Pre-school education is optional and it is aimed at children between three and six years old. From this age on education is compulsory. It can be financed and promoted by the State, supported by private entities, cooperatives, private institutions of social solidarity and non-profit institutions.
Basic education is part of compulsory education, from six to fifteen years of age, and aims to ensure a common training for all students to acquire knowledge that will serve as a basis for future educational stages. It is structured in three sequential cycles, organized as follows:
1st Cycle: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years
2nd Cycle: 5th and 6th years
3rd Cycle: 7th, 8th and 9th years
Secondary education is compulsory and comprises a cycle of three years (10th, 11th and 12th), focused on two possible aspects: further studies and labour market insertion. The choice of part of the subjects can be directed to specific areas, depending on the vocational and professional orientation of the students.
Post-secondary non-tertiary education is made up of specialised technological courses (CET), with a focus on the qualified insertion of young people and adults in the world of work.
Higher education is taught in polytechnic institutes and universities, of a public, private, cooperative or concordat nature. It is driven by the principles of the Bologna Declaration, a document signed in 1999 by education ministers from 29 European countries, in which the signatories pledged to reorganize higher education systems with a focus on common guidelines and objectives.
Source: Directorate-General for Education and Science Statistics (DGEEC)