There are many reasons why families decide to move to another country. This move may be due to work-related or personal reasons, or just because they’re looking for a change of scenery and some new challenges. In this respect, packing our cases and starting from scratch in another country is no mean feat, and for parents one of the biggest concerns once the family has settled in is which schools their children will attend.
When a family with children of schooling age arrives in Spain, it must take all the educational options into account. What’s more, schooling is compulsory for children between 6 and 16 years of age in Spain. They could opt for a state, partially state-funded or independent private school. Centres belonging to the Best Schools in Spain network fall into the last of these categories. When deciding between these options, families should remember that they operate independently, meaning that they have different entry requirements, the procedure for reserving a place varies between centres, and there may be a defined enrolment period.
Both state and partially state-funded schools (the latter to a lesser extent) are bound by different laws and regulations that affect each of our country’s autonomous communities. As for the entry requirements and educational options offered by independent private schools, they have the freedom to set their own procedures regarding students’ schooling, which translates into greater flexibility.
Private schools, they have the freedom to set their own procedures regarding students’ schooling, which translates into greater flexibility
There are certain bureaucratic admission formalities that must be completed by all foreign students that are going to study in Spain. It is also advisable to enrol children as soon as the admissions period opens up. The following documents are required for this purpose:
- The student’s birth certificate or passport, along with the parents’ passports. Both the original document and a photocopy will be required in both cases. In some cases, an official translation into Spanish may be required.
- The student’s vaccination record.
- A residence registration certificate (known as the certificado de empadronamiento in Spain), which is equivalent to proof of residence or a rental contract.
- In addition to all these documents, two passport size photos are required for school paperwork.
As we already mentioned, each autonomous community sets its own criteria, and the same is true for each individual school. If we ultimately decide to enrol our children in an independent private school such as those from the Best Schools in Spain network, we must consider the specific admission steps, which are often similar to those described below (although they may differ depending on the school):
- Firstly, on top of all the documents mentioned above, we must fill out the official enrolment form of the corresponding school. It may also be necessary to provide all of the child’s past school reports.
- Some independent private schools offer a British or international education. In these cases, some centres may require a certain level of English depending on the year group that the child will join. Sometimes children may have to take an English test, or even a specific test related to a particular subject that they will study, in order to check their level.
This is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions we make in our children’s lives, and that is why centres from the Best Schools in Spain network offer tailor-made advice to families at any point in the year.