Education in Portugal: key constitutional principles and bases

  • Pedro Abrantes


As the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (CRP) reaches its fortieth birthday, the present article looks at how leading national and international sociological studies view its stance on education. The way the CRP has been interpreted and the impacts it has had on the Portuguese education system are discussed, and a number of controversies, tensions and areas for future development are identified. Questions such as relations between the public and private sectors, the struggle against inequalities, lifelong learning, the management of democracy and education for citizenship are broached. In broad terms, the article argues that the CRP has played a leading role in changing the education system, and continues to be not only a fundamental instrument for promoting stability, but also a framework for transformative policies.