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Spain:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

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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

Schools providing Bachillerato

Schools providing Bachillerato can be:

  • publicly-funded (public schools and publicly-funded private schools). Public-sector schools are known as secondary schools
  • exclusively financed with private sources (private schools).

Public schools providing Bachillerato also teach compulsory secondary education and may teach vocational training. Private schools, whether publicly-funded or not, normally provide compulsory education as well.

Characteristics of schooling in publicly-funded schools:

  • public schools: Bachillerato studies are provided free of charge and students do not have to pay tuition fees
  • publicly-funded private schools: in the case of publicly-funded private schools with singular arrangements, public funds defray only part of their costs. Schools may charge pupils tuition as complementary revenue.

For more information, see Early childhood and school education funding.

All schools across the country, regardless of ownership and source of funding, must meet a series of minimum requirements regarding facilities and teacher/student ratio per unit. For more information, see Organisation of private education.

Schools providing Bachillerato must offer, at least, two branches of Bachillerato. For more information, see Teaching and learning in general upper secondary education.

However, measures aiming at rationalising public spending on education were approved in 2012 and, among others, educational institutions were no longer obliged to offer two branches of Bachillerato, in order to widen margins so that the Autonomous Communities could offer an educational provision suited to their needs.

In the academic year 2014/15, a total 4 536 educational institutions taught classroom-based Bachillerato at State level, 3 046 of which were public schools, 469 were publicly-funded private schools and 1 021 were private schools. In the case of distance Bachillerato, a total of 173 educational institutions offer this type of provision, 172 of which are public and only one is private. The number of educational institutions varies significantly from one Autonomous Community to another.

Geographical accessibility

In order to guarantee the principle of equality as regards the right to education recognised by the 1978 Spanish Constitution, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport stipulates the necessity of developing preventive and compensatory actions in disadvantaged regions. Inequalities on geographical, social and economic or other grounds are thus avoided and families’ choice of their preferred educational option, regardless of their place of residence, is facilitated.

The education authorities are responsible for implementing these actions, guaranteeing pupils’ access to post-compulsory studies.

Although, as it is a post-compulsory stage, accessibility is not regulated, the education authorities carry out appropriate planning regarding the provision of free school places so that students do not have to travel more than 30 minutes. If that proves not possible, students may stay in residences, which must be located in such a way as to allow them to return home during the weekend. Residence facilities, as well as transport and meals, are provided free of charge.

For more information, see Early Childhood and School Education Funding.

Pupil admission and choice of institution

In order to have access to Bachillerato, students must meet any of these requirements:

The Autonomous Communities must regulate pupils’ admission to public schools and publicly-funded private schools with singular arrangements.

The objective is to guarantee equal access and parents’ or guardians’ freedom of choice of school and to achieve a fair distribution of pupils, with no discrimination on ideological, religious, moral, social, gender or racial grounds or due to conditions of birth. Gender segregation in the classroom is not considered to be discrimination.

(1985 Act on the Right to Education; 2006 Education Act, modified by the 2013 Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education).

When it comes to public and publicly-funded private schools, if there are not enough spaces to cover for the demand a series of priority admission criteria apply, which are not the same in all the State, these are:

  • whether they already have any brothers or sisters enrolled in the education centre or if any of their parents or legal tutors are working at the school
  • proximity of the work post of either of the child’s parents. Students attending schools due to forced mobility of either parent or change of residence in cases of gender-based violence are given priority
  • per capita income of the family unit and legal status of large family
  • placement with a foster family
  • whether the child has a disability or if his or her parents or brothers and sisters have any degree of disability
  • students' academic record. 

The Autonomous Communities and schools themselves may establish further criteria.

Age and grouping of pupils

Bachillerato comprises two school years, generally between the ages of 16 to 18.

Class groups are created according to the year of birth, although there might be students with several years difference in age in the same group, as they may continue their mainstream education:

  • four years. Students cannot repeat each year more than once
  • as an exception, with a prior favourable report from the teaching team, they can repeat one of the years twice.

A form teacher is assigned to each group, but specialist teachers are responsible for teaching the different subjects. These teachers may have the same group of students during the two years of the stage. For more information, see Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education.

The teacher/student ratio per unit is regulated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport which establishes a maximum of 35 students per unit.

To the student ratio limit mentioned above, a further 20% was added, due to the measures on the limitation on public expenditure issued in 2012. The education authorities were to determine the increase in the ratio whenever there was no further authorisation for the accommodation of new civil servant teachers in a Public Provision for Employment, or whenever there was an effective replacement rate below 50%. In 2015, the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration raised that percentage to 50%. This decision is the responsibility of each Autonomous Community.

Regional education authorities are also in charge of determining the ratio for those units including pupils with specific need of educational support or entering late into the education system. In the 2014/15 school year, the average number of Bachillerato students per class was 26.6, with a higher percentage in public (27.4) than in private schools (24.5).

Organisation of the school year

The education authorities, within their jurisdiction, are responsible for annually establishing the school year, taking into account the minimum requirements set by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport for the whole State.

The academic year lasts a minimum of 175 school days grouped into trimesters and distributed between the first fortnight of September and the last fortnight of June.

School holidays are distributed throughout the academic year:

  • approximately 12 weeks for summer holidays
  • a fortnight at Christmas
  • between 8 and 11 days at the end of March or at the beginning of April (Easter)
  • 7 days declared festive or holidays by the Central Government or regional and/or local authorities.

During the summer holidays, schools may remain open until the end of July. Depending on the organisation of each school, the same may apply for non festive days during the Christmas and Easter period.

In the case of students of the 2nd year of Bachillerato, the end of the school year depends on the dates for the university entrance examinations. For more information, see University entrance examination.

Organisation of the day and the week

Each education centre has a certain degree of autonomy for the organisation of the school day and school week. In the case of public education centres the timetable is always daytime class timetable, whereas publicly-funded private schools and private school are free to set their timetables.

The leadership team, following the requisites approved by the School Council and after having consulted the Teachers’ Assembly, draws up a general timetable for the distribution of the school day:

  • the specific hours and conditions in which the education centre is to remain open when no classes are being taught, available to the educational community
  • the hours in which the teaching hours for each of the stages or cycles are set
  • the shifts, hours and conditions in which these services and facilities are available for pupils.

In general, the weekly timetable comprises 30 to 32 lessons lasting 55 minutes each, i.e., 6 to 7 lessons a day from Monday to Friday.

The school day is between 08:30 and 15:00, with a 30-40 minute break in between.

It is up to the corresponding education authority to ratify the organisation of the school timetable. If this was not the case, the timetable is to be returned to the educational centre for its revision and amendment.

Furthermore, the education authority is in charge of establishing the procedures for the local authorities use of the centres’ when no classes are being taught so that other educational, cultural, sporting or social activities may take place.