EDUCATION AVAILABLE IN SPAIN
As in most westernised nations, education is compulsory in Spain from ages 6 to 16, and schools here are increasingly considered to be of a better standard than those in many European countries (yes, including the UK). Here is a quick guide to the options you might find helpful when moving to Spain with young children.
• The most popular choice for expats, with a wide choice on the cost to choose from.
• Some teach the English curriculum exclusively in English, others in both languages.
• Most are members of NABSS – National Association of British Schools in Spain.
• British schools usually follow the curriculum and offer GCSE’s, A/S and A levels, but many now offer the internationally recognised Baccalaureate diploma as an alternative to A levels.
• The atmosphere id relaxed and class sizes are small compared to the UK.
• All International schools are fee paying and fees vary.
• The Spanish State education is open to all EU citizens and is free from pre-school to 18.
• You’ll ne expected to pay for stationery, books and extra-curricular activities.
• Villages and suburbs have their own nursery and primary schools, but secondary schools have a wider catchment area.
• This is, as in the UK, all important, if you are set on a particular school, make sure you look for a home in the right area.
• Around 30% of Spanish children go to private school. These are also fee paying and offer a lower ratio than the state system.
THE SPANISH EDUCATION SYSTEM
Pre –school Education (0-6)
This is a very good way to integrate both you and your child into the community. Pre-school education is divided into two 3-year stages. It is not compulsory, but is free during the second stage (3to6 years) in state funded schools. There are also a range of nurseries, both state-funded and private, and some run by expats.
Compulsory Education (6to16)
This consists of two stages:
• Primary education from the age of 6-12
• Lower Secondary education from 12-16. Unlike British schools, if children fail their end of year exams in either primary or secondary levels, they have to repeat the entire year – a big motivation!
Non-Compulsory Education (16-18)
Students can go down one of two routes (as long as they have their certificate to show they have completed their education – ESO Educatión Secundaria Obligatoria.
• Upper level of secondary education (Bachillerato).
• Intermediate vocational training.
The upper level of secondary education prepares students for university. But they can opt for vocational training which begins with general training for the workplace and moves into specialist arears and work placements.
Higher Education Applicants are expected to complete the Selectividad entrance exam during their final year of secondary school. Once they are accepted the students will study for three years and gain either a licencia in academic subjects or a diploma in technical or vocational subjects. Graduates can the go on to do further study for the equivalent of an PhD or MA.
Spanish courses have been in a state of change over the last few years because the government has been working to bring them into line with EU regulations.
In Spain, it is usual for students to go to the nearest university and to live at home, which is the cheapest option. There are several in the area – Malaga, Cordoba, Granada and Seville.
But when it comes to grants, you are very unlikely to get one here in Spain. So whether your child decides on Spain or UK to further their studies, it will be a big investment.
National Association of British Schools in Spain – www.nabas.org
There are around 20 private international schools on the Costa del Sol. With a large proportion being British, but there are also French, German, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish schools and many teach from 3-18.
BILINGUAL NURSERY SCHOOLS
ARROYO DE LA MIEL
Peter Pan Nursery Tel (+34) 952562103. Now also in Marbella
(+34)952782051. 0-3 years
Costa Kinder Care (+34)952448007. 0-6 years
St. Javier’s International School 1-7 years(+34) 952823457
The International School Estepona 2-12years (+34) 952884789
MARBELLA/SAN PEDRO DE ALCÁNTARA
Calpe School (+34) 952786029 3-9years [email protected]
St. Georges School 2-8 years(+34) 952786606
COMBINED PRIMARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Benalmádena International College (+34) 952561666 3-14 years
The British College (+34) 952442215 www.thebritishcollege.com
Sunnyview (+34)952383164 3-18 www.sunnyviewschool.com
Sunland International School (+34) 902502250 3-18 years
Mayfair Academy (+34) 952784923 10-18 years
St. Anthony’s College (+34) 952473166 5-18 years
St.Georges School of Málaga (+34)952204810 3-18 years
English International College (+34) 952831058 3-18 years
Alohá College (+34)952814133 3-18 years www.aloha-college.com
SAN PEDRO DE ALCÁNTARA
Laudé San Pedro International College (+34) 902400028 3-18 years
Sotograndé International School (+34) 956795902 Boarding facilities for
students over 10 www.sis.ac
OTHER SCHOOLS & COURSES – COSTA DEL SOL
The Marbella Design Academy (+34)952459677 All tuition is in English,
with courses interior design,architecture and furniture design and
graphic design. www.designschool.com
The Tutorial Learning Center (+34) 952838078 Tuition in a variety of
GCSE an A Level subjects. www.esfc.es
Málaga Business College (+34) 951164923 Provides tuition for the
University of London/LSE undergrad degree in business and diploma for
graduates in Management. www.malagabusinesscollege.es
FOREIGN PRIVATE SCHOOLS – COSTA DEL SOL
Escuela Finlandesa Fuengirola(+34)952476193
German College (Colegio Alemán Juán Hoffman) Marbella
Norweigian Schoo (Colegio Noruego/Den Norske skolen Costa del Sol)
Benalmadena (+34)952577380 www.norskeskolen.net
Swedish School (Colegio Sueco/Svenska Skolan) Fuenirola