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Spain:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

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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’s political regime is a parliamentary monarchy. This is characterised by the King being the Head of State and the separation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers, which are assumed by different bodies and institutions.

  • Legislative power is vested in the Spanish Parliament, comprising representatives of the Spanish people who are elected every four years. It is composed of two houses: Congress and Senate.
  • Executive power is entrusted to the Government of the Nation, comprised of the President, vice-presidents, ministers and such other members as provided by law.
  • Judicial power: In accordance with the Constitution, justice emanates from the people and it is administered by judges and magistrates on behalf of the King.

The territorial organisation of the Spanish State is made up of municipalities, provinces and Autonomous Communities. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 recognises and guarantees its right to autonomy in the management of its respective interests, and decrees that the State is solely responsible for the effective fulfilment of the principle of solidarity, watching over the establishment of an adequate and just economic balance among the different areas of the Spanish territory and paying special attention to the particularities of the islands.

The organisation of the Spanish education system has changed since the adoption of the Spanish Constitution. The State began transferring educational powers to the Autonomous Communities in 1981, a process which ended in 2000. This distribution of powers requires coordination by the different education authorities and the body in charge of it is the Sectoral Committee for Education, made up of the Heads of the Departments for Education of the Autonomous Communities and the Minister of Education. For detailed information, see section Sectoral Committee for Education.

The State

The State General Administration is made up by the different ministerial departments and all their dependent bodies. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport is the department responsible for the proposal and carrying out of general policies on education, vocational training and universities.

The powers ensuring the homogeneity and basic unity of the education system, and guaranteeing conditions of equality for all Spaniards, are reserved exclusively to the State. Essentially regulatory in nature, these powers have to do with the regulation of basic elements or aspects of the system, although it also has executive powers.

In addition, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport exercises all educational powers in the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

The exercise of the educational powers reserved to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport requires cooperation with other ministries, such as the Ministry of Employment and Social Security or the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality.

For detailed information, see section The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (central level).

The Autonomous Communities 

Spain is made up of 17 Autonomous Communities and the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

Their Statutes of Autonomy constitute their basic institutional law, which the State recognises and upholds as an integral part of its legal system.

The regional legislative and executive bodies are as follows, with different designations in each of the Autonomous Communities: the Legislative Assembly, elected under universal suffrage; the Government Council, with executive and administrative functions; and the President, the ultimate representative of the Autonomous Community and the formal representative of the State in the given community.

The different Autonomous Communities have their own model of education administration (Departments for Education) in order to exercise the educational powers and provide the services established in their respective Statutes. They have regulatory powers for the development of State rules and the regulation of non-basic elements or aspects of the education system, as well as executive-administrative powers for the administration of education in their respective region, with the exception of those reserved to the State.

For detailed information, see section The education authority in the Autonomous Communities (regional level).

Local administration

Municipalities are the immediate means by which the civil population participates in public affairs. They have full legal status and institutionalise and manage the interests of the various social groups. Municipal councils, made up of mayors and councillors, are responsible for their government and administration.

Provinces are also local entities made up from the grouping together of municipalities. The autonomous government and administration of provinces is entrusted to provincial councils. The islands have their own administrative bodies in the form of councils.

Local administrations are not considered as education authorities, although most municipal councils have education offices or municipal education institutes, through which the State and the Autonomous Communities can delegate the exercise of powers in areas which relate to their interests as regards education. For detailed information on the cooperation of the local administration in the development of education, see article Administration and governance at local and/or institutional level.