Education and schools in Rome have roots that reach back centuries to the time of classical empires. Along with the Greeks, the Romans were among the first to organise a formal system of learning that looked to accomplish more than simply promote the passing of knowledge from parents to their children.

Today that tradition of education continues in the Eternal City, and expats will find a robust state school system as well as a large selection of international and bilingual schools to choose from.

Public schools in Rome

State education in Italy is free from primary school to university (although enrolment taxes become mandatory from age 16) and is available to foreigners. This system is widely regarded as on par with the standards of its private counterpart.

Expats who predict a long-term living situation in Italy or who simply prefer their child to be immersed in the Italian language and culture should consider public schools as an option. Overall, the system is highly reputable, with some Italians even preferring public schools over private schools.

See our overview of Education and Schools in Italy for more detail.

Private schools in Rome

There is often not much difference between public and private schools throughout Italy, as both receive state funding. This funding means that private schools must adhere to certain curriculum and educational standards set by the government. Unlike public schools, private schools tend to operate under a specific religious or pedagogic philosophy, such as Catholicism or the Montessori method.

The local private school sector in Rome is distinguished by its rich history and diversity, with many schools offering unique educational philosophies and specialisations. Parents can choose from a variety of teaching approaches, and private schools in Rome also offer smaller class sizes, providing more individualised attention to students. They may feature advanced facilities and extracurricular opportunities, making them a popular choice for families seeking a comprehensive educational experience.

International schools in Rome

There are many international schools in Rome and most of these uphold high standards. These schools are not homogenous; they vary in terms of curriculum, educational philosophy and language of instruction. 

For instance, some schools follow the British National Curriculum, such as St George’s and New School, while others, like the American Overseas School of Rome and Marymount International, offer the American curriculum. There are also schools like Rome International School and Ambrit that offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum from the primary school level.

Many native Romans also choose to enrol their children in these schools. For expats planning on living and working in Rome for only a short time, this is undoubtedly the best choice, as the disruption of the child's education is minimised by studying a familiar curriculum in their home language.

The small class sizes and high quality of facilities do come at a price, so expat parents should be prepared to spend a considerable amount on fees, depending on the school and the grade level of their child.

Find out more on our dedicated page on the best International Schools in Rome.

Nurseries in Rome

As a large city, Rome caters for a variety of family needs, including daycare and nursery options for younger children. There are many nurseries in Rome, ranging from bilingual or multilingual to international and private ones. Expats may select the nursery most suitable for them and their children based on proximity to where they live, cost or preference of institution and how they approach childcare.

Nurseries are also a place where families can meet other expat or local parents who may be part of or willing to join an informal parent support group.

Special-needs education in Rome

Inclusive education is deemed important in Italy, ensuring that children with disabilities can receive a proper education integrated with everyone else. Rather than separate children with special needs, schools of all sorts, be it international, public or private, are required to offer various support systems. 

Schools adapt to the students and can provide services for their needs. However, expat parents should contact the schools directly to discuss the sorts of needs the family has and the capacity of the school to meet those needs.

Many schools in Rome have specialised staff, such as therapists and special education teachers, dedicated to assisting these students. Additionally, schools often work in close collaboration with parents and external support services to create customised learning plans that cater to each child's unique needs. This collaborative approach ensures that all students receive the support they need to succeed academically and socially.

Useful links

  • Special Kids of Rome provides resources for children with special needs in Rome, including support groups and services.
  • MumAbroad maintains a directory of educational specialists in Italy.

Homeschooling in Rome

Homeschooling in Italy is legal but not common or widely known, although there was a notable increase in homeschooling during the pandemic. Parents have the right to educate their children outside an established school setting, but they must notify their appropriate school authorities each year if they intend to do so.

Parents must have both the technical and economic capacity to homeschool their children. In other words, they must have completed a schooling level beyond that which they are teaching their children, as well as the financial capacity to educate their children. Although these rules and guidelines are in place, they are fairly relaxed and parents don't need to provide documentation to justify themselves. 

Tutors in Rome

Like in other cities around Italy, tutoring is common. Many students enjoy extra support and classes from a tutor who can assist year-round or closer to exam periods, depending on the requirements and ability of the tutor. Parents can conduct internet searches, finding a range of online portals. Bear in mind that tuition must be on the terms of both the family and the tutor regarding matters like scheduling, so a degree of flexibility on either side may be negotiated.

Useful links

  • Superprof offers a selection of tutors available in Rome, providing private lessons in various subjects. The platform features secure payments and has received excellent reviews.
  • TUTOROO connects learners with private English tutors. It features native English-speaking teachers with experience in teaching students of all ages and levels.
  • University Tutor lists the top tutors near Roma, Italy, offering a range of subjects including mathematics, economics and language tutoring.

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