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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana


29 agosto 2017

According to the Minister of Education, Valeria Fedeli, “Compulsory school attendance should be raised to 18 years of age”

“ I’m in favour of increasing compulsory school attendance up to 18 years of age because an economy like ours, wishing to achieve growth and wellbeing, must invest on its economy and the knowledge society, as it was emphasised by the ONU Agenda 2030, signed also by Italy”, the Minister of Education Valeria Fedeli declared at the meeting of the movement Communion and liberation.

According to Fedeli, “educational cycles should be reconsidered on the basis of the quality of their educational path. Aiming at this objective, it must be taken into account that the educational and training path, which is a lifelong journey, needs longer school attendance, at least up to 18 years of age”.

Compulsory education in Italy

In Italy, since the AY 2007-2008 compulsory education has a duration of 10 years, that is, from the age of 6 to 16. Compulsory education includes primary, lower secondary education and the first two years of upper secondary education.  The last two years of compulsory education can be completed in a secondary school or in the vocational education and training system of the region. The second cycle of education offers two different pathways:

State upper secondary school, lasting 5 years for students from 14 to 19 years of age. It is offered by secondary schools (specialising in classical studies, sciences or languages), technical institutes and vocational institutes;

– Three and four-year vocational training courses, organised by the Regions.

Compulsory education can be achieved in public schools, state recognised schools, and under certain conditions, in private and home-based schools.

How does it work in the rest of Europe?

In the majority of the European educational systems full-time compulsory education lasts 9-10 years and ends at 15-16 years of age.

In Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia it is compulsory to follow educational and training paths up to the age of 18-19. Nevertheless, in these countries students from 15 to 16 years of age and from 18 to 19 can attend studying and training courses combining part-time school courses and part-time courses in the workplace.

In Austria, Poland and England students are required to enrol in educational or training paths up to the age of 18, once they have completed compulsory education. However full-time attendance is not required. Students can fulfil mandatory school requirements enrolling in full-time and part-time educational or trading pathways, and work based learning.

(Source Euridice Italy data July 2017)

To know more

Compulsory education in Europe 2016/17