All we know about schools in Spain

Looking for schools in Spain is of major importance for parents planning a move. But finding information is not easy. After one year in both private and public schools, here is everything we learned.

The choice of school can start long before arrival, as soon as one chooses where in Spain they are going to live. Then comes the questions regarding the choice between private and public schools, schools that teach only in English, only in Spanish or in both languages, how safe they are and so on.

One thing is for sure: schools in Spain are safe, at least when compared to the USA – no school shootings going on around here. But the websites of the schools let a lot to wonder, and it is hard to compare and make a thoughtful choice of school when there are no good sources of information.

schools in Spain
Photo by Naomi Shi on Pexels

For that reason, I compiled in this section my knowledge on the matter. My sources are my own previous research on-line, e-mails exchanges with some of the schools in both Torremolinos and Benalmádena, visits to those schools, talks to other parents and one year of Kiddo going to schools in Spain– one semester in a private school and one in a public school.

The school system in Spain – a guide for expats

In this first post, will talk about the division of the Spanish school system in cycles, and about what age corresponds to each grade. Expat kids up to 12 years old are placed in school according to their age; from 13 on, schools require proof of completion of the previous cycle in order to place them in the apropriate school year.

We’ll also see the different types of school present in Spain, and clarify what CEP, CEIP and IES are; to finish, an introduction about international and bilingual schools, which we’ll discuss in deep further on.

Choosing the right school for your kids

Then we’ll move on to deal with some of the questions that may very well be in your mind, such as the price ranges for private schools – the public ones are free – which kind of school is best, what are the school hours in Spain, if schools offer lunch and transport, how they deal with religion, and even if it is possible to homeschool. This post has all these answers, and then some!

I’ve also include a list of questions to ask directly to the schools you have in mind. I bet that with the tips of this post you’ll be able to make an excellent choice for your children.

How to apply to schools in Spain

This post is a must if you want to put your kid in a public school, and a good help if you intend to enroll in a private one. Did you know that public schools just accept new students on specific times of the year? In Andalucía, one has to enroll in March for the school year starting in September; that’s why my kid went to private school for one semester. But there is a trick you can try to shorten that wait.

On top of that, we deal with the documents and you even get to see a school form – the thing you’ll be desperate to find in February, if you are aiming at a public shcool.

International and bilingual schools in the Costa del Sol

Interested in international and bilingual schools? If yes, this post is for you. I deepened the explanation from the first post about their differences – you’ll see they are like apples and oranges. On this post I’ve compilled a list with all international schools in the Costa del Sol, divided by location, curriculum and school age.

There is a list with bilingual schools too, but I recommend caution with schools that claim to be bilingual – as for my experience, that is not always the case. A lot more about that on the post below!

Our experience with schools in Spain

Next, I’ll share in details our own experience with both private and public schools in the Costa del Sol in a heartfelt post which goes down to the smallest details of our journey. From our preparation putting Kiddo on a bilingual school in USA to our happiness with his current public school, passing through our bad experience in the private one. This is a post I wish I had read before moving.

I hope you enjoy and, more importantly, find some useful information to make your decisions. As usual, let me know if there is something else you would like to know about regarding schools in Spain; if I have some info on the matter, I’ll gladly share. Let’s learn more together?

Next: The school system in Spain – a guide for expats

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *