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

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Overview Spain

Contents

Spain:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Spain:Historical Development

Spain:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Spain:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Spain:Political and Economic Situation

Spain:Organisation and Governance

Spain:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Spain:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Spain:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Spain:Organisation of Private Education

Spain:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Spain:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Spain:Funding in Education

Spain:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Spain:Higher Education Funding

Spain:Adult Education and Training Funding

Spain:Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

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

Spain:Primary Education

Spain:Organisation of Primary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Spain:Assessment in Primary Education

Spain:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Spain:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Spain:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Vocational Lower Secondary Education: Basic Vocational Training cycles

Spain:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Spain:Higher Education

Spain:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Spain:First Cycle Programmes

Spain:Bachelor

Spain:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Spain:Second Cycle Programmes

Spain:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Spain:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Spain:Adult Education and Training

Spain:Distribution of Responsibilities

Spain:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Spain:Main Providers

Spain:Main Types of Provision

Spain:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Spain:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Spain:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Spain:Management and Other Education Staff

Spain:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Spain:Management Staff for Higher Education

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Spain:Quality Assurance

Spain:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Educational Support and Guidance

Spain:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Spain:Mobility and Internationalisation

Spain:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Mobility in Higher Education

Spain:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Spain:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Spain:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:National Reforms in School Education

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

Spain:National Reforms in Higher Education

Spain:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Spain:European Perspective

Spain:Legislation

Spain:Institutions

Spain:Bibliography

Spain:Glossary

The 1978 Spanish Constitution established a decentralised and symmetrical model of State

  • by which educational powers are shared between all levels of government
  • where the educational powers exercised by the Autonomous Communities are basically the same.

The competences in terms of education are shared between the State General Authority (Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) and the Autonomous Communities (Regional Ministries or Departments of Education). In the Cities of Ceuta and Melilla these competences are assumed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport itself.

With this decentralisation model, the curriculum is drawn up in a set of levels of application.

Levels of curricular development

Central administration

Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

Basic curriculum for the whole State

Primary education, compulsory secondary education and Bachillerato:

  • common contents of core subjects
  • learning standards of core and specific subjects
  • minimum number of hours for core subjects, which shall not be less than 50% of the total number of teaching hours generally established by each education authority. Possible extensions of school hours which might be established are not taken into account
  • design of final evaluations at the end of the stage: evaluation criteria, extent to which skills have been acquired, general characteristics of the examinations and contents of each examination session (only compulsory secondary education and Bachillerato).

Pre-primary education (2nd cycle), artistic education, language education, sports education:

  • objectives, skills, contents and common evaluation criteria.

Vocational training:

  • objectives, skills, contents, learning outcomes and common evaluation criteria.

Mixed curricula for different types of provision of the Spanish and other education systems.

Autonomous Communities

Departments for Education

Official curriculum

The Autonomous Communities may make recommendations regarding teaching methodology.

Primary education, compulsory secondary education and Bachillerato:

  • complement the contents and evaluation criteria of core and specific subjects
  • establish the contents of specific subjects and the subjects that are freely structured by the Autonomous Communities
  • establish the evaluation criteria of the subjects that are freely structured by the Autonomous Communities
  • establish the maximum number of teaching hours for core subjects
  • establish the number of teaching hours for specific subjects and the subjects that are freely structured by the Autonomous Communities.

Pre-primary education (2nd cycle), artistic education, language education, sports education:

  • complement the objectives, skills, contents and evaluation criteria.

Vocational training:

  • complement the objectives, skills, contents, learning outcomes and evaluation criteria.

Schools

School development plan

Depending on the educational provision of the Autonomous Community, schools may:

  • design and implement their own teaching methods
  • complement the contents and establish the number of teaching hours for the different subjects.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-REDIE from the regulations in force.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (central level)

It is the body of the State General Administration which, through the State Secretariat for Education, Vocational Training and Universities, is in charge of proposing and implementing the general guidelines of the Government on education policy, Vocational Training and Universities. The State Secretariat for Culture and the High Council on Sport are also part of the Ministry, even if they are not included since they do not have competences on education matters.

The education competences bestowed to the Ministry ensure the homogeneity and basic unity of the Education System and guarantee the conditions of basic equality for all Spaniards in the exercise of their basic education rights, as laid down in Constitution.

Essentially regulatory in nature, these competences have to do with the regulation of the basic elements or aspects of the system, although the Ministry also has executive competences.

Competences of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

  • enactment of the basic rules specifying the constitutional right to Education, through the establishment of the general organisation of the Education System and the establishment of the minimum requirements for educational institutions
  • establishment of the general programme of Education, the setting of the core curricula and the control of the academic and professional certificates valid throughout the national territory
  • evaluation and innovation of the studies integrating the Spanish Education System
  • compliance with the duties of the public competences in terms of Education, the implementation of professional qualification programmes and education innovation and the promotion of equal opportunities for accessing Education
  • teaching programme and management in the field of territorial competence of the MECD, the development and dissemination of education guidance from the legislation in force in the field of specialised education, as well as the promotion of Vocational Training and the basic academic organisation of their corresponding studies
  • drawing up, planning and direction of the grants and scholarships policy
  • promotion of equality, non-discrimination and universal accessibility policies in the field of their competences
  • boost and coordination of the relationships with the Autonomous Communities and the local corporations in Education matters
  • High Inspectorate of the education system, as a tool for supervising and controlling the compliance with the regulations in force
  • direction of the policy for teachers and the preparation of the basis of the legal system of teachers civil service
  • preparation of the proposals of general provisions on matters within their competence, as well as the relationships and conferences with the Autonomous Communities and legal operators interested during their processing
  • exercise of the duties of National Authority of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.

Organisation of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

The MECD is organised into central services, making up its basic structure, and outreach services, through which the regional and provincial tasks are managed.

It performs its duties in terms of education through the State Secretariat for Education, Vocational Training and Universities and the collegial bodies for guiding and/or participating:

  • State School Board
  • Council of Universities
  • State University Board of Students
  • State Consultative Bodies and the outreaching units of Ceuta and Melilla.

Among the main duties of the State Secretariat for Education, Vocational Training and Universities it is necessary to highlight:

  • organisation, evaluation and innovation of the studies integrating the education system
  • planning and management of education within the jurisdiction of the Ministry itself
  • direction of the competences in terms of education, vocational training and universities
  • carrying out of professional qualifications programmes
  • promotion of equality, non-discrimination and universal accessibility policies
  • drawing up, planning and direction of the policy of scholarships and grants
  • preparation of the bases of the statutory rules governing teachers public service, among others.

The following bodies also report to the State Secretariat for Education, Vocational Training and Universities:

  • General Secretariat for Universities
  • General Directorate for Evaluation and Territorial Cooperation and General Directorate for Vocational Training Secretariat of Education, Vocational Training and Universities.
  • General Subdirectorate for Education External Promotion, with the Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education (SEPIE) and the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP), established as an autonomous high culture body.

Below you can find the organisation chart of the MECD, where it is just developed the State Secretariat for Education, Vocational Training and Universities.

Organisation chart of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (State Secretariat for Education, Vocational Training and Universities)

Spain-Organisational chart.jpg
Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-REDIE from the regulations in force.

In addition, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport has the following advisory and participatory bodies

  • High Council for Artistic Education, a State consultative and participatory body regarding Artistic Education
  • Conference on the Education Sector, a body for the collaboration and coordination of the education policies of the different Education Authorities. It is constituted by the Minister of Education and the regional Education ministers
  • General Conference on University Policy and Council of Universities, both aimed at the political and academic coordination and cooperation of universities, respectively.

There are other units under the authority of the Ministry, administratively related to it or to other attached bodies.

These include the Functional Areas of the High Inspectorate for Education, through the General Directorate for Evaluation and Territorial Cooperation of the State Secretariat for Education, Vocational Training and Universities.

The Education Authority in the Autonomous Communities (regional level)

They are the public authorities in charge of the legislative development and management of education in the jurisdiction of each Autonomous Community. They:

  • assume the regulation competences for developing the State regulations
  • regulate non-basic aspects of the education system
  • have executive and administrative competences for managing education in its own territory, except from those reserved to the State. 

Educational competences of the Autonomous Communities

  • Service for Technique Inspectorate on Education
  • administrative ownership of the schools, the functions derived from it and the competences to create and/or authorise and operate public and private educational institutions
  • preparation, approval and execution of projects of reform, fitting out and construction
  • staff administration
  • design, approval and development of experimental and pedagogical research plans
  • development of the State provisions regarding the organisation of education and the regulation of the levels, branches, degrees and specialisations
  • processing and granting of subsidies to private educational institutions
  • administration of scholarships and study grants
  • regulation of the composition and functions of the School Board in the Autonomous Communities with education functions and services.

Powers in the design of the basic curriculum for primary education, compulsory secondary education and Bachillerato

  • complement the contents of core subjects
  • establish the contents of specific subjects and the subjects that are freely structured by the Autonomous Communities.
  • make methodological recommendations to educational institutions within their remit
  • establish the teaching hours for all the subjects, with the exception of core subjects, for which they will only set the maximum number of hours
  • complement the evaluation criteria for the evaluation at the end of the stage
  • establish the evaluation criteria and learning standards of subjects that are freely structured by the Autonomous Communities for the evaluation at the end of the stage
  • expedite the certificates awarded upon completion of regulated types of provision
  • encourage actions aimed at promoting the quality of educational institutions.

Organisation of the Education Authorities in the Autonomous Communities

Every Autonomous Community has its own model of Education Authority, some times as a Regional Ministry, and some times as a Department of Education, with the purpose of performing the duties and services established in their respective statutes.

There are also different collegial bodies for participation with different fields of action, depending on the situation. Their composition and duties are established by the regulations of every Autonomous Community.

  • Regional School Board: it is the top level body for consultation, guidance and social participation in terms of Non-University Education. The types of School Boards and their fields of action are different in every Autonomous Community. They mainly advise on the draft legislation and draft general provisions, the education programme, the education renewal and innovation, the education quality and the school funding
  • Regional Councils for Vocational Training: they carry out duties related to the planning, coordination and evaluation of the Education System in terms of Vocational Training. Their competences are aimed, in general, at informing on different aspects of Vocational Training and at proposing actions to improve the quality of the said studies. Most of the Autonomous Communities are in charge of preparing, proposing or, if appropriate, informing on the Regional Plan of Vocational Training
  • Regional Councils for Advanced Artistic Education: consultative and advisory bodies for these studies. Among their duties, it is possible to highlight the preparation of reports, proposals, recommendations or studies related to Advanced Artistic Education
  • Councils for Universities: consultative and cooperation bodies in university terms.

Sectoral Committee for Education

It is the body for cooperation in education policy between the MECD and the Educational Authorities of the Autonomous Communities, with the purpose of achieving the maximum coherence and inclusion of the education system.

The Minister and those responsible for education in the Autonomous Communities meet to exchange points of view, discuss on draft rules and adopt territorial distribution criteria for the subsidies to finance different education programmes with the Autonomous Communities. In short, through the Conference or the different Commissions set for the issue dealt, the problems that can be posed and the actions planned for facing and solving them.

Functions of the Sectoral Committee for Education

  • exchanging information between the Public Authorities on the general knowledge of all the Education System, the study projects and programmes, the rules to be adopted by the State and to be considered by the Autonomous Communities, as well as organising the position of the Autonomous Communities in the process for formulating the criteria defining the Spanish position in education matters in the field of the European Union, and acting as a general way of information and internal participation of the Autonomous Communities in the  International Organisms specialised in education issues
  • establishing the mechanisms allowing an aggregated system of education statistics
  • setting a documentary collection on education subjects, as well as studying and spreading the main education policies
  • preparing the measures assuring the basic equality of the citizens for carrying out the right to Education
  • proposing and agreeing criteria assuring the students' mobility within the territory and the distribution of the budgetary credits aimed at the Autonomous Communities, as well as examining and deliberating on the programmes developed in them, charged to the mentioned credits
  • studying the basic principles of the personal policy and setting the criteria assuring the teachers' mobility within the Spanish territory
  • preparing and approving joint action plans and programmes, as well as annual and multi-annual action plans of the Evaluation Institute and of the proposal of criteria for publishing and spreading reports of it
  • examining the projects of collaboration agreements, providing that they deal with subjects related to the Conference.