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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational variations and alternative structures in ECEC


4.Early childhood education and care

4.5Organisational variations and alternative structures in ECEC

Last update: 29 March 2023
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Bilingual education

Following on from an Early Bilingual Learning Project in basic education, the Bilingual Schools Programme in English (Programa Escolas Bilingues em Inglês - PEBI) was created from the 2016/17 school year as part of a partnership between the Ministry of Education (through the Directorate-General for Education) and the British Council Portugal, which is monitored by the Directorate-General for Schools.

In 2022/2023, following the fifth edition of the national tender, the network of bilingual schools includes 37 schools (from pre-primary to ISCED 2).

Apart from basic education, PEBI covers pre-primary education, as the first stage of education in the lifelong learning process.

In pre-primary education, children are exposed to English using a playful and informal approach, becoming a part of daily pedagogical routines, in line with Pre-school Curricular Guidelines, starting from a desirable minimum of 20 % (five hours per week).