Enrolling in a Spanish school is a simple process, although procedures differ depending on the course in which the student wants to enrol. When it comes to Primary Education (which in Spain ranges from 6 to 12 years of age) prior academic qualification validation is not required, since students simply enrol in the course that corresponds with their age. The same thing happens with Mandatory Secondary Education or ESO, which is for students ranging from 12 to 16 years of age. In this case, each student begins their studies in the corresponding course for their age.
This general rule must meet three requirements: On the one hand, diplomas provided by new student must be valid in their country of origin. This means that any unofficial diplomas are considered invalid. Secondly, the diploma must demonstrate that the studies were completed with passing marks, in addition to corroborating class attendance and the passing of corresponding exams. Finally, there must be an equivalent relationship between the Spanish educational system and the educational system of the new student’s country of origin, both in terms of duration and content. Spain has many agreements in the form of Royal Decrees with a number of the countries around the world, which can be viewed by clicking on the following link: https://goo.gl/s8Atkn
The special case of the Baccalaureate
When it comes to students who want to complete their 1st or 2nd year Baccalaureate studies in a Spanish school (students from 16 to 18 years of age), different documentation must be provided. First, students must present a certified photocopy of prior course certification, including the subjects studied, grades obtained and academic years in which the respective courses were completed.
Secondly, a certified photocopy of the student’s official degree or diploma must be provided. This diploma’s homologation may be requested, and in some cases, schools may also require official certification confirming the passing of corresponding final exams.
Third, a certified photocopy of the student’s identification document is required, which can be either a passport, NIF, NIE or other form of identification. Finally, confirmation of payment of the corresponding fees is also requested.
Regarding the deadlines that families interested in enrolling a student in a Spanish school should follow, it’s important to remember that they differ throughout Spain. Interested families should contact the Ministry of Education of the autonomous community where the school is located to find out more information regarding deadlines.
Authorities that are qualified to validate foreign degrees and studies
As a general rule, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport is the most qualified authority for the processing, homologation and validation of degrees and studies done abroad.
When it comes to degrees and curricula approved by the Ministry of Education, the following competent authorities can be contacted to process documentation and motions for resolutions:
- Autonomous Communities’ High Education Inspectorate Areas
- Ministries of Education at Spanish Embassies abroad.
When study abroad requests are made in the autonomous communities of Galicia, Catalonia or the Basque Country, applications should be presented directly to the community’s corresponding Ministry of Education.
Legalisation of documents issued abroad
Legalisation is the validation procedure that includes the signatures of authorised authorities on documents in order to confirm their authenticity, with the final the purpose being the presentation of said documents in a foreign country. In the case of documents issued by member states of the European Union, no type of legalisation is required. In all other cases, documents issued abroad must be legalised in accordance with the following conditions:
- Documents issued in countries that are part of the Hague Convention are considered sufficient when a unique legalisation or an “Apostille of Hague” issued by the country’s relevant authorities is provided.
- Documents issued in the remaining countries: Must be legalised via diplomatic means. The procedure for this type of legalisation is as follows: the Ministry of Education of the country of origin for degrees and certificates of studies; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the documents were issued; the Spanish diplomatic or consular representation in said country.
Resolution of records
The deadline for application approval for homologation or validation is 3 months, starting from the date in which the document is correctly submitted. Failure to obtain approval of a document results in the denial of the appeal filed. If those affected are not in accordance with the resolution, an administrative or contentious-administrative complaint can be filed.
All of the schools at School Best Schools in Spain are available at any time to advise you on the best way to enrol in the Spanish education system and are happy to provide you with the correct documentation and necessary procedural information.