Country information for Portugal - Teacher education for inclusive education

There has been a significant reduction in the number of learners in Portugal in recent years. This is accompanied by a reduction in the number of schools in the public education network and a reduction in the number of teachers. At same time, there is a significant increase in the number of special education teachers. This is a consequence of the implementation of the inclusive education policy and of the political support and priority given to this new educational approach (Source: FPIES – Portugal Country Report, p. 9).

Initial teacher education

Kindergarten/pre-primary and primary education teachers’ initial training lasts for three years, including professional training. It takes place in state or private colleges of higher education, and leads to a degree. Teachers also can graduate from a public or private university and be permitted to teach a specific subject or group of subjects.

Initial teacher education includes a generic and introductory approach to issues related to inclusion, as well as understanding and supporting learners with diverse characteristics and additional needs and working with families (Source: IECE – Portugal Country Survey Questionnaire, p. 5).

Secondary education teachers’ training also takes three years at a state or private university. It also includes professional training and leads to a degree. These teachers are awarded qualifications to teach specific areas.

Specialised training

Kindergarten/pre-primary, primary and secondary education teachers can specialise in some areas (e.g. special education, counselling, pedagogical supervision, school administration, curriculum development, etc.).

This type of training lasts for one or two years and takes place at public or private colleges of higher education. It is equivalent to a postgraduate degree and awards teachers professional qualifications which allow them to work in specialised areas.

Teacher education

Kindergarten/pre-primary, primary and secondary education teachers may apply to additional different training modalities to update and broaden their knowledge and skills. These include training courses, action programmes, workshops, studies circle, conferences, etc. The duration depends on the type of training modality chosen.

In-service training can be implemented by higher education institutions, by school clusters in training centres, training centres of scientific or professional associations, or by central or local administration centres. All of these are accredited by the Scientific Pedagogical Council for Teacher Training. Most teachers reported greatest need for professional development in teaching learners with special educational needs (Source: Financing of Inclusive Education – Portugal Country Report).

Training boards are either public or private. Teachers or other professionals (with relevant experience in a particular area and suitable accreditation) can be chosen as trainers. Lifelong training modalities entitle those who attend them to a certificate and to some credits which are vital to progress in their teaching careers.


Last updated 08/04/2020

Share this page: