There have been many studies that have proven significant long term benefits of moving your child abroad whilst they are young. The rule goes that the younger they are, the easier they will find it to settle in and adapt to Spanish lifestyle, and even easier to learn the language. There are many international school and traditional Spanish schools open to your child. If you’re child isn’t familiar with any of the language before your relocation, the international school is usually the more popular choice for ex-pats.
Some of the international schools teach exclusively English, or a combination of English and Spanish, the latter of which will be far more beneficial to your child if you plan on living in Spain permanently. The majority of the international schools are members of the National Association of British School in Spain, making you confident your child will be receiving the best education possible.
Many of the British schools still follow the standard UK curriculum, meaning they offer GCSEs, A/S and A Levels, but they also offer the internationally recognised ‘International Baccalaureate diploma as an alternative option to A Levels.
Class sizes tend to be smaller than those in the UK meaning there is more time available for one-on-one teaching and its a much more relaxed atmosphere, making the children feel much more comfortable in school and learning in much more intimate teaching environment. Fees are in place for international schools but the fee charge varies from school to school.
The Spanish State education is open and available for all European citizens and there is no fee from nursery age all the way up to 18 years-old. Just like in England you’ll have to provide your own books, stationary and the likes for your child but that is generally expected. Again, similarly to the UK each individual village and town will have their own nursery and primary schools but secondary schools have a much larger catchment area if your child is willing to travel for the preferred education. But remember, the catchment area only stretches so far, so if you want your child to attend a particular school, research their catchment area and look for a home that falls within that area.
The Spanish Education System is as follows:
- Pre-School Education 0-6 years
- Compulsory Education 6-16 years – Primary School 6-12 years – Lower Secondary Education 12-16 years
- Non-Compulsory Education 6-18 years
- Higher Education – University Level