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Statistics on educational institutions


2.Organisation and governance

2.8Statistics on educational institutions

Last update: 22 November 2022

This section provides the most recent available data on the number of educational institutions from pre-primary to upper secondary non-tertiary education level (ISCED levels 0-3). Statistics on numbers and characteristics of higher education institutions can be found in the European Tertiary Education Register. A general overview of the categories of institutions providing publicly-subsidised adult education and training can be found in the chapter on adult education. The notes below the tables provide methodological explanations necessary for a good interpretation of data.

Statistics on educational institutions providing regular education

Type of educational institution in English (and in national language)

ISCED levels providedMain orientation of the programmes provided​Number of educational institutions


PublicGovernment-dependent privatePrivate independent
Pre-primary schools (scuole dell'infanzia)0(-)

22 433

15 031


7 402

Primary schools (scuole primarie)1(-)

16 898

15 502


1 396

Lower secondary schools (scuole secondarie di I grado)2G

8 042

7 406



Upper secondary schools (scuole secondarie di II grado)


7 040

5 447


1 593


Source: data processing from Ministry of education, University and Research (Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca), 2019, Focus ‘main data on school – starting of school year 2019/2020’ (Focus “Principali dati della scuola – Avvio Anno Scolastico 2019/2020”) (last accessed January 2021)
ISCED= International Standard Classification of Education

G= GeneralV= Vocational
(:) Data not available(-) Not applicable

The 2018 version of the Unesco/OECD/Eurostat Manual on concepts, definitions and classification can be consulted for the definitions general and vocational programmes of education (p.19); as well as public institution, government-dependent private institution and private independent institution (pp. 24-26)


The counting unit for the number of educational institutions is a  ‘site delivering education’. A site delivering education can be either a school as a legal entity or, in the case of comprehensive institutes, a site part of a bigger legal entity. Comprehensive institutes group ‘schools’ providing different ISCED levels (for ISCED3 different branches of study). Comprehensive institutes are managed by a single school manager. Their purpose is to assure didactic continuity within the same cycle of education.

The column ‘public’ includes both State schools and non-State schools run by local authorities. Among public schools, the number of schools run by local authorities in 2019/2020 is: 1 745 pre-primary schools, 606 primary schools, 178 lower secondary schools and 108 upper secondary schools. The category of government-dependent private institutions does not exist.

General programmes are organised at general institutes (licei), while vocational programmes are offered by both technical and vocational institutes. However, one upper secondary school can provide both general and vocational programmes. In this case, the school is counted as one.