Spanish Education; How to Choose the Right School
|Spanish schools system is excellent|
Finding the right education in Spain for your child is perhaps the most important decision involved in moving abroad. It’s also still just as important if you’re already living in Spain.
All parents do what they feel is best for their child but what are the best choices when it comes to Spanish education?
Education is handled a little differently in Spain. Spain doesn’t have an education league table that informs parents about which schools are the best ones. There are still regulatory bodies that you can contact to learn more about a school you’re interested in though.
One of the most concerning parts about moving to another country, including Spain, is that you lose the network of family and friends that can give you guidance and advice.
No matter which part of Spain you are moving to or you’re living in there are some things you need to consider including:
· Would your child be better in a small or large school?
· Would you like them to change schools as they move up or stay in the same school? I.E. do you want them to go to senior school or change when they reach sixth form?
· How long is too long for your child to travel to school?
· Are there any transport options; especially transport provided by the school?
· Which timetable works best for you?
· Will your children have school meals or do you want them to come home for their meals?
· Do you want your child to do extracurricular activities?
· Do you want your child to be taught in English or Spanish?
· Do you have a particular curriculum or teaching syllabus preference?
Different Education Options in Spain
When you move to Spain you need to think about which Spanish education option is the right choice for your child. There’s a little more to the decision than choosing between private or public education. There is also another option known as concertado and homeschooling is also an option in Spain.
Even though homeschooling is an option it’s not a very good one and you should dismiss the idea. It’s actually illegal to homeschool in Spain unless you get special permission and are considered a diplomat.
Next comes the choice of Spanish State school education. State education in Spain is a good choice because your child gets used to socialising and they immerse themselves in the language and can learn a lot. Unfortunately the state of Spanish state education isn’t as good as it once was because there have been government cuts to staff and facilities including books.
The next option after this is the concertado system. It’s basically a halfway point between state and pivate education. Concertado schools were originally religious but these days you can find non-religious concertado schools. You need to pay to send children to a concertado school but it is less than the cost of private education.
The final option would be to send your child to a private school. There are international private schools in Spain as well as fully private Spanish schools.
These fully private Spanish schools use the same curriculum as Spanish state schools but they have a much lower teacher-pupil ratio and often have better facilities. Both fully private Spanish schools and international schools charge roughly the same fees. You should also keep in mind that many of these fully private Spanish schools are religious.
International schools in Spain use the same curriculum as a particular country or the international baccalaureate. If you look around you can find schools that follow the British, American, German, French and Scandinavian curriculum. Spanish families will often send their children to one of the British schools because they believe learning English in a European country is a better option. There are also some American schools that have good reputations and the French and German schools are also recommended.
The English language has become the worldwide language of business and commerce. This is the main reason that Spanish families are eager to send their children to English-speaking schools and there’s such a demand for English school education in Spain. As such your school of choice could have a waiting list or it might be impossible to send your child there.
Take a page out of your kids’ book and do your homework and you can’t make the wrong decision. You also need to time your move to Spain just right to improve your child’s educational success.