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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of private education


2.Organisation and governance

2.4Organisation of private education

Last update: 27 November 2023

The Italian Constitution establishes that the education system is a State system. Private and public subjects have the right to establish independent schools. Private and public independent institutions can request the parity to State schools upon certain conditions established by the State law (Constitution, par.33). Requirements to apply for parity are defined by law 62/2000, while DL 250/2005 has established that independent schools can be of two types only: the schools with parity (paritarie), which applied for and obtained the status equal to State schools and the independent schools without parity. Independent schools are not obliged to apply for parity.

Independent schools with parity (paritarie)

Independent schools, both public and private, which obtain the parity to State schools are called scuole paritarie.

The requirements to apply for parity, as well as the rights and duties of independent schools to maintain their parity, are:

  • an educational project coherent with the principles of the Constitution
  • a three-year educational offer plan (Piano triennale dell’offerta formativaPTOF) drawn up in accordance with regulations in force
  • proof of ownership of the management and publicity of the budgets
  • the availability of premises, furniture and teaching equipment peculiar to the type of school and compliant with current regulations
  • the establishment and functioning of collegial bodies that guarantee the democratic participation
  • the enrolment in the school for all students whose parents request it, provided that they have a valid qualification
  • the application of current inclusion regulations
  • the organic constitution of complete courses, i.e., covering all classes of a level of education
  • qualified teaching staff
  • individual employment contracts for managerial and teaching staff that comply with the relevant national collective agreements.

Schools submit their request to the relevant Regional School Office (Ufficio scolastico regionale - USR) that verifies the respect of the requirements and can accept or refuse the application, as well as, following recurrent controls, withdrawal the recognition of parity.

Independent schools with parity are free to choose their own cultural orientation and educational/teaching approach. Moreover, they deliver the same certificates and qualifications of State schools.

As for financing, an indirect financing comes from grants to pupils and tax relief for families. A direct form of financing exists for primary and preprimary schools . Additional regional funds are provided directly to schools or to the students’ families.

Independent schools without parity

Independent schools that have not applied for or been granted parity are those that carry out an organised teaching activity and have the following operating conditions:

  • an educational project and an educational offer in compliance with the principles of the Constitution and the Italian school system, aimed at the general and specific learning objectives related to the achievement of qualifications
  • the availability of premises, furnishings and equipment complying with current regulations on hygiene and safety of school premises, and adequate for the function, in relation to the number of students
  • the employment of teaching staff and a coordinator of educational and teaching activities with professional qualifications consistent with the subjects taught and the educational offer of the school, as well as suitable technical and administrative staff
  • attending pupils of an age not less, in relation to the qualification to be obtained, than that laid down by the school regulations in force for pupils in state or parity schools.

Independent schools without parity cannot release certificates and qualifications recognised within the education system. They cannot have the same name of other State schools or schools with parity and their denomination must mention their status of schools without parity. They are included in a specific list kept by each Regional School Office.

Pupils attending compulsory education at independent schools without parity must take the aptitude examination:

  • if they are willing to return to a state or paritaria school
  • on completion of primary education to enrol to the first year of lower secondary education
  • to access the final examination at the end of the first cycle of education, provided they participated in the national standardised testing, as do pupils in mainstream schools (D.lgs. 62/2017, par. 10).

Examinations are held at state and paritarie schools of the relevant level attended.


Contents revised: 18 May 2023