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The Italian School System

Education is compulsory from the age of 6 with the requirement to attend training activities until the age of eighteen in order to improve young people’s cultural and professional growth

The requirement is in any case met by obtaining a high school diploma or a professional qualification

PRIMARY SCHOOL The major goal of primary school is achieving basic cultural literacy in the wider perspective of social education and the promotion of civil cohabitation. Attendance in state schools is compulsory for children aged 6 to 11, but the requirement can be satisfied as well by attending private schools

In Italian schools students with special needs can normally be included in classes. Regulations provide for teachers specialized in the field of disabilities to support normal class teachers during the activities.

Programs include the following subjects: Italian, English, mathematics, science, history and geography, social studies, music, art, technologies and computers, physical education, and catholic religion as an optional subject. Students are assessed on a regular basis and a final evaluation takes place at the end of every school year


First level secondary school (middle school) consists of three years to give a common general preparation to students who completed primary school.

Teachers are responsible for adapting the teaching curriculum, drawn up by the Ministry, to local situations and the level of preparation of their students.

Subjects taught are: Italian, English, a second EU language, history, geography, mathematics, science, technology, computer, music, art, physical education, and catholic religion (optional) At the end of the three years, students have to take exams to obtain their middle school diploma


Only students who obtained a middle school diploma have access to second level secondary education

High schools are currently divided in the following way: •Classical: liceo classico (focused on classical studies), liceo scientifico (focused on scientific studies), liceo linguisitico (focused on foreign languages), liceo sociopsico-pedagogico (focused on pedagogy, social sciences, psychology), liceo delle scienze sociali (focused on social sciences). •Artistic: liceo artistico (focused on arts) and Art school

•Technical: Technical Commercial School and Technical Industrial School, Technology high school •Vocational: offers vocational training for various jobs.


The principle of school autonomy was established by law in March 1997

The law assigns independent judicial status to all schools with the consequent power of exercising teaching and organizational autonomy. The major goal of school autonomy is to allow for more flexibility and adaptation of the studies to the needs of the local community in which the school is situated

The norms for the implementation of the principle contained in the Decree of the President of the Republic n. 275 dated March 8th 1999 outline some elements of flexibility that schools can implement and provides some guidelines regarding the activities: •flexibility in the school year calendar •school time flexibility •going beyond the rigid class group •make-up and support activities •availability of optional extra subjects •collaboration with other schools or external subjects •scholastic and professional orientation •continuity process between different school levels

Specific aspects of the Italian school system At the beginning of the first year of each school level (elementary, middle, high school), pupils are split up into class groups which will be the same for several years. Pupils of the same age do not mix to form different class groups; they have lessons always in the same classroom (except for some clubs), where the different teachers turn over

That’s because once students have chosen their track, syllabi are fixed, there is no (or very limited) options. (i.e. different languages, or religion vs. individual study or optional subject) Classes last 60 minutes and take place in the morning or till the afternoon if they have full time One teacher for each subject accompanies the same group of pupils for several years (five in primary school, three in middle school, between two and five in high school)

The number of teaching hours per subject and the curricula are defined by ministerial decree in the whole country. In Primary school teachers can teach more than one subject even than usually there are specialized teachers for English and Religious education

In Secondary School teachers teach one or two subjects. While the subjects and hours must be the same for every school, the curricula are only a sort of concise guide-line in order to reach the educational objectives required by the system, through the didactic planning, which is mainly the teachers' task

We will be very glad to invite you to visit our school. We are in Francavilla Al Mare, a nice touristic town that lies on the Adriatic sea. See you on next March‌

Educaton System in Italy  
Educaton System in Italy  

A short description of Education system in Italy