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Any discrepancies or differences that may arise in translations of the official Portuguese versions of these materials are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes.

Decree Law No. 18/2011

Publication: Republic Diary No. 23/2011, Series I of 2011-02-02
  • Issuer: Ministry of Education
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 18/2011
  • Pages: 659 - 669

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law makes it possible for class periods to be 45 or 90-minutes long and changes the subjects taught to the 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education.

The 2nd cycle covers the 5th and 6th grades and the 3rd cycle covers the 7th, 8th and 9th grades.

What will change?
Class periods of 45 or 90 minutes

From 1 September 2011, schools and school clusters can teach 2nd and 3rd cycle subjects in 45 and 90-minute classes, except Physical Education, which must always be 90-minute classes.

These alternatives must be discussed with teacher, parent and student representatives, through the General Council and the Academic Council.

The subject “Project Area” will no longer exist

From the next school year, the Project Area subject will no longer exist. This subject was designed to teach the student planning, researching and teamwork skills. A project topic would be chosen and the student would carry out his or her work with the teacher’s guidance.

Discontinuing this subject will reduce the students’ weekly classroom hours.

Focus on Assisted Study

Assisted Study will continue to be available for students who require help to improve their grades, particularly in Maths and Portuguese Language.

The students will be identified by the teacher in charge of their class or by the Class Council (which is made up of all their teachers).

What are its benefits?

This decree-law will:

  • give schools more autonomy
  • reduce the classroom hours of 2nd and 3rd cycle students
  • improve students’ grades, particularly in Maths and Portuguese Language.
When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect five days after being published.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.