8.3.1 Institutional overview
With the rise to power of the Popular Party in late 2011, education, culture and sport became the responsibility of a single ministry. Thus, at present, arts education in Spain is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport without prejudice to the development of basic legislation and implementation by the Autonomous Communities.
One of the traditional problems in Spain has been the lack of integration of arts education into the general education system, which has affected the training of professionals and also the general population, as potential audience. The Education Act (2/2006 Act), currently in force until the gradual implementation of the new act from the academic year 2014-2015, attempted to rectify this situation by introducing arts education at primary level, music and visual arts at junior cycle in secondary school, and the possibility of specialising in the arts at senior level. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of these regulations depends on how such plans are put into practice in terms of time allocation, permeability between academic subjects and artistic disciplines, progress between the various cycles, and on the specific regulations implemented by the Autonomous Communitiesbeyond the minimum national core curriculum.
The approval, at the end of November 2013, of the new Organic Law for the Improvement of Educational Quality (8/2013 Organic Act) has involved changes in the organisation of artistic education in the academic year 2014-2015, initially at primary level. On the one hand, the act introduces a differentiation between core subjects (common to the whole territory, with a minimum weight in terms of teaching hours of 50%, and with contents set by the central administration) and specific subjects - whereby Autonomous Communities and educational administrations and schools will have greater autonomy to set schedules, content and final programming of artistic disciplines. The act introduces audiovisual education at the levels of compulsory secondary and upper secondary education and removes the possibility of studying performing arts at upper secondary education.
For an updated vision of the Spanish education system, read the OECD Education Policy Outlook for Spain, 2014.