Education in Spain

Spanish Education

The Spanish Education system has significantly been improved over the last few years which is mainly due to the huge Spanish schooling reforms that took place in the 1980’s and 90´s. The government of Spain has recently injected a significant amount from the public funds to continue to improve the education system in Spain.

Education in Spain is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16. Spanish Education is taken very seriously and parents and students alike are very aware that academic qualifications and training are a necessity if one is to obtain a good job in Spain. The government funded public schools in Spain are known as (Escuelas Publicas), and private schools in Spain are known as (Escuelas Privadas) which include many foreign and international schools in Spain.

Approximately a third of school children in Spain attend private school, state education in Spain is completely free right through from nursery up to university which also applies to the children of foreign residents in Spain. The universities in Spain are comparable to those of the finest found throughout the rest of Europe, some Spanish universities can become overcrowded and parents who can afford it often tend to send their children to universities outside of Spain such as British or American universities where courses tend to be shorter and more flexible than the university courses offered in Spain.

Teaching methods in Spain have been known to be unimaginative and too traditional which most believed to be due to the poorly motivated, and badly paid teachers. However, teaching in Spain has improved a significant amount over the last few years. Spain’s result in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which tests three areas (Science, Language Comprehension & Mathematics) highlighted Spain’s academic record, of the 31 countries that took part Spain’s students came in 18th, 19th & 23rd respectively. Although this was behind France, New Zealand and the UK, Spain still came in ahead of countries such as Italy and Germany.

If you are planning on bringing young children with you to Spain, the general rule is of course that the younger they are, the better they will adapt to the change of entering the Spanish schooling system. Many foreign parents in Spain choose to send their young children to nursery and primary school in Spain where they are able to learn Spanish quickly and effortlessly and then pay for their children to go to secondary private school in Spain once they reach that age.

Nonetheless, the experience for children living and learning in a foreign country is stimulating and something that they highly enjoy, not to mention the fact that it will provide them with an invaluable cultural experience especially in the case of foreign and international schools in Spain where many of the students are from a variety of different countries.

If you would like to obtain more information regarding state and private schools in Spain you can visit  any of the Spanish embassies or Spanish consulates abroad as well as educational organisations, foreign embassies and government departments in Spain. If you would like specific information on local schools then this can be obtained from the local town hall (Ayuntamiento). The various autonomous regions of Spain also have education offices located within each regions capital.