OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Portugal 2012

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This book provides, from an international perspective, an independent analysis of major issues facing the educational evaluation and assessment framework, current policy initiatives, and possible future approaches in Portugal.


School education in Portugal

School governance in Portugal is fairly centralised. The main lines of action about the curriculum, the educational programmes, national examinations, teacher recruitment and deployment, and the budget distribution are defined centrally by the Ministry of Education and Science. There has been some devolution of responsibilities to municipalities in areas such as curricular enrichment activities, management of the schooling infrastructure, and non-teaching staff resources; as well as some autonomy granted to individual schools in areas such as the hiring of part of the staff (on fixed-term contracts, trainers for vocational courses) and the selection of textbooks. Public schooling is dominant and public schools receive the majority of their funds directly from the State budget. A major handicap for Portugal has been the very low starting point in terms of educational attainment and literacy of its population, prior to the 1974 Revolution. Nevertheless, efforts to ensure access to education for all Portuguese resulted in a rapid expansion of enrolment even if attainment levels remain a challenge. Student learning outcomes in Portugal are around or slightly below the OECD average following some progress in the last decade, depending on the skills assessed. Recent reforms include new arrangements for school leadership, the setting of learning goals, the reorgansation and redeployment of the school network, the generalisation of full day schools and the diversification of educational offerings (in particular through the promotion of vocational/professional programmes).


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