School Uniform: Italian School Types

Figure 1.--This is one of the first year classes at the Ginasio Parini in Milan during 1935. The boys would be about 12 years old. This would be a state secondary school.

The three major types of schools in Italy are the state schools, religious schools (Mostly Catholic), and privae schools. Schoolwear has varied at these different school types. The schools has varied over time as well as the state's control over the different schools. Perhaps influenced by the era of Austrian control, we find secondary schools called Ginasios. We believe that these are state schools.

State Schools

The basic state school systenm is explained in the school system section. A basic understanding of the Italian school system is needed to undrastand how clothing differed at the various schools. Italy did not emerge as a unified country until the 1860s. As a result we can only begin talking about an Itlalian school systen until the 1860s. Modern schools are similar to the educational system that has developed in other European countries. We have some information on the current system, but still little information on the Italian school system before the modern era. Perhaps influenced by the era of Austrian control, we find secondary schools called Ginasios. We believe that these are state schools.

Religious Schools

The Catholic church has played a major role in Italian education. There were religion classes taught by priests even in the state schools. Thus I do not think there were parochial schools as in America. Parochial schools were established in America, because the early public schools had aargely Protestant character. This was not the case in Italy. There do seem to have been charity schools. There were also private schools. This may have changed since as since World War Ii, the Italian school system has become more secular. Italy is a largely Catholic country, thus most private schools were Catholic. Private schools here meant fee paying schools. This could be schools established by individuals and not the Church itself. We are not sure if the Church estanlished schools other than charity schools. There may be some other religious schools in modrn Italy, but we have few details at this time.

Private Schools

At all levels of education there are completely private institutions (scuole private) administered by private individuals or bodies corporate, charging fees and issuing qualifications that are not legally recognized. At primary level, their creation requires the authorization of the MPI; at secondary level they do not require such approval but must comply with public order, hygiene and health regulations. There are also officially recognized private schools. At primary level, these are subsidized schools (scuole sussidiate), established after they have the approval of the Provincial Director of Education, or state authorized schools (scuole parificate), opened only by corporations, associations or organizations on the basis of an agreement with the Provincial Director after they have the approval of the MPI. At secondary level, they are legally recognized schools (scuole legalmente riconosciute) or state authorized schools (scuole pareggiate) according to Ministerial Decree. The former may be administered by public bodies or individuals, the latter by non-state or religious public bodies. In recognized schools, the curricula, pupil assessment and teachers' qualifications must be similar to those in state schools. No fees are charged in recognized primary schools; and whilst recognized secondary schools do charge fees, they must provide free places to secondary level pupils receiving local authority scholarships. The State rarely provides aid to private schools and then only in the form of subsidies or grants to institutions which cater for educational or social needs that state education does not meet.


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Created: September 1, 2001
Last updated: 9:46 PM 12/25/2008