The Agrupamento de Escolas de São Teotónio agglutinates all schools of public education that serve this parish of the municipality of Odemira and its mission is to ensure basic schooling and preschool education by providing the education service to the inhabitants of the parish. São Teotónio is the largest parish of the county with 347.3 km² and a total of 6439 inhabitants.
The area covered by this parish is included in the Natural Park of Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina. The main locality, where two-thirds of the resident population is concentrated, São Teotónio, is also the location where the school is based and the only one where there is a school supply for the 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education. Other localities with a population concentration are Zambujeira do Mar, Brejão and Cavaleiro, all on the coast and framed in the limits of the Natural Park.
The economic potential is essentially linked to nature, despite some commercial dynamism in the village of São Teotónio. Summer tourism, with associated activities; restoration and rental of properties, and intensive agricultural exploration are the main economic activities.
It is these economic activities that enabled the increase of the resident population and properly registered, especially with the arrival of immigrant workers to feed the necessary labour to the farms. The geographical origin of these immigrants varies according to the economic interests of the employers.
The grouping is currently composed of the following schools:
- Escola Básica 2,3 Eng.º Manuel Rafael Amaro da Costa, São Teotónio (2nd and 3rd cycles)
- Escola Básica1 de São Teotónio (1st cycle)
- Jardim de Infância de São Teotónio (Preschool)
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo / Jardim de Infância da Zambujeira do Mar (1st cycle and Preschool)
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo / Jardim de Infância do Brejão (1st cycle and Preschool)
- Escola Básica do 1º ciclo / Jardim de Infância do Cavaleiro (1st cycle and Preschool)
The grouping is composed by a total of 622 students, 35% of whom are foreigners, 12% attend the teaching of Portuguese for adults at night and the remaining 23% attend the various schools of the grouping, from kindergarten to 9th grade. The main nationalities of these students are: Bulgarians, Nepalese, Indians and Germans. In total there are students from 22 different countries.
The students of the Agrupamento de Escolas de São Teotónio come, in a large number, from poor families (between 45 and 46 percent) according to the income declared to the State and used as a calculation for the granting of subsidies. The per capita income in the municipality of Odemira is only 68% in relation to the national average and although we do not have data on the parish in which this grouping of schools is integrated, all the evidence indicates that there is no great divergence between the average of the municipality of Odemira and the parish in which we are part.
The existence of many students of other nationalities has always been one of the cultural riches of this grouping. However, today the profile of this type of student has been changing not only in which refers to nationality (previously these students were mostly citizens of northern European countries and currently many of them come from countries in Eastern Europe and Asia) as well as their social and economic condition, since several of these new immigrants live in situations of great economic need, a problem that is added to the usual problems of integration into a new system of teaching and of learning a new language.
The main objective of the grouping at this moment is to reduce or eliminate the differences of opportunities among students, regardless of their origin or culture, promoting for such differentiated curricula with main incidence in the Portuguese language and a growing number of curricular or extracurricular activities directed to students who do not proficiently master the language or target the entire community.