Schooling is compulsory up to the age of 16 and it comprises both public or state-run schools (scuole pubbliche / statali), private schools (scuole private paritarie, non paritarie, scuole straniere) and international schools awarding IB Diplomas (International Baccalaureate).
The Italian Education system includes:
Asilo nido - Attendance is NOT compulsory. Daycare centres could be public or private. They operate from Monday to Friday with flexible timetables. Attendance requires a monthly payment depending on the selected timetable and the household income. They are run by the City Hall (Comune) or by private (in this case there could be an agreement with the national education system). The demand exceeds availability. It is highly recommended to put your child's name on several waiting lists as soon as possible. Universities and research centres may offer day care facilities.
Scuola per l'infanzia – Attendance is NOT compulsory. Nursery schools could be public or private. Attendance at public schools is free (extra fee is required for meals) while private school require a monthly attendance fee. Schools operate from Monday to Friday with flexible timetables.
Scuola primaria / scuola elementare – Attendance is compulsory. Parents may freely choose the school if vacant places are available. Primary schools are completely free except for meals (if provided) and school transport. The municipality provides for the children’s textbooks. Main subjects taught are: Italian, English, Geography, History, Maths, Science, Technology, Music, Art, Physical education, Information technology and Religion (optional).
Scuola media – Attendance is compulsory. Schooling is free, but books must be purchased by families. Main subjects taught are: Italian, Foreign languages, History, Geography, Science, Maths, Technology, IT, Art, Music, Religion (optional). Students must take and pass a final examination before moving on to secondary school.
Scuola superiore – compulsory up to the age of 16. The secondary high school system is subdivided by subject matter and curricula vary according to the course of study chosen (i.e. Technical, Fine Arts, Scientific, Classical, etc.). Students must pass a final examination in order to receive their Esame di Stato (the so-called maturità). This qualification entitles to university or AFAM institutions enrolment (Alta Formazione Artistica, Musicale e Coreutica). For more information visit http://www.universitaly.it/index.php/.
- School year runs from mid-September until mid-June
- School holidays are set during Christmas time (from December 24th to January 6th), Easter and in summertime (from mid-June to mid-September)
- Enrolment at compulsory schools can be done at any moment during the year.
- Online application forms for the yearly enrolment are managed by the Ministry of Education (https://www.istruzione.it/iscrizionionline/).
- Enrolment fees are NOT required by public schools except for a contribution for meals and school transport, when provided.
Information about education services and schools should be addressed to the Education and Social work services of the municipality (Comune) where you live.