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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.3National reforms in vocational education and training and adult learning

Last update: 11 January 2023
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The Guidelines for guidance

In December 2022, the Ministry approved the guidelines for students' guidance (Linee guida per l'orientamento), which aim at strengthening the connection between lower and upper secondary education, tackle early school leaving and promote access to tertiary education. The main new features of the Guidelines are:

- From the 2023/2024 school year, 30 hours of guidance are introduced in lower and upper secondary schools, organised in modules and managed autonomously by the school. Each orientation module involves personalised learning that is recorded in the student's digital portfolio (E-Portfolio).

- Each school identifies tutor teachers to help students review the key parts of each personal E-Portfolio and to help families in their choice of educational paths and/or career prospects.

- In the coming years, guidance will be a strategic priority of the initial training and CPD of teachers of all grades and in the induction year, and specific training initiatives will be planned for tutor teachers.

- On an experimental basis, 'training campuses' will be set up to offer a complete overview of all secondary study paths.

- Students and families will be able to make use of a digital platform that provides information and data on upper secondary education, on tertiary education and data useful for the transition into the world of work.

Finally, a specific reference figure is envisaged in the school who, together with families and students, will facilitate the choice between continuing their studies or entering the world of work, while at the same time facilitating the match between students' skills and the demand for work.

Final State examinations – specific measures for the school year 2021/2022

On 31 January 2022, the Ministry of education has released the draft documents that establish the organisation of the State exams held at the end of lower and upper secondary education.

Specific measures have been taken to meet the difficulties students have experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lower secondary education: students will take two, instead of two, written tests and one interview. The two written tests verify the competences in Italian and in mathematics, while the interview verifies the competences in all the curricular subjects. Tests are drawn up by the examination board of the school.

The participation in the national standardised tests is not a requirement for the admission to the exam.

Upper secondary education: students will take two, instead of three, written tests and one interview. The first written test verifies the competences in Italian, and it is drawn up at central level. The second written test verifies the competences in a curricular subject typical of the different branches of each type of upper secondary school and it is prepared by the examination boards of the schools. The interview verifies the competences in all the curricular subjects.

The participation in the national standardised tests and in the compulsory traineeship activities is not a requirement for the admission to the exam.

The Ministry of education published the final text of the Ordinances on 14 March 2022.


Measures to start school activities for the school and academic year 2021/2022

On 6 August 2021, the Government has approved the Law-Decree no. 111, which contains the urgent measures to be taken to contrast the Covid-19 pandemic for the school and academic year 2021/2022.

The Decree will be discussed in Parliament and must be approved by 9 October, otherwise its effects, already in force since 7 August, will cease. In case of approval by law, the measures will apply until the end of the Covid- 19 emergency, set at 31 December 2021.

On 10 September the Government has approved the Law-Decree no. 122 that widens the measures of the previous decree.

The measures apply to all institutions of the State and Regional education and training systems.

The Decrees establish that:

  • distance learning activities will not be carried out unless otherwise decided at regional or municipal level exclusively for institutions located in the red or orange areas of risk according to the criteria established at national level;
  • at all school levels, staff and students, with the exception of children under the age of 6 and those who are exempt from it for certified reasons, must wear a mask;
  • all must be at least 1 meter away and access to those with a body temperature above 37.5 ° C is not allowed;
  • teaching and non-teaching staff must have and show the green certification known as 'Green pass', that is the document that certifies either the vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, or the recovery from the infection or the negative response to a swab test;
  • the dispositions on the green pass apply to all people who access premises as external visitors, including parents.

The Green pass is not mandatory for those who are exempted from the vaccination campaign for certified reasons.


The school decree

During Covid-19 emergency, a decree called "School Decree" (Decree Law no. 22 of April 8, 2020), subsequently converted into law on June 6, 2020, was approved in order to allow for the regular conclusion of the current school year. It regulates the final State exams of lower and upper secondary of education, the final assessment of pupils, the conclusion of school year 2019/2020 and the start of 2020/2021, the extraordinary competitive procedures for of lower and upper  secondary school teachers.

Summary of the measures

State examinations and final evaluation of pupils

The decree provides the regulatory framework for the final State examinations of lower and upper secondary education and for the final assessment of pupils for the school year 2019/2020.  Schools operate on the basis of Orders issued by the Ministry (Ministerial Order nr. 9 of 16 May 2020 – Ministerial Order. Nr. 10 of 16 May 2020 – Ministerial Order nr. 11 of 16 May 2020).

The final evaluation will take place on the basis of what has actually been done during the year, in presence and at a distance.

Pupils may be admitted to the next grade even with a mark lower than  6/10 (normally, a pass is considered a mark of 6/10 or higher), in one or more subjects. For pupils with marks lower than 6/10, or with learning outcomes not fully achieved, their teachers will prepare an individualised recovery plan that will begin in September and may continue, if necessary, throughout the school year 2020/2021. Non-admission to the following grade is only foreseen in very specific cases.

The first-cycle leaving State examination coincides with the final evaluation by the Class Council. It will also take into account a paper produced by the student on a topic agreed with the teachers. The delivery and discussion of the paper will take place online. The final evaluation will take into account the entire student course. It will be possible to conclude the course of study with honours. All examination procedures must be completed by June 30.

The second-cycle leaving State examination will start on June 17. It will include only an oral test in presence (unless epidemiological conditions allow it and with specific derogations for particular cases) before a committee composed of six internal members and an external President. Credits and final grade will be based on the course actually taken by students. Honours will be awarded.

Students with disabilities

The school heads, on the basis of motivated requests from the families of pupils with disabilities, taking into account the peculiarity of this school year, upon opinion of the Class councils and the Working group for the inclusion of their school, may allow the re-enrolment of the pupil in the same grade of the course attended in school year 2019/2020. This will make up for the failure to achieve educational objectives set out in the Individualised education plan.

Assessment in primary school

From school year 2020-21, descriptive judgements will be reintroduced in primary school instead of numerical marks out of ten (from 0 to 10). An Ordinance of the Ministry of education will provide operational guidance to schools.

Substitute teachers: rankings become provincial and digital

The rankings of substitute teachers will be updated, will become digital and will be prepared by Province and not by educational institute. This new model will speed up the process. The submission of applications will be computerised to reduce time and increase efficiency for the benefit of teachers and students.

Qualifying paths to become a teacher

A forum will be set up, chaired by the Minister, to periodically start qualifying paths and to provide clarifications on this issue. This will allow young recent graduates to have an adequate training path to access teaching. 

School buildings

The measure allows, until 31 December 2020, Mayors and Presidents of the Provinces and Metropolitan cities to operate with commissioning powers. Local authorities will therefore have the possibility to guarantee rapid interventions to be carried out in time for the beginning of the next school year.

Two new Ministries replace the Ministry of education, university and research

On 9 January 2020, the Government has issued the Decree n. 1 establishing that the Ministry of education and the Ministry of University and Research will replace the former Ministry of education, university and research (Ministero dell’istruzione, dell’università e della ricerca – MIUR).

The Decree is provisionally in force since the 10th of January; however, the Parliament has to approve the text within 60 days in order to make it permanent and transform it into a State law. The final approval of the text is expected by mid-March.

The Decree details the functions of the two ministries: the Ministry of education has competences for the ECEC and school/vocational sectors, as well as for the higher technical education. The Ministry of university and research has competences for the higher education area and coordinates the research sector.

The organisation of the new ministries will be detailed in specific regulations. Up to then, the previous departments and offices will remain active.