School–Work Alternation is an innovative education method brought in by Law no. 53/2003 and disciplined by Legislative Decree no. 77/2005. It is addressed to students of upper secondary schools, and allows them to “alternate” periods of training in the classroom and inside companies (or other hosting establishments).
With the educational reform of upper secondary schools, implemented by the new reorganisation of Institutes of technical and vocational education and training (School-based TVET) and secondary schools (Presidential Decrees nos. 87-89/2010), School–Work Alternation has taken a further institutional step: in the new regulations, it is described as a systematic method to be introduced into the curricula of different study courses to let students become familiar with the world of work, to guide them, and to make schools more effective.
Law no. 107/2015 emphasised the importance of bringing together knowledge with know-how, intensifying schools’ relations with their surroundings and the worlds of production and services. The partnership with businesses can encourage innovative teaching and the dissemination of educational processes that focus on acquiring useful skills for the world of work, while promoting educational and professional guidance, self-entrepreneurship, active citizenship, and greater involvement of the young in learning processes, also thanks to new technologies.
To support the development of this educational practice, starting from the AY 2006-2007, INDIRE has been observing its yearly progress, carrying out, under the auspices of the MIUR, quantitative monitoring of the School–Work Alternation schemes launched all over the country. The results for every year monitored, can be consulted on our web portal. These are the areas which have been monitored: implemented school schemes, the students involved, the operators, the hosting establishments, teaching activities, the results, integration within the territory and the sources of financing. Over time, it became necessary to expand the investigation and to accompany the quantitative measurements with qualitative monitoring. In view of this, since the AY 2014-2015, quantitative monitoring has been carried out directly by the MIUR’s Directorate General for Studies, Statistics and Information Systems, using the SIDI Portal.
INDIRE is in charge of accompanying the ongoing changes in schools and fostering the innovation processes. In order to achieve these goals, it takes care of the study, analysis and in-depth examination of the sector, via dedicated research and qualitative monitoring carried out under the auspices of the MIUR.