Representations   Spain


Confederación Estatal de Asociaciones de Estudiantes - CANAE
Spanish Confederation of Student Councils

Type of Members

CANAE, as a confederal organisation, is formed by student councils organised in local, provincial and regional federations.

Amount of members

There are more then 25 regional, provincial and local federations represented. No exact data available but they represent over 200 000 thousand students.

General Assembly

Around 80


€ 100,000, majority by Ministry of Education and Youth Institute, other on project basis from different sources.

Organisation's Staff


Year of Foundation


Basic Structure

Basic structure

CANAE counts on three main bodies: Confederal Assembly, Confederal Council and Confederal Board.

The Confederal Assembly is the highest decision-making body in CANAE. Apart from representatives from local and provincial federations, every individual member taking part in school, local or regional councils where students are represented, is invited. Confederal Assembly meets every year and one of its most important tasks is to elect the Board (for a two year period).

The Board is elected by Confederal Assembly and it is formed by President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and certain number of Chairperson for specific Commissions (Nowadays there are four commissions - Education, Diversity, Participation and International Affairs).

The Confederal Council is the highest decision-making body in between Confederal Assemblies. It is formed by a certain number of representatives from federations (depending on their size) and the Board. It meets several times a year.

Other Student Unions

[missing data]

Student Representations

It is legally stated that every public school or private school receiving subsidies must allow the creation of a student council and provide it with a local and materials. Moreover, each of these schools count on a school board where parents, teachers, students and the city hall are represented.

Students at School Level

The involvement of schools in the development of their educational centres is very much up to every school to define. While some schools have important structures for students’ participation and allocate money for this, others do not even have an active student council. This creates very important disparities among different schools, cities and regions.

Students in Municipal or Governmental Bodies

Students are represented in the municipal, regional and national School Boards, altogether with parents, teachers, staff, etc. These bodies are considered to be the highest consultative body of policy makers working on education. However, the number of seats reserved for students in these bodies is far from being proportional, and there is still much more to be done in order to make students’ voice heard in all of these boards and in society in general.


In Spain the place student unions take in society is widely conditioned by regional differences and diversities. However, in a wider perspective, and especially in comparison with other European countries, it can be said that Spanish school students have little opportunities for making them heard. Despite notorious progress made during the last years, there is still much to be done, especially concerning the attention mass media pay to student unions and, generally, to the school students’ perspective.

During the last years there has been in Spain a debate on Education that preceded the approval of a new Law on Education (Ley Orgánica de Educación). In this process CANAE took an active role and pushed for the inclusion in this law of some of the aspects that can be found on the policy papers approved by Confederal Assemblies. Just one example of the concrete outcomes of this process is the inclusion in the law of an aspect that was only defended by CANAE: the ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation in the process of admission in private schools.


Spain has a stable and trustable public system for funding of student unions at the national level. This allows student unions to receive administration grants that make things such as having an office or employing a worker possible.
On the other hand, good representation is hindered by the tiny implication of media and politicians in school students’ issues, and therefore Spanish student representatives find it hard to make them heard in comparaison to other social and political players.


CANAE takes active participation in the Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España, CJE,, as a full member.

School Systems