In accordance with Article140 of Organic Law 2/2006 on Education (LOE), as amended by Organic Law 3/2020 (LOMLOE), the evaluation of the educational system aims at contributing to quality and equity improvement in education, orienting educational policies, increasing the transparency and efficiency of the educational system, offering information on the degree of fulfillment of the improvement objectives established by the educational administrations and providing information on the degree of achievement of the Spanish and European educational objectives, as well as the fulfilment of the educational commitments made in relation to the demands of Spanish society and the goals set in the context of the European Union.
This purpose shall not allow the results of the assessments of the education system, regardless of the state or regional territorial scope in which they are applied, to be used for individual assessments of pupils or to establish school rankings.
To this end, the education system has two differentiated pathways: educational inspection and evaluation.
The educational inspection must be conducted on all elements and aspects of the education system, in order to ensure compliance with the law, the guarantee of rights and duties of those participating in the teaching and learning processes, the improvement of the education system, and the quality and equity of education.
In accordance with the decentralised nature of the Spanish education system, it is organised into two levels:
- the Educational Inspectorate, which has the legal authority and the duty to inspect and authorise the education system at national level. It has the power to supervise all types of education, both non-university and university, ensuring compliance with the regulations established by the State in all the Autonomous Communities. It is present in the 17 Autonomous Communities;
- the educational inspection of non-university education, which is organised, regulated and conducted by the education authorities of the Autonomous Communities in their respective regions.
In addition, the educational evaluation is considered as an essential element in order to improve the transparency of the education system and should therefore cover all its areas. For this reason, the evaluation shall have the following attributes:
- It must provide relevant information on the degree the education system achieves the goals established by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MEFP) and the Autonomous Communities.
- It must be carried out for:
- teaching and learning processes and their results;
- the educational context, with special reference to the following aspects:
- schooling and admission of pupils;
- educational resources;
- teachers’ activity;
- the managerial function;
- the functioning of educational institutions;
- the inspection;
- the education authorities themselves.
Educational evaluation of non-university levels
The assessment of non-university education is regulated by Organic Law 2/2006 on Education (LOE), as amended by Organic Law 3/2020. It is organised into three levels:
- The State is responsible for the coordination of the general evaluation of the education system.
- The regional education authorities carry out that evaluation in their respective management areas.
- The educational institutions develop internal evaluation mechanisms with the support of the education authorities.
Educational evaluation of university education
The evaluation of university education has a more complex structure due to the convergence of the principles of accountability and university. This quality assessment is regulated by Organic Law 6/2001 on Universities (LOU), as amended by Organic Law 4/2007 (LOMLOU). The evaluation of the quality of universities is the responsibility of the Autonomous Communities.
With the purpose of bringing external quality assurance to the university system and contributing to its constant improvement, the Act on Universities established the creation of a National Agency to evaluate university provision, research, teaching and management activity, and services and programmes.
Universities, as autonomous institutions, develop their own control and supervision mechanisms.