Naturally one of the major worries when relocating to another country is to ensure a good standard of education for your children. But, due to the number of people migrating to the Costa del Sol, the region is well served both by the Spanish State system and several private colleges. Indeed there are more schools offering an English education in the Costa del Sol than anywhere else on the Mediterranean.
The Spanish State schools have undergone a rapid programme of change over the last decade, and now offer facilities compatible with the rest of Europe. The education system is the responsibility of the regional government, the Junta de Andalucia, as it is provided free, although parents are required to buy certain textbooks.
Basic general education begins at six years of age in a primary school and lasts for eight years. At the age of 14, students receive a school-leaving certificate, which determines the course of their future education. Those with high marks are awarded a titulo de graduado escolar certificate and may attend a higher secondary school to study for their baccalaureate. Less academic students are awarded a school certificate, and attend a vocational programme providing specialised training for a specific career.
Attending a local state school helps children integrate into the local community and learn the language and is highly recommended if you plan to stay in Spain indefinitely. It is worth noting that, whereas it is fairly easy to switch from a state school to a private school, the reverse is not the case.
There are a number of educational establishments along the coast which offer various combinations of curriculum. Some teach the English system of GCSE's and A-Levels, while others choose the highly regarded International Baccalaureate. Some stick to the Spanish curriculum but have a strong emphasis on language teaching.
Almunecar International School, Granada (NABSS)
Telephone & Fax (00 34) 958 635 911
Aloha College, Nueva Andalucia, Malaga (NABSS)
Telephone (00 34) 952 814 133
The English International School, Marbella
Telephone (00 34) 952 831 058
St Anthony's College, Fuengirola, Malaga
Telephone (00 34) 952 473 166
Sunny View School, Torremolinos, Malaga
Telephone (00 34) 952 383 695
Swans School, Marbella (NABSS)
Telephone (00 34) 952 773 248
The International School at Sotogrande
Telephone (00 34) 956 795 902
National Association of British Schools in Spain
Telephone (00 34) 961 655 715
Telephone (00 34) 913 590 621