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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Management staff for early childhood and school education


10.Management and other education staff

10.1Management staff for early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Requirements for appointment

School heads in State schools have the status of school managers (Dirigenti scolastici). They are recruited through national open competitions advertised every three years and organised at regional level.

The teaching and educational staff of state schools, with a second-cycle higher education qualification, with at least five years of service, have access to the competition. In case of a high number of candidates, it also necessary to pass a pre-selection test based on cultural and professional questions.

At present, the selection foresees one or more written tests, an interview and the evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications.

Candidates who successfully passed the examination are included in a list and assigned to vacant posts by the relevant Regional school office.

Newly appointed school managers spend one-year probationary period with four months of training.

Conditions of service

School managers have a permanent private contract. The Regional school office (USR) assigns the school manager to a school for a three-year period. 

The national contract regulates both the conditions of service (probationary period, tasks, holidays, leaves, mobility, evaluation, work termination, etc.) and the salary.


The salary is made up of a fixed and a variable amount; the variable amount is established at regional level according to the achievements. The basic annual salary is 47 167 Euros. It is not possible to give information on the maximum annual salary, as there is not a wage scale based on seniority increase. The following items are added to the school manager's annual salary:

  • Position allowance: calculated at regional level according to the complexity of the school (size, risk areas, etc.). It varies from 9 000.00 to 14 000.00 Euros.
  • Result allowance: at the moment, while waiting for the generalization of evaluation of school managers' activities, the sum is uniformly distributed. According to the same criteria adopted for position allowance, the amount varies from approximately 2 000 to approximately 4 000 Euros per year.
  • Individual seniority pay: it is exclusively addressed to school managers who were already in service before the regulation on autonomy of schools came into force. It is calculated according to the seniority wage they had gained at that time as teachers. The average annual amount is 10 000.00 Euros.

The average salary for school managers in year 2014/2015 was 62 086 Euros.

For further details on salaries and allowances for school managers, see also the Italian national data sheet in the Eurydice report Teacher’s and School Head’s Salaries and Allowances, 2015/2016.

Evaluation of school managers

School managers undergo an annual evaluation in coherence with their own three-year assignment. 

The evaluation of school managers involves:

  • the Director general of the Regional school office (USR);
  • the evaluation units of the USR;
  • the inspectors (called technical managers) of the Ministry of education and merit;
  • the school manager.

The phases of the evaluation procedure are:

  1. Definition of the objectives of the school manager’s activity
  2. Collection of evidences on the school manager’s activities and achievements
  3. Assessment

1. Definition of the objectives of the school manager’s activity

The Director of the Regional school office (USR) defines the goals that the school manager is expected to reach in the following three-year period and includes them in the appointment contract.

Goals are based on the priorities set by the school manager in the self-evaluation report of the school and in the relevant improvement plan. 

The Director of the Regional school office modifies and integrates the goals according also to the priorities set at national level by the Ministry and at regional level by the Director of the USR in the annual Regional evaluation plan.

The evaluation of the school manager’s activities should be based on the following general criteria:

  • organisational and managing competences, correctness, transparency, efficiency and efficacy of the managerial activity related to the goals set for the three-year period of assignment; 
  • enhancement of individual and professional commitment and merit of the school staff; 
  • professional and social feedback on the school manager’s performance; 
  • contribution to the improvement of students’ learning success and of organisational and teaching processes; 
  • management of the school, promotion  of participation and of collaboration within the school and with the social context. The Ministry is expected to publish soon a specific directive and guidelines containing methods and criteria for the evaluation of school managers.

Beside the listed general criteria, also the type, dimensions and complexity of the school are taken into account.

2. Collection of evidences on the school manager’s activities and achievements

The evaluation units are responsible for the collection of evidences on the school managers’ activities.

Every year, the Director of each Regional school office issues the Regional evaluation plan upon proposal of the regional coordinator of the inspectors of the Ministry. The regional evaluation plan includes also the establishment of the evaluation units, their number and their composition.

The coordinator of each unit can be either a technical manager (inspector), or an administrative manager or a school manager.

The single evaluation unit prepares the documentation and, in case, asks the school manager to integrate it and/or announces a visit to the school. Each school manager will receive at least one visit at school in the three-year period.

If the unit is likely to assess the school manager negatively, the Director can call the school manager for an interview to discuss his/her activity.

3. Assessment

The evaluation unit releases a first evaluation, based on the documentation collected and submits it to the Director.

The Director of the USR will release the final evaluation within August of each year, based on the unit’s assessment. The Director should motivate the final evaluation in case it differs from the one of the evaluation unit.

Both the unit in the first phase and the Director in the final assessment evaluate the school manager’s activity as ‘full achievement’; ‘very good achievement’; ‘good achievement’; ‘unsatisfactory achievement’ of goals.

In case of negative assessment the Director calls the school manager to discuss the assessment results within December of each year.

Following the final evaluation, the Director allocates to deserving school managers the yearly result allowance, established at regional level. The allowance is proportional to the assessment result, being higher in case of ‘full achievement’ and lower in case of ‘good achievement’.

In case of negative evaluation, the Director will not allocate any allowance and will not renew the assignment to the school manager.

Legislative references

Legislative Decree 165/2001 (evaluation of all public administrations)

DPR 80/2013 (National evaluation system)

Law 107/2015 (general criteria for the evaluation of school managers)

Directive 36/2016 (school managers’ evaluation procedure)