The Italian Education and Training System includes:
Early childhood education and care (ECEC), for children aged less than 6 years, non-compulsory
First Cycle of Education, compulsory:
- primary Education: it lasts 5 years, from the age of 6 to 11 years
- lower Secondary Education: it lasts 3 years, from the age of 11 to 14 years
Second Cycle of Education (compulsory for the first two years). After ending successfully the First Cycle of Education, one is offered two different pathways:
- upper Secondary School Education, lasting five years, organized at: General (Licei), Technical (Istituti Tecnici), Vocational (Istituti Professionali), from 14 to 19 years
- the Regional Vocational Training System (Istruzione e Formazione professionale – IeFP) offers three or four-year courses, organized by the Regions at Centri di Formazione Professionale (CFP).
As in other Countries, one can receive a Diploma of the Second Cycle of Education even through an apprenticeship contract. That is an employment agreement with training content, aiming at Qualifica, Diploma of IeFP or Diploma di Maturità.
After ending the Second Cycle of Education, one might access to education at:
- Higher technological institutes (Istituti Tecnici Superiori).
How to choose?
After getting the “Diploma di licenza conclusivo del Primo Ciclo di Istruzione”, one can choose among different pathways:
- Vocational Training System (Istruzione e Formazione Professionale – IeFP), with 27 three-year regional courses, provided by Centri di Formazione Professionale – CFP or by vocational schools (Istituti Professionali). Students will be engaged in several practical activities in laboratories or in apprenteships by companies of sector
- Vocational Education (Professionale), with 11 courses in different sectors (food, maintenance, commerce, culture and entertainment), focuses on teaching contents, linking courses and productive fields so to offer real job opportunities
- Technical Education (Tecnico), with an economic sector (tourism and administration) or a technological one (mechanics, electronics, informatics, chemistry, textile, construction, fashion, transport, graphic and design)
- General Education, divided into 10 branches: artistic, classical, linguistic, scientific, sporting, musical and of human sciences.
What school for me?
During the last year of Lower Secondary Education (Terza Media) the Consiglio Orientativo (guidance advise) is given to students; it is a short document, which summarises teachers’ opinions on the most suitable pathway of Second Cycle of Education for each student.
That is a valuable opportunity for discussion between parents and teachers and it will help students in choosing the right pathway.
This website, for each pathway, shows:
- what you can learn, required skills, job opportunities
- teaching timetable
- state or private school or Centro di Formazione (CFP) where you can find the chosen pathway.
Furthermore, browsing and learning more about the world of professions and trades can be important for you. So you can visit also the website Salone dei Mestieri e delle Professioni, where you can find interesting information, interviews and videos, useful to “make up your mind” about professional sectors, linked to our area.
Information for foreign students
Minors with non-Italian citizenship, living on the national territory, have the right to school education, without considering the regularity of the residence permit.
All the current provisions, regarding the right to education, access to educational services and participation in the life of the school community, which value cultural differences and promote initiatives of acceptance and integration, are applied to them.
Therefore, also minors with non-Italian citizenship are provided with:
- compulsory education for at least 10 years, from 6 to 16 years
- training education. After completing compulsory education, it is possible to attend school courses (in upper secondary schools) or training courses (in CFP) in order to obtain a professional Qualifica or a Diploma or to start a training apprenticeship pathway.
It is possible to apply for enrollement in a class, corresponding to the minor’s age, in any school, at any time of the school year. Schools may give suggestion, evaluating any owned degree and a student’s general and linguistic skills.
Tab 1: You speak Italian
If you are younger than 14 years, you can apply to any First Cycle of Education school, close to your home, in order to obtain the degree of Titolo di Studio Conclusivo del Primo Ciclo di Istruzione (ex “licenza media”).
If you are between 14 and 19 years, you can apply to any Second Cycle of Education school to choose any vocational, technical or general pathway you are interested in (the Second Cycle of Education is compulsory for the first two years, i.e. to 16 years). Till 19 years you can attend morning classes.
Over 19 years you can attend evening classes for adults to obtain a vocational, technical or general Diploma. These pathways are organized in three teaching periods:
- the first teaching period aims at the acquisition of the certification one needs to attend the second teaching period in vocational, technical evening schools, linked to the student’s chosen pathway
- the second teaching period aims at the acquisition of the certification one needs to attend the last year in vocational, technical evening schools, linked to the student’s chosen pathway
- the third teaching period aims at the vocational or technical Diploma, linked to the student’s chosen pathway.
Tab 2: You can’t speak Italian
If you are younger than 16 years, you can apply to any First Cycle of Education school, close to your home, in order to obtain the degree of titolo conclusivo del Primo Ciclo di Istruzione (ex “licenza media”), also with the support of a linguistic mediator, where provided, who can help you with Italian.
If you are between 15 and 16 years of age, the First Cycle of Education school can provide for you a joined pathway with CPIA (Centro Provinciale per l’Istruzione degli Adulti).
From 16 years of age, you can apply directly to the closest CPIA. On considering your owned degrees (even the ones from your Country), you can:
- obtain the degree of Titolo di Studio Conclusivo del Primo Ciclo di Istruzione ex Licenza Media, also with the support to understand Italian
- be suggested a Second Cycle of Education school where the support to understand Italian is provided
- be suggested a literacy course to learn Italian and to obtain the A2 level certification, which is useful for applying for a long-term residence permit
- be suggested directly a course to obtain a certification higher than A2 level in Italian.
Education for adults (Centri Provinciali per l’Istruzione degli Adulti)
Centri Provinciali per l’Istruzione degli Adulti – CPIA offer:
- first teaching period courses, in order to obtain the degree of Titolo di Studio Conclusivo del Primo Ciclo di Istruzione ex Licenza Media
- second teaching period courses to obtain the basic skills of the first two years of secondary schools
- literacy courses to learn Italian, A1 and A2 levels, with the A2 level certification
- support to fifteen-year-old students, enrolled by First Cycle of Education schools, with special agreements (joined pathway to obtain the degree of Titolo di Studio Conclusivo del Primo Ciclo di Istruzione ex Licenza Media).
Pathways to expand the teaching offer:
- Italian for foreigners “B1 cittadinanza”
- Italian language courses and certifications, level B1 – B2 – C1 – C2
- Foreign languages, information technology and monographic courses for adults in the area (for example: Italian language for the driving licence)
- Short training courses, in agreement with Centri di Formazione Professionale – CFP in the area.
Two CPIAs are available in Varese province: