All children in Spain between the ages of 6 and 16 must partake in mandatory primary and secondary education.
In Spain, there are three types of schools to choose from: public, charter, and private. The differences between each type of school (public, private and charter) are quite evident, especially regarding private schools, (as is the case with all the schools at Best Schools in Spain), which offer their students a number of diverse educational options, resources and programs.
On the other hand, public and charter schools (to a lesser extent) are governed by the laws and requirements dictated by each Spanish autonomous community and therefore lack the freedom that private schools posses when it comes to designing their curricula, methodology and timetables.
Public and charter schools
These schools usually have a high demand, so in order to ensure access we recommend enrolling your child as soon as the school registration process begins. Instructions on how to do so can usually be found on most schools’ websites, however registration is usually carried out between the months of February and May.
Each autonomous community sets its own admission criteria. Normally, a single application form is filled out per autonomous community where the applicant lists their public school choices in order of preference.
Foreign students must submit additional documents to gain admission to the public system:
– Child’s birth certificate or passport (original and photocopy), with an official Spanish translation (if necessary) and the parents’ passports (original and photocopy)
– Proof of vaccinations
– Proof of residence in the municipality (legal registration certificate)
– Certificate of equivalent studies/diploma
Depending on the centre, sometimes an interview and/or exam is required.
Charter schools differ from public schools in that a portion of their funding comes from the private sector. Although much of their resources are subsidised by the Public Administration, a percentage of the funding comes from monthly or annual tuition paid by the students’ parents to the centre.
This semi-public system allows charter schools to have greater freedom when it comes to teaching their curricula, as well as organizing their programming and methodologies. Despite this fact, charter schools must respect rules and limitations set by the Public Administration.
There are several excellent private school options in Spain, such as the schools featured on Best Schools in Spain, which offer a wide variety of curricula such as British, American, IB (international baccalaureate) and Spanish programs. With such an ample offering we are certain that you’ll find the school that best suits your particular needs. Spanish private schools’ waiting lists are usually long, so it’s very important that you apply straight away in order to obtain admission to the school of your choice.
Private schools have their own admission processes because they have the freedom to establish the criteria they consider to be pertinent. In general, when applying for admission to a Spanish private school, you will be asked to present your child’s educational record (if applicable), a school report, and in some cases the student will be asked to take an entrance exam.
In most cases, once the child is accepted, a deposit/administration fee is required to reserve your child’s enrolment. This fee is normally deducted from the annual payment if the child attends the school during the academic year.
Each of the schools at Best Schools in Spain are happy to inform and advise interested families about their centre’s admission processes.