Italian Educational system

Italian educational system

First cycle of education

The first cycle of education is compulsory and is made up of primary and lower secondary education.

Primary education (scuola primaria) starts at 6 years of age and lasts 5 years.

Lower secondary education (scuola secondaria di I grado) starts at 11 years of age and lasts 3 years.

Within the first cycle, students pass from one level to the next one without exams. At the end of the first cycle of education, students who pass the final state examination progress directly to the second cycle of education, the first two years of which are compulsory.

 Second cycle of education

The second cycle of education starts at the age of 14 and offers two different pathways:

  • the upper secondary school education
  • the regional vocational training system (IFP).

The first two years of the second cycle of education are compulsory.

The upper secondary school education (scuola secondaria di II grado) offers both general (liceo) and vocational (technical and vocational) programmes. Courses last 5 years. At the end of the upper secondary school education, students who successfully pass the final exam, receive a certificate that gives them access to higher education.

The regional vocational training system (IFP) offers three or four-year courses organised by accredited training agencies or by upper secondary schools. At the end of regional courses, learners receive a qualification that gives them access to second-level regional vocational courses or, under certain conditions, short-cycle courses at higher education level.

Post-secondary non-tertiary education

The post-secondary non-tertiary level, offers courses within the Higher technical education and training system (IFTS) and within the vocational training system managed by the Regions.

The Higher technical education and training system (IFTS) aims mainly at developing professional specialisations at post-secondary level that meet the requirements of the labour market, both in the public and private sectors. In particular, courses focus on the organisation of services, of local bodies and productive sectors undergoing deep technological innovations due to the globalization of markets. They are organised according to the priorities indicated by the economic planning at regional level.

The Regions organise short vocational training courses (400-800 hours) addressed to those who hold a qualification obtained either in the regional or in the State vocational training system. They are also called ‘second-level’ vocational training courses. They are organised with funds coming from the European Social Fund and aim at the acquisition of high-level theoretical, technical and managerial skills, also through practical work and stages in enterprises, to meet the professional needs of specific sectors.

Italian educational system

First cycle of education

The first cycle of education is compulsory and is made up of primary and lower secondary education.

Primary education (scuola primaria) starts at 6 years of age and lasts 5 years.

Lower secondary education (scuola secondaria di I grado) starts at 11 years of age and lasts 3 years.

Within the first cycle, students pass from one level to the next one without exams. At the end of the first cycle of education, students who pass the final state examination progress directly to the second cycle of education, the first two years of which are compulsory.

 Second cycle of education

The second cycle of education starts at the age of 14 and offers two different pathways:

  • the upper secondary school education
  • the regional vocational training system (IFP).

The first two years of the second cycle of education are compulsory.

The upper secondary school education (scuola secondaria di II grado) offers both general (liceo) and vocational (technical and vocational) programmes. Courses last 5 years. At the end of the upper secondary school education, students who successfully pass the final exam, receive a certificate that gives them access to higher education.

The regional vocational training system (IFP) offers three or four-year courses organised by accredited training agencies or by upper secondary schools. At the end of regional courses, learners receive a qualification that gives them access to second-level regional vocational courses or, under certain conditions, short-cycle courses at higher education level.

Post-secondary non-tertiary education

The post-secondary non-tertiary level, offers courses within the Higher technical education and training system (IFTS) and within the vocational training system managed by the Regions.

The Higher technical education and training system (IFTS) aims mainly at developing professional specialisations at post-secondary level that meet the requirements of the labour market, both in the public and private sectors. In particular, courses focus on the organisation of services, of local bodies and productive sectors undergoing deep technological innovations due to the globalization of markets. They are organised according to the priorities indicated by the economic planning at regional level.

The Regions organise short vocational training courses (400-800 hours) addressed to those who hold a qualification obtained either in the regional or in the State vocational training system. They are also called ‘second-level’ vocational training courses. They are organised with funds coming from the European Social Fund and aim at the acquisition of high-level theoretical, technical and managerial skills, also through practical work and stages in enterprises, to meet the professional needs of specific sectors.