2THE ITALIAN SCHOOL SYSTEM CONSISTS OF FOUR MAIN LEVELS: NURSERY SCHOOL: 3-6 AGED PUPILSPRIMARY SCHOOL: 6-11 AGED PUPILSLOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL: AGED PUPPILSUPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL: AGED PUPILS
3In Italy there are state school and state-recognized school or private school at each level of the education system.The main language is Italian, in some areas the use of local language is authorized (French in Valle d’Aosta, German and Ladin in Trentino Alto-Adige, Slovenian in Friuli Venezia Giulia).The Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (Ministry of Education, University and Research) is the responsible of the overall school education and it is represented by the Local Education Authorities (LEAs)
4Law n. 59/1997, approved with Presidential Decree n Law n. 59/1997, approved with Presidential Decree n. 275/1999, grants autonomy to all schools as concerns teaching, organization, research, experimentation and development.Legislative Decree n. 286/2004 sets up the Servizio nazionale di valutazione del sistema educativo di istruzione e formazione (National Service for the Evaluation and Training System) with the task of improving the quality of the Education System, through the evaluation of its efficacy and efficiency also by following the dictates of the international context.The Istituto Nazionale di valutazione del sistema educativo di istruzione e formazione – INVALSI – (National Institute for the Evaluation of the Education and Training System) is entrusted with the national service.
5At the end of Lower secondary school, which completes the first school cycle, students take a state examination to be admitted to the upper secondary education level.Upper secondary schools are articulated in several lines of education.Lyceum – Liceo classico (classical)Liceo Scientifico (scientific)Liceo Linguistico (linguistic)Liceo socio-psico-pedagogico(socio-psyco-pedagogical)The lenght of each Lyceum is 5 years
6Artistic Education – Liceo Artistico (artistic Lyceum)-4/5 years Istituti d’Arte (art schools)- 3/5 yearsTechnical Education- Istituto Tecnico (technical school)5 years(There are several different courses in Technical Education: Building Surveying and Construction, Industrial, Commercial, Administrative, Graphic Arts, Agricultural, Tourism and Marketing, etc)Vocational Education - Istituto Professionale (vocational school) 3/5 years(There are several different courses in Vocational Education: Agricultural, Hotel Trading and Catering, Commercial, Industrial, Mechanical, Administrative, Social Services)
7In Art and in Vocational Education, there is the possibility, after 3 years, to get a first level certification, that enables students to spend it in working positions in the industry or handicraft.Students have the options to continue the frequency for further two years and get a 5-years certification.Students oral and written work is assessed every three or four months. The school leaving examination takes place at the end of 5- years courses (Esame di Stato). The diploma has a legal value in working field.In these last months the conduct mark was re-introduced as part of annual final evaluation for each student. A bad mark in conduct could lead to overall failure and repetition of that year of frequency.
8The participation of parents in the management of schools is regulated by Law 477/1973 and the following Decree 416/1974. This decree instituted the Organi Collegiali (with the participation of parents and high school students in Class, School, District, Provincial meetings). Currently, only Class and School Councils are working in each school at every level of school system. The District and Provincial Councils have been abandoned, no election has taken place for more than 10 years.
9Class Council, constituted by all teachers of the class, two parents and two students, have the task to make proposal regarding educational activities and experimentation, adoption of textbooks and co-operation in educational goals. The election of parents and students for Class Council tales place every year.School Council is constituted by the principal and eight teachers, two non-teaching personnel, four parents and four students, all of them elected every three years; the President of the Council is elected among parents. The School Council has the task to manage the whole life of the school, to deliberate on budget, school regualations and rules, on educational activities, very often on proposal made by Collegio dei Docenti (Teachers College), the assembly of all teachers of school.
10New decrees in these last years define a different way to share education responsability among all actors in schools.The “Statuto delle Studentesse e degli Studenti nella Scuola Superiore” (Upper Secondary Students Statute), instituted by Decree n. 248/June 1998, leads to new regulations in Upper Secondary School. Each Institute has to define his own regualtions which state rights and duties of every subject in schools.
11The “Patto educativo di corresponsabilità” (Education Co-responsability Agreement), instituted by Decree n. 235/nov. 2007, has to be written by each school with the involvement of teachers, students, parents, non-teaching school personnel, all co-ordinated by the Principal. The aim of the Agreement is to improve the idea of school as community based on educational relationship among all the subjects involved