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Spain:Historical Development

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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

Spain is a State subject to the rule of law where parliamentary monarchy is established as the form of government, and the Constitution of 1978 is the supreme law of the Spanish judicial order.

In 1975, King Juan Carlos I supported the peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy through legislation and became a parliamentary monarch with powers similar to those possessed by all the other Kings of Western Europe. On 2 June 2014, the King renounced his powers and, in accordance with Article 57.1 of the Spanish Constitution, his eldest son, the then Prince Felipe, inherited the leadership of the State. The proclamation of the new King, Felipe VI, took place on 19 June 2014.

This socio-political transition from authoritarianism to representative democracy has conditioned the recent history of the education system. In fact, Article 27 of the Spanish Constitution already provided for the right to education and academic freedom.

It has its recent historical origins in the 1970 General Education Act, enacted during Franco’s time. It remained in force until 1985, when the Act on the Right to Education was passed. In both Acts schooling was compulsory up to age 14, but the 1990 Act on the General Organisation of the Education System extended the length of compulsory schooling to age 16.

Once democracy had been established, the alternation in power between the two main political parties, the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) and the Partido Popular (People’s Party), resulted in legislative changes of greater or lesser intensity within non-university education. Thus, various reforms have taken place since the first democratic education act: the above-mentioned 1990 Act on the General Organisation of the Education System, the 2002 Act on the Quality of Education, the 2006 Education Act, and the current 2013 Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education.

In addition, the 1983 University Reform Act involved the modernisation of Spanish universities, as they began being governed by the academic community. Subsequently, the 2001 Act on Universities, modified in 2007, was intended to improve their quality by encouraging their autonomy, increasing their effectiveness, efficiency and responsibility, and promoting research work. The change in 2007 marks the start of its adaptation to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), promoting their international projection and inter-university mobility, among other objectives.

For detailed information on reforms in non-university and university education, see article Fundamental principles and national policies.

The configuration of Spain as a decentralised State and its territorial organisation resulted, in 1980, in a process of transfer of educational powers from the State General Administration to the Autonomous Communities. This process ended in 2000. For detailed information on the distribution of powers in the field of education, see article Administration and governance at central and/or regional level.

In the 1980s, a milestone profoundly influenced subsequent political and social development: Spain entered the European Community, now the European Union. The process of integration culminated on 12 June 1985, when the Accession Treaty was signed, coming into effect on 1 January 1986.