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Portugal:Organisation of Single Structure Education

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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

Geographical Accessibility

The right to free transportation to and from school is guaranteed to all students of Basic Education if the school of their area is located more than 3 km (schools without canteen) or 4 km (schools with canteen) from their residence.

Local authorities work collaboratively with the Ministry of Education (ME) to provide transportation to all students attending compulsory education.

In the case of the 1st and 2nd cycles, transport is organized and funded by Local Administration.

Transport for the 3rd cycle is funded by Central Administration with the respective amount transferred to Local Administration.


Admission Requirements and Choice of School

Parents can choose the school they want their children to attend. However, at Basic Education level, the places available at each teaching establishment for enrolment or re-enrolment are given on the basis of preference criteria, namely:

  1. Students with special educational needs of a permanent nature with specific access requirements or other needs within specific educational provision, in accordance with Decree-law n. 3/2008, 7thJanuary, in its latest drafting;
  2. students who, in the previous academic year, attended pre-primary education or basic education in the same educational or teaching centre;
  3. students with a sibling in the same school or educational establishment;
  4. students whose parents/guardians have proof of residence in the teaching establishment’s catchment area;
  5. whose parents/guardians have proof of working in the teaching establishment’s catchment area;
  6. other priorities and/or tie-breaking criteria defined in the teaching establishment’s internal rules (Legislative Order n. 7-B/2015, 7th May).

Initial enrolment in the first year of Basic Education is compulsory for all children aged 6 by 15th September.

Children that turn 6 between 16th September and 31st December may also be admitted at the request of parents and depending on the vacancies available at schools.

In exceptional circumstances, the member of the Government responsible for education can authorise, at parents’/guardians’ request, early or late enrolment in the 1stcycle of Basic Education.

Entry to subsequent cycles (2nd and 3rd) depends on students successfully completing the immediately previous cycle, or having the equivalent qualifications.


Grouping of Classes and Groups

The composition of classes must respect the criteria defined by Legislative Order no. 7-B/2015, 7thMay, altered by Legislative Order no. 1-H/2016, 14th April, as follows:

  • Heterogeneity (diversity of the school population);
  • pedagogic criteria defined in the curriculum plan and the internal regulation of the teaching establishment;
  • classes with pupils with permanent special educational needs, whose individual educational programme so provides, contain 20 students and a maximum of two students with such needs;
  • in the 1st cycle, the number of students per class cannot exceed 26;
  • classes in the 1st cycle of basic education, in single place teaching establishments, which contains pupils from more than 2 schooling years are made up of 18 students;
  • classes in the 1st cycle of basic education, in non-single place teaching establishments, which contains pupils from more than 2 schooling years are made up of 22 students;
  • in the 2nd and 3rd cycles, the number of students per class is comprised between a minimum of 26 students and a maximum of 30 students;
  • in optional subjects, classes may be organised with a minimum of 20 students for the 7th and 8th year;
  • smaller or bigger classes can be opened in specific situations, as long as authorised by the Directorate-General for Schools (DGEstE) or respective pedagogic board;
  • classes can be split in some subjects, in order to undertake practical an experimental work;
  • on a temporary basis, it is possible to set up relatively homogenous groups in structural subjects, taking into account school resources and importance of the respective situations (for example, in Portuguese and in mathematics) according to paragraph e) of point 3 of article 13 of Legislative Order n. 10-A/2015, 19th June.


Organisation of the School Year

Legislative Order n. 24/2000, 11th May, amended by Legislative Order n. 36/2002, 4th June, establishes the parameters for organizing the school year.

The organisation of the school year is governed by the following guidelines:

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

The school calendar for year 2016-2017 in Basic 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

From 3rd January to 4th April 2017

Carnival holydays

From 27th February to 1st March 2017

Easter holydays

From 5th to 18th April 2017

3rd term

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

End of the school year

6th June 2017 – grade 9

16th June 2017 – grades 5 to 8

23rd June 2017 – grades 1 to 4

 

Students in   grades 2, 5 and 8 of Basic Education have Assessment Exams in May and June. Students attending grade 9 have exams between 19th and 27thJune (1st call) and/or 20th and 24th July (2nd call).


Organisation of the school day and week

As part of its responsibilities, the Pedagogical Council defines the general criteria for drawing up student timetables, such as:

  • Start and end time of each teaching period (morning, afternoon and evening);
  • the distribution of lessons, ensuring maximum class concentration on school activities in a single shift;
  • maximum time limit between two different shifts on the same day;
  • stipulation of subject teaching time over three or fewer days a week;
  • weekly distribution foreign language lessons;
  • occasional changes of student timetables for the purposes of substitution classes for absent teachers;
  • support to be provided to students, taking into account the weekly timetable;
  • others that are relevant within the school context.

As part of its duties, the General Council issues an opinion on the general criteria for timetabling, defined by the Pedagogical Council.

Lessons generally start at 9.00 a.m. and finish at 4.00 p.m.

In the 1st cycle of Basic Education, there can be an additional 1 hour period for optional curriculum enrichment activities. Curriculum enrichment activities generally start at 4.30 p.m. and finish at 5.30 p.m.

In exceptional circumstances, and whenever school premises do not allow, schools can be authorized to have classes in the morning or afternoon only, operating a double shift system.

 

Weekly workload - Basic Education

School Year

Number of weekly hours

(1st cycle) 1stto 4th grade

Between 22.5 and 25 weekly teaching hours, for the 1st and 2nd years of schooling, and between 24.5 and 27 weekly teaching hours for the 3rd and 4th years.

(2nd cycle) 5thand 6th grade

Between 22,5 and 23,25 hours per week, for each year, with the addition of 200 minutes for Study Support and a compulsory complementary subject, if created by the school, the timetabling of which is defined in accordance with the available timetable credit.

(3rd cycle) 7thto 9th grade

Between 25,5 and 26,25 hours per week at 7th year, and between  24,75 and 25,5 hours per week at 8th and 9th grades with the addition of a compulsory complementary subject, if created by the school, the timetabling of which is defined in accordance with the available timetable credit.

Legislative Order no. 10-a/2015, 19th June, establishes that each school, within defined limits, can decide as to the duration of teaching times, the management of curricular loads of each subject, the options in the mandatory or complementary curricular offers and, with freedom and independence, the management of their human resources and the implementation of pedagogical activities that are necessary along the school year.

Schools have thus been allowed to make more decisions on curriculum management and on which courses to offer, such as:

  • Manage the classroom load of subjects throughout the year and the study cycle in a totally flexible manner;
  • manage the distribution of subjects, which may be allocated in different years throughout the study cycle;
  • manage up to 25% of the classroom load of each subject in a flexible manner, except for the subjects of Portuguese and mathematics
  • manage the creation of new subjects and school activities.

This freedom to manage the teaching load must always take into account full compliance with the established standards and programmes as well as the weekly and yearly teaching load established for each year in the national matrix.