the Greek legislation. However, hospital education and hospital schools operate as if they were formally addressed as such in the legislation. There are no written guidelines or policies other than the general guidelines/policies related to the mainstream or SEN sector. Interestingly enough, hospital schools seem to have developed a common framework of applying educational practice within hospital both in the southern and northern part of Greece.

 

2. HHE Operation

Hospital schools operate in similar ways to SEN or mainstream schools. The management team usually consists of a head and, depending on the size of the school, a deputy head as well as a team of fully qualified primary teachers. No administration staff or ICT staff is usually available in primary education, although sometimes other specializations like Modern Foreign Language teachers and music/art teachers might be available. Their operating hours is usually between 8:00 to 14:00 (without lunch break) although some schools might operate on alternative days in the afternoon as well but not in their full capacity (e.g. 1-2 teachers).
 
Hospital teaching usually takes place on the ward but when possible group teaching in the classroom is also supported and much anticipated by both the teachers and the pupils. Hospital schools do follow the national curriculum. However, there is a great degree of differentiation especially in terms of the volume taught (i.e. core essence of the subject taught). Usually the main subjects are taught that is language, mathematics and science. Depending on teaching staff availability and duration of hospitalization other subjects like art, history, modern foreign languages and religious education might also be introduced. This, however, varies considerably in lack of any national or local regulatory and statutory policies.
 
Home education is organized and run by the local educational authorities (LEA) on behalf of the Ministry of Education. All requests for home tuition are forwarded by the Ministry of Education to the relevant LEA which in turn informs all teachers in the relevant area for an available post. This service is provided for only 5 hours a week per child and it is usually offered after school hours as it is considered overtime work.

 

3. Teaching Staff

Hospital teachers do not receive any form of in-service training specific to HHE. However, in some cases hospital teachers might be supported by psychologists employed by the National Health System to discuss any cases and concerns in a group setting.
 
No elements of education of children with medical or mental health needs are incorporated in undergraduate or postgraduate courses in Greece.
 
To become a hospital teacher one needs to be a qualified primary or secondary teacher. No other specific qualifications or training is required. In Thessaloniki (northern Greece) hospital schools are registered SEN schools which means that in these schools a teacher would need to hold a post-graduate qualification in SEN –usually only partially relevant to HHE.
 
The main role of hospital teachers in Greece is to teach. Sometimes hospital teachers might attend an MDT (usually in child psychiatric units) and might explain a hospital event to a pupil or prepare a pupil for treatment (usually in the pediatric oncology units). They might also contact the mainstream school and maintain a link with the mainstream teacher(s). However, these roles vary considerably and depend to great extend on the personal values, beliefs and will of the hospital teacher to be involved in any additional activity other than teaching.
 
Currently there is no national association of hospital teachers in Greece and there is only one member actively participating in HOPE.

 

4. Pupils

At the moment there are no criteria for enrolling a pupil in a hospital school. Theoretically any child who is hospitalised might attend the hospital school without any conditions.
 
The same criteria apply both for pupils with medical and mental health needs; that is all hospitalised pupils will receive the same type of provision.
 
Hospital schools in Greece will typically cover all school ages. There are hospital nursery schools where children 4-6 might attend. Primary Hospital schools that provide education to children 6-12 years of age and Secondary Hospital Schools (Gymnasium) in Athens only for pupils 13-16 years old (currently the compulsory school age). Unfortunately there is no provision for pupils attending lower secondary school in Thessaloniki and higher secondary education (Lyceum and those taking national exams to enter university) in Greece.
 
Currently there are no data concerning the average teacher/pupil ratio in hospital schools.

 

5. the Future

Despite the economic crisis hospital schools have benefited greatly by private funds in the last decade. The most important development in HHE in Greece is the operation of a new hospital school in Athens.
 
This hospital school operates since 2010 within the recently built pediatric oncology hospital “Marianna Vardinogianni – Elpida” as part of St Sophia pediatric hospital which is perhaps the largest children’s hospital in Europe.
 
Hospital Education in Greece has never operated under any kind of policy or statutory regulation. It would be beneficial if in the future HHE was better organized around a central policy that would cover issues relating to qualifications and training of the hospital teaching staff, staff allocation and availability (e.g. specializations, operation during school holidays), organization of the school day, hospital and mainstream school link, facilitating transitions, supporting pupils in the mainstream school etc.
 
It would also be beneficial if a national organization of hospital teachers could be funded that would actively advocate for the right of all hospitalised pupils to educational provision that would meet their needs and the right of hospital teachers to sufficient professional training and support.

 

6. Resources and further Links

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