European Education Area Progress Report 2020

Education and Training Monitor 2020


1. Key indicators

Figure 1 – Key indicators overview
Spain EU-27
2009 2019 2009 2019
Education and training 2020 benchmarks
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) 30.9% 17.3% 14.0% 10.2%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 30-34) 40.7% 44.7% 31.1% 40.3%
Early childhood education
(from age 4 to starting age of compulsory primary education)
98.4% 98.0%18 90.3% 94.8%18
Proportion of 15 year-olds underachieving in: Reading 19.6% :18 19.3% 22.5%18
Maths 23.8% 24.7%18 22.2% 22.9%18
Science 18.2% 21.3%18 17.8% 22.3%18
Employment rate of recent graduates by educational attainment (age 20-34 having left education 1-3 years before reference year) ISCED 3-8 (total) 73.0% 73.0% 78.0% 80.9%
Adult participation in learning (age 25-64) ISCED 0-8 (total) 10.8% 10.6% 7.9% 10.8%b
Learning mobility Degree mobile graduates (ISCED 5-8) : 2.2%18 : 4.3%18
Credit mobile graduates (ISCED 5-8) : 7.7%18 : 9.1%18
Other contextual indicators
Education investment Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP 4.6% 4.0%p, 18 5.1% 4.6%18
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student in € PPS ISCED 1-2 €5 78512 €6 00617 €6 072d, 12 €6 240d, 16
ISCED 3-4 €6 77512 €7 40017 :12 €7 757d, 16
ISCED 5-8 €9 15512 €9 30017 €9 67912 €9 977d, 16
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) Native-born 27.7% 14.4% 12.6% 8.9%
Foreign-born 45.2% 31.1% 29.3% 22.2%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 30-34) Native-born 45.8% 48.7% 32.0% 41.3%
Foreign-born 23.9% 31.9% 25.1% 35.3%
Employment rate of recent graduates by educational attainment (age 20-34 having left education 1-3 years before reference year) ISCED 3-4 63.9% 61.5% 72.2% 75.9%
ISCED 5-8 76.5% 77.2% 83.7% 85.0%

Source: Eurostat; OECD (PISA); Learning mobility figures are calculated by DG EAC, based on UOE 2018 data. Further information can be found in Annex I and in Volume 1 ( Notes: The 2018 EU average on PISA reading performance does not include ES; b = break in time series; d = definition differs; u = low reliability; : = not available; 12 = 2012, 16 = 2016, 17 = 2017, 18 = 2018.

Figure 2 - Position in relation to strongest and weakest performers

Source: DG EAC, based on data from Eurostat (LFS 2019, UOE 2018) and OECD (PISA 2018).

2. Highlights

  • Schools are well equipped with digital infrastructure and tools, but teachers’ digital competences need to improve.
  • A comprehensive reform of the education law is ongoing, and its success will depend to a large extent on reaching broad social and political consensus. Students’ educational outcomes have not improved and regional differences persist. The pandemic crisis revealed a sharp socio-economic divide in students’ access to digital technology.
  • Career guidance and orientation are key to reduce skills mismatches. Tertiary graduate tracking is being developed.
  • Low enrolment in vocational education and training (VET) persists. VET graduate tracking is under development.

3. A focus on digital education

The national education curriculum covers digital competences at all education levels. Digital competences are integrated either into other compulsory subjects in primary and lower secondary education, or as a compulsory separate subject in upper secondary (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2019), including VET. Since 2020, the Digitalization and Digital Competence Development Plan (Plan de digitalización y desarrollo de la competencia digital) aims at: improving the digital competence of students, teachers and schools, addressing the digital gaps;implementing the School Digital Plan (Plan Digital de Centro1); and create digital Open Educational Resources. Besides, some Autonomous Communities have specific digital education strategies2 or general digital strategies that cover education3.

New digital education plan. Educa en Digital, launched in September 2020, complements the Digitalisation and Digital Competence Development Plan, with several actions focused in providing learning stations at home (digital devices with internet connectivity) and digital educational resources; adapting the digital competences of all teachers to the use of ICT in their daily work, as well as the development and application of teaching methodologies; the application of artificial intelligence to establish personalised learning paths. This plan is expected to be financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with about EUR 261 million (around EUR 184 million of EU contribution). Around 600.000 students will benefit from the investment and help to reduce digital divide.

Teachers’ digital competences are at EU average level. The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2018 (OECD, 2019a) reports that 68% of teachers were trained in the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in the past 12 months, a similar proportion to the average in TALIS 2013. 38% of teachers report that ICT was part of their training programme (86% among novice teachers). However, initial teacher education does not include specific ICT training among compulsory subjects. The share of teachers trained in the pedagogical use of ICT in teaching, on learning applications and use of ICT equipment is above the EU average in primary education but lower in lower and upper secondary education (European Commission, 2019a). 15% of teachers report in TALIS 2018 a high development need in this area (EU-22 average 18%). The self-assessed digital confidence of primary and secondary teachers is around the EU average (European Commission, 2019a). Within the Aprende initiative, the National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training (INTEF) provides continuing pedagogical development on digital education through tutored courses, and massive, nano and self-paced open online courses (MOOC, NOOC, and SPOOC respectively)4.

Box 1: A common digital competence framework for teachers

In line with the European framework on digital competence, INTEF, in collaboration with all Spanish regions, adopted in 2020 the 'Reference framework for the digital competence of teachers’5 to enhance suitable digital competence of teachers and schools and improve teachers’ performance in the use of ICT for teaching. The framework establishes 5 competence areas: 1) information and data literacy; 2) communication and collaboration; 3) digital content creation; 4) safety and 5) problem solving. For each competence, there exist three proficiency levels (basic, intermediate, advanced).

INTEF also developed a 'Teacher Digital Competence Portfolio'6, which includes a self-assessment tool based on the TET-SAT (a tool developed as part of the MENTEP project supported by the Erasmus+ programme: On a voluntary basis, teachers may assess their level of digital competence using this tool and thereby define their development needs.

Schools are digitally well-equipped. 100% of schools and 97% of classes have internet connections7. There is no significant difference in class-connectivity between public and private schools, but there is between regions8. 77% of schools have more than 20Mb broadband speed and 94.4% have Wi-Fi connections. In 2018-2019, there were on average 3 students per computer (2.8 in public schools, and 3.2 in private schools). In public primary education the ratio was 2.8, and 2.7 in secondary and VET. In small municipalities (below 1 000 inhabitants), the ratio drops to 1.4 (3.5 in big cities). However, there are large regional differences9. On average, 60% of classrooms have interactive digital systems, 89% of schools have an internet web page, and 45% have virtual learning environments. Since 2015, around 13 000 schools with 4 million students have received ultrafast broadband through the project ‘Connected Schools’ (Escuelas Conectadas10). This project, together with other investment in digital infrastructure in schools and universities, is supported by the European Regional Development Fund with around EUR 400 million.

Using digital means for teaching remains limited. The 2018 TALIS survey (OECD, 2019a) reports that 51% of teachers let students use ICT for project or class work (EU-22 47%), higher than in TALIS 2013 (37%). The share of students who use a computer at school for learning purposes is close to the EU average in lower secondary (49% v 52%) and upper secondary education (58% v 59%) (European Commission, 2019a).

Students’ digital competences improve but they are less confident than their EU peers. In 2019, the proportion of 16-19 year-olds who reported having above basic digital skills increased compared to 2015 (67% v 58%). However, those reporting low digital skills also increased, from 9 to 12% (EU-27 averages 57% and 15% in 2019)11. Spanish students have slightly lower confidence than the EU average in lower and upper secondary education in almost all areas (data literacy and digital content creation, problem solving and safety), except for communication and collaboration (European Commission, 2019a). Guidance on the assessment of digital competences in the classroom is based on the learning outcomes outlined in national curricula, but some regions have developed their own guidelines (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2019). Spain does not use digital technologies in national tests.

4. Investing in education and training

The education budget remains below the EU average. In 2018, Spain spent 4% of GDP on education, the same share as in 2017, and 9.6% as a share of total public expenditure (9.7% in 2017), both below the EU-27 averages (4.6% and 9.9%). Public spending on education increased by 1.9% between 2017 and 2018 in real terms (4.2% in tertiary education). Spending in pre-primary and primary education was 1.5% of GDP, 1.5% in secondary and 0.6% in tertiary. 68% of spending went on compensation of employees and 4% on gross capital formation12 (EU-27 averages 65 % and 7%. The publicly funded private schools (escuelas cooncertadas)13 receive 12.5% of the total education budget (around EUR 6.3 billion) and 4.4% of total spending goes on scholarships and study grants (MEFP, 2020a). Spain is the EU country with the highest share of private spending on education (19% of total), most of it in the form of household expenditure (17%)14.

Investment in education decreased in the last decade. Over 2010-2018, general government education expenditure (in deflated values) decreased by 3% (-EUR 1.6 billion), with the highest reduction happening in tertiary education (56%, equivalent to around EUR 500 million)15. During the same period, EU-27 average education spending grew by 4% (2% in tertiary education). The major reduction in this period occurred in gross capital formation (-39%) and intermediate consumption (-22%). Compensation of employees (i.e. teachers’ salaries) did not show any significant change.

5. Modernising early childhood and school education

Participation in early childhood education (ECE) is high. In 2018, participation of pupils from age 4 until the age of compulsory primary education (6) increased to 98%, above the EU average (94.8%)16. Participation in childcare among children under 3 was 50.5% (EU average 34.7%)17. Regional differences in participation persist.

There are plans to extend universal access to ECE for all children under 6, The government will put forward an 8-year rolling plan, in consultation with regional authorities. Some regions plan to use subsidies for private providers (Rioja), others to give direct grants to families (Andalusia) and others to invest in public provision and abolish fees (European Commission, 2020a). More than 215 000 children aged 0-3 (49% of the total) attend private kindergartens18, which are the majority provider in some regions (Save the Children, 2019a).

Basic skills levels have not improved. The 2018 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that mean performance fell by 10 points in science and by 5 points in mathematics compared to the 2015 survey19 (OECD, 2019b). Over a longer period (2009-2018), no significant change is evident in any subject (OECD, 2019b). The rate of underachievers was above the EU average in mathematics (24.7%) and close to the EU average (21.3%) in science - both far from the 15% ET2020 benchmark. This rate remained stable over 2009-2018 for mathematics, but significantly worsened in science (European Commission, 2019b). As in previous PISA surveys, there were comparatively few top performers in Spain. Regional differences decreased in basic skills, though mainly reflecting a deterioration in the best performing regions, but remain significant, i.e. equivalent to at least one year of schooling (Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MEFP), 2019a). The survey also reveals an above-average rate of grade repetition (29% in Spain; EU average 13%) (MEFP, 2019a).

Students’ background has a strong influence on educational outcomes. Socio-economic background had a clear impact on the PISA 2018 mathematics and science results, equivalent to the EU average (OECD, 2019d). Save the Children (2019b) estimates that the likelihood of grade repetition is four times greater among students of low socio-economic status. School segregation by socio-economic status in Spain decreased compared to PISA 2015, but remains high in certain regions (Save the Children, 2019b). The gap between pupils with native and migrant backgrounds narrowed, but mainly reflecting the worse performance of the native students (OECD, 2019c). Differences in the expectation to complete tertiary studies between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils are similar to the EU average (European Commission, 2019b).

Figure 3 – Mean score in science in Spain and its regions, PISA 2015 and 2018

Source: DG EAC elaboration on data from PISA 2018 (2019b), together with national data of PISA results at regional level

The gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers aspiration remains high. About one-third of high-performing male students in mathematics or science expects to work as an engineer or science professional, while only about one-fifth of female students expects to do so. About 10% of boys but only 1% of girls in Spain expect to work in ICT-related professions (OECD, 2019c).

There are indications of some school disciplinary problems, but student well-being is relatively good. Students in Spain are less frequently bullied than in other EU countries, are more satisfied with their lives, and their sense of belonging at school is the strongest across all PISA-participating countries (OECD, 2019e). Yet, the disciplinary climate20 was worse than average, and the share of students who had skipped school or lessons in the 2 weeks prior to the PISA test was above the EU average (OECD, 2019e).

Spain still has the highest rate of early leavers from education and training (ELET) in the EU. The ELET rate fell to 17.3% in 2019, still well above the EU average (10.2%)21. Despite having fallen steadily over the past decade, in the last 2 years progress has slowed (1 pps in 2017-2019). The national target of 15% by 2020 seems unattainable. At regional level, ELET rates remained statistically stable in most regions, although rate disparities decreased (from 22.6 pps in 2018 to 18.0 pps). ELET rates decreased in 4 regions (Galicia, Madrid, Rioja and Valencia). Increases (up to 3 pps) occurred in socio-economically developed regions (Cantabria, Catalonia and Navarre), contrary to the usual assumption that ELET mostly affects less-developed regions. Gender difference in ELET persists – the rate is 13% for girls and 21.4% for boys. In 2019, 14.9% of young people aged 15-29did not study or work (14.4% for men and 15.4% for women); 0.4 pps lower than in 2018, and 7.6 pps lower than in 2013. Although slightly lower, grade repetition remains high in most regions (over 25% of 15 year-old students). Again, well-developed regions such as Madrid and Navarre saw increased repetition rates in 2019, of 1% each22.

Figure 4 – Early leavers from education and training 2010 and 2019

Source: Eurostat, LFS, edat_lfse_16 and National statistics from EDUCAbase

A proposal to amend the education law is being discussed in Parliament. The government put forward a proposal for a comprehensive modification of the education law in March23. This aims to improve access to and quality of ECEC; reinforce support for students lagging behind (by additional support measures, lower requirements for class progression and to obtain academic degrees, and new gateways between regular education and VET); lower school segregation in publicly funded schools; give schools further flexibility on curricula content, and put greater focus on competence-based learning. The success of these changes will depend, among other things, on the implementation of other linked reforms (teaching profession, VET, higher education). Measures such as limiting grade repetition need to ensure consistency with overarching goals (e.g. improving pupils’ educational outcomes) (European Commission, 2020a). The proposals are contested in and outside Parliament (political parties, teachers’ unions, associations of schools, parents and students, and other stakeholders), for example, on the grounds that funding is inadequate and that increased flexibility in the curriculum may risk generating even greater regional differences. The European Council has stressed that ‘the success of measures that may be adopted depends strongly on taking the necessary time to build a broad and long-lasting social and political consensus around the said reform‘(European Council, 2020).

Compulsory education moved quickly to distance learning in response to the pandemic crisis. As result of the COVID-19 outbreak, all education premises were closed on 14 March and in-person education replaced by distance learning. All regions had existing digital learning platforms for teachers and students. The Ministry of Education created a repository of digital learning and teaching materials ‘Aprendo en casa’ (I learn from home) for primary, secondary and VET24 that brought together free resources for teachers, parents and pupils from existing platforms25. As well as materials produced by the Spanish regions and private entities, the Ministry and the National Television broadcast 5 hours of weekly programming for schoolchildren aged6-16, ‘Aprendemos en casa’ (We learn at home)26. For tertiary studies, the Spanish Universities Association (CRUE) and the Ministry of Higher Education launched a platform called #LaUniversidadEnCasa27. Even though teachers were not fully prepared, their reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

The pandemic affected students’ evaluations and entry exams for university studies. Regional authorities decided to reopen schools from 25 May for students finishing secondary studies, on a voluntary basis. Some regions also allowed return to school for children up to 6, students with special educational needs and those in reinforcement programs. The Sectoral Education Conference decided to cancel all diagnostic tests in primary and compulsory secondary levels and that all primary, compulsory secondary and first-year non-compulsory secondary students should advance to the next grade, with grade repetition to be used only exceptionally. The Conference also decided to delay the end-of-secondary-studies exam giving access to university studies, and to modify the modalities and content of the exam.

The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges for socio-economically disadvantaged students. Education authorities estimate that around 10% of the 8.2 million students did not have digital devices or internet access at home. The teachers’ union ANPE pointed out that parents from a low socio-economic background are less able to support their children. The non-governmental organisation (NGO) Save the Children reported that among families with monthly incomes of less than EUR 900, 42% do not have a computer at home and 22% do not have internet access. The Ministry of Education sent 23 000 SIM cards of 40 GBs per month to students of upper secondary and VET with fewer economic resources. City Councils and NGOs also took initiatives to alleviate the digital divide. Some companies contributed by providing free tablets, smartphones and broadband access. The cost of providing disadvantaged students with computers and a reliable internet connection was calculated at EUR 45 million28. The Commission’s proposal for the European Council 2020 country-specific recommendation to Spain includes ‘Improve access to digital learning’ (European Council, 2020).

6. Modernising vocational education and training

Low enrolment in VET persists and the employment rate of VET graduates decreased. In 2018, the share of upper secondary Spanish students in VET (35.8%) remained below the EU average (48.4%). The employment rate of recent upper secondary VET graduates dropped from 70.0% in 2018 to 66.0% in 2019, well below the EU average of 79.1%.

VET graduate tracking has been launched. The creation of an integrated information and monitoring system, coordinated by the State Public Employment Service (SEPE), is ongoing to increase transparency and coordination of the VET system for employment. This will include a state registry of all VET providers and a catalogue of all formal and non-formal training programmes and the respective delivery requirements (Cedefop ReferNet Spain, 2019). In July 2020, the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training released two reports: one about VET graduate transition into the labour market (MEFP, 2020b), and another about the education paths followed by VET students after graduation (MEFP, 2020c).

New initiatives aim to strengthen digital skills training. The Spanish Digital Agenda set a roadmap to achieve the EU Digital Agenda goals (Cedefop forthcoming). Multiple initiatives were launched by different public bodies, in some cases in partnership with business, to train young people and the (un)employed. Following an agreement with 12 large technology companies, since December 2019 the State Foundation for Training in Employment (Fundae) and SEPE have been offering training resources in digital skills for free, tailored to the unemployed and SME workers (Cedefop ReferNet Spain, 2020a)., a body of the ministry in charge of the Digital Agenda, is running a number of actions on digital skills, such as ‘digital professionals youth employment’ for those registered in the Youth Guarantee Scheme (Cedefop ReferNet, 2020). INTEF is developing interactive and multimedia education resources in collaboration with the regions, to support social networking and the integration of ICT into non-university education (Cedefop and Fundae, 2019; Cedefop ReferNet, 2017).

Measures to continue VET online were developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training partnered with various IT and telecom companies to help upper secondary and VET students with difficulties in accessing resources. National authorities tried to ensure that practical training in companies (in either school-based VET or dual VET) was maintained (Cedefop ReferNet Spain, 2020b).

New legal framework for VET. From January 2020, the whole VET regulation is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, including both initial and continuous VET (for education and employment respectively). Nevertheless, the Ministry of Labour will keep some VET initiatives to address short and specific workplace training needs.

Box 2: Improving digital skills of unemployed young people

The programme, run by the EOI Foundation in collaboration with Google, provides young unemployed people with the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed in a highly digitised job market. It does so through 40 hours of MOOCs followed by 20 hours of tutoring. Accessible on the Google Actívate platform, the MOOCs cover topics such as digital consulting, big data, artificial intelligence/machine learning, robotics and cybersecurity. Once their MOOC is completed, participants can choose an expert who will tutor them for their final project. The programme is active in 36 Spanish provinces, including in rural areas where digitalisation represents a great plus for economic development. With a total budget of EUR 1 392 000 (92% from the European Social Fund) for 2017-2019, nearly 5 500 people followed the MOOCs and 411 participated in the entire programme, of whom 87.5% of women and 77% of men found a job shortly after participating.

7. Modernising higher education

Skills mismatches are significant. Higher education attainment (44.7%) is one of the highest among EU countries (above the average of 40.3%)29, but graduates are concentrated in fields which are not the most in demand in the labour market. Business, administration and law (19%), education (17%), and health and welfare (17%) are the most popular fields of study30; while ICT (3.9%), mathematics and statistics (0.5%) and manufacturing and processing (0.8%), where there are skills shortages, are less popular (Cedefop, 2016; Adecco, 2018). University graduates have a hard time finding jobs that meet their qualifications and are forced to accept middle- or low-skilled jobs. In 2019, the employment rate of recent tertiary graduates in Spain (77.2%) was below the EU-27 average (85.0%)31. Of those who graduated at university in 2014, 27.2% were not in work in 2018 (MEFP, 2019b). On the same year, 30.6% of tertiary graduates had a job that did not require a tertiary diploma, above the EU-27 average (28.1%)32.

Student guidance and orientation on career opportunities is needed to reduce mismatches. Closer cooperation between universities and business could help reduce skills shortages by better aligning education programmes and providing on-the-job traineeships. Educational guidance prior to university does not sufficiently focus on pathways to the labour market. A survey indicates that low enrolment in STEM degrees (25% of total) may be largely due to a lack of guidance (65% of upper secondary respondents) and the perception that these degrees are very challenging (40%) (DigitalES, 2019).

Gender bias influences the choice of tertiary studies. In 2018, 56.4% of tertiary graduates were women and women account for a particularly large majority of current students in fields like education (77.5%), health and welfare (71.7%) and social sciences, journalism and communication (61.8%) The opposite is true in fields like ICT, engineering, manufacturing and construction, and mathematics and statistics (87.5%, 74.7% and 62.6% male, respectively)33. While in the past 5 years enrolment of women in tertiary studies increased, in both number and proportion (from 51.4% 2013 to 54% in 2018), the share enrolled in ICT (14.6 % v 12.5%) and in engineering (26.4% v 25.3%) actually decreased. (2018) recommended increasing the number of women studying technological subjects by: 1) identifying and making visible models and references in the sector, 2) making changes in the education model, 3) fostering more inclusive business traineeships and 4) generating a working model that fosters co-responsibility for people care.

Spain is developing a tertiary graduate tracking mechanism. At national level, the existing method for tracking graduates is based on the administrative data sets from public employment services (PES), the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and higher education statistics. A system to track skills is under development in Spain, in cooperation with the business sector. PES is producing a methodology to detect training needs in cooperation with regions, social partners and national reference centres (European Commission, 2020a). At regional level, 3 out of 17 regions implement systematic graduate tracking measures and in another 2 conduct less systematic ones. For the remaining territories, there is no evidence on the existence of such measures. At University level, most universities have regular measures to track their graduates, bur these measures differ in content and methodologies and thus, results are not comparable across universities.

8. Promoting adult learning

Profound imbalances in access to digital education and training remain. Adult participation in learning activities slightly improved from 10.5% in 2018 to 10.6% in 2019 (EU average 10.8%). In 2019, 43% of people aged 16-74 lacked basic digital skills (EU average 42%) (European Commission, 2020b). The main challenges for digital education are to provide adults with devices and quality internet access and to improve teacher training for the digital education of adults.

Numerous measures have been taken to support the continuation of education online during the COVID-19 crisis. The Centre for Innovation and Development of Distance Education (CIDEAD) was active in providing distance adult education. ‘Aula Mentor’ provides a non-formal, flexible online training programme for adult learners to develop personal and professional competences via a catalogue of courses which includes web design, environmental issues, culture, health, etc.

9. References

Adecco (2018), Informe Infoempleo Adecco XXII Edición, Oferta y demanda de empleo en España,

Cedefop (2016), Skills Panorama,

Cedefop and Fundae (2019), Vocational education and training in Europe: Spain [From Cedefop; ReferNet. Vocational education and training in Europe database],

Cedefop ReferNet (2020), Spain: 2020 update of VET policy developments in the deliverables agreed in the 2015 Riga conclusions. Unpublished

Cedefop ReferNet Spain (2017), Common digital competence framework for teachers,

Cedefop ReferNet Spain (2019), New measures to support quality vocational training for jobs,

Cedefop ReferNet Spain (2020a), Promotion of training in digital skills for workers,

Cedefop ReferNet Spain (2020b), Millions of students at home- meeting the challenge of virtual learning in pandemic times,

Cedefop (forthcoming), Key competences in initial VET: digital, multilingual and literacy.

DigitalES (2018), Mujeres en la economía digital en España 2018,

DigitalES (2019), El desafío de las vocaciones STEM,

European Commission. (2018), Women in the Digital Age,

European Commission (2019a), 2nd Survey of Schools: ICT in Education. Spain country report,

European Commission (2019b), PISA 2018 and the EU. Striving for social fairness through education

European Commission (2020a), European Semester: Country Report – Spain,

European Commission (2020b), Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020, Country Report Spain,

European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2019), Digital Education at School in Europe. European Commission Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

European Council (2020), Recommendation for a Council Recommendation on the 2020 National Reform Programme of Spain and delivering a Council opinion on the 2020 Stability Programme of Spain, COM/2020/509 final,

MEFP (2019a), Informe PISA 2018. Informe Español. Volumen 1,

MEFP (2019b), Inserción laboral de los egresados universitarios. Curso 2013-14 (análisis hasta 2018),

MEFP (2020a), Nota: Estadística del Gasto Público en Educación. Resultados provisionales Año 2018.

MEFP (2020b), Estadística de Inserción laboral de los graduados en enseñanzas de Formación Profesional,

MEFP (2020c), Estadística de Seguimiento educativo posterior de los graduados en Formación Profesional,

OECD (2019a), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I): Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners,

OECD (2019b), PISA 2018 Results (Volume I): What Students Know and Can Do,

OECD (2019c), Spain: Country Profile, Education GPS.

OECD (2019d), PISA 2018 Results (Volume II): Where All Students Can Succeed,

OECD (2019e), PISA 2018 Results (Volume III): What School Life Means for Students’ Lives,

Save the Children, (2019a), Donde todo empieza: educación infantil de 0-3 años para igualar oportunidades,

Save the Children, (2019b), Todo lo que debes saber de PISA 2018 sobre equidad,

Annex I: Key indicators sources

Indicator Eurostat online data code
Early leavers from education and training edat_lfse_14 + edat_lfse_02
Tertiary educational attainment edat_lfse_03 + edat_lfs_9912
Early childhood education educ_uoe_enra10
Underachievement in reading, maths and science <EM>OECD (PISA)</EM>
Employment rate of recent graduates edat_lfse_24
Adult participation in learning trng_lfse_03
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP gov_10a_exp
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student educ_uoe_fini04
Learning mobility:- Degree-mobile graduates- Credit-mobile graduates <em>DG EAC computation based on Eurostat / UIS / OECD data</em>

Annex II: Structure of the education system

Source: European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2020. The Structure of the European Education Systems 2019/2020: Schematic Diagrams. Eurydice Facts and Figures. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Comments and questions on this report are welcome and can be sent by email to:




2 Andalusia, Castile and Leon, Catalonia, Galicia and Extremadura

3 Basque Country and Valencia





8 Ranging from 99.9% (Valencia) to 84.0% (Aragon).

9 The Basque Country and Extremadura have the best ratio (1.5 and 1.7 students per computer respectively); Murcia (4.6) Madrid (3.9) and Valencia (3.9) have the least favourable ration of students per computer.


11 Eurostat: [isoc_sk_dskl_i].

12 Gross capital formation comprises buildings, vehicles, and machinery; inventories and other valuables stored items.

13 Escuelas concertadas are private primary and secondary schools that provide free school places under the same conditions as public schools. Their administration is private but their financing is mostly public, alongside parental contributions. Around 26% of students attend such schools.

14 Education at a Glance 2019: OECD indicators

15 Eurostat, COFOG: [gov_10a_exp].

16 Eurostat, UOE: [educ_uoe_enra10].

17 Eurostat, EUSILC: [ilc_caindformal].


19 Results in reading are not available for Spain. See OECD note at

20 Disciplinary climate refers to how frequently the following things happen: ‘students don’t listen to what the teacher says’; ‘there is noise and disorder’; ‘the teacher has to wait a long time for students to quiet down’; ‘students cannot work well’; and ‘students don’t start working for a long time after the lesson begins’.

21 Eurostat, LFS : [edat_lfse_14].


23 See changes in the former education law at


25 Such as Procomun (open network with more than 94 000 resources), EDIA Project and CIDEAD.




29 Eurostat, LFS: [edat_lfse_03].

30 Eurostat, UOE: [educ_uoe_enrt03].

31 Eurostat, LFS: [edat_lfse_24].

32 Eurostat,LFS:

33 Ibid.