Education System Italy
At present the Italian school system is divided into three parts:
- Primary school (scuole elementare)
- Lower secondary (scuola media)
- Upper secondary school (scuola superiore)
State school in Italy is free until the end of primary education. School in Italy is compulsory until the age of 16.
The Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca) is responsible for administration of state schools in Italy.
The period of compulsory education lasts for nine years and consists of primary school and secondary school in all regions.
The Italian school year usually runs from mid-September to the end of June. School hours can vary from region to region and can be five or six, full or half days.
Find out about provision for the early years in the Italian education system…
Kindergarten/pre-school (Scuola materna)
For ages three to five, the scuola materna provides optional education for children and every child is entitled to a place. It is not obligatory for a child to attend preschool but most parents enrol their children in a scuola materna. Preschool in Italy is free except in private schools.
Primary school (Scuola primaria/elementare)
School in Italy is compulsory from the age of six onwards. Recent legislation changes means that children may start scuola primaria from the age of five and a half onwards (this is to bring Italian schools in line with European schools regarding school leaving ages). All children who will be six years old by 31 December following the start of the school year can register for primary school.
At primary school children learn to read and write and study mathematics, geography, Italian, English, science, music, computer studies, religion (optional) and social studies.
Primary school lasts five years. Classes have between 10 and 25 pupils each. Until recently pupils had to pass an exam at the end of year five before they could progress to secondary school, but this is no longer the case.