1. Do all children and adolescents have the right to access school?

Yes. All citizens between six and eighteen years of age, in a regular situation or not, have access to education with the same rights that the law attributes to those with a regular situation in the national territory. There is even a specific legislation to ensure the registration of immigrants, even in irregular conditions, through DL nº. 67/2004, of March 25th.

2. What is needed to enter the basic and secondary education system in Portugal?

First, the equivalence of studies will be requested in order for the candidate to be positioned in the corresponding school year. The enrollment is made in the educational establishment that the applicant intends to attend through a specific printed document.

3. Is there a deadline for registration?

No. In both basic and secondary education, enrollment can be made at any time of the year. Acceptance depends only on the existence of vacancies in classes already constituted.

4. Which documents are necessary for a registration in school?

  • Identification document and card of the child, or birth certificate, National Registry of Minors;
  • Registration form filled, with a photograph. This document is given by the school;
  • Vaccination book, health centre card and “ficha de ligação”. This form, filled by the Health Centre, allows detect, at an early stage, visuals and hearing problems, for example. Therefore, is very important to register in the Health Centre of your residence area;
  • Copy of a document from the Health Subsystem or similar documents;
  • Proof of qualifications must be duly translated, when written in a foreign language, and authenticated by the embassy or consulate of Portugal, or by the embassy and consulate of the foreign country in Portugal, or with the apostille for the countries that adhered to the Hague Convention, October 5th, 1961, ratified by Decree-Law Nº. 48 450, published in the Government Gazette, 1st series, Nº. 148, of June 24th, 1968.

5. Can a registration be refused?

In compulsory education years the school of you residence area can’t refuse a registration, unless, all the vacancies are filled. In that case, the school will forward the student to another school of the area and ultimately it is the DGESTE responsibility to find a solution.


6. At what age is the first enrollment in the 1st year of basic education made?

Enrollment in the 1st year of basic education is mandatory for children who turn six years old by September 15th. Those who have a birthday between September 16th and December 31st can also enter the first year, if so required by the parent/guardian.

The application for registration must be submitted at the school or at the headquarters of the school cluster in the area of residence or professional activity of the parents. If the applicant intends to attend private education, just go to the desired school.

7. Where can I get more information about educational establishments?

It is possible to consult about educational establishments using the Roteiro das Escolas tool  which provides addresses, contacts and other information in its database.

Remember that, at the time of registration, the student’s guardian must indicate, in order of preference, the places where he/she intends to enroll the child or adolescent.

The choice will be taken into consideration, but it will be conditioned to the existence of vacancies.

8. What resources are available for students with learning difficulties?

There is educational support for children and adolescents who have learning difficulties or health problems that hinder school performance. The students will be accompanied by another teacher, who will assist in the study routine to the teacher responsible for the class.

9. How is contact made with the student’s parents?

In the 1st cycle, there is only one teacher for each class. There is a schedule, usually every fifteen days, to speak to the guardians.
It is also possible to contact him/her at the beginning and end of classes or make an appointment using the school notebook.

In the 2nd and 3rd cycles and secondary education, there are several teachers. The contact is made preferably between the person in charge of education (person responsible for the student) and the class director (teacher/person responsible for the class).

At the meetings, information about classes, behavior and curricular performance of young people is exchanged.

10. And what about the situation of students who do not speak Portuguese?

In these cases, there is the offer of Portuguese as a Non-Maternal Language (PLNM) and other support measures created to offer equitable teaching conditions and ensure the integration of young people regardless of their language, nationality or social status.

Source: High Commission for Migration (ACM)

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