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Private Schools for Expats in Italy

Submitted: February 2014

Although public school education is available to all children in Italy, some parents may opt to have their children educated in private schools. Private schools (scuole private) in Italy are either denominational (faith-based) or non-denominational. Private schools (that is, non-state schools) are often reputed for their high quality of education. In Italy however, expensive private schools are not always regarded as better than free public schools. Nevertheless, it is important to select the best school for your child’s needs which might be in some cases, a private school.

When considering private school education for your child, it is important to take into account the factors such as pupil-teacher ratio, class-size, teachers’ salaries and experience. When deciding on the particular private school, you may consider whether the school subscribes to certain values that are important to you, the parent. If your child is a talented athlete then private schools, which tend to have better sporting facilities, may suit your child. Further, you may want to send your child to a private school for the security and exclusivity.

Other factors that should be considered when choosing a private school are:

  • Teacher turnover rate (a high teacher turnover is usually indicative of poor staff conditions and possibly low staff morale)
  • Extra Costs such as sports equipment, meals and transportation, insurance
  • Medical facilities- is there a resident doctor or nurse on the school compound?
  • Withdrawal Conditions- if you decide to remove your child for any reason, what is the procedure? Are there any fees?
  • Academic Record- what percentage of alumni succeeds in examinations and go on to higher education?
  • Syllabi- some private schools do not follow the national curriculum for other recognized qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate, British GCSE’s or an American Diploma

If boarding school is what you are looking for, then your choices are considerably narrowed. There are two co-educational boarding schools across Italy: Canadian College Italy and St Stephens School.

Many private schools in Italy are authorized by the state and receive some state funding and therefore they must adhere to government directives on curriculum.  Teachers’ qualifications must also be recognized and verified. Consequently, the quality of tuition in the public and private sector varies only slightly.

Private School fees vary according to according to the type of school and the services rendered. Usually there are enrolment costs and then fees on a monthly or yearly basis. Tuition can range anywhere from EUR  5,000 to 25,000 per year.
Admissions usually vary according to institution but usually require previous school records and an interview.

In selecting a private school, the following website is a useful tool:

For a comprehensive list of private international schools in Italy visit the website

For a list of English-Taught Educational Programs in Italy, visit the website

More detailed information is available directly from each school.

 

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