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Highlights of the the New Education Act

After months of debate, the new Education Act (Lomloe) has finally been approved by Congress.

Here are the some of the highlights of the new Act, as reported in the press.

  • In an attempt to ensure that concertades are accessible to a more socially and economically diverse population, the administration will provide the 'semi-public' schools with extra financial support to ensure that the ‘voluntary’ contributions are not a barrier to access for poorer families. How this will all work in practice remains to be seen.

  • It is no longer permissible that public land be used to build private schools or concertades. Public schools will get priority if land becomes available.

  • The reference to Spanish being the vehicular language in school for all regions of Spain (as was introduced in the 2013 Education Act) has been removed.

  • There will be a move towards competences rather than the rigid focus on subjects and the memorizing of information. In regards to the curriculum itself, the government will prescribe 55% of the content of the curriculum in autonomous regions where there are two official languages (Catalonia being one such region) and 65% in those regions that have one official language.

  • Schools that segregate by sex have to justify in their education project the measures they are taking to ensure the elimination of gender violence, respect for identity, different cultures and sexuality and have to show that they are actively participating in making equality a reality. Co-education will be prioritized.

  • Religion will no longer be a subject that counts towards the baccalaureate end-grade. The subject does not need to be studied for university access or enable access to scholarships, as was previously the case. All schools will need to offer Religion as a subject although it is not compulsory to take it.

  • The government will set in motion a 10-year transformation plan for the support of pupils with Special Educational Needs. The aim is that main-stream public schools will be provided with the resources to be able to support pupils with SEN. There will continue to be Special Needs schools for pupils who require a specialist care and these centers will become reference points to support main-stream schools in the support they provide.

  • There will be a remodelling of the way schools are classified and ranked and there will no longer be publicly accessible school rankings.

  • There will be maximum of 1 repetition of the school year allowed within each of the 3 school stages.

  • Students will now be able to pass the local baccalaureate with a failed subject.

  • There will be an end to the funnelling of students in the 3rd of ESO towards specific academic or vocational tracks in education. The curriculum will be adapted so that all students have the support they need to be able to pass the Secondary (ESO) leaving certificate.

Just a few of the highlights. What are your thoughts? Any of them strike you as unfair or unexpected?


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