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Portugal:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

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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

Access to education and culture is a legal right, foreseen in Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (articles 43 and 73) and in the Comprehensive Law on the Education System (Law no. 46/86, 14th October).

Equally enshrined in law is the duty of the State to promote the democratization of education, to contribute to equal opportunities, to the reduction of economic, social and cultural inequalities, to the development of personality and the spirit of tolerance, mutual understanding, solidarity and responsibility, to social progress and democratic involvement in public life.

Compulsory education is universal, mandatory and free of charge. The freedom to teach and learn is ensured. The State cannot plan education and culture according to any philosophical, aesthetic, political, ideological or religious dictates. State education is non-denominational.

Law No. 85/2009, of August 27 has defined the extension of compulsory schooling for children and youth – from 6 to 18 years old. Compulsory education is divided into Basic Education, which lasts for nine years, and Secondary Education, which lasts for three years.

The main objectives of Basic Education, as set out in the Comprehensive Law on the Education System, are:

  • To provide a general, common-basis education for all students;
  • to ensure that theoretical and practical knowledge, schooling and everyday life are interrelated;
  • to provide physical and motor development;
  • to encourage manual activities and promote art education;
  • to teach a first foreign language and start a second;
  • to provide the basic knowledge that will enable students to pursue their studies or be admitted into vocational training courses;
  • to develop knowledge and appreciation for specific values of the Portuguese identity, language, history and culture;
  • to develop autonomous attitudes;
  • to provide children with special educational needs with suitable conditions for their development;
  • to create conditions that promote school and educational success of all students.

 

The Comprehensive Law on the Education System establishes the aims and organization of Secondary Education, defines it as a single cycle of compulsory education, organized according to different paths, directed both to the continuation of studies and to working life.

Permeability between these two paths must be ensured. The Law also establishes the goals, admission requirements and organization models of vocational training, as a special path of school education.

The main objectives of Secondary Education are:

  • To ensure the development of reasoning, reflection and scientific curiosity, as well as an enhanced knowledge on the key elements of a humanistic, artistic, scientific and technological culture, which will form the appropriate cognitive and methodological basis for further studies and for entering into working life;
  • to provide young people with the necessary knowledge to understand aesthetic and cultural manifestations, enabling the improvement of their artistic expression;
  • to promote the acquisition and application of knowledge, based on study, critical reflection, observation and experimentation;
  • to educate young people interested in solving the country's problems and awareness of the international community issues, on the basis of the realities of regional and national life and the based on concrete reality of regional and national life and appreciation of society’s permanent values in general and in Portuguese culture in particular;
  • to promote contacts and experiences, strengthening the mechanisms of convergence between the school, the working life and the community, and boosting the school’s innovating and participating role;
  • to promote youngsters’ vocational guidance and training through technical and technological support, with a view to their entry into the working life;
  • to create individual and group work habits, favouring the development of attitudes of methodical reflection, open-mindedness, sensitivity, openness and adaptation to change.

 

In what concerns the Higher Education policy, and according to the same Law, this stage is aimed at ensuring a solid scientific and cultural preparation, providing a technical training that qualifies for the exercise of professional and cultural activities while developing the capacity for conception, innovation and critical analysis.

In accordance to Law No. 49/2005, 30th August, that amended the Comprehensive Law on the Education System, the aims of Higher Education are the following:

  • To  stimulate cultural creation and the development of scientific and entrepreneurship spirit, as well as the reflexive thinking;
  • to train graduates in different fields of knowledge, qualified for inclusion in professional sectors and to participate and develop the society, as well as to cooperate in its continuous training;
  • to encourage scientific research, aiming at the development of science and technology, humanities and arts, and the creation and dissemination of culture and therefore develop an understanding of man and his environment;
  • to promote the spread of cultural, scientific and technical knowledge, which constitute human heritage, and to communicate knowledge through teaching, publications and other forms of communication;
  • to stimulate the permanent desire to improve cultural and professional and to enable the corresponding achievement, integrating the knowledge that is acquired in a systematizing intellectual framework of the knowledge of each generation, within a logic of lifelong learning and generational and intergenerational investment, aiming at the unity of the training process;
  • to promote awareness about the problems of today’s world, in particular national, regional and European, in a global perspective, providing specialized services to the community and establishing a reciprocal relationship with it;
  • to continue the cultural and professional training of citizens by promoting appropriate forms of cultural extension;
  • to promote and value the Portuguese language and culture;
  • to develop critical thinking and freedom of expression and research;

Law No. 49/2005, 30th August , also defines:

  • The creation of conditions that allow all citizens to access to long-life learning, adjusting the admission requirements to Higher Education to those who didn’t attend it in regular age, giving the Higher Education Institutions the responsibility for their selection, and the creation of conditions to recognize professional experience;
  • the adoption of a Higher Education model with three cycles;
  • the transformation from a knowledge transfer based education system to a skill development based education system;
  • the adoption of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System – ECTS.

Public Higher Education institutions enjoy statutory, pedagogic, scientific, cultural, administrative, financial, patrimonial and disciplinary autonomy. In this sense, they have the power to create, suspend, abolish and change courses or organic units. These actions only take legal effect once registered in the Directorate-General for Higher Education (Direção-Geral do Ensino Superior - DGES).

The Student Statute and School Ethics, Law no. 52/2012, 5th September, established the rights and duties of the student in Basic and Secondary Education and the commitment of parents or guardians and other members of the education community to their education and training, and reinforcing the teachers’ authority.