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

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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

Accessibility

In the last years, the request of services for ECEC has considerably increased.

Although pre-primary school for children aged over three years is not compulsory, over the years the State has adopted a policy of generalising the service. This means setting up pre-primary schools in areas of the country without such provision or where the provision, if exists, is insufficient.

More recently, regulations have also foreseen the early enrolment in pre-primary school of children aged less than three years, in order to meet the needs of parents when no other services are available (please see sub-section below).

Admission Requirements and Choice of ECEC Institution

In general, children turning three, four or five by 31 of December of the relevant school year can enrol in pre-primary school school classes (scuola dell'infanzia). By request of the parents, and subject to specific conditions, it is also possible to enrol children turning three by 30 April of the relevant school year. The only specific conditions to be met by schools for accepting early enrolments are: the availability of places and of premises suitable for receiving children under three years of age; all children, who reach the age of three years within 31 December, on waiting lists have been enrolled; the Teachers' Council has decided the times and procedures for including these children at school.

Parents are free to choose the kind of school they wish to send their children to. The only limitations may be due to a lack of available places or to a lack of school staff assigned to each school by the School Administration. If the number of requests exceeds the number of available places, each school sets its own admission criteria.

Special classes called 'spring sections' started, on an experimental basis, in 2007. They are addressed to children aged from 24 to 36 months. This new service has been introduced to meet the needs of families where both parents are employed. These sections are mainly established at pre-primary schools, both state and paritarie, but can also be established at municipal or accredited private nurseries, as a specific section with its own pedagogic plan, its own facilities and staff. This service is carried out according to national agreements signed by the Regions.


Age Levels and Grouping of Children

State and paritarie pre-primary schools are organised into groups called 'sections', with each section containing children of the same age. However, sections may be made up of children of different ages, in accordance with the school's organisational autonomy and freedom to form the groups of children.

The general trend is to alternate activities carried out in a section with activities carried out by groups of children of different ages, thus creating heterogeneous groups. The aims of this approach are to stimulate the relationship between teachers and children, increase interaction among children and enable a better and wider use of rooms, spaces and materials.

The number of pupils per section in state pre-primary schools ranges from a minimum of 18 to a maximum of 26; however, under exceptional circumstances, the number of pupils may be increased to 29 (Decree of the President of the Republic no. 81/2009). Such limits can be derogated on the basis of different factors, such as the presence of disabled pupils, the geomorphology of the territory, financial conditions and social disadvantages, availability of school staff.

Organisation of Time

Every year, the Regions are responsible for defining the school calendar (beginning and end of teaching, school closure during national holidays, other holidays) according to local needs (D. Lgs. 112/1998). Instead, the Ministry of Education establishes the calendar for nationwide holidays, including for pre-primary level (D. Lgs. 297/1994). Every year, the Ministry publishes a summary table on its website, showing all regional school calendars.

Educational activities take place between 1 September and the 30 June, according to the specific school calendar established at regional level.

The weekly teaching timetable for pre-primary school is set at central level (DPR 89/2009). Usually, the weekly timetable at pre-primary level is 40 hours a week. This can also be extended up to 50 hours a week, according to parents' requests. By request of parents, schools can organise classes with a shorter timetable of 25 hours a week, with activities in the morning only. Timetables include Catholic religious education for 60 hours per year (approximately one hour and half per week).

Organisation of the Day and Week

Schools autonomously define what timetable model/models to offer, in accordance with their educational offer plans (POF) and regulations in force, and taking into account the requests of parents and staff. In schools offering different timetables, children are grouped according to the timetable chosen by their parents at enrolment.

The District/School Council sets the timetable for the start and end of daily activities as well as the days of the week on which activities are conducted, which can be no fewer than 5.

Out-of–school reception of pupils before or after the school compulsory timetable (40, 50 or 25 hours a week, corresponding to 8, 10 or 5 hours a day) is a service that can be provided by municipalities or financially supported by parents. 

Legislative references

Inter-ministerial decree to establish the number of teaching staff for school year 2015/2016, transmitted through ministerial circular 27 February 2015

Unified conference Agreement for the implementation of ‘spring sections’, 1 August 2013

DPR 20 March 2009, no. 81

DPR 20 March 2009, no. 89

Legislative Decree 19 February 2004, no. 59

Legislative Decree 31 March 1998, no. 112

Legislative Decree 16 April 1994, no. 297