Active Togetherness
Learning Spaces for All Ages (ACT)
Education in Italy is compulsory from 6 to 16 years of age , divided into five stages:
Kindergarten (scuola dell’infanzia), primary school (scuola primaria),lower secondary
school (scuola secondaria di primo grado) upper secondary school /scuola secondaria di
secondo grado) and university. Italy has both education systems public and private.
In Italy an Educational System has existed since 1859 ( Legge Casati) . This law made
Primary education compulsory to reduce illiteracy, often children were not sent to school,
Only after 70 years 90 % of children enrolled in primary education. Next important law
was Legge Gentile in 1923 powered by Mussolini. The compulsory age of education raised to
14 years , after primary school one could choose Scuola Media, so further access to Liceo or
work training . The liceo was the only secondary school that gave access to all types of higher
education until 1968. In 1962 the avviamento al lavoro ( worktraining) was abolished .
From 1962 until present the education system remained unchanged, even if some
modifications were made:a narrowing of the gap between males and females like introduction
of mixed gender gym classes, new licei ,technical schools and istituti professionali, that
means more choice for the students in their paths.
In 1999 the Italian university system switched from the old system of 5 years traditional
laurea degree to the new system . The new system split the former Laurea into tow tracks: the
laurea triennale (three degree Bachelor’s) followed by 2 year Laurea specialistica (Master’s
Degree) , the latter renamed Laurea Magistrale a ciclo unico in 2007.
After three years of non-compulsory nursery school (or kindergarten) the scuola elementare
(Primary School) follows for 5 years
Students can find basic education in Italian, English,mathematics, natural sciences,
history,geography , physical education and musical arts.
Supported by Grundtvig AGREEMENT NUMBER –
2013-1-GB2-GRU06-11154 1
It is divided in two stages : Lower secondary school (scuola media) this is a Middle School
and Scuola secondaria di second grado (Upper secondary school) which corresponds to the
high school level.
lasts three
years (from 11 to 13 ) and provide further education on the subjects studied at the scuola
primaria in addition technology and another foreign language
At the end of three years students sit an exam which enables to continue their education.
lasts five years
This situation varies , several types of subjects and activities can be choosen
The main division is between Liceo, (Scientifico, Classico, Artistico, Musicale),
Istituto Tecnico and Istituto Professionale.
After 5 yers you have a final exam, called Eame di Stato /Maturità, this take place
Every year between June and July and grants access to University.
A tipical students is 19 when he enters to university, while in UK and other countries 18 is
the more common age.
The Italian school system also features the Scuola Serale (evening school) , aimed at adults
and working students.
In 1975 a law eliminates special schools and classed for handicapped students. They attend
normal classes in normal schools.
In 1988 a ruling by the Constitutional Court obliges secondary schools to enroll disabled
students that want to apply
In a class not more than 25 students if an handicapped student inside
In every class with handicapped students there is a special teacher . This teacher prepares the
IEP (Individual Educational Plan ) together with other teachers. All are responsible of
student’s integration.
Every disabled student has an IEP where teachers specify aims, activities, supports. Their role
is to increase students abilities.
This IEP can be
DIFFERENTIAL: the aims are different from the student’s course of studies. At the End
student obtains attendance certificate.
EQUIVALENT: the aims are what the group of the class
teachers has specified as basic level, often reduced matters. Student get legal certificate at
the End.
Supported by Grundtvig AGREEMENT NUMBER –
2013-1-GB2-GRU06-11154 1
EQUAL: aims and matters are the same but with different learning strategies.
Legal certificate at the End.
At school there are no therapists, for a severe disabled student the municipality provides for
transport from home to school,educator at home and supports to help teachers.
Pre school education
scuola dell’infanzia
3 years, from 3 to 6 years
Primary education
scuola primaria
5 years, from 6 to 11 years
Lower secondary
scuola secondaria
di primo grado
3 years, 11 to 14 years
Upper secondary
scuola secondaria di
secondo grado
5 years , age 14 to 19 years
Higher education
Bachelor’s +
Master degree
5 years or 6 years for medicine
Supported by Grundtvig AGREEMENT NUMBER –
2013-1-GB2-GRU06-11154 1

Education in Italy - Active Togetherness