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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.7 “Learning to participate” through formal, non-formal and informal learning

Last update: 7 January 2021
On this page
  1. Policy Framework
  2. Formal learning
  3. Non-formal and informal learning
  4. Quality assurance/quality guidelines for non-formal learning
  5. Educators' support

Policy Framework

In Spain there is no national strategy that has as its sole objective the development of the social and civic competences of Spanish youth, but rather in the Youth Strategy 2020 (Estrategia Juventud 2020). Also, in the Organic Law 8/2013, of December 9 for the improvement of educational quality (Ley Orgánica 8/2013, de 9 de diciembre para la mejora de la calidad educativa, LOMCE), measures are included aimed at the development of these competences in young people in a transversal way.

Formal learning

The LOMCE has the subject 'Social and Civic Values', directed towards courses in primary education, and 'Ethical Values' directed at secondary education courses. The LOMCE gives parents the possibility to choose between this subject and the subject of Religion to complete the civic formation of the student. Both subjects are two hours a week in school timetables.

Among the objectives set out in the basic curriculum of primary education (Currículo básico de la Educación Primaria) in reference to civic values, the following stand out:

  1. To know and appreciate the values and norms of coexistence, and learning to act in accordance with them, preparing for the active exercise of citizenship and respect for human rights, as well as the pluralism of democratic society (7.a).
  2. To know, understand and respect different cultures and differences between people, equal rights and opportunities for men and women and non-discrimination of persons with disabilities (7.d).
  3. To develop their affective capacities in all areas of personality and in their relationships with others, as well as an attitude contrary to violence, prejudices of any kind and sexist stereotypes (7.m).
  4. To encourage highway education and attitudes of respect that promote the prevention of traffic accidents (7.n).


Non-formal and informal learning

The structures for non-regulated learning aimed at youth are very underdeveloped in Spain. They focus on activities related to sports and the arts or religion. The Spanish Youth Council acts as a collector of information related to all these activities.

With regard to the participation of students in participatory structures, the Organic Law 8/2013 (LOMCE) in article 62 leaves the prerogative to favour the participation of students in the operation of centres, through its group and course delegates, as well as with their representatives in the School Council within educational Administrations.

Despite the lack of a specific policy dedicated to this issue at national level that encourages youth participation, there are formal and informal relationships between the various agencies that act in the youth field, both at state and local levels, to promote this participation whose ultimate objective is the creation of a participatory youth culture in the heart of Spanish society.

There are some informal proposals to promote the learning of social and civic competences in Spain. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Europea y Cooperación) carries out the 2015 Ideas to Change the World (2015 Ideas para cambiar el mundo) campaign, an initiative of the Federation of workers of public services (FeSP-UGT), with the funding of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID), which aims to approach in a dynamic and participatory manner the Developmental Education for students at the levels of elementary, primary and secondary.

At the local level, various populations (such as Madrid) promote the activity of a Municipal Children’s Plenary, which promotes the learning of patterns of democratic coexistence among the youngest.


Quality assurance/quality guidelines for non-formal learning

There are no measures in this regard in the absence of a reference programme or strategy.  


Educators' support

Currently there are no official initiatives in this regard, only some university manuals on the subject and some private blogs led by teachers to teachers with advice on education and plans proposals.