Spain:Organisation and Governance

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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 model of decentralised State by which educational powers are shared between all levels of government. It is a symmetrical model, 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 (MECD).

The role of local authorities is focused on educational management through the Education Departments or Municipal Education Institutes.

Educational institutions also collaborate thanks to their pedagogic autonomy, by preparing their school development plan, but also by managing their resources and by preparing their organisation and running rules.

The Spanish education system is in the early stages of a reform process since the Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education, which modifies the 2006 Education Act, was passed in 2013. The Act establishes the educational powers exercised by the Government, as well as their distribution in the design of the basic curriculum for primary education, compulsory secondary education, Bachillerato, the second cycle of pre-primary education, vocational training and specialised education.

Distribution of powers between decision-making bodies in the field of education in Spain

DECISION-MAKING BODY 

FUNCTION

Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

  • general organisation of the Spanish education system
  • regulation of the conditions for the obtaining, issuing and recognition of academic and vocational qualifications, and of the basic rules for the development of the right to education
  • establishment of the general plan for education
  • evaluation and innovation of the different types of provision of the Spanish education system
  • educational inspection
  • design, planning and management of the system of grants and financial support
  • promotion of equality, non-discrimination and universal accessibility policies within the scope of its powers
  • management of the teaching staff policy and development of the foundations for the legal regime governing public teaching service
  • exercise of the functions of National Authority for the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.

Regional Ministries or Departments of Education of the Autonomous Communities

  • assume the regulations developed by the State rules and for the non-basis elements or aspects of the education system
  • assume the executive and administrative competences for managing the education system in its own territory
  • promote and strengthen school autonomy
  • evaluate school results and implement action plans.

Education Departments (local level)

The State General Authority and the Autonomous Communities delegate the exercise of their functions to the municipalities in aspects having a direct impact on them.

Educational Institutions

Within the framework established by the State and regional regulations, educational institutions have autonomy for preparing, enacting and executing:

  • school development plan
  • management plan
  • rules for organising and running the school.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of current regulations.

Distribution of educational powers in the design of the basic curriculum for primary education, compulsory secondary education and Bachillerato

DECISION-MAKING BODY 

FUNCTION

Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

  • establish the common contents and assessable learning standards of core subjects
  • set the 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
  • establish the assessable learning standards of specific subjects
  • design the final evaluation for primary education: evaluation criteria, extent to which skills have been acquired and general characteristics of the examinations
  • design the final evaluation for compulsory secondary education and Bachillerato: evaluation criteria, extent to which skills have been acquired, general characteristics of the examinations and contents of each examination session
  • recognise the certificates awarded upon completion of regulated types of provision
  • establish mixed curricula for different types of provision of the Spanish and other education systems
  • encourage actions aimed at promoting the quality of educational institutions.

Regional Ministries or Departments of Education of the Autonomous Communities

  • 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.

Educational Institutions

  • complement the contents of all subjects on the basis of educational provision
  • design and implement their own teaching and learning methods
  • establish the number of hours for the different subjects.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of current regulations.

Distribution of educational powers in the design of the curriculum for the second cycle of pre-primary education, specialised education and vocational training

  • Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport: it sets the objectives, skills, contents and evaluation criteria: 55% of the basic curriculum in the case of the Autonomous Communities with a co-official language, 65% in the rest of Autonomous Communities and 100% in the Cities of Ceuta and Melilla
  • Departments for Education of each Autonomous Community: they complete the curriculum in their management sphere.

The Spanish Constitution and the Act Regulating the Right to Education, in force since 1985, the Education Act and the Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education guarantee, promote and arbitrate the participation of all the sectors of the education community in the organisation, management, running and evaluation of the schools, as well as in the general plan for education.