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Spain - Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceSpain - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education


The Spanish educational system is administered on many levels and in many ways, but the general administration of the system is in the hands of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. The Ministry of Education administers the educational system through the following organisms: the State Secretariat of Education, the Secretarial of Universities, and the Secretariat of Research and Development. Other important administrative organisms include the Interministerial Commission for Science and Technology, the General Direction for Higher Education and Scientific Research, the General Secretariat of Education and Vocational Training, and the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC).

In addition to these central administrative bodies and because of the self-regulation of the Autonomous Communities, much of the administration on the regional and local levels are in the hands of the governments of the Autonomous Communities. Local municipalities oversee educational centers at the preprimary and primary education levels. They are in charge of the construction, maintenance and repair of these centers. They also oversee compliance of compulsory education. Local municipalities may also create local school councils to oversee the individual educational centers.

In 1985, the public expenditure (percent of GNP) was 3.3 percent. Public expenditure in terms of the total percent of the government budget for the years 1993-1995 was 12.6 percent. Expenditures on primary and secondary education (percent of all levels) for the year 1994-1995 were 75.5 percent and 14.7 percent for higher education. It should be further noted that, in 1998, countries of the European Union spent 5 percent of their GDP on education and training.

The culture of evaluation and assessment is too new to the Spanish system of education. It can be argued that the system was first evaluated and assessed in global terms for the first time in 1976, when the National government called for results based on the General Education Law of 1970. Several evaluation centers have been created to undertake evaluation of the system. Among these are the Center for Research, Documentation and Evaluation (CIDE), which worked throughout the 1980s, and The National Inspections of Regional and local Educational Centers. At the level of higher education, there have been several notable attempts at evaluation during the period from 1992 to 1995. Among these efforts is the Program on the Evaluation of University System Quality (1992-1994), which was connected to the Project for Evaluation Quality set forth and administered by the European Union.

Significant attempts at evaluation, especially institutional self-evaluation take place at all schools and educational centers. For example, the Center for Educational Research turned its attention away from evaluation and concentrated its efforts on educational research, innovation, and documentation. In addition, the governments of the autonomous communities carried out important efforts at evaluation and assessment. These involved education for evaluation, assessment, and institutional research at all institutions of learning.

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