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Italy:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

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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

The Italian school legislation has its foundations in the Constitution of the Italian Republic of 1948. Articles 30, 33, 34 and 38 in particular lay down the principles of the system. Basic principles on education include:

  • the freedom of teaching;
  • the duty of the State to provide every type and level of education open to everyone;
  • the right of universities, academies and higher institutions to lay down their own regulations;
  • the right of private individuals to establish schools and educational institutions at no cost for the State;
  • the right/duty of parents to provide education for their children. The law must take measures to helpfamilies with no means to exercise their right/duty. Appropriate measures must be taken to enable capable and deserving students to enter higher levels of education even if they lack financial resources. The education of citizens also includes the education and vocational training of disabled citizens.

The fundamental principles of the Constitution are the basis for all subsequent legislation.

As for school education, le legislative framework is quite complex. Here below, a short list of the basic legislation:

  • Decree no. 275 of 8 March 1999 providing schools with didactic, organizational and research autonomy;
  • Law no. 62 of 10 March 2000 concerning equality between public and private education;
  • Constitutional Law no. 3 of 18 October 2001 which modified the subdivision of the responsibilities, also as far as education is concerned, between State and Regions;
  • Law of 28 March no. 53 for the reform of the education and training system. The law has been partially amended;
  • Law No. 296 of 27 December 2006 (Financial law 2007) which establishes, among the others, the extension of compulsory education to ten years (up to 16 years of age), to be fulfilled by pupils either at school or through three-year vocational courses falling under the responsibility of the Regions; dispositions for its implementation have been issued through Ministerial Decree no. 139 of 22 August 2007;
  • Law no. 133 of 6 August 2008 containing measures to reduce public costs also in the field of education. It provides for a series of interventions, among which the re-organisation of the school system (DPR 81/2009), the revision of the first cycle of education and of timetables (DPR 89/2009), the reform of the second cycle of education (DPR 87/2010, DPR 88/2010, DPR 89/2010) and the inclusion of Regional three-year vocational training courses in the education system, for the fulfilment of compulsory education;
  • Law no. 169 of 20 October 2008 providing for new criteria for the assessment and progression of students (DPR 122/2009);
  • Ministerial Decree no. 249 of 10 September 2010 on initial teacher training;
  • Law no. 10 of 26 February 2011 (and subsequent DPR no. 80 of 28 March 2013) which establishes the National Evaluation System;
  • Law no 128 of 8 November 2013 containing several urgent measures for school education (e.g. measures to tackle early leaving);
  • Law no. 107 of 13 July 2015, reforming some aspects of the education system (e.g. evaluation based on teachers’ merit, new recruitment procedures).

As for Regional three and four-year education and training courses (IFP), legislative references are:

  • decree no. 139/200, on the extension of compulsory education, which establishes the general learning outcomes for students attending the last two years of compulsory education either in the State pathways or in the Regional vocational courses;
  • the inter-ministerial decree of 29 November 2007 on the quality criteria to be applied by the formative agencies providing regional courses;
  • the Guidelines of the Ministry of education, university and research (Miur) and of the Conference of the Regions providing indications to support the acquisition of key competencies in the first two years of upper secondary school, regardless of the type of pathway taken.

Moreover, the collaboration between State, Regions and Provinces has produced a series of documents enhancing the flexibility of the education system, the definition of formative objectives and the final and intermediate certifications. In particular,  the definition of formative standards for the acquirement of basic competences in the three-year pathways (Agreement of January 2004) and the definition of national minimum standard of technical and vocational competences for 21 professional profiles (April 2006). Finally, national final and intermediate certifications have been introduced to foster switches between the education system and the IeFP (October 2004).

The Higher technical education and training (IFTS) courses have been instituted through Law of 17 May 1999, no. 144, and are regulated through Inter-ministerial decree of 31 October 2000, no. 436. The Financial law of 2007 provides for the reorganisation of the Higher technical education and training system, by including in the offer also the courses held in Higher Technical Institutes (ITS) in view of strengthening the high level vocational training and improving the technical-scientific sector. The guidelines for the reorganisation of the IFTS and ITS courses have been issued through Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers on 25 January 2008, which has defined the standards, access requirements and certifications of the training pathways.

As for higher education, the main reference legislation is the Decree no. 509 of 3 November 1999, which has increased the autonomy of universities and defined the qualifications issued by universities according to the Bologna Process and Law no. 508 of 21 December 1999 establishing the sector of the Higher level arts and music education (Afam). The above mentioned Decree was subsequently amended by Ministerial decree no. 270 of 2004. Recently, the law no. 240 of 30 December 2010 introduced a series of provisions on the re-organization of universities, on the status of the academic staff and on the quality and efficiency of the university system.