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If you are looking to relocate to Spain with your family, one of the most pressing issues is education.

The Spanish education system can be confusing to understand even for those people who speak Spanish. Here is an introduction to the education system on the on the Costa del Sol.

Ages

Education in Spain is compulsory from 6 to 16 years of age
Primary School is from ages 6 – 12
Secondary School (ESO) is from ages 12 – 16
Bachillerto, equivalent to A Levels in the UK, is from 16 – 18

School Terms

The Spanish school terms are similar to the English system, although they do not have a half-term holiday and the summer holidays are much longer, usually starting at the end of June and running through to mid September.

Types of School

State Schools (Colegios Publicos):
Lessons are taught in Spanish, are open to all EU citizens and are free, although you will need to buy the books and stationery and pay for the extra-curricular activities.

State Funded, Privately Run Schools (Colegios Concertados):
Lessons are taught in Spanish. These schools are state-financed but privately-managed. They are usually fee paying schools but fees are considerable lower than Private schools.

Private Schools (Colegios Privados):
Privately owned and run schools. Depending on the school, lessons will be taught in all Spanish, or Spanish and English. They are fee paying.

International schools:
Most International schools offer lessons taught exclusively in English, with some offering Spanish/English. They are privately owned usually follow the UK curriculum and offer GCSEs, A/S and A Levels. The International diploma Baccalaureate is also offered by most International schools. International schools are fee paying, with fees varying from school to school. There are also Finnish, French, German, Norwegian and Swedish International schools.

Pre-school Education (Educaion Infantil) (0-6 years)
Sending you children to a Pre-School is a good way to integrate into the Spanish-speaking community. There are also many state-funded and private run nurseries.