Law No. 5580 on Private Education in Turkey Institutions regulates issues such as the establishment and functioning of private education institutions and the procedures to be carried out regarding the personnel to work in these institutions. In this regard, it is also necessary to evaluate the provisions of the Ministry of National Education Regulation on Private Education Institutions, which entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette dated 20.03.2012 and numbered 28239.
In general, employees working in private education in Turkey institutions are subject to the provisions of the Labour Law and related legislation as they work under a service contract. Article 9 of the Law and Article 42 of the Regulation clearly states that the managers, teachers, expert instructors and master instructors to be employed in private education institutions shall be subject to the Labour Law No. 4857 in terms of their personal rights. However, the law has introduced some special regulations for teachers and other instructors who are engaged in management or education and training in these institutions compared to the Labour Law.
First of all, it is necessary to mention some features in the context of the conclusion of the employment contract. According to Articles 8 and 9 of the Law and the relevant articles of the regulation
– It is stipulated that one third of the teaching hours to be taught in private education institutions in Turkey during the establishment and at least two thirds of the teaching hours three years after the establishment must be taught by teachers, specialist instructors or master instructors whose main duty is in these institutions. According to the same law, it is also possible for teachers and other instructors working in public schools to work in private education institutions.
– In order to be a manager of private education institutions in Turkey or to take part in education and training services, it is necessary to have the qualifications and conditions required to work in equivalent public schools.
– In order for private education institutions, managers, administrators, teachers, expert instructors and master instructors to start working, their work permits must be submitted to the relevant governorship for approval. It is not possible for the personnel in question to start working without a work permit to be issued by the governorship within 10 days following the application.
– The employment contract must be valid for at least one calendar year between the personnel to be employed and the founder or representative of the institution and must be made in triplicate in writing. One of these copies will remain in the institution, one will be given to the personnel to work, and one will be submitted to the governorship that will give permission. It is also possible for the employment contract to be for less than one year for the training personnel to be assigned in place of those who leave their duties during the period due to excuses, the training personnel working in the transferred institutions before the transfer, the training personnel working in the transferred institutions before the transfer, and the training personnel to be assigned as paid teaching staff.
The start date of the employment contract will be the date of the work permit or temporary approval according to Article 43, paragraph 6 of the regulation. Within 30 days following this date, the date of commencement of duty can be determined.
After the labour contract is arranged within the framework of the principles mentioned above, it is time to obtain the work permit. According to Article 26 of the Regulation, the work permit proposals of the education personnel will be made by the founders or founder representatives for the general manager, deputy general manager and managers and by the director for the education personnel other than the managers.
The directorate of the institution shall submit the documents of the education personnel who are requested to be granted a work permit to the Directorate of National Education to which the institution is directly affiliated by completing the documents that are essential for this permit.
Following the application, the work permit will be issued by the governorship within 10 days following the application for those whose qualifications and conditions are appropriate.
No education personnel, regardless of their job title and qualifications, will be employed without a work permit from the governorship.
The extension approval for work permits is stipulated in Article 27 of the regulation. Accordingly, the institutional directorate must submit the list of those who will continue their duties from the educational staff together with the revised contracts to the national education directorates to obtain the approval of the work permits collectively at least 30 days before the expiry date of the previous contract, and the national education directorates must give the approvals of the work permits on the expiry date of the old contract so as not to cause any grievance to the institution and the educational staff.
Another regulation on obtaining a work permit is included in Article 39 of the regulation under the title of documents required from those to be assigned in institutions. Accordingly, from the education personnel who will be issued a work permit, the employment contract, a written statement that there is no criminal record that will prevent them from taking office, a service certificate showing their previous duties in the service class, except for those who will be assigned for the first time, a document showing the last departure from the last place of duty from those who have previously worked as education personnel in public or private education institutions in Turkey, The original or a copy of the diploma or diploma substitute document approved by the national education directorate, the original or a copy approved by the institution of the success certificate of the master’s degree in secondary education field teaching without thesis or pedagogical formation programme is required from those who will be assigned as teachers.
The institution will request a written declaration from the other personnel other than the education personnel to be assigned by the institution that they do not have a criminal record that will prevent them from taking office and the original or a certified copy of the document showing that they have graduated from at least primary school or primary school.
Additionally, in accordance with Article 8 of the Law and Article 40 of the Regulation, it is possible to give paid teaching assignments to teachers who are not administrators, counsellors and candidate teachers working in public schools in private education institutions in Turkey that operate only as schools, provided that they are in the same province. The following documents will be requested from the teachers who will work in this case:
1. Labour contract
2. A certificate of approval issued by the institution where he/she is working, showing the number of hours he/she has attended,
3. Written declaration that there is no criminal record,
4. The original of the diploma or diploma substitute document or a certified copy by the national education directorate,
5. For those who will be assigned as a teacher, a copy of the certificate of success in secondary education field teaching master’s degree without thesis or pedagogical formation programme,
6. Original or copy of the certificate approved by the national education directorate.
The documents listed in Articles 3, 4, 5 and 6 will not be requested from the educational personnel who are employed in public or private education institutions in Turkey and who want to work in the institutions as additional paid teaching hours, and the documents listed in Articles 3, 4 and 5 will not be requested from the educational personnel who are employed in public or private education institutions and who want to work as paid teaching hours based on a certificate outside their field.
According to Article 28 of the Regulation, assignments in foreign and minority schools in private education in Turkey institutions are also regulated. According to the aforementioned provision, the arrangement of administrators and teachers in foreign schools should be made according to the following principles.
Firstly, the founders and principals of the schools which are opened by foreigners and which provide education in a language other than Turkish shall propose one of the Turkish nationals who is qualified to teach Turkish or Turkish culture courses and who knows the language of instruction to the governorship for the issuance of a work permit as a Turkish vice-principal. If deemed appropriate by the governorate, a work permit will be issued.
Other administrators and teachers to be assigned to schools will be selected from among those who fullfill the conditions for working as administrators and teachers in other schools.
The school principal is appointed by the governorate upon the proposal of the founder or the representative of the founder, and the other administrators are appointed by the governorate upon the joint proposal of the school principal and the Turkish vice-principal.
In the case of minority schools, it would be appropriate to consider the following issues.
Turkish and Turkish culture course teachers shall be appointed for a maximum of 5 years with the proposal of the school directorate and the approval of the governorate in accordance with the provisions of the Law No. 6581 dated 20.5.1955 on Minority Schools Turkish and Turkish Culture Course Teachers. The term of office of these teachers may be extended by the governorship for one more year. One of them will be appointed as the deputy principal by the governorate with the opinion of the school directorate.
In some of the minority schools, foreign national teachers may also be assigned, provided that their documents are examined and approved by the ministry in accordance with cultural agreements or on the basis of reciprocity.
Other administrators and teachers to be assigned to schools shall be selected from among those who fulfil the conditions for teaching in similar public schools.
According to Article 29 of the Regulation, a prior authorisation document must be issued for foreign education personnel and the following documents must be requested from the personnel who will work in this way.
For those who will be appointed as administrators in foreign schools and international institutions, a notarised copy of the diploma or diploma substitute document showing that they have a bachelor’s degree in their field of study, and if the field of study is not specified in the diploma, a notarised copy of the original with Turkish translation, a notarised copy of the original with Turkish translation, a notarised copy of the « Teaching Formation » document showing that they have earned the right to teach in their country, a notarised copy of the original with Turkish translation, a notarised copy of the document issued by the official authorities showing that they have been teaching in their field of study for at least two years and a copy of their passport,
For those who will be assigned as teachers, notarised copies of the diploma or diploma substitute document showing that they have a bachelor’s degree in their field of study, and if the field of study is not specified in the diploma, a notarised copy of the original with Turkish translation, a notarised copy of the original with Turkish translation of the « Teaching Formation » document showing that they have earned the right to teach in their country, a notarised copy of the original with Turkish translation, a notarised copy of the original with Turkish translation of the document issued by the official authorities showing that they have been teaching in their field of study for at least two years and a copy of their passport,
For those who will be assigned as an expert instructor, a notarised copy of the original with a Turkish translation of the document showing that they have a bachelor’s degree in their field and a photocopy of their passport,
For those who will be assigned as master instructors, a document indicating that they have a bachelor’s degree in their field and a Turkish translation and notarised copy of the certificate accepted by the ministry, in the fields of sports and arts, a document indicating that they have graduated from at least secondary school in their field and a Turkish translation and notarised copy of the valid certificate in their field and a copy of their passport will be requested.
The documents requested for the preliminary permission certificate will be sent directly to the General Directorate of Private Education in Turkey by the institution authority. Afterwards, those deemed appropriate by the ministry will be issued a permission certificate. However, the documents of foreign education personnel will be sent to the Council of Higher Education by the General Directorate and information will be requested on whether the higher education institution from which the person graduated is recognized. If not, the situation will be notified to the institution, governorship and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for the cancellation of the work permit.
A copy of the work permit issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will be sent to the Directorate of National Education by the Directorate of Institution, and information on foreign education personnel will be entered into the Private Education Institutions in Turkey module by the Directorate of National Education.
It is possible for the governorate to grant permission to foreign nationals working in institutions on religious and national days accepted by their own states, provided that they do not disrupt education.
Apart from this, there are also some regulations that are specific to the employees working in these institutions and especially concerning their salaries. According to Article 9 of the Law and Article 43 of the Regulation, the additional course fee in private education institutions in Turkey cannot be less than the amount determined for public schools. The additional course fee to be paid to those assigned from public schools and institutions cannot exceed twice the additional course fee determined for public schools.
An important regulation is related to the determination of the course hours to be taught, i.e. working hours, in Article 26 of the regulation. According to paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of the Article, administrators and teachers working in schools shall work up to the number of teaching hours that equivalent public school teachers are obliged to teach, school principals shall work full time, educational staff in private education institutions other than schools shall work up to a maximum of 40 hours per week and administrators working in private education institutions in Turkey other than schools shall work a total of 12 hours per week.
Another regulation on teaching hours is included in Article 40 of the regulation. Public school teachers working in private schools will be able to teach 30 hours a week, other institutional personnel working in private schools will be able to teach 40 hours a week, and those who have the qualifications and conditions to work as education personnel and work in any institution will be able to teach 40 hours a week in non-formal education institutions and 30 hours a week in formal education institutions.
Law No. 5580 and some of the special regulations in the regulation are related to the termination of the employment contract. When the law is evaluated in this regard, it is seen that it imposes an obligation on the private education institution in Turkey to terminate the employment contract rather than granting the right to terminate the employment contract of the relevant person. Accordingly, the provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of the Law impose an obligation on the private education institution in Turkey to terminate the employment contract of the relevant person when the acts are proven to have occurred.
According to Article 9 of the Law, the first of these cases is that the employee commits an act that requires the penalty of suspension of progression according to the Civil Servants Law No. 657. If this act is committed, the penalty of deduction from salary (wage) will be applied firstly, and in case of repetition, the duty of the relevant person will be terminated by the authorising authority. Salary deduction will be made between ¼ and ½ of the gross salary. The third paragraph of Article 38 of the Labour Law No. 4857 is valid in the application of the salary deduction penalty.
Another reason for termination is the occurrence of an act or situation that requires the dismissal of the teaching staff employed in the private education institution in Turkey from the civil service according to the Civil Servants Law No. 657, and the dismissal from the profession according to the Law No. 1702 on the promotion and punishment of primary and secondary education.
Additionally, according to Article 10 of the Law, the work permit of the relevant administrator, teacher, expert instructor or master instructor whose failure is determined by the inspection report twice or in cases where it is deemed inconvenient to continue the service in accordance with Article 9 of the Law, the work permit of the relevant administrator, teacher, expert instructor or master instructor will be cancelled by the authority issuing the permit.
Additionally, Article 10 of the Law authorizes the governorate to suspend the managers, teachers, specialist instructors and master instructors of the institutions during the inspection and supervision of the institutions, if deemed necessary.
Finally, according to Article 44 of the regulation, the governorate will issue a resignation approval for those whose contracts expire, whose contracts are mutually or unilaterally terminated according to the provisions of the Labour Law No. 4857, and those who notify the other party in writing within the periods determined in accordance with Article 17 of the Labour Law before the contract expires.
According to the same article, it is possible to propose educational personnel to be assigned by the institution management within 10 days to replace the educational personnel who will disrupt the education and training activities by leaving their duties during the school year in formal education institutions and during the term in other institutions for various reasons, and temporary leave or work permit can be issued by the relevant authority within 10 days.
This article also regulates the vacancy of the directorate due to compulsory reasons. In such a case, a person who has the qualifications and conditions of being a director or deputy director in the institution will be appointed by the governorate to the position of director by proxy until the new director is appointed, taking into account the founder’s proposal.
In accordance with the 4th subparagraph of the aforementioned article, the resignation of the education personnel who leave their duties and the applications of those who want to leave the institution will be notified directly to the directorate of national education by the institution authority within five business days at the latest. In accordance with the reasons for the departure of the persons in question, their departure approvals will be obtained from the governorship within seven working days. Legal action must be taken against the institutional authorities who do not notify the national education directorate of the status of those who leave their duties.
According to paragraph 5 of the article, those who leave their duties in violation of the provisions specified in the article will not be given a position in the institutions for one year.
Although it is not included in the law, the issue of severance pay should also be mentioned. The fact that the contract is for a definite term creates a hesitation as to whether severance pay will be paid after one year. Since the condition that the contract has a definite term is included in the law, severance pay must be paid if the one-year contracts expire at the end of the term.
In order to follow all these works and transactions, a personal file must be kept for each personnel in accordance with Article 45 of the regulation. The personnel file of the education personnel working in the institutions will be kept in the national education directorates and the personnel file of the education personnel who leave their duty and work in another institution will be requested from the previous national education directorate within one month.