Portugal's education system is divided into four tiers: Pre-primary, basic, secondary and higher. The first three tiers, which include compulsory education, are governed by theMinistry of Education. Higher education is controlled by the Ministry of Technology, Science and Higher education.
Pre-Primary school (Jardim-de-Infância) is equivalent to kindergarten or nursery in other countries. In Portugal these schools are not compulsory and children can attend from the age of three to five. Parents can choose to send their children to a state-owned or private kindergarten.
At the age of six, all children are required to start with primary school. The compulsory education then ends with secondary school which is roughly finished at the age of 18.