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Spain:Quality Assurance

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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 2006 Education Act and the 2013 Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education, modifying it, have the improvement of the quality and efficiency of the education and training systems as an objective. To this end, the education system has two differentiated pathways: educational inspection and evaluation.

Educational inspection

It must be conducted on all elements and aspects of the education system, in order to ensure compliance with the law, the guarantee of rights and duties of those participating in the teaching and learning processes, the improvement of the education system, and the quality and equity of education.

In accordance with the decentralised nature of the Spanish education system, it is organised into two levels:

  • the Educational Inspectorate, which has the legal authority and the duty to inspect and authorise the education system at national level. It has the power to supervise all types of education, both non-university and university, ensuring compliance with the regulations established by the State in all the Autonomous Communities. It is present in the 17 Autonomous Communities
  • the educational inspection of non-university education, which is organised, regulated and conducted by the education authorities of the Autonomous Communities in their respective regions.

Educational evaluation

Educational evaluation is a tool that contributes to the knowledge of the education system and guides decision-making by the different institutions related to education. In addition, it is considered as an essential element in order to improve the transparency of the education system and should therefore cover all its areas.

Evaluation, therefore, must provide relevant information on the degree the education system achieves the goals established by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and the Autonomous Communities, and assess learning processes and students’ results, teachers’ activity, educational processes, the managerial function, the running of schools, inspection and education authorities themselves.

The Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education has introduced external evaluations at the end of the stage, which make it possible to estimate and assess students’ achievement levels, and provide information on the degree of development of the cognitive skills required to guarantee transition between different types of provision. For more information, see Design of external evaluations at the end of the stage, implemented from the 2015/16 academic year and Design of external evaluations at the end of compulsory secondary education and Bachillerato.

The National Institute for Educational Evaluation of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport publishes the National System of Education Indicators, which gathers information on the status of the Spanish education system and guides the decision-making of the education authorities.

In the international context, the participation of Spain in international evaluation tests such as PISA, TIMSS or PIRLS, among others, makes it possible to place its education system in a framework for comparison with other countries and contrast their weaknesses and strengths. Similarly, its participation in international publications, such as Education at a Glance, provides important information on the position of Spain in comparison with other countries regarding a number of education indicators.

Educational evaluation of non-university levels

It is organised into three levels: 

  • the State in collaboration with the Autonomous Communities: they are responsible for the general evaluation of the education system
  • the Autonomous Communities: they are in charge of the evaluation of the education system and educational institutions within their respective territory
  • educational institutions: they develop internal evaluation mechanisms with the support of the education authorities.

Evaluation of university education

It has a more complex structure due to the convergence of the principles of accountability and university autonomy. It is regulated by the 2001 Act on Universities and the 2007 Act Modifying the Act on Universities.

The evaluation of the quality of universities is the responsibility of the Autonomous Communities. With the purpose of bringing external quality assurance to the university system and contributing to its constant improvement, the Act on Universities established  the creation of a National Agency to evaluate university provision, research, teaching and management activity, and services and programmes.

Universities, as autonomous institutions, develop their own control and supervision mechanisms. 

Actions for the evaluation of the Spanish education system

Types of provision
Evaluation actions
Pre-primary, primary, secondary and non-university higher education

Evaluation of the education system

Evaluation of educational institutions (external and internal)

Evaluation of the teaching function

Evaluation of the managerial function

University higher education

Evaluation of studies

Evaluation of institutions

Evaluation of teachers

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).