European Education Area Progress Report 2021

Education and Training Monitor 2021


1. Key indicators

Figure 1 – Key indicators overview
Italy EU-27
2010 2020 2010 2020
EU-level targets 2030 target
Participation in early childhood education
(from age 3 to starting age of compulsory primary education)
≥ 96% 97.3%13 93.6%19 91.8%13 92.8%19
Low achieving eighth-graders in digital skills < 15% : : : :
Low achieving 15-year-olds in: Reading < 15% 21.0%09, b 23.3%18 19.7%09, b 22.5%18
Maths < 15% 25.0%09 23.8%18 22.7%09 22.9%18
Science < 15% 20.6%09 25.9%18 17.8%09 22.3%18
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) < 9% 18.6% 13.1% 13.8% 9.9%
Exposure of VET graduates to work based learning ≥ 60% : : : :
Tertiary educational attainment (age 25-34) ≥ 45% (2025) 20.8% 28.9% 32.2% 40.5%
Participation of adults in learning (age 25-64) ≥ 47% (2025) : : : :
Other contextual indicators
Education investment Public expedienture on education as a percentage of GDP 4.3% 3.9% 5.0% 4.7%19
Expenditure on public and private institutions per FTE/student in € PPS ISCED 1-2 €6 14112 €7 02318 €6 07212,d €6 35917,d
ISCED 3-4 :12 €7 78618 €7 36613,d €7 76217,d
ISCED 5-8 €7 77112,d €8 50118 €9 67912,d €9 99517,d
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) Native 16.3% 11.0% 12.4% 8.7%
EU-born 31.6% 22.1% 26.9% 19.8%
Non EU-born 44.4% 35.2% 32.4% 23.2%
Upper secondary level attainment (age 20-24, ISCED 3-8) 76.5% 83.3% 79.1% 84.3%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 25-34) Native 22.5% 32.2% 33.4% 41.3%
EU-born 12.2% 12.3% 29.3% 40.4%
Non EU-born 11.4% 14.0% 23.1% 34.4%

Sources: Eurostat (UOE, LFS, COFOG); OECD (PISA). 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; the indicator used (ECE) refers to early-childhood education and care programmes which are considered by the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to be ‘educational’ and therefore constitute the first level of education in education and training systems – ISCED level 0; FTE = full-time equivalent; b = break in time series, d = definition differs, := not available, 09 = 2009, 12 = 2012, 13 = 2013, 17 = 2017, 18 = 2018, 19 = 2019.

Figure 2 - Position in relation to strongest and weakest performers

Source: DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, based on data from Eurostat (LFS 2020, UOE 2019) and OECD (PISA 2018).

2. Highlights

  • Substantial reforms and investments under the National Recovery and resilience plan could help to bring about quantitative and qualitative improvements at all levels of education.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the focus from physical to psychological well-being.
  • Early school leaving has steadily decreased over the last 10 years, but the gap with the EU average is proving hard to close.
  • The government is expanding the offer of tertiary vocational education and simplifying graduates’ access to a range of professions.

3. A focus on well-being in education and training

On average, Italian pupils report a relatively high exposure to bullying, an indicator associated with a reduced sense of well-being and lower student performance.According to the Programme for international student assessment (PISA) 2018, 23.7% of Italian 15-year-olds reported being bullied at least a few times a month as compared to an EU average of 22%. Boys, disadvantaged students and low-achieving students tend to be bullied more than girls, advantaged students and high-achieving students, with the biggest difference reported between low- and high-achieving students: 37.9% and 14.3% as compared to EU averages of 31.8% and 15.9% respectively. Exposure to bullying appears to have a higher than average negative impact on reading performance in Italy1. On a more positive note, the proportion of students who feel they do not belong in school is at 33.7% slightly lower than the EU average of 34.8%, an indicator positively correlated to competence achievement.

Exposure to cyberbullying increased during lockdown. According to the survey ‘Kids' Digital Lives in Covid-19 Times’ (KiDiCoTi), 50% of Italian 10-18 year-olds were more exposed to at least one form of cyberbullying during the lockdown than before – one of the highest shares among the countries surveyed (Figure 3).

Figure 3 - Share of students who have been victims of cyberbullying during the lockdown (compared to the pre-lockdown period)

Source: KiDiCoTi consortium calculations.

No definition of well-being in education exists, explicit or implicit, nor does any associated national policy. So far, notions of student well-being have generally been linked to healthy lifestyles. In 2019, an initiative by the Ministry of Education (MIUR) and the Ministry of Public Health enabled schools to introduce actions promoting pupils’ well-being, focused on healthy eating and physical activity. Other discussions of well-being in the education sector have largely focused on the working conditions of staff (mostly non-teaching staff)2.

Since the start of the pandemic the focus has shifted to psychological well-being. The Manifesto della scuola che non si ferma, published in March 2020 by the ‘Teaching Avant-garde’ network of schools, links well-being with cognitive development, creativity and social interaction. In October 2020 the Ministry of Education (MI) and the professional association of psychologists updated their existing agreement on promoting healthy lifestyles in schools to include psychological well-being. The focus is on strengthening communication and cooperation between schools and families and providing school-based psychological support for pupils, teachers, educators, school staff and families to help them cope with pandemic-related feelings of stress, anxiety, fear and isolation.

School closures and distance learning have negatively affected pupils’ well-being. According to a survey conducted for Save the Children Italy, distance learning was a negative experience for 38% of upper secondary school pupils. The main complaints were about difficulty in concentrating and technical issues caused by their own or their teachers’ poor internet connection. 18% of respondents only had access to a shared computer or tablet, and 8% had to share a room with others. 35% felt their education had suffered, and one in four needed to repeat several subjects. In addition, respondents said they felt tired (31%), insecure (17%), worried (17%), anxious (15%), nervous (14%) and disoriented (14%). More than one in five did not share their feelings with anyone (IPSOS/STC 2021). The government allocated over EUR 500 million for schools to open during the summer holidays, in order to reduce the damages created by school closures3. School participation in the initiative was voluntary, as was student participation within adhering schools. In total, 32 558 projects were carried out, focusing on recuperating basic competences as well as social interaction through the practice of sport, artistic, and recreational activities, for a total of over 1.6 million school hours recovered.

Teachers reported an increased workload and reduced well-being because of school closures. An early qualitative analysis of Italian schools (M.Ranieri in Carretero et al 2021) indicates that teachers and school leaders were overloaded with multiple urgent responsibilities, had to adapt quickly to remote schooling and experienced difficulties in assessing students. Moreover, according to the national statistical office4, between April and June 2020, 8% of all pupils5 as well as some teachers were not involved in any distance learning activity. The figure was particularly high for pupils with disabilities (23%). A significant proportion of teachers reported low levels of psychological well-being during the pandemic, as well as a higher workload due to distance learning and less quality interaction with students and parents (Matteucci et al., 2020; Lucisano 2020).

4. Investing in education and training

Italy’s investment in education is among the lowest in the EU. In 2019, Italy’s expenditure on education remained well below the EU average, both as a proportion of GDP (3.9% vs EU 4.7%) and as a proportion of total general government expenditure (8% vs EU 10%). Government expenditure on tertiary education (8% of total expenditure) is half the EU average (16%) and remains the lowest in the EU, while the share of expenditure allocated to pre-primary and primary (36%) and to secondary education (47%) is above the EU average of 33% and 39% respectively.

Staff salaries make up the lion’s share of education expenditure. Over three quarters of the education budget (76%) was spent on employee6 compensation in 2019, (EU average 64%), while expenditure on intermediate consumption and gross capital formation (10% and 3% respectively) remained well below the EU average of 14% and 7%.

The 2021 budget law allocates additional resources to support schools and universities in the pandemic. The extra EUR 3.7 billion investment is mostly earmarked for renovating school buildings and hiring new teachers.

Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience plan (NRRP) envisages a sizeable investment in the development of human capital. The NRRP allocates almost EUR 20 billion to strengthening the education system at all levels, from early childhood education and care to higher education. If adequately implemented, the plan could help improve learning outcomes and reduce regional disparities. (See Box 1).

Box 1: The National Recovery and Resilience Plan

Italy’s National recovery and resilience plan (NRPP) is structured around 6 areas of intervention (‘Missions’), representing a total investment of EUR 191.5 billion (EUR 68.9 billion in non-repayable financial support and EUR 122.6 billion in loans).

Mission 4, ‘Education and research’, is worth almost EUR 31 billion. Of this amount, more than EUR 19 billion (around 10% of the total NRRP) will be invested in measures related to strengthening the education and training offer and improving its quality at all levels, from early childhood education and care (ECEC) to higher education. Further measures for the reskilling and upskilling of the workforce are planned in other parts of the NRRP.

To this end, the plan envisages interventions in the following areas:

  • strengthening and improving the education offer
  • improving teachers’ recruitment and training
  • extending competences and improving infrastructure
  • reforming and enhancing the PhD system.

If implemented swiftly and effectively, the plan has the potential to bring enduring structural changes with a lasting impact on the Italian economy and society. Planned reforms and investments in the education, skills development and research sectors could help enhance human capital and research capacities in the long term.

Italy’s NRRP has the potential to increase real GDP by between 1.5% and 2.5% by 2026. Reforms and investments in education are expected to result in 0.5% growth by 2026.

5. Modernising early childhood and school education

Participation in early childhood education and care (ECEC) for children aged between 3 and 6 has decreased in recent years but remains above the EU average. Participation in ECEC stood at 93.6% in 2019 for 3-6 year-olds, above the EU average (93.1%) but below the new EU-level target of 96% by 2030. It should be noted that ECEC participation in Italy fell by 1.5 pps between 2014 and 2019, while the EU average rose by 1.9 pps over the same period. At 26.3%, participation of children under 3 in formal childcare remained well below both the EU average of 35.3% and the Barcelona target of 33%, and has not significantly improved in the past 10 years (it was 25% in 2009).

The government is taking steps to expand the ECEC offer, with support from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Italy’s NRRP envisages the creation of 264 480 additional ECEC places for children between the ages of 0 and 6 by 2025, backed by an investment of EUR 4.6 billion - the largest single investment in the plan. 152 0007 of the new places should be for the 0-3 age group, where most progress is needed.

Despite continued improvements over the past 10 years, the proportion of early leavers from education and training (ELET) remains well above the EU average. In 2020 the ELET rate among 18-24 year-olds was 13.1%, down 0.4 pp compared to the previous year8 but still well above both the EU average of 10.1% and the new EU-level target of 9% or less by 2030. Despite a significant improvement over the past 10 years (5.5 pps), the gap with the EU average is proving difficult to close (from 4.8 pps in 2010 to 3.2 pps in 2020). As part of its strategy for reducing early school leaving, the government plans to extend school time. EUR 1.26 billion from the RRF will be invested in building school canteens and sport infrastructure9.

While it is too early to quantify the impact of school closures on early school leaving, early indications are not encouraging. In January, a report by Save the Children Italy found that 28% percent of 14-18 year-olds had at least one classmate who had dropped out of online lessons completely. A survey of school principals confirmed that students dropped out of distance learning (estimated at 5% at national level, and twice that in the south), and estimated that between 2% and 5% of teachers were not yet involved in remote teaching. In addition, over half the respondents believed that remote teaching did not involve students with special educational needs (CENSIS 2020).

Almost a fifth of Italian 15-24 year-olds are not in education, employment or training, well above the EU average. After falling steadily in recent years, the share of young people aged 15-24 not in education, employment or training (NEET) has grown in the current crisis, from 18.1% in 2019 to 19% in 2020 (EU average: 11.1% ). Of particular concern is the 25-29 age group, where the proportion of NEETs in 2020 was 31.5%, significantly higher than the EU average of 18.6%10. The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the average duration of the transition from school to work for people in the 20-24 age group: from 8.63 to 11.15 years for a permanent job and from 3.72 to 4.16 years for a temporary one. Southern regions, women and non-Italian citizens were disproportionately affected. (Fiaschi and Tealdi 2021).

Prolonged school closures11 have taken a heavy toll on learning achievement, especially at secondary level. The 2021 round of INVALSI standardised national student testing, the first since the start of the pandemic12, shows a generalised learning loss compared to 2019, with the only exception being fifth-graders, whose performance remained substantially stable13. In lower and upper secondary schools (grades 8 and 13) results worsened significantly. The average drop in performance among thirteenth-grade students was 10 pps in Italian and maths14. In addition, the proportion of thirteenth-graders who completed upper secondary education with below-grade-ten competences (dispersione implicita, or ‘implicit’ early school leaving) has grown from 7.5% in 2019 to 9.5% in 2021, with peaks of between 15% and 22.4% in southern regions.

The gaps in student achievement between regions and socio-economic groups have widened. The learning loss among disadvantaged students was almost twice as large compared to their more advantaged peers. In many regions, over half the students do not reach the minimum competence level in Italian15 and maths16. Italy’s NRRP contains EUR 1.5 million in investment measures aimed at reducing territorial disparities in the level of basic skills (Italian, mathematics and English) of secondary school pupils, particularly in the south.

Italy reports both teacher shortages and oversupply17, pointing to inefficient selection and recruitment mechanisms Bottlenecks in recruitment result in an ageing teacher workforce with a particularly low share of teachers under 35 and a high share of teachers on temporary, short-term contracts (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice 2021)18. In July 2021 the Ministry of Finance authorised the hiring of over 112 000 teachers on permanent posts in an effort to stem the recourse to temporary contracts in the school year 2021/2022. The government plans to adapt teachers’ selection and recruitment mechanisms by redesigning competition procedures (open to all graduates with a five-year tertiary degree and 24 credits in pedagogy-, psychology- or anthropology-related subjects) and strengthening the initial one-year on-the job training. It also plans to strengthen teachers’ continuing professional development, with a special focus on digital education, building on the experience acquired during the pandemic.

6. Modernising vocational education and training and adult learning

2020 saw a focus on improving the apprenticeship system. Several meetings of the National Technical Board, an ad hoc working group gathering all relevant stakeholders19, focused on ‘type 1’ apprenticeships20 with the aim of simplifying their implementation. In January 2021, the Ministry of Labour, in agreement with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry for University and Research issued a Decree implementing the ‘Guidelines for the interoperability of entitling bodies of the National system of certification of competences’21. The guidelines were prepared in accordance with the regions and autonomous Provinces, following an agreement between competent authorities in 2020. The Decree provides a common reference framework for the ‘National system of certification of competences’ on minimum systemic standards, essential performance levels, criteria for the implementation and regular updating of the national repertory of educational and training qualifications and vocational qualifications, progressive interoperability of central and territorial databases for the workers’ electronic booklet.

The government plans to modernise and improve the VET education offer. Italy’s NRRP includes plans to review the curricula taught in technical and vocational institutes (ISCED 3) in order to align them with labour market needs and with the innovations introduced by the Industria 4.0 strategy. The reform could help reduce skill shortages and improve VET graduates’ employment prospects22. EUR 600 million from the RRF are to be invested in strengthening the dual system so that it better reflects labour market needs.

A National Strategic Plan for adult competences was announced in 2020 to tackle the high rate of low-skilled people in Italy. The plan aims to improve coordination between the different players and processes involved in lifelong learning, to jointly establish national training strategies for 2020-2022 to ensure integration and return to the labour market. The national repertory of education, training and vocational qualifications has been updated following an agreement in the State-Regions Conference. Covering qualifications from general education, higher education and VET, the framework fosters validation, permeability and guidance practices.

The level of digital skills differs significantly between those employed in different economic sectors. Digital skills are more widespread in the services sector, followed by public administration, and lowest in the industrial and primary sectors. This might hamper innovation and inclusion in society and the labour market. In 2020 the government launched Italy’s first national strategy for digital competences, aimed at the population at large (European Commission 2020).

A ‘New Skills Fund’ (NSF) was introduced in 2020 The NSF combines the need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on employment with the need to train workers. It plans to fund the hours not worked by workers (due for instance to difficulties of the company), provided they use those hours to attend training courses.

Box 2: ESF support for developing lifelong learning in the Friuli Venezia-Giulia region

Project title: ‘Services for the development of the Network of Lifelong Training and Guidance in the context of lifelong learning’.

Years of intervention: 2018-2020, extended to 31 December 2021.

The programme 75/17 was created as part of the regional lifelong learning system to support people’s transversal skills and increase their employability and perception of self-effectiveness. The project’s aim is to establish a network of services for lifelong learning in the region in order to be able to face the challenges of a knowledge-based society. It provides the following integrated services:

1. training courses to enhance technical and vocational skills;

2. support for certification of skills;

3. workshops to develop transversal skills that are instrumental in increasing people’s employability;

4. guidance services to develop professional development action plans, through regional guidance services.

As part of the 2021 extension, a number of specific workshops have been designed to combat functional illiteracy and develop basic digital and civic skills. So far 256 workshops have been organised, with a total of 2 775 participants, and 59 four-hour seminars have been held, reaching a total of 1 059 beneficiaries.

Total budget: EUR 800 000 of which EUR 426 288 has already been committed to organise workshops and seminars.

7. Modernising higher education

Despite improvements in completion rates and in the average duration of studies23, Italy’s tertiary educational attainment rate continues to lag significantly behind the rest of the EU. In 2020, the share of 25-34 year-olds with tertiary educational attainment was the second-lowest in the EU at 28.9%, well below both the EU average of 40.5% and the new EU-level target of at least 45% by 2030. Tertiary attainment is particularly low among the foreign-born population, at 13.6% against the EU average of 36%. Women are more likely to hold a tertiary qualification than men (35% vs 22.9%) with a larger-than-average gender gap (12.1 pps vs EU 10.8 pps). Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates represented 24.5% of the total in 2019, as compared to an average of 26% in the EU. Women made up 38.9% of total STEM graduates, well above the 32.3% EU average24. On a more positive note, fears about a possible fall in tertiary enrolments due to the pandemic did not pan out. Student enrolment and scholarship applications increased by 7% and 6% respectively in academic year 2020/2021. This is possibly a consequence of the wider fee exemptions introduced in 2020 (European Commission 2020 ETM) and the lower costs25 associated with distance learning.

Tertiary graduates’ employment rates appear to have withstood the impact of the pandemic, but remain below the EU average. The employment rate of recent tertiary graduates was 64.1% in 2020, down from 64.9% in 2019 but still on an upwards trend since 2013, when it fell to 57% following the financial crisis. On a less positive note, Italy has one of the lowest tertiary graduates’ employment rates in the EU, and remains significantly below the EU average of 83.7% in 2020 (down from 85% in 2019).

Disadvantaged and VET students are increasingly under-represented in higher education. Family background exerts a growing influence on tertiary attainment: 30.7% of those who graduated in 2020 had at least one tertiary-educated parent, compared to 26.5% in 2010, and 22.4% came from a privileged socio-economic background (AlmaLaurea 2021). The proportion of graduates with a general upper secondary school (liceo) diploma was 75.4% in 2020 (compared to 68.9% in 2010), while those with a technical or vocational secondary school diploma represented just over 20% of the total. The recent introduction of vocational tertiary degrees26 could help increase the tertiary attainment rate of the population in general, and of VET graduates in particular.

Figure 4 – Tertiary attainment rate for 25-34 year-olds, 2010-2020

Source: LFS, edat_lfse_03

Universities were quick in switching to online teaching during the lockdown, reverting to blended formats during phases of declining contagion. According to a 2020 survey of 3 400 academics, 91% of respondents had never experienced distance teaching before. However, 75% declared themselves ‘satisfied’ or ‘fully satisfied’ with the experience. What appears to have suffered is the daily contact with students and the possibility to adequately test their knowledge.

The government is taking steps to expand the tertiary vocational offer and to simplify graduates’ access to certain professions. A reform of the Istituti Tecnici Superiori (ITS) was adopted in 2021. It strengthens the role of business within the ITS foundations and simplifies the recruitment of teachers from the business world. The objective is to double the number of ITS students (currently 18 750) and graduates (currently 5 250) by 202627. The reform is backed by EUR 48 million in funding for 2021 and EUR 68 million from 2022, in addition to EUR 1.5 billion from the RRF. In parallel, draft legislation adopted in June 202128 simplifies access to a number of professions for graduates in the relevant disciplines, by abolishing the requirement for a further State exam.

Student financial support is increasing. In 2019 the resources invested in student support amounted to EUR 743 million. Of these, almost three quarters (72.5%) represented scholarships, the remaining being divided among housing (13.3%) and transport contributions (4.6%). Only 0.04% was allocated to student loans. The number of scholarships has significantly increased in the past 5 years (+58% between 2015 and 2019), and is now close to matching actual needs, with a coverage of 97.6% of eligible students in 2019/2020 (compared to 93.7% in 2015/2016) (MUR 2021). There is no evidence of reduced attendance due to aggravated financial constraints for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Italy’s NRRP envisages an investment of EUR 500 million to increase both the number of scholarships and their value (from the current EUR 3 000 to around EUR 4 000). In addition, EUR 960 million are earmarked for bringing the offer of student accommodation from the current 64 000 places to 120 000 places by 2026.

8. References

AlmaLaurea (2021), XXIII Indagine sul Profilo dei laureati 2020 — Rapporto 2021. Bologna.

Carretero Gomez, S., Napierala, J., Bessios, A., Mägi, E., Pugacewicz, A., Ranieri, M., Triquet, K., Lombaerts, K., Robledo Bottcher, N., Montanari, M. and Gonzalez Vazquez, I. (2021), What did we learn from schooling practices during the COVID-19 lockdown. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

CENSIS (2020), Italia sotto sforzo, Diario della transizione 2020.

European Commission (2020), Education and Training Monitor 2020 Italy.

European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2021), Teachers in Europe: Careers, Development and Well-being. Eurydice report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Fiaschi D, Tealdi C (2021), Young People between Education and the Labour Market during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy, IZA DP No. 14479, June 2021.

IPSOS/STC (2021), I giovani ai tempi del coronavirus - Report Finale.

Lucisano, P. (2020), Fare ricerca con gli insegnanti. I primi risultati dell’indagine nazionale SIRD ‘Per un confronto sulle modalità di didattica a distanza adottate nelle scuole italiane nel periodo di emergenza COVID-19’.

Matteucci, M. C., Soncini A., Floris F. (2020), Autoefficacia e benessere psicologico e lavorativo degli insegnanti in tempo di covid-19 in: Giornate di Studio AIP “Emergenza COVID-19. Ricadute evolutive ed educative”, 2020, pp. 46 – 47

MIUR (2020), Focus Principali dati della scuola – Avvio Anno Scolastico 2020/2021, September 2020.

MUR (2021), Il Diritto allo Studio Universitario nell’anno accademico 2019-2020. April 2021

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

Ramella, F. and Rosta, M. (2020) UNIVERSI-DaD. Gli accademici italiani e la didattica a distanza durante l'emergenza Covid-19. WORKING PAPERS CLB-CPS.

Annex I: Key indicators sources

Indicator Eurostat online data code
Participation in early childhood education educ_uoe_enra21
Low achieving eighth-graders in digital skills IEA, ICILS.
Low achieving 15-year-olds in reading, maths and science OECD (PISA)
Early leavers from education and training Main data: edat_lfse_14.
Data by country of birth: edat_lfse_02.
Exposure of VET graduates to work based learning Data for the EU-level target is not available. Data collection starts in 2021. Source: EU LFS.
Tertiary educational attainment Main data: edat_lfse_03.
Data by country of birth: edat_lfse_9912.
Participation of adults in learning Data for the EU-level target is not available. Data collection starts in 2022. Source: EU LFS.
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP gov_10a_exp
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student educ_uoe_fini04
Upper secondary level attainment edat_lfse_03

Annex II: Structure of the education system

Source: European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2021. The Structure of the European Education Systems 2021/2022: Schematic Diagrams. Eurydice Facts and Figures. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Any comments and questions on this report can be sent to:


1 The change in reading performance for Italian students is estimated at -18 points per one-unit increase in the index of exposure to bullying, against an EU average of -11.6 points. Source: OECD PISA 2018 Results (Volume III).


3 ‘La scuola d’estate – Un ponte verso il nuovo anno scolastico’

4 Istat, Rapporto annuale 2021 – la situazione del paese.

5 12% of pupils in primary schools, 5 % in lower secondary and 6% in upper secondary (Istat).

6 Teachers and technical and administrative staff.

7 Figure provided by the Ministry of education.

8 The decrease appears to be driven by a fall in the ELET rate in the south (-1.2 pps.) and islands (- 3.5 pps.), which remains substantially higher than in the rest of the country.

9 17.1% of primary schools in the first cycle alone do not have gyms or sports facilities - This figure rises to 23.4% in the south. The figure rises to 38.4% if secondary schools are also taken into account (National school buildings register).

10 Source: Eurostat, online data code edat_lfse_20.

11 Schools in Italy were closed for 38 weeks on average, longer in some southern regions. Source: Unesco (

12 The INVALSI tests were cancelled in 2020.

13 While secondary school students were experiencing at best rotating shifts of school attendance when schools were open, primary schools managed to keep teaching on site, with limited recourse to online teaching.

14 At national level, the share of low achievers is 44% in Italian (+9 pps. compared to 2019), 51% in maths (+9 pps.), 51% in English reading comprehension (+3 pps.) and 63% in English listening comprehension (+2 pps.).

15 Campania 64%, Calabria 64%, Apulia 59%, Sicily 57%, Sardinia 53%.

16 Campania 73%, Calabria and Sicily 70%, Apulia 69%, Sardinia 63%, Abruzzo 61%, Basilicata 59%, Lazio 56%, Umbria 52%, Marche 51%.

17 Depending on subject and geographical area.

18 25.3% of teachers were on one-year contracts in 2018 (Eurydice based on PISA 2018).

19 Regions and public administrations, labour inspectorates, economic and social partners, the National Institute for Public Policy Analysis, the National Agency for Active Labour Policies.

20 Apprenticeships which are part of compulsory education.

21 Decreto 5 gennaio 2021 - Disposizioni per l'adozione delle linee guida per l'interoperativita' degli enti pubblici titolari del sistema nazionale di certificazione delle competenze (21A00166) (GU Serie Generale n.13 del 18-01-2021).

22 The employment rate of recent VET graduates in 2020 was 53.3%, well below the EU average of 76.1% (Eurostat).

23 The average age at graduation in 2020 was 25.8, down from 26.9 in 2010. 54.4% of graduates completed their studies within the prescribed timeframe (up from 39% in 2010). Source: AlmaLaurea (2021).

24 Eurostat, online data code: [educ_uoe_grad02]

25 E.g. travel and accommodation costs.

26 Lauree professionalizzanti, in place since 2018.

27 On average, 80% of ITS graduates find a job consistent with their training within a year of graduating, with peaks of over 90%.

28 DDL n. 2751 - "Disposizioni in materia di titoli universitari abilitanti"