Spain:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

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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 legislative framework governing and guiding the Spanish Education System comprises the 1978 Spanish Constitution and a series of organic acts developing it.

Constitutional principles governing the education system

  • everyone has the right to education. Teaching freedom is recognised
  • the purpose of education will be the full development of human personality respecting the democratic principles of coexistence and the fundamental rights and freedoms
  • public authorities guarantee parents' right to ensure that their children will receive a religious and moral education in line with their own beliefs
  • basic education is compulsory and free
  • public authorities guarantee everyone's right to education, through the general organisation of education, with the anticipation of all the sectors involved, and the creation of educational institutions
  • individuals and legal entities are free to create educational institutions, subject to observance of the constitutional principles
  • teachers, parents and, sometimes, students will take part in the control and management of all the publicly-funded educational institutions, as established by law
  • public authorities will inspect and recognise the education system in order to ensure that legislation is observed
  • public authorities will support the educational institutions meeting the requirements established by law
  • universities autonomy is recognised, as established by law.

(1978 Spanish Constitution, Article 27).

Principles and purposes established by the basic rules regulating the education system

  • the quality of education for all students
  • equity, which guarantees equal opportunities
  • educational inclusion
  • the transmission and implementation of values encouraging personal freedom, responsibility, democratic citizenship and respect in all areas of personal, family and social life, among others.

(2006 Education Act and the 2013 Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education, modifying it).

Education is understood as a lifelong learning process that goes on throughout life. This learning is based on flexibility in order to adapt education to the diversity of students’ skills, interests, expectations and needs.

The intention is to strengthen and acknowledge students’ individual effort and motivation, as well as the collaborative effort with families, teachers, schools, institutions and society as a whole.

The participation of the education community in the organisation, governance and running of educational institutions is one of the main principles of the system.

The Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education places special emphasis on academic freedom, which gives parents the right to choose the type of education and school for their children.

The teaching function is considered as a key factor of educational quality, and the Act socially acknowledges teachers and supports them in their duty.

Main objectives established for non-university education

  • guarantee the right to education and academic freedom to all residents in Spain
  • promote society participation in education
  • rationalise the provision of publicly-funded school places
  • assure the right to access higher education stages according to talent and vocation, without discrimination on account of economic circumstances, social background or place of residence. 

(1985 Act Regulating the Right to Education).

  • guarantee the access to the different modalities of vocational training for all the citizens under conditions of equality
  • encourage the participation and cooperation in the policies for vocational training and qualification of the social stakeholders and the different public authorities
  • adapt training and qualifications to the criteria of the EU attending to the objectives of single market and free movement of workers
  • promote public and private investment in the qualification of workers
  • provide quality training
  • officially evaluate and accredit vocational qualifications, regardless the way they were acquired.

(2002 Act on Qualifications and Vocational Training).

Main objectives established for university education

  • boost the mobility of students, teachers and researchers, within the European and international education system
  • promote the integration of universities within the EHEA, improving their quality
  • prepare for the exercise of professional activities that require the application of knowledge and scientific methods as well as for artistic creation.

(2001 Organic Act on Universities, passed with the aim of improving the universities quality, promoting their autonomy, increasing their effectiveness, efficiency and responsibility and stressing the importance of research).

  • enhance the international projection of the Spanish university system and interuniversity mobility
  • reform the structure and organisation of the studies
  • boost the transfer of the university research results to the productive sector, in coordination and complementarity with the other stakeholders of the science and technology system.

(2007 Act modifying the Organic Act on Universities, aimed at increasing the demands of accountability concerning the fulfilment of their functions and the universities adaptation to the EHEA).