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Portugal:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

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Portugal:Historical Development

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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

Upper Secondary Education is provided in state schools, in public schools funded by the State and in independent private schools. Public schools are free of charge.

Private schools in Portugal are regulated by Private and Cooperative Education Act, approved by Law no. 9/79, 19th March, amended by Law no. 33/2012, 23rd August and by the Private and Cooperative Education Statute of non-higher education, approved by Decree-Law no. 553/80,  21st November, in line with the Comprehensive Law on the Education System.

In this sense, they are subject to administrative and financial inspections made by the Ministry of Education competent authorities, leaving to the Ministry a role more focused on the regulation of the education system.

 

Geographical Accessibility

Schools offering upper Secondary Education are geographically distributed throughout the whole country.

However, there are no schools in some of the less populated areas, because small places do not always have schools, students must attend schools located in medium-sized and large urban centres. In this case, the local authorities provide for their transportation. 

Where the public school offer is not enough to meet the demand, the State, through Association Contracts, finances private schools to ensure the necessary vacancies for all students.

 

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

To have access to upper Secondary Education, students must have completed Basic Education (9 years of schooling) or possess an equivalent qualification.

Students can choose the school they want to attend, according to their education and training priorities, taking into account the enrolment vacancies. Students enrolment is, however, dependent on some criteria, according to Legislative Order no. 7-B/2015, 7thMay, altered by Legislative Order no. 1-H/2016, 14th April and Decree-Law no. 3/2008, 7th January, such as:

  1. They have permanent special educational needs that requires specific access conditions or differentiated responses in the context of specific types of education;
  2. they have permanent special educational needs not covered by the conditions referred to in the previous priority and with a specific individual curriculum;
  3. they attended the same educational institution in the previous academic year;
  4. students with siblings already enrolled in the education and teaching establishment;
  5. students who prove they reside or whose guardians who are proven to reside in the catchment area of the education and teaching establishment;
  6. who attended an educational establishment of the same school cluster in the previous school year;
  7. students who work or whose guardians work in the catchment area of the education and teaching establishment.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils/Students

The organization of classes in Secondary Education follows the criteria defined in Legislative Order no. 7-B/2015, 7th May, altered by Legislative Order no. 1-H/2016, 14th April, which are the following:

  • Heterogeneity (diversity of school population);
  • the classes have a minimum of 26 to a maximum of 30 students;
  • in optional subjects, classes may be organised with a minimum of 20 students;
  • smaller or bigger classes than the norm can be opened in exceptional situations, as long as authorised by the local education authority;
  • it is possible to combine common training components, or common subjects, or 2 different courses in a single class, if so authorised by the Ministry of Education;

 

Organization of the School Year

Legislative Order no. 24/2000, 11th May, with the amendments introduced by Legislative Order no. 36/2002, 4th June, establishes the guidelines for how the school year is organized:

  • The school year corresponds to the period between 1st of September and 31st  of August of the following year;
  • both the school and exams calendars are stipulated annually by the Ministry of Education;
  • the academic year lasts for a minimum of 180 days of school activity and divided in three terms, each one with a duration of approximately three months;
  • breaks occur in teaching at Christmas, Carnival and Easter.

The school calendar for year 2016-2017 in Upper Secondary Education, according to Dispatch no. 8294-A/2016, 24th June, is as follows:

Beginning of the school year

Between 9th and 15th September 2016

1st term

From 9/15th September to 16th December 2016

Christmas holydays

From 19th December 2016 to 2nd January 2017

2nd term

3rd January to 4th April 2017

Carnival holydays

27th February to 1st March 2017

Easter holydays

5th to 18th April 2017

3rd term

19th April to 6th, 16th or 23rd June 2017

End of the school year

6th June 2017 – grades 11 and 12

16th June 2017 – grade 10

Students in grade 12 have national exams between 19th and 22nd June (1st call) and/or 23rd and 27th July (2nd call).

 

Organisation of the school day and week

The guidelines for the curriculum management and organisation are set by the Ministry of Education according to principles defined in Decree-Law no. 139/2012, 5th July, with the amendments introduced by Decree-law no. 91/2013, 10th July, and by Decree-law no. 176/2014, 12th December, such as:

  • Coherence in the sequence of the different levels of education, as well as articulation between secondary education, higher education and the working world;
  • diversity of the educational provision, taking into account students’ needs, as well as the demands required by the strategies for the country’s development;
  • promotion of quality;
  • reduction of curricular dispersion, and increased taught time in core subjects;
  • consolidation of pedagogical and organizational autonomy of schools in the curriculum management, and more freedom in choosing the education pathways provision according to the curriculum plan;
  • efficiency in the distribution of lessons and the rationalization of students’ weekly timetable;
  • flexibility in the duration of teaching periods/lessons;
  • flexibility in building education and training pathways adequate to the different cycles and education levels;
  • guarantee of reorganization of school career for students in teaching cycles and levels where there are a variety of training provision;
  • fostering integration of theoretical and practical dimensions of knowledge, and valuing of experimental learning;
  • articulation of curriculum and assessment, ensuring rigorousness in evaluation and assessment, as an element of reference and systematisation of what is taught and learned;
  • reinforcement of cross curricular nature of education to citizenship;
  • valuing of the Portuguese language and culture in all curricular components;
  • use of ICT in all curricular components;
  • enrichment of learning by offering cultural activities and optional subjects within the school educational project.

In relation to Scientific-Humanistic Courses in upper Secondary Education, students’ daily and weekly timetable is organized by schools according to criteria defined by the respective pedagogic bodies, taking into account minimum time per subject and the time stipulated in the national curriculum.

For the purposes of example and reference, the weekly timetable is presented for the academic year, divided into 45-minute periods for upper-secondary Scientific-Humanistic Courses.

Years of Schooling

Periods per week (a)

year 10

36-38 units

year 11

36-38 units

year 12

23-25 units

(a) with 2 additional 45-minute periods, if students decide to attend the optional Moral and Religious Education.