Italy’s school system is based on the right (and duty) to free education for all students, Italian and foreign. Accordingly every student must receive:

  • compulsory schooling: obligation by law to attend school from the age of 6 to 16
  • compulsory education: to frequent school or equivalent educational structure up to the age of 18 with a view to obtaining a certificate or professional qualification.

The educational system consists of:

  • Kindergarten: from 3 months to 3 years (not compulsory)
  • Nursery school: from 3 to 6 years (not compulsory)
  • Primary school: from the age of 6, duration of 5 years
  • Lower secondary school: duration of 3 years, for pupils that have completed primary education
  • Upper secondary school: specific education given by higher education institutes, having a duration of 3 or 5 years.

Information on:
Enrolling at a state school
Secondary School
Foreign schools

See also:
Equivalence of qualifications
Recognition of qualifications