Preschool education in Portugal
Defined as the first stage of basic education in the lifelong learning process.
Pre-school education for children between the ages of three and five is still optional. It is provided by kindergartens, which are run by a variety of State organisations, charitable institutions, private schools and cooperatives, unions and other organisations.
Compulsory schooling: Basic education
Basic education (ensino básico) is compulsory and free for everyone. It is intended for children aged between six and fifteen. Pupils who complete this schooling receive a certificate of basic education.
This level of teaching extends over nine years and comprises three cycles:
The first cycle lasts for four years and is taught by one teacher (who may be assisted by others in specialised areas). Emphasis is placed on the integrated development of studies and activities and the teaching of a foreign language may begin;
The second cycle, lasting two years, covers interdisciplinary areas of basic education;
The third cycle lasts for three years and is structured as a set of disciplines or groups of disciplines, incorporating various elements of vocational training. Classes are taught by a single teacher per subject or multidisciplinary educational field.
The third cycle lasts for three years and is structured as a set of disciplines or groups of disciplines, incorporating various elements of vocational training. Classes are taught by a single teacher per subject or multidisciplinary educational field
Post-compulsory schooling: Secondary education
Secondary education is a cycle of specific studies and includes various courses intended principally to prepare young people to go on to higher education or to enter the labour market. It spans three years, corresponding to school years 10, 11 and 12.
The options offered by the Portuguese educational system following school year 9 are diversified both in standard education and in other forms of education. They can take the form of scientific-humanities, specialised artistic, technological or vocational training courses, and are provided by secondary schools and vocational schools.
👉🏻If you opt for a private school, you can confirm whether it is certified by the Ministry of Education (primary and secondary education), the Ministry for Science, Technology and Higher Education (for higher education), or the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity / Institute of social Security (for pre-school education).