Hi, I am likely to move to Madrid from India. can you please suggest good school and avg fee per month etc. My sons are 10 and 5, they don't know Spanish. Looking forward your response. Thanks in advance

Upper secondary: This is non-compulsory schooling from 16 to 18. Students can take Bachillerato, the equivalent of A-levels and similar to the International Baccalaureate. Students usually take 10 subjects in the first year and eight in the second. Compulsory subjects include Spanish language and literature, a foreign language, sport and philosophy. Beyond the core subjects, students can choose to specialise in the arts, natural sciences, engineering, social sciences or humanities.

After primary school in Spain students must continue on to Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) which generally lasts from age 12-16. Spanish secondary education is divided into two cycles lasting two years each.

As part of an initiative between the MECD and the British Council, around 84 state preschools and 43 secondary schools in Spain offer a bilingual integrated Spanish-British curriculum. These programmes are offered in the second cycle of the educación infantil or preschool, when children are around four years old and run up to the end of Educación Secundaria Obligatoria around the age of 12. Contact the British Council in Spain for more information.

Most private schools subscribe to insurance schemes covering accidents, both in school and during school-sponsored activities.

The literacy rate of a country, while not a perfect measure, is often used to rank educational systems worldwide. According to the CIA World Factbook, 97.9% of Spain's population was literate in 2003. The figure encompasses a literacy rate in Spain of 98.7% among males and 97.2% among females. Literacy, in this case, is defined as a percentage of the population over the age of 15 that is able to read and write. Other sources indicate that the Spanish literacy rate is actually higher.

Some private schools in Spain are independent and can thus follow a curriculum of another country, although fees tend to be higher. In addition to American and British schools there are also French, German, Swedish and other foreign-language schools in Spain. Under Spanish law, all foreign schools must be approved by their country's embassy in Spain. Some international schools accept children from ages three to 18.

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It is compulsory to learn Castilian at all schools, even where Spanish is not the main language. In regions with other languages, it is also compulsory to learn the co-official language – for example, Catalan in Catalonia. In addition, children must learn a foreign language, which in many cases is English.

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the Spanish high school Baccalaureate will receive a diploma. They may then opt for vocational training, a university education, or in some cases both. In order to continue on to the university they must take an entrance exam (Prueba de Acceso a la Universidad - PAU). The test results together with the student's academic record and grades will determine not only access to the university but also which degrees the student can pursue.

Fees at subsidised Spanish schools are around EUR 700 a year, whereas fees at independent foreign schools range from around EUR 4,000 a year to well over EUR 8,000 a year at senior schools (particularly for boarders).

Students are assessed regularly and may have to repeat a year if they don’t reach the expected level of attainment. Secondary students cannot repeat a year more than twice.

I was wondering if anyone could help. I've been living in northern Spain for the past year with my wife and 2-year-old son, but we are moving to Valencia in July. I am aware this would be late to enroll my son in preschool, but can it be done? I will be arranging work when we arrive. I'm a language teacher. Many thanks

On the other hand, one of the major problems of private foreign-language education in Spain is that children can grow up in cultural ‘ghettos’ and be ‘illiterate’ as far as the Spanish language and culture are concerned. Although attending a private school may be advantageous from an academic viewpoint, integration into Spanish society can be severely restricted.

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State education is free of charge in Spain from preschool to 18 years, although in some regions parents may be asked to pay for books, other materials and extra-curricular activities. Financial help may be available in some cases – check with your own autonomous region.

Me and my son of 9y are moving from Belgium to granada. Can you give me adresses of good schools for my sun. I want him to learn english and spanisch. Greetings Attila

Theoretically, any child is entitled to public education at this age, but due to limited places many parents may find they have to turn to private child care. Some private nurseries are bilingual. The MumAbroad website (spain.mumabroad.com) has a directory of international nurseries in Spain organised by location, with many recommended by members of the site who have provided extensive reviews.

How to apply to a private or international school

There is no official league table of Spanish schools; schools are usually recommended by word of mouth, but El Mundo (elmundo.es) newspaper publishes a list of the 100 best private and concertado schools in the country.

There is no streaming in Spanish primary education; classes are all mixed ability, and parents can see teachers if they need to discuss their child's progress and problems. Homework can be given from the first year onwards, and examinations can start from around the third year of primary school.

The structure of the Spanish Education System follows the Fundamental Law of Education, known as LOE in Spain.

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Students with special educational needs may be educated within mainstream state schools, units within mainstream schools or within specialist special needs schools. If you have a child with special needs, get any documentation from any previous school translated into Spanish.

Check with the website of your autonomous community or school for exact dates. Schools are also closed on public holidays and local religious holidays. For information about public holidays, see Expatica's guide to public holidays in Spain.

There are three stages of schooling in Spain. These are pre-primary, primary and secondary, which is split into lower and upper secondary.

There are many internationally recognized Spanish universities such as Complutense University of Madrid, the University of Barcelona, the University of Seville, The University of Granada and the University of Valencia, among many others. Other historically important and reputable Spanish universities include the University of Salamanca and the University of Alcala.

Fees usually do not include registration, books, materials, laundry, insurance, extra-curricular activities, excursions, meals and transport (most private schools provide school buses). As an example, you may need to budget around EUR 800 a term for meals and other extras.

International schools offer a range of education choices, including the British A-level system and the International Baccalaureate.

This was an extract from Living and Working in Spain, by David Hampshire. Published by Survival Books, updated 2015.Want a local opinion? Ask experienced expats on Expatica's forums for advice..

Spanish University degrees are usually four years long, with the exception of medicine degrees and some others which are 6 years long. By 2010, in accordance with the European Commission of Education and Training, Spanish higher education will consist of: Bachelor degrees (Grado) for four year programs, Master degrees for 2 year post-graduate programs, and Doctorates for post-masters education.

An informative article for Spanish education. I was looking for something like that. Thanks for sharing such a helpful article. I will try to apply your ideas in my blog.

Schools In Spain

Not many parents choose to home school their child in Spain but it’s not illegal and there are organisations such as the Association para le Libre Educacion (ALE) to advise and support those who do.

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There are usually two weeks of holiday over Christmas, two weeks over Easter and a long summer holiday of around 10–11 weeks. Children moving up from primary to secondary school will sometimes get an extra week or two of summer holiday, which may even include an end-of-school trip abroad.

Elective courses may include: a second foreign language, information technology, dance, art, theater, music, or other classes depending on the school.

Education in Spain is compulsory between the ages of six and 16. The school year is set annually but usually runs from the first week of September until the last week of June. The timetable at public schools is usually seven hours a day, Monday-Friday, but varies slightly depending on the school, the region and the age of the children.

International schools vary hugely, however, and some international schools take pupils from Spain as well as expats. Spain has one of the largest number of 'foreign' schools of any European country, meaning schools where the majority of pupils are from the host nation, as many Spanish seek the prestige of sending their child to an English-speaking or other foreign-language school. So in some schools, lessons may be in English but Spanish can rule in the playground.

Private and international schools in Spain can offer a lot to the expat family, but you need to do research to see which Spanish education system best suits the needs of your children.

Angela, four, attending a Chinese lesson at TEO 2 kindergarten in Madrid. The nursery launched the after-hours Chinese lessons after seeing that many other schools in Madrid were doing so  Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP