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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Administration and governance at central and/or regional level


2.Organisation and governance

2.6Administration and governance at central and/or regional level

Last update: 30 March 2024

In accordance to the Organic Law of the XXIII Government, the direct administration of the Ministry of Education (ME) and of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES) consists of the following central bodies:

The Secretariat-General’s mission is to provide specialised technical support to the members of the government at the ME, the MCTES, as well as to other services and departments within these ministries. This covers the law, conflict resolution and litigation, employment and work relations regimes, the management of human, financial, technological resources and assets, public procurement, European affairs and international relations, as well as quality, information and communication policy.

The Inspectorate-General of Education and Science’s mission is to ensure the legality and regularity of actions taken by services and departments of the ME and MCTES or subject to the supervision of the government members, as well as monitoring, auditing, and supervising the education system. This includes pre-school and school education, the latter comprising basic, upper secondary and higher education, as well as special types of education, out-of-school education, science and technology and of the bodies, services and departments of both ministries.

The Directorate-General of Education’s mission is to ensure the implementation of policies regarding the pedagogic and didactic component of pre-school, basic, upper secondary and out-of-school education. It provides technical support for policy formulation and monitors and assesses their implementation, as well as coordinating the planning of different tests and exams.

The Directorate-General of Higher Education’s mission is to ensure the design, implementation and coordination of higher education policies that the MCTES is responsible for.

The Directorate-General for School Administration’s mission is to ensure the implementation of policies for the strategic management and development of human resources allocated to public schools on mainland Portugal. This does not interfere with the powers of local authorities and school administrations, nor with Portuguese educational establishments abroad, which promote Portuguese language and culture. It also monitors and takes decisions on issues related to vocational qualifications and teachers’ duties in private cooperative and solidarity schools.

The Directorate-General for Education and Science Statistics’ mission is to ensure the production and analysis of education and science statistics, providing technical support the formulation of policies and strategic and operational planning, creating and ensuring a properly integrated information system for the ME. It also involves observing and giving an overall assessment of the result achieved by the educational, scientific and technological results in coordination with other ME and MCTES departments.

The Directorate-General for Schools’ mission is to ensure the regional implementation of administrative measures and the exercise of peripheral responsibilities regarding Ministry of Education duties, ensuring school guidance, coordination and monitoring, promoting school autonomy. It is also responsible for coordinating with local authorities, public and private organisations regarding intervention in the education system. It aims to extend local interaction and support for good practice by local and regional education agents, as well as ensuring the legal litigation service resulting from the pursuit of its mission.

The indirect administration of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education comprises the following bodies: 

  • Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia - FCT);
  • Macau Scientific and Cultural Centre (Centro Científico e Cultural de Macau - CCCM);
  • National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education and Training (Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional – ANQEP, I.P.)(overseen by the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security Ministério do Trabalho, da Solidariedade e da Segurança Social);
  • Institute of Educational Assessment (Instituto de Avaliação Educativa, I.P - IAVE);
  • Institute for Financial Management of Education (Instituto de Gestão Financeira da Educação – IGeFE);
  • Publishing department of the Ministry of Education (Editorial do Ministério da Educação e Ciência - EMEC).

The Foundation for Science and Technology’s mission is to develop, fund and evaluate institutions, infrastructures, scientific facilities, programmes, projects and human resources in all domains of science and technology, as well as the development of scientific and technological international cooperation, the coordination of public science and technology policies, as well as the development of national scientific computing, promoting the implementation and use of advanced means and their coordination within a network.

The Macau Scientific and Cultural Centre’s mission is to produce, promote and disseminate knowledge regarding Macau and Portugal's relations with Macau and the People's Republic of China, as well as Europe's relations with the Asia-Pacific region, focussed respectively on Portugal and Macau. It does this through its museum and library and also research, as well as scientific, cultural and artistic cooperation in the areas of Sinology, studies on Macau, Japanology, studies of Southeast Asia and Eurasian Relations.

The National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education and Training’s mission is to coordinate implementation of education and vocational training policies for young people and adults, as well as ensuring the development and management of the National System for the Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competences.

The mission of the Institute of Educational Assessment. I.P (IAVE. I.P.) is to plan, design and validate tools for the external assessment of student knowledge and ability in basic and upper secondary education. It also processes and disseminates information related to decisions made to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the national educational system, as well as coordinating Portuguese participation in international studies on external student assessment and drafting tests certifying specific knowledge and abilities for other purposes and educational levels when requested (Decree-Law No. 102/2013, 25 July).

The Institute for Financial Management of Education’s mission is to oversee the programming, financial management and operational and strategic planning of ME, ensuring accurate budgeting, a reliable and sustainable management of the education budget, as well as a comprehensive evaluation of policy implementation and the educational system’s results. It also oversees the integrated financial information systems, as well as monitoring and evaluating planning tools and the results of the organisation and management systems, in coordination with the other ME bodies, services and departments.

According to the Law in force, the ME and MCTES’s advisory bodies are:

  • National Council of Education (Conselho Nacional de Educação - CNE)
  • Schools Council (Conselho das Escolas - CE)
  • Coordinating Council for Higher Education (Conselho Coordenador do Ensino Superior - CCES).

As an independent advisory body, the National Council of Education’s mission is promoting the participation of different social, cultural and economic forces in search of a broad consensus on education policy.

The School Council represents schools to the ME regarding the definition of policies concerning pre-school, basic and upper secondary education.

The Coordinating Council for Higher Education’s mission is to advise the government member responsible for higher education (MCTES).

The following institutions are also part of the MCTES:

  • National Council of Science and Technology (Conselho Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia - CNCT);
  • Lisbon Academy of Sciences (Academia das Ciências de Lisboa);

The National Council of Science and Technology’s mission is to advise the government in transversal areas of science and technology with regard to mid- to long-term policy decisions and national strategies.

The Lisbon Academy of Sciences’ mission is to advise the government in the area of language. It works alongside the Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazilian Academy of Letters) and the network of global and European Academies, including countries where Portuguese is the official language and Portuguese centres abroad.

The Ministry of Labour, Solidarity, and Social Security (MTSSS) is responsible for defining and implementing policies regarding the modernisation of labour relations and vocational training. The abovementioned ministry, through the Employment and Vocational Training Institute (Instituto de Emprego e Formação Profissional - IEFP), and in cooperation with social partners, is responsible for youth and adult education and training, as well as for employment and vocational training centres. Together with the Ministry of Education, and in articulation with the Ministry of Economy and the Sea, the MTSSS is responsible for the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education and Training (ANQEP, I.P.).

Following its restructuring (it was originally created in 2007), Parque Escolar E.P.E. was renamed Construção Pública, E.P.E. in June 2023.

In addition to its responsibilities for the renovation, conservation and maintenance of upper secondary schools via the School Building Modernisation Programme, Construção Pública is also responsible for the construction of public housing (Decree-Law No 42/2023, 5 June).