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Italy:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

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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 education system is organised as follows:

  • Pre-primary school (scuola dell'infanzia) for children between 3 and 6 years of age;
  • first cycle of education lasting 8 years, made up of:

                     - primary school (lasting 5 years), for children between 6 and 11 years

                       of age;

                     - lower secondary school (lasting 3 years) for children between 11 and

                       14 years of age;

  • second cycle of education offering two different pathways:

                    - State upper secondary school (lasting 5 years) for students from 14 to

                      19 years of age, offered by licei, technical and vocational institutes;

                    - three and four-year vocational training courses (IFP). It is organized by

                      the Regions.

                    - post-qualification and post-diploma vocational courses organised by

                      the Regions;

                    - higher technical education and training courses (IFTS).

                   - universities (polytechnics included)

                   - institutes of the Higher Education in Art and Music (Alta formazione

                     artistica e musicale - AFAM)

                   - Higher Technical institutes (ITS)

                   - other higher specialised institutions

Higher education at universities and AFAM institutes is organised in first, second and third-cycle programmes according to the Bologna structure. ITSs offer short first-cycle programmes, while other higher specialised istitutions do not issue qualifications corresponding to the Bologna structure.

Education is compulsory for ten years, between the ages of 6 and 16. This covers the whole of the first cycle of education, which lasts eight years (five  years of primary school and three years of lower secondary school) and the first two years of the second cycle (DM 139/2007). After completion of the first cycle of education, the final two years of compulsory education (from 14 to 16 years of age) can be undertaken either at State upper secondary school (liceo, technical institute or vocational institute), or on at three- or four-year vocational education and training course, which is within the jurisdiction of the Regions (law 133/2008).

In addition, everyone has aright and a duty (diritto/dovere) to receive education and training for at least 12 years within the education system or until they have obtained a three-year vocational qualification by the age of 18 (law 53/2003).

Finally, 15-year-olds can also spend the last year of compulsory education on an apprenticeship, upon a specific agreement between the Regions, the Ministry of labour, the Ministry of education and trade unions (law 183/2010).

Compulsory education refers to both enrolment and attendance. It can be undertaken at either a State school or a non-State, publicly subsidised school (scuola paritaria) or even subject to certain conditions, through home education or private schools. Regional three- an four-year vocational training courses are offered by the relevant training agencies. Parents or guardians are responsible for ensuring that children complete compulsory education, while the local authorities where pupils reside and the managers of the schools they attend have a responsibility for supervising theri completion of compulsory education.

Once they have completed compulsory education, young people who don’t continue with their studies receive a certificate of completion of compulsory education and the skills they have acquired. These skills contribute to training towards any professional qualification.

Rules applied to Italian citizens and citizens of the member States of the European Union apply also to foreigner minors from non-European countries.

Access to tertiary education (university, AFAM and ITS) is solely for students who have passed the State examination at the end of upper secondary school. Nevertheless, the Ministry of education, University and Research (MIUR) as well as individual universities and AFAM institutes establish the specific conditions for admission.

The three-year vocational qualification and the four-year vocational diploma, both issued on successful completion of regional vocational training courses, allow entry to regional second-level vocational courses. This latter certificate also grants admission to Higher technical education and training courses (IFTS).