The Italian Government adopted reform of the national education and training system in July 2015 (called La buona scuola). This reform foresees changes in several aspects of education and training provision management and of the curricula. The new law reinforces the school-work relationship and improving of digital skills.
For work-based learning, an alternating school-work programme will be compulsory for all learners in the last three years of upper secondary schools; 200 hours a year in general education (Lyceums) and 400 hours a year in technical and vocational schools. This can be arranged either during the school year or in summer, and also abroad. The law foresees the creation of a number of tools and mechanisms, such as a statute defining rights and duties of students who engage in such schemes and a national repository of companies and organisations that offer places for school-work alternating programmes.
To link secondary education better to university programmes, schools can offer optional subjects that may be useful for further learning.
The reform places particular emphasis on digital skills. The Ministry of Education will adopt a national Plan for digital school. This foresees development of coding skills and computational thinking for primary school learners.
The law also introduces provisions (especially in terms of simplified procedures) to support post-secondary education at Technical Institutes (Istituti Tecnici Superiori) as alternative pathways to university. These are two-year programmes that offer technical specialised training and they are managed by public-private foundations at local level.
To improve dialogue between the education system and world of work, and to boost competence-based didactics, schools can also create ‘local laboratories for employability’. These are multilateral organisations, involving public and private bodies, chambers of commerce, universities, employers’ associations and trade unions, VET providers and companies.
The law also foresees the creation of schools networks at local level. These networks should be established by July 2016 and managed by regional schools offices. The goal is to allow better use of resources, common management of administrative functions and activities, and realisation of projects or initiatives for didactics, education, sports or culture with local relevance.
The new law introduces provisions for teacher training and evaluation and foresees compulsory on-the-job training for teachers. The ministry will finance a three-year national teacher training plan with EUR 120 million.
A further development is that information on evaluation of schools and teachers will be available on the web along with teachers’ curriculum vitae.
https://labuonascuola.gov.it/ (in Italian)
https://labuonascuola.gov.it/index_en/ (in English)