Elementary Education

The education system in Slovenia is almost fully financed from the state budget; a small share of the finance is also contrubuted by local authorities. Photo: Arsen Perić

All children living in Slovenia have the right to compulsory elementary school education under equal and non-discriminatory conditions. Compulsory elementary school education lasts for 9 years and begins when the child reaches the age of 6. Parents can choose between the elementary education programmes provided by public nine-year elementary schools, private elementary schools or home-schooling. In practice almost all of children attend public nine-year single structure elementary schools within the school district of their residence.


Compulsory education is free. This includes health insurance and medical examinations. Younger children and children with special needs are entitled to free transportation. All children are entitled to free school transportation if their school is located more than 4 km from their place of residence. The schools are required to provide school meals. Children from socially and economically deprived families are entitled to school meals at a reduced price.


The teaching language of education in elementary schools is Slovenian. Italian is used in schools of the minority community, while Hungarian and Slovenian are used in bilingual schools. For children whose mother tongue is not Slovenian, additional lessons of Slovenian and their own mother tongue and culture can be organised. Special arrangements exist for the education of: children of the members of the Roma people, children of foreign citizens and people without citizenship. All schools are coeducational.


The school year starts on 1 September each year and ends on 31 August the following calendar year. It is divided into two terms. Lessons are provided for up to 38 weeks per year and 5 days per week. 

Apart from summer holiday which  lasts approximately 10 weeks, pupils also have the autumn holidays, Christmas / New Year Holidays, winter holidays and the first of May holiday. National holidays are also school free days.

In general, lessons are 45 minutes long. The maximum total number of hours of instruction per week is: 16.5 hours (22 lessons) for pupils of the first cycle (grades 1-3), 19.5 hours (26 lessons) for pupils of the second cycle (grades 4-6) and 22.5 hours (30 lessons) for pupils of the third cycle (grades 7-9).

More information about the curriculum, distribution of lessons, assessment, progression etc. can be fount at the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport