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Italy:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

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Overview Italy

Contents

Italy:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Italy:Historical Development

Italy:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Italy:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Italy:Political and Economic Situation

Italy:Organisation and Governance

Italy:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Italy:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Italy:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Italy:Organisation of Private Education

Italy:National Qualifications Framework

Italy:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Italy:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Italy:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Italy:Funding in Education

Italy:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Italy:Higher Education Funding

Italy:Adult Education and Training Funding

Italy:Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:Primary Education

Italy:Organisation of Primary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Italy:Assessment in Primary Education

Italy:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Italy:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Higher Education

Italy:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Italy:First Cycle Programmes

Italy:Bachelor

Italy:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Italy:Second Cycle Programmes

Italy:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Italy:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Italy:Adult Education and Training

Italy:Distribution of Responsibilities

Italy:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Italy:Main Providers

Italy:Main Types of Provision

Italy:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Italy:Teachers and Education Staff

Italy:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Italy:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Management and Other Education Staff

Italy:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Italy:Management Staff for Higher Education

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Quality Assurance

Italy:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Italy:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Educational Support and Guidance

Italy:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Italy:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Italy:Mobility and Internationalisation

Italy:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Mobility in Higher Education

Italy:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Italy:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Italy:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:National Reforms in School Education

Italy:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Italy:National Reforms in Higher Education

Italy:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Italy:European Perspective

Italy:Legislation

Italy:Glossary

Laws and national labour contracts guarantee rights and duties of teachers of State schools. Teachers have teaching autonomy, in the respect of the principles of the Constitution.

Planning Policy

The Ministry of education should annually establish the number of available places for initial training for prospective teachers of pre-primary, primary, lower and upper secondary school. The overall number of the yearly available places is established taking into account the number of school staff decided at regional level and the teaching staff requirements in state schools based on the three-year plan for the education offer (POF).

Entry to the Profession

Up to 2014/2015 school year, the recruitment of permanent contract teachers has followed two different procedures. Every year, half of posts available were destined to those included in national lists after having passed competitive examinations, while the other half of posts were destined to those included in phasing-out candidate lists set at provincial level (law 124/1999 and law 296/2006). Candidate lists include prospective teachers who obtained a qualified teacher status through either a competitive examination, or sporadic one-off qualification procedures. Teachers chose the school and became regular teacher permanently assigned to the chosen school.

The recent law 107/2015 called ‘The good school’ (‘La buona scuola’) foresees the amendment of the current recruitment system of teachers. It provides for an extraordinary recruitment plan in 2015/2016 to cover vacant teaching posts. The extraordinary recruitment plan partly follows the half/half procedure and partly follows a procedure where candidates of national lists are hired first and then, if places are still available, candidates from provincial lists are hired. Through the extraordinary recruitment plan, most of the candidates included in both types of list are expected to be hired. After the extraordinary recruitment plan has ended, provincial lists with no candidates and national lists set up before 2012 are officially closed.

Moreover, the new law establishes that from 2016, recruitment of new permanent teachers will exclusively take place through competitions launched at national level. Teachers who pass the national competition are included in new lists valid in a specific geographical area. The law also establishes that the number of school staff needed every year, should be based on the three-year plan made by the school according to its autonomy.

According to the new procedure, teachers will no longer choose the school, but will receive job proposals from school managers. Teachers will submit to the schools of the relevant geographical area their CVs and evidences of their experiences and skills. Teachers who receive more proposals, choose the school. However, teachers can accept or refuse the proposals received. In this case, or in case of no proposals, the Regional School Office (USR) will assign the teacher to a school. After acceptance of the proposal the teacher is assigned to the school for a three-year renewable period.

Permanent contract teachers do not cover all the available places. Every year, temporary contract teachers cover places remained vacant or replace absent teachers. Teachers are hired by the school administration and taken from the candidate lists at provincial level. Shorter contracts teachers, necessary to cover short absences of permanent teachers, are directly hired by school managers from a candidate lists kept at school level.

Induction

After appointment to a permanent teaching position, teachers must go through a trial-training period, regulated by the law and by the collective national labour contract.

According to the present collective national labour contact, the training activities should be carried out through specific and contextualized projects, taking into consideration the need for the personalisation of the pathways and to offer optional opportunities to improve ICT skills and foreign languages knowledge, also in view of attaining internationally recognised certifications.

According to the present regulations, the induction period must correspond to at least 180 days of actual job (exams and assessments included), of which 120 days spent in teaching activities (included all the activities preparatory to teaching), plus a minimum of 50 hours of training activities (see below for details).

The whole induction period (trial and training) aims at verifying the teacher’s competences, while the training activities, in particular, strengthen the competences and professional standards required for the teaching profession.

Training activities are organised in 4 phases for the overall duration of 50 hours:

  1. Preparatory and final meetings organised by the local school administration (up to 6 hours);
  2. Four workshops (12 hours) chosen by the teacher among the options proposed by the local school administration taking into consideration the specific training needs of new teachers;
  3. Peer to peer activities (at least 12 hours) to improve teaching practices;
  4. On-line activities (20 hours) carried out on the ad hoc platform created by the National institute of documentation innovation and research in education (Indire).

During the training period each teacher creates his/her own digital professional portfolio that includes the teacher’s professional curriculum, the competences at the beginning of the training period, the documentation of the training-teaching period, the final weight of competences and expectations of professional development.

Teachers carry out their induction period with the guidance and support of a tutor appointed by the school manager among teachers with specific teaching and tutoring and counselling abilities.

At the end of the induction period, the school manager evaluates the teacher verifying that the teacher has reached the professional objectives and competences established at the beginning of the training period and taking into account the opinion of the Committee for the evaluation of teachers. The Committee expresses its opinion after interviewing the teacher, and taking into consideration the tutor’s conclusions and the school manager’s report.

The Committee’s opinion is obligatory but not binding for the school manager who evaluates the teacher. In case of positive assessment, the school manager confirms the teacher.

In case of negative evaluation, the teacher will have the chance to undergo a second, not renewable, period of training.

Professional Status

Teachers are civil servants with a private contract. The national collective labour bargaining and integrative contracts regulate their employment relationship. These contracts are defined in full autonomy and under private law; they are only bound to respect the financial limits established by the State balance as far as remuneration is concerned.

There are only two types of employment contracts: the fixed-term contract and the permanent employment contract.

Under permanent contracts, teachers become part of the permanent teaching staff of the State, while temporary contracts can last maximum until the end of the school year (31st August).

The primary school teacher is qualified to teach all the disciplines foreseen at this school level.

The secondary school teacher has, from his initial training on, a specialised preparation for one or more disciplines grouped according to the creation of the teaching posts (for example, mathematics and physics). When hired on a stable basis with a contract of employment, teachers acquire the right to teach the subject or subjects corresponding to their teaching post.

Replacements Measures

The different types of teachers’ replacement are:

  • Annual replacement: the head of the local Offices at provincial level entrusts the teacher until the end of the school year (the 31st of August) on the basis of the provincial candidate list;
  • Fixed-term replacement until the end of teaching activities: the head of the local Offices at provincial level entrusts the teacher until the end of the teaching activities (the 30th of June) on the basis of the candidate list;
  • Short fixed-term replacement: The school head provides for short fixed-term replacements of absent teachers through appointment of teachers included in school candidate lists.

The replacement measure is automatically extended if the absent teacher does not interrupt his/her absence.

Teachers with a fixed-term contract cannot accept a more favourable contract and renounce to the current contract, unless the new proposal foresees a replacement lasting until the end of the teaching activities.

Supporting Measures

Support measures for personal matters of teachers can be organised at school level. Support teachers can avail themselves of pedagogical mediators, ICT equipment, specific software and teaching aids to teach pupils with disabilities.

Salaries

Two items make up the teacher’s salary:

  • the basic salary, based on 13 months, that includes an integrative sum calculated on the cost-of-living adjustment and possible family allowances;
  • the ancillary remuneration, that is variable because it includes payments for additional workload (hours and activities), and possible benefits.

All teachers, when appointed, receive the initial level remuneration. At present, salary rises are based on length of service and the average number of years required to reach the top of the salary scale is 35.

The law 107/2015 foresees merit valorisation of teachers through the attribution of a yearly bonus (ancillary remuneration); the school manager, in accordance with criteria established by the school Committee for the evaluation of teachers, annually awards a sum taken from a fund specifically allocated by the Ministry of education.

Starting from 2016, the Ministry of education will create a yearly fund of 200 million Euro and will allocate it to the Regional school offices and then to the schools.
Starting from 2015/2016, each school will create its Committee for the evaluation of teachers that is committed with the definition of criteria for the evaluation of teachers based on teaching quality, students’ achievements and participation in school life. Moreover, the Committee establishes the number of beneficiaries and, as a consequence, the amount of each bonus.  

Minimum and maximum annual gross salaries, together with various types of salary allowances, for teachers from pre-primary to upper secondary school level are available on the national data sheet (Italy) in Teacher’s and School Head’s Salaries and Allowances, 2013/2014.

Working Time and Holidays

The compulsory work schedule of teaching personnel includes what follows:

  • teaching activities, covering, within the annual school calendar established at regional level, not less than 5 days a week, for 25 hours in pre-primary school, 22 hours in primary school, plus 2 hours devoted to programming didactic activities, and 18 hours a week in secondary school;
  • activities functional to teaching:

                    - individual work: planning of the lesson and of tests, correction of students' work, contacts with students' families etc;

                    - team-work activities (up to 40 hours a year): participation to the meetings of the teachers assembly, planning and monitoring

                      (at the beginning and at the end of the school year), information to the families about students' final results;

                    - team-work activities (up to 40 hours a year): participation to the activities of the collegiate bodies of the school;

                    - carrying out of pupils assessment procedures and of the drawing up of all the documentation related to the evaluation process.

In addition, teachers can carry out paid (ancillary compensation) additional activities such as:

  • a maximum of 6 teaching hours per week can be added for increasing the educational offer, or to start pupils to sports, etc.;
  • activities functional to teaching and exceeding the compulsory yearly hours (for example: planning, research, documentation, updating activities);
  • activities connected to the implementation of the Plan for the educational offer of the school (POF);
  • projects in schools in high-risk and migration areas;
  • activities on curricular subjects destined to other subjects than pupils, e.g. to adults.

Every school year, teachers with a permanent contract have the right to:

  • 30 working days of holidays, 6 of which during periods of teaching activities, for the first 3 years and 32 from the fourth year on; teachers who do not benefit from these holidays totally or partially, can do it within the following school year during suspension of teaching activities;
  • 8 days leave to participate in competitions or examinations, 3 days for mourning, 3 days for documented special personal or family reasons, 15 days for marriage, 5 days to participate in CPD initiatives;
  • short leave of up to 2 hours a day (for a maximum corresponding to the weekly teaching hours) per month;
  • sick leave for a period of 18 months, with full retribution for the first 9 months, equal to 90% for the subsequent 3 months and 50% for further 6 months;
  • maternity leave, with full retribution for compulsory 5-months maternity leave (either two months prior birth and three months after the birth, or one month before the delivery and four after the child’s birth). During the child’s first three years mother and father have 30 days maternity/paternity leave for every year of the child. Furthermore, mother and father are entitled to 5 days each to attend to children of 3-8 years of age who are ill;
  • leaves of absence to hold an elective office.

Teachers can also – without retribution – take the unpaid leave of absence for family reasons or reasons of study and research, to hold office, to make use of grants, to carry out one-year work experience in another sector of the public administration or to pass an induction period.

Provisions regarding holidays, leaves and absences established for the personnel employed on a permanent basis apply also to teachers with a fixed-term contract with the following limitations:

  • holidays are proportional to length of service;
  • in case of contract for the entire school year, or until the end of teaching activities, the teacher keeps his/her job in case of illness for a period not longer than 9 months in three years, with full retribution for the first month and retribution reduced to 50% for the second and third months.

Promotion, Advancement

Teachers do not have a career progression, unless they leave the teaching profession and become school managers or inspectors.

Law 107/2015, foresees merit valorisation of teachers through a yearly bonus (an ancillary remuneration) for teachers of every school types and levels; the school manager, in accordance with criteria established by the Committee for the evaluation of teachers set in each school, annually awards a sum taken from the school fund. 

Transfers

The teacher may ask to change to a different type of teaching in the same type of school, or to move to another type of school for the same subject, or to another level of school (for example, from primary to secondary school). 

Teacher mobility may also be due to reasons different from teachers’ will, e.g. a re-organisation of schools in the territory,  changes in the population and number of students, to the reorganisation of teaching positions, proved environmental incompatibility. If the proved environmental incompatibility has also an urgent nature, the school manager can order the mobility of the teacher during the school year and, if the urgency is due to a detriment of the relationships between the school and pupils’ families, can order the suspension without hearing the teachers' assembly opinion.

Transfers to non-State school, both paritarie and private, and vice versa are not possible.

Dismissal

Dismissal is possible:

  • upon request of the teacher, through resignation. Resignation starts from the 1st of September of the year following the resignation date. Notice is not due. 
  • At the request of the school administration, through dismissal for disciplinary reasons, for unpardonable behaviour in contrast with the duties of a teacher;  decay, motivated by unjustified absences for more than 15 days; exemption from service due to teaching or physical inadequacy or constantly insufficient performance.

None of these measures implies the loss of the right to pension.

Retirement and pensions

According to the most recent legislation, starting from 1st January 2012 retirement and pension are regulated as follows:

  • official retirement age is 66 years + 3 months both for men and women (compulsory retirement);
  • men will retire at 66 years of age or after having worked for at least 42 years + 1 month (extended to 6  months from 1st January 2014);
  • women will retire at 66 years of age or after having worked for at least 41 years + 1 month (extended to 6  months from 1st January 2014);
  • women may apply for an early retirement at 57 years and 3 months of age and after 35 years of contributive seniority;
  • those who met the requirements at 31 December 2011 will retire following the previous system.

Finally, in 2013 age limits following the lengthening of life expectation have been introduced. New age limits are established upon checking the effective demographic trends.

Teachers' pension calculation includes also:

  • attendance of university courses for the attainment of a higher education degree if redeemed and not coincident with periods of service;
  • service with and without tenure in State schools in Italy and abroad;
  • work as a university professor or assistant professor;
  • military service prior to tenure; work outside of school in the employment of the State or local authorities.

In the school sector, for didactical reasons, retirement starts from the 1st of September of each year.

Teachers who have retired cannot continue their teaching activity. However, they can participate in the examination boards for upper secondary leaving examinations and in the examination boards for competitive exams for teaching. They can collaborate, without remuneration, with schools for carrying out extra-curricular activities (make-up courses, management of school libraries, guided visits, seminars, etc.).

In addition to their pensions, employees recruited before 1 January 2001 are entitled to a retirement gratuity managed by National Social Security and Welfare Institute for State Employees (Istituto Nazionale di Previdenza e di Assistenza dei Dipendenti Statali – INPDAP). The retirement gratuity is an amount paid at the end of the career and generally corresponds to one month's pay for each year of service.

Staff recruited after 1 January 2001 fall within the new system of retirement allowance.

In the event of the pensioner's death, the pension may pass to:

  • the surviving spouse;
  • surviving children who are minors or enrolled in university courses;
  • majority-age children who are handicapped and already dependants of the pensioner;
  • parents (the father or, in his absence, the mother);
  • brothers and sisters who are minors, if already dependants of the pensioner.

Legislative References

Legislative Decree of 16 April 1994, no. 297 (general dispositions on education)

Law of 22 December 2011 no. 214 (retirement and pension)

Law of 13 July 2015, no. 107 (entry to the profession, induction period, merit)

Ministerial Decree of 27 October 2015, no. 850 (objectives of the induction period, training activities and criteria for the evaluation of teachers during their training)