A Guide to Italian Education System for English Speakers: Understanding School Options and Enrolment Process

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When relocating to Italy with your family, understanding the Italian education system is a key priority. It is essential to provide your children with a high-quality education that caters to their unique needs and fosters personal growth. Italy’s education system offers a blend of public, private, and international schools that present a variety of choices for English-speaking families. However, making the right choice and navigating the enrolment process may seem daunting in an unfamiliar country.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the Italian education system structure, outline your options for public, private, and international schools, explain the enrolment process, and offer useful tips for English-speaking families. Moreover, we will demonstrate how partnering with Italian Connections HCB, a one-stop administration support provider, can help you seamlessly navigate the education system, fostering an easier transition for your children.
Italian Connections HCB offers services tailored to support English-speaking families in Italy, ensuring they are well-equipped to make informed decisions regarding their children’s education. From expert guidance on school selection and enrolment processes to handling paperwork and communicating with education authorities, Italian Connections HCB aims to provide a smooth experience for expat families. With their support, you can focus on settling into your new Italian community, knowing that your children are enrolled in a suitable learning environment that caters to their needs.

Overview of the Italian Education System

The Italian education system is built on several stages and covers pre-primary through to secondary and tertiary education. The stages include:

  • Nursery school (Asilo Nido): Optional stage catering to children aged 0-3 years.
  • Kindergarten (Scuola dell’infanzia/Scuola Materna): Optional pre-primary education for children aged 3-6 years.
  • Primary school (Scuola Primaria/Scuola Elementare): Mandatory stage for children aged 6-11 years, focusing on foundational subjects.
  • Lower secondary school (Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado/Scuola Media): Mandatory stage for children aged 11-14, offering a broader range of subjects.
  • Upper secondary school (Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado/Scuola Superiore): Optional phase for students aged 14-19 years, divided into various types of schools such as Liceo or Vocational Institutions.

Understanding Your School Options

Italy offers a variety of school options for English-speaking families, including public, private, and international schools.

  • Public Schools: Italian public schools are free for all residents, providing a high standard of education with teachers who are often state-certified. However, English-speaking students may face language barriers and are typically required to learn Italian.
  • Private Schools: These institutions often follow the Italian national curriculum but may have smaller class sizes, more resources, and higher English language support.
  • International Schools: These schools provide education primarily in English and follow international curriculums, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or American/UK-based programs. International schools may cater better to the needs of English-speaking students, particularly if they plan to transition back to their home country or continue their education abroad.

Navigating the School Enrolment Process

  • Selecting a Suitable School: Research schools that fulfil the specific needs of your child, considering factors like language, curriculum, school location, and additional support services.
  • Contacting the School: Contact the chosen school(s) to discuss your child’s educational needs, obtain application forms, and ascertain enrolment requirements and deadlines.
  • Collecting Documentation: Compiling necessary documents such as passports, residence permits, proof of vaccinations, and previous school records for enrolment.
  • Submitting Your Application: Complete and submit the application form(s) alongside the necessary documents according to each school’s requirements and deadlines.

Italian Connections HCB can assist in streamlining the school enrolment process by helping you select suitable schools, handle translations and document preparation, and liaise with schools on your behalf.

Extracurricular Activities and Language Support

Supplementary programs like extracurricular activities and language support can improve your child’s overall development and socialisation. These programs can help English-speaking students integrate into the Italian culture and create lasting friendships.

Consider engaging your child in sports, music, or art programs organised by local community centres or expat organisations. Moreover, enlisting your child in Italian language courses or employing a private tutor can accelerate their language learning and ease their transition into the Italian education system.

How Italian Connections HCB Can Help

Italian Connections HCB can offer comprehensive support in managing your child’s educational needs in Italy, including:

  • Guidance on School Selection: Expert advice on selecting schools best suited to your child’s needs.
  • Assistance with Enrolment: Navigating the enrolment process and dealing with administrative tasks, like translations and paperwork.
  • Support in Finding Language Courses and Extracurricular Activities: Identifying suitable resources and activities for language support and enrichment.
  • Communication with Education Authorities: Liaising with schools and education authorities on your behalf.


Moving to Italy and enrolling your children in a new education system may seem overwhelming but with the proper guidance, research, and support from Italian Connections HCB, you can be confident that your child will receive a high-quality and well-rounded education. By partnering with Italian Connections HCB, you can focus on immersing your family in the rich Italian culture and creating lasting memories while the experts at Italian Connections HCB ensure your children’s educational needs are expertly managed and catered to.

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