The "Second Chance Schools"

The “Second Chance Schools” (S.D.E.) are public schools for adults in the field of Lifelong Learning. They are aimed at citizens aged 18 and over who have not completed nine years of compulsory education. This institution offers the opportunity to obtain a qualification equivalent to the secondary school leaving certificate (Law 4763/2020), emphasising the acquisition of basic qualifications and the development of personal skills.

Seventy-eight (78) SDEs are currently operating throughout the country, including twelve (12) in Detention Centres and 23 off-site sections.

“The project is co-funded by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund) through the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020″.”

Philosophy of the SCS Curriculum

The curriculum of the Second Chance Schools is open and flexible and based on the principle of multiliteracy rather than a strictly predetermined and centrally designed curriculum. The term literacy is not limited to the ability to understand the written word, but mainly refers to the ability to critically evaluate different types of discourse, as well as the ability to function in different communicative situations using linguistic and non-linguistic texts.

The programme takes into account the social reality that learners experience on a daily basis, together with their social characteristics. The learners’ experiences of their social environment constitute an important asset which is used in the learning process. The flexible subject areas, ‘courses’, of the S.D.E. aim at the acquisition of basic knowledge and skills by combining formal, non-formal and informal forms of learning, but also at the acquisition of social skills (learning how to learn, cooperation, communication, etc.). The literacies that form the core of the programme are: 

  1. Greek language
  2. Mathematics
  3. Computer Science
  4. English
  5. Social Education
  6. Environmental Education
  7. Cultural-Aesthetic Education
  8. Elements of Technology and Science
  9. Guidance – Career Counselling

The “courses” mentioned above are not strictly confined to the boundaries of the respective scientific field, but draw on elements from many disciplines. They are flexible, aim at the acquisition of basic knowledge and skills and combine formal, non-formal and informal forms of learning. 

The programme is not confined to the school setting but also takes place outside the school, in businesses, in places of cultural reference, etc. 

The educational programme is complemented by Career Guidance Counselling and Psychology Counselling to better support the trainees on an individual, social and professional level.

The programme at the S.D.E. is accelerated and lasts 18 months, 2 school years, divided into two nine-month periods. The weekly timetable covers 25 hours (20 hours are covered by Literacy, 2 hours by Counselling and 3 hours by workshops of various activities – projects). 

The selection of trainees is made after an interview. The selection criteria are age (priority is given to young people from 18-35 years old), unemployed, members of single-parent families, former users, gypsies, etc. 

Teaching in the SDEs aims to transform schools from a place of knowledge transmission to a place of knowledge production. The aim is to seek teaching methods that lead learners to become directly and actively involved in the learning process (cooperative group teaching, free dialogue, brainstorming, project method).

Purpose of SCS

The purpose of Second Chance Schools (S.C.S.) is the overall development of the students, their fuller participation in economic, social and cultural life, as well as their more effective participation in the workplace.

  • The completion of compulsory education for citizens aged 18 and over
  • Reconnecting learners with education and training systems
  • the acquisition of modern knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help them in their socio-economic integration and advancement
  • to enhance the self-esteem of learners

Body responsible for the design and operation of the Programme

The General Secretariat for Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth (G.G.E.E.E.K.D.B.M.&N.) The mission of the General Secretariat for Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth (G.G.E.E.C.E.T.B.M.&N.) is the planning of public policy on lifelong learning.


The Lifelong Learning Directorate has as its operational objective the general supervision and management of formal and non-formal general adult education, the supervision and management of initial and continuing vocational training and education and is constituted, among other organisational units, by the Department of Studies of Programmes and Organisation of Adult Education and the Department of Management of Lifelong Learning Teaching Staff.


The Department of Studies of Programmes and Organisation of Adult Education, in relation to the Second Chance Schools Programme, is responsible for:


  • the issues of Studies and organisation of Adult Education structures
  • supervising the implementation of the educational framework of the Second Chance Schools
  • quality assurance and evaluation of the services provided with regard to general formal adult education
  • undertaking actions to involve vulnerable social groups in general adult education programmes
  • the supervision of the Non-formal General Adult Education System
  • the design and management of Lifelong Learning programmes concerning the population of the country and the Hellenes living abroad
  • quality assurance and evaluation of the services provided with regard to non-formal adult education and informal learning
  • shaping the educational framework of Second Chance Schools
  • exploring the educational and training needs of adults in relation to the needs of the labour market
  • dealing with any other relevant issues

Programme Implementing Agency

The Youth & Lifelong Learning Foundation (I.NE.DI.V.I.M.) is a Legal Entity under Private Law that belongs to the wider public sector, has financial and operational autonomy, has a public benefit and non-profit character, operates in the public interest and is supervised by the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. By the joint decision of the Ministers of Finance and Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs, No. 127175/H/4.11.2011 (Government Gazette B 2508/04-11-2011), the legal entity under the name “Youth Institute” Law 3369/2005 (Government Gazette A’ 171/06-07-2005) and the legal entity under private law under the name “Institute for Continuous Adult Education” Law No. 2327/1995 (Government Gazette A’ 156/31-07-1995) were merged by absorption into the legal entity named “National Youth Foundation” (Government Gazette A’ 41/15-03-1947) as amended successively and finally by Law No. 3748/2009 (Government Gazette A΄29/19-02-2009). By the same joint ministerial decision, the ‘National Youth Foundation’ (E.I.N.) was renamed ‘YOUTH AND Lifelong Learning Foundation’ (INEDIVIM).

Institutional framework for the functioning of the Boards.

  1. Chapters I & IA, of Law No. 4763/2020 (Government Gazette 254A/21.12.2020), concerning the establishment, organization and operation of Second Chance Schools.
  2. Law No. 2525 “Establishment of Second Chance Schools”: article 5 (Government Gazette 188/A/23-9-1997): “By joint decision of the Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs and the Minister of Finance, Second Chance Schools may be established for the enrolment and attendance of young people who have exceeded the age of 18 and have not completed the compulsory nine-year education.”
  3. The Decree No. 5953/23-6-2014 (Government Gazette 1861/B/8-7-2014) and the Decree No. K1/192979/14-11-2016 (Government Gazette No. 3815/B/28-11-2016) on the “Organization and Operation of Second Chance Schools”.
  4. Decree No. 4014/27-11-07 (Official Gazette 34/B/16-1-08) on the “Operation of off-site sections of Second Chance Schools”.

Registration information

In order to enroll in the “Second Chance School”, the interested persons are required to fill in an application form to attend the “Second Chance School” of their choice by submitting the following documents:

The required documents are:

  1. A primary school leaving certificate or a certificate of attendance in secondary school classes
  2. Certificate of Family Status of the last semester of the last semester
  3. A clear photocopy of the identity card or birth certificate or passport

If the above certificates have been issued in a country other than Greece, the documents required are as follows:

  1. Primary school leaving certificate or certificate of attendance in high school classes (Provide a photocopy of the original diploma and a certified translation of the diploma, indicating the exact grade, date and year of its acquisition)
  2. Residence permit
  3. A clear photocopy of your passport

Regarding the S.D.E. other than prisons, those interested in registering or contacting you for further information can do so during the course hours of 16:30 to 20:30 daily.

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