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State School Systems for Expats in Italy

Submitted: February 2014

Education in Italy is free to all children regardless of their nationality. It is mandatory for children aged six through sixteen to attend school. State school is an option to consider if you intend to stay in Italy for more than a year. State schools are often perceived as better if not just as good as private schools.

Though not compulsory, every child from age three to five is entitled to attend nursery school (Scuola dell’Infanzia or Scuola Materna).

The state-funded education system in Italy is divided into four stages:

Students at Italian State Schools follow the national curriculum. The State School system is administered by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (Minister dell’ Università e della Ricerca). Their website is https://www.istruzione.it//. If you are already proficient in Italian, this website would be the perfect place to research your child’s options with regards to the State Schools in Italy. If you are seriously considering state school for your children, it is important to take certain things into account.



Schools are legally obligated to accept all children under the age of eighteen even if their documentation is not provided. Students are enrolled temporarily until parents can provide the necessary documents. It is prudent though to perhaps take a visit to Italy well in advance of your move in order to make the best decision for your child.
A useful Document Checklist as provided on one website https://www.expatsinitaly.com/node/75 is:

For a more detailed breakdown of the Italian School System, you can visit the website https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/mwikis/eurydice/index.php?title=Home and search Italy. The website is described as a European Encyclopedia on National Education Systems and is indeed helpful in gaining a comprehensive knowledge on how the Italian State School System operates.



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