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Portugal:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

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Overview Portugal

Contents

Portugal:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Portugal:Historical Development

Portugal:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Portugal:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Portugal:Political and Economic Situation

Portugal:Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Portugal:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Portugal:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Portugal:Organisation of Private Education

Portugal:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Portugal:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Funding in Education

Portugal:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Portugal:Higher Education Funding

Portugal:Adult Education and Training Funding

Portugal:Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 3 years

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

Portugal:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Portugal:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Portugal:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Higher Education

Portugal:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Portugal:First Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Bachelor

Portugal:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Portugal:Second Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Portugal:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Portugal:Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Distribution of Responsibilities

Portugal:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Portugal:Main Providers

Portugal:Main Types of Provision

Portugal:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Portugal:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Portugal:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Portugal:Management and Other Education Staff

Portugal:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Portugal:Management Staff for Higher Education

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Portugal:Quality Assurance

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Educational Support and Guidance

Portugal:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Portugal:Mobility and Internationalisation

Portugal:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Mobility in Higher Education

Portugal:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Portugal:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Portugal:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:National Reforms in School Education

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

Portugal:National Reforms in Higher Education

Portugal:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Portugal:European Perspective

Portugal:Legislation

Portugal:Institutions

Portugal:Glossary

In 2007, the SNQ was set up, defining the strategies directed at young people and adults referred to successfully passing the 12th grade as the minimum qualification level, as well as the investment in dual certification, both via the increase in educational and vocational course provision and via the recognition, validation and certification of formal, informal and non-formal learning competences.

Where young people were concerned, this meant a departure point that would gradually take root owing to the diversified pathways offered by education and vocational training courses.

In what concerns the adults, it aims to continue with a system for improving adult qualifications, using various tools, particularly the mechanisms for the recognition, validation and certification of competences acquired throughout life in formal, informal and non-formal contexts and for vocational training which the workforce can attend.

As part of the implementation of national education and training policies, the SNQ (Decree-Law no. 396/2007, 31st December) includes a set of structures and mechanisms that ensure the relevance of training and learning to personal development and for the modernisation of enterprises and the economy.

In order for this to be operational and regulated, three important structures were created.

A network of CNO based in public schools, vocational schools, training centres, enterprises, local authorities, business associations, local development associations and  various training bodies with extensive national coverage.

This network has since been closed down (2013) and was replaced by a network of Qualification and Vocational Training Centres (Centros para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional - CQEP) which extend their work to guidance for young people in the area of education and vocational training. This network is currently being converted into the Qualifica Network, taking advantage of the existing resources and expanding the network.

A network of training bodies made up of primary and secondary education establishments, vocational training and vocational retraining centres managed directly or via protocols

This network is part of the Ministries responsible for the areas of vocational training and education, training bodies that are part of other ministries or other legal persons governed by public law, private and cooperative schools with parallel teaching or recognition of public interest, vocational schools and bodies with certified training structures in the private sector.

A network of Sector Councils for Qualification, which functions as a platform for technical-consultative discussion and reflection, divided into sectors and following a set of structural/delimitation principles which aim to identify the essential qualifications for competitive and modern production and the personal and social development of individuals.

This network is made up of specialists nominated by trade unions and employers’ associations, leading companies, training bodies, experts, among others who support the ANQEP in the processes of updating and developing the catalogue.

A set of strategic instruments established to ensure that the system is operational and regulated are also part of the system.

The National Qualifications Catalogue (Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações – CNQ) is an instrument for the strategic management of the non-higher education qualifications necessary and critical for the competitiveness and modernisation of the economy and organisations that aim to ensure greater coordination between the competences required for the country’s socioeconomic development and the training provision available within the SNQ.

This instrument is permanently open to improvements or new qualifications proposed by any agent or citizen whose contribution is validated by the Sector Councils for Qualification operating.

The National Qualifications Framework (Quadro Nacional de Qualificações – QNQ) approved by Ordinance no. 782/2009, 23rd July, adopts the principles of the European Qualifications Framework in relation to the description of national qualifications in terms of learning outcomes, according to the descriptors associated with each qualification level.

In addition to the clarity that it gives the entire system and the coordination of operators’ activity at national and European level, it is a key factor in the transition to an education and training system geared towards knowledge, competences and attitudes that determine and demonstrate the competences associated with each level of qualification.

The Individual Competences Portfolio, which is a personal electronic, non-transferable and optional document that contains the competences acquired and training attended by the citizen, throughout their life, which are referred to in the CNQ.

It also includes examples of vocational training not included in the CNQ, which presupposes successful completion.

It allows the holder to identify areas where they can acquire and/ or improve competences that improve their qualification path, as well as offering employers a more immediate evaluation of a candidate’s suitability for a specific job.

The Integrated Education and Training Provision Management System (Sistema de Informação e Gestão da Oferta Formativa - SIGO), which is an online platform that is accessible to system operators and coordinators and which includes educational and vocational qualifications provision which were divided between the different bodies of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Economy.

This constitutes significant progression terms of the clarity of available provision, administrative simplification and the use of the platform to launch, supervise, monitor and manage provision.  

SIGO is designed to meet the information needs of schools, training centres, CNO, the Directorate-General of School Administration, Regional Education Authorities and the ANQEP, which, as institutions with different missions, also use the information system for needs associated with their specific mission.

With the creation of the CQEP network, a number of documents that will support these new bodies are being produced, such as the Reference Guide and Quality Guarantee; the Lifelong Guidance Methodology Guide, as well as technical and methodological guidance geared towards the operationalization of certain stages of the CQEP work.

A mechanism was also created geared towards the completion and certification of different school careers that are the equivalent of upper-secondary education, for candidates from a wide range of incomplete paths of curricula that have expired.

The process of completion and certification of upper-secondary level education regulated by Decree-Law no. 357/2007, 29th October, takes into account the curricula of courses primarily geared towards further studies, as well as vocational qualifications.

For the purposes of completion and certification of upper-secondary education, incomplete upper-secondary paths are those where there are up to six subjects/year yet to be completed with a grade lower than 10 or the absence of a grade in the internal evaluation undertaken at the end of the year in which the subject was taken, taking as a reference the number of years schooling that make up upper-secondary education in the respective curricula.

In order to facilitate the working of this mechanism, the document Path for Action – Ways to Complete and Certify Upper-secondary Education was drawn up.

Based on the impact of the measures created as part of the SNQ, it is important to examine a set of statistical indicators reflecting those results achieved over the last two years (2014, 2015), taking the following into account:

  • Number of enrolments in RVCC processes, on EFA and FMC courses, by year of enrolment;
  • number of enrolments in dual (school and vocational) certification processes of adults who obtained school certification via an RVCC process or EFA, according to year of certification and level of education attained;
  • number of dual (school and vocational) certifications via RVCC, EFA and CTC, according to year of certification and level of education attained;
  • number of CQEP referrals for secondary education completion pathways, by year.

 

Table 1: Total number of enrolments in RVCC processes, on EFA courses and on FMC, by year of enrolment

 

No. of Enrolments

2014

2015

RVCC processes

151 197

173 020

EFA courses

28 080

11 537

Certified Modular Training (FMC)

7 782

1 267

Source: SIGO system, reference data 26.06.2015.

Table 1 offers an analysis that focusses on access to the adult education and training system, verifying that these adults return to the education and training system via further studies, as part of lifelong learning.

It is important to highlight that a new integrated model of education and training for young people and adults exists since 2013, which includes the introduction of CQEP, which, in addition to their adult-focussed areas, also offer school and vocational guidance for young people. They give advice on dual certification pathways, as well as receiving young people to perform a needs analysis before referral.

 

Table 2: No. of dual certification enrolments (school and vocational) of adults who obtained school certification via an RVCC process or EFA course, according to year of certification and level of education

 

 

RVCC

EFA

2014

2015

2014

2015

Basic Education

(ISCED 2)

16

35

6 895

1 828

Secondary Education

(ISCED 3)

23

22

5 711

1 876

Total

39

57

12 606

3 704

Source: SIGO system, reference data 26.06.2015.

Table 2 shows the number of school certifications that adults have obtained through RVCC processes and attendance of EFA courses on dual certification pathways.

Dual certification via RVCC processes is still rare, demonstrating the need for strategies to increase and diversify vocational RVCC process, as well as trigger mechanisms that target them strategically.

 

Table 3: Number of dual (school and vocational) certifications by RVCC, EFA and CTC, according to year of certification and level of education

 

 

RVCC

EFA

CTC

2014

2015

2014

2015

2014

2015

Basic Education (ISCED 2)

0

1

3 988

1 299

3

0

Secondary Education (ISCED 3)

0

1

5 658

1 846

49

3

Total

0

2

9 646

3 145

52

3

Source: SIGO system, reference data 26.06.2015.

The lack of certified enrolments in 2014 and limited number in 2015, is due to the fact that CQEP only began operating in mid-2014 and the dual certification RVCC processes are relatively long.

 

Table 4: No. of CQEP Referrals for Secondary Education Completion Pathways, by year

Secondary Education Completion Pathways

2014

2015

Exam

60

48

UFCD

327

266

No missing subjects

22

16

Source: SIGO system, reference data 26.06.2015.

Table 4 shows the number of referrals made for secondary education completion pathways, according to Decree-Law no. 357/2007, 29th October, demonstrating a significant number of citizens with incomplete secondary education that opted to use this way of finishing their secondary education.

This measure created ways of concluding and certifying education levels adapted to individuals with these educational profiles, enhancing the flexibility and the accessibility of existing solutions.

Of the different ways (exams and STTU) of completing upper-secondary education according to Decree-Law 357/2007, 29th October, Certified Modular Training, which corresponds to the training frameworks of the National Qualifications Catalogue (Catálogo Nacional de Qualificações – CNQ), was the most requested by trainees.

Since 2013 (Dispatch no. 1039/2013, 18th January), the CNQ include, as a pilot-project, 93 ten-hour Short-Term Training Units, over a period of two years.

This responds to a recurring request from employers and sitting members of the Standing Committee for Social Dialogue, to create individual and more flexible qualification pathways, adjusted to the development of skills considered critical for the competitiveness and modernization of the Portuguese economy.


Skills Needs Anticipation System (Sistema de Antecipação de Necessidades de Qualificações – SANQ)

Law no. 82A / 2014, 31st December, which approved the Major Planning Options for 2015, highlighted the importance of and need for the country to have a skills needs analysis system. The SANQ aims to do this by defining systematic and more complex mechanisms that match a greater number of quantitative and qualitative variables, including planning.

The SANQ is a system that identifies skills needs and indicates professional areas and employment opportunities that are a priority for the education and training network, offering clear guidelines that help define the training network, as well as update the CNQ.

The aim is to support the development of the network provision planning process and to provide support information for other planning processes and the management of skills development strategies. This is to take place during the Common Strategic Framework period (CSF), between 2014 and 2020, and in line with the Europe 2020 strategy.

The operational goals are:

  • An initial macro analysis with key information on the economic and job market dynamics that influence demand for skills in the short and medium-term and from a regional perspective (NUT II). This initial analysis is updated every three years;
  • recommendations and proposed guidelines that can be incorporated into prioritisation levels for skills that, within the SNQ, constitute the potential training provision at levels 2, 4 and 5 of the QNQ. These recommendations will be annual and used for planning the provision network at the beginning of each training cycle;
  • the identification of potential future skills, and the need for adjustment to existing ones, which will allow a more dynamic updating of the CNQ;
  • more thorough analysis at regional level within the Inter-municipal Communities and their coordination in consultation with regional stakeholders to submit a joint proposal for a local education and training provision network.

To achieve its goals, the system is made up of three interlinked modules:

  1. A basic diagnostic module that establishes the terms of the skill needs analysis for the mainland as a whole, considering an analysis breakdown at NUTS II level. This analysis module combines the use of different methodologies, focussing on the complementary relationship between quantitative and qualitative approaches and the production of results that allows their appropriation for planning purposes.
  2. A planning module that establishes information organisation models and the analysis criteria supporting the process that defines priorities and guidelines involved in creating the provision network. The planning module also includes the organisation of a dossier of information made available to those in the education and training system, with a view to consolidating the strategic dimension when defining the training plans of the different system operators.
  3. A regional further development module that combines analysis and planning on a regional scale. In terms of analysis, regional development requires adapting the portfolio of tools employed in the initial analysis, giving greater emphasis to qualitative methodologies. Alongside this, the planning element seeks to incorporate active local consultation strategies between stakeholders and the submission of a joint proposal for the local provision network.