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Spain:Political and Economic Situation

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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

Political situation

The political form of the Spanish State is a parliamentary monarchy, which implies that the legislative power resides in the Spanish Parliament, which in turn monitors the executive branch. Within a model of representative democracy, the Spanish Parliament is composed of 350 members, as established by the 1985 Electoral Law, who are to represent the citizens who elected them.

Following the elections held on November 2011, the Spanish Parliament is composed of members of the Partido Popular (People’s Party), in power with an absolute majority; the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party), the main opposition bloc; and other national parties with less parliamentary representation: Izquierda Unida-Los Verdes (United Left-Green Party) and Unión, Progreso y Democracia (Union, Progress and Democracy). There are nine more parliamentary political parties, although they are more regionalist in nature.

Spain is a multi-party country, although, since 1982, there has been mainly a two-party system dominated by governments of the Partido Popular and the Partido Socialista Obrero Español. General elections, whose result may be affected by the emergence of new political parties and citizen candidacies that have already changed the formation of local and regional governments, will be held before the end of the year.

Following the local and regional elections held in May 2015 in some Autonomous Communities, the Partido Popular governs 20 out of the 52 provincial capitals, 17 are governed by the Partido Socialista Obrero Español, and 6 by citizen candidacies, including the cities of Madrid and Barcelona. In the rest of provincial capitals, with the exception of Zamora, governed by Izquierda Unida, elected mayors belong to regionalist parties.

When it comes to the Autonomous Communities, the elections held in March in Andalusia and in May in the rest of Autonomous Communities, except for Galicia, the Basque Country and Catalonia, have unveiled a new political map where the Partido Popular and the Partido Socialista Obrero Español can form governments in most of them, but negotiating pacts with emerging political parties such as Podemos (We Can) and Ciudadanos (Citizens).

Economic situation

The economic situation of a country is related to the financing of its education system, as it may determine the application of expansionary or restrictive measures regarding expenditure. Following a long process of economic expansion after the 1990s crisis, which resulted in growth above the European average, in 2008, the Spanish economy went into a period of stagnation that caused a recession from which the country is still recovering.

Spain's GDP growth (annual %) from 2008 to 2014

Years
2008
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
GDP growth (annual %)
1.1%
-3.6%
0.0%
-0.6%
-2.1%
-1.2%
1.4%

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 Spain’s National Accounts (National Statistics Institute).

Since 2008, GDP had been gradually declining, until the first estimate of the National Statistics Institute for 2014, which resulted in GDP growth of 1.4%.

During the years of recession, there was a reduction in public spending on many areas, including education. Thus, public expenditure on education was reduced, and so was spending on education in relation to GDP.

Public expenditure on education1


2000 2005 2010 20142
Absolute value (EUR thousand)
28 333 732
40 087 672
53 099 329
45 684 600
Share of GDP (%)
4.38
4.31
4.91
4.39

1It refers to the expenditure on education (liquidated budgets) of all public administrations, including universities.

2Provisional data.

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 Statistics on Public Expenditure on Education of the Statistics Office, and Facts and Figures. 2014/15 School Year report, both of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

The table shows how expenditure on education and expenditure in relation to GDP grew during the years of economic growth, whereas, in recent years, spending on education has been reduced (4.39% of GDP in 2014).

The level of education of the adult population is an indicator for the social and economic development of a country and is closely related to its productive system.

Level of education of the adult population (25-64 years) as a percentage (and according to Autonomous Community)


Less than 1st stage of secondary education
2nd stage of secondary education
Tertiary education
2000
61.4
15.9
22.7
2005
51.2
20.2
28.5
2014
43.4
21.9
34.7

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 Eurostat data.

In Spain, there has been a significant change in the level of education of the population aged 25-64. While in 2000 61.4% of the population had less than the 1st stage of secondary education, in 2014 this percentage was reduced to 43.4%.

It is also worth highlighting the increase in the number of people who have completed tertiary education, from 22.7% in 2000 to 34.7% in 2014.