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The Spanish education system is supported by the national government and the individual governments of each of Spain's 17 autonomous regions.

State system of school education

Primary (primary) and secondary (secondary) education in Spain is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16. Primary education in Spain begins at the age of 6 and ends at the age of 12. An interesting fact about education in Spain is that primary education lasts until the 6th grade, not the 4th grade, as in many other European countries. After that, students do not go to the 7th grade. Instead, they start the 1st grade of secondary education. Secondary education (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria) covers students aged 12 to 16. There are public, private (colegios privados) and semi-private (colegios concertados) schools in Spain.

Public schools provide education for free. Semi-private, private and international schools charge tuition fees that are set by the school and vary by institution. After completing compulsory secondary education at the age of 16, students with sufficient results receive a certificate of completion of secondary education (school certificate). Afterwards, students in Spain can either complete a 2-year study (upper secondary education) to obtain the Bachillerato certificate, which entitles them to a university education, or vocational training, which provides qualifications for employment.

Information for Ukrainians 2022

Ukrainian children can attend schools and kindergartens in Spain after obtaining temporary protection. To do this, you need to come to the nearest school or kindergarten, if there is a place there, the child will be taken to study

Free Spanish language training for refugees from Ukraine

How to choose a school?

To enroll in school, children must be registered at the local town hall.

List of documents

An application to the school for a place in the school is always submitted in writing according to the school's established or arbitrary form. Schools may request additional documents such as school reports, birth certificates and educational evaluations.

The following documents are usually required:

  • child's identity card;

  • certificate of residence;

  • medical reference;

  • parents' identity card and NIE (Foreigner's Identification Number).

Features of private schools

In addition to public schools, you can find private schools all over the country. They can be completely private (colegios privados) or semi-private (colegios concertados), which are subsidized by the state and work according to a national program. Many colegios concertados are Catholic schools where teaching is usually only in Spanish. If you wish to apply to a semi-private school, you can do so in the same way as to a public school: at the local town hall (ayuntamiento). Independent private schools may operate differently from public schools in terms of school hours, curriculum or even school breaks. There are many options for private schools:

  • bilingual English-Spanish schools;

  • Catholic schools;

  • international schools;

  • undergraduate schools;

  • foreign language schools for learning French, German or other languages.

Private schools tend to be more expensive in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​but are generally cheaper than private schools in Northern Europe or North America.

Language of instruction, availability of integration classes

Depending on the region, your classes will be taught in Castilian Spanish, Catalan (in Catalonia), Galician (in Galicia) or Basque (in the Basque Country).

Visa, visa issues

In connection with Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, the governments of the EU, Georgia, Canada and the USA provide Ukrainians with war protection programs. Ukrainians seeking refuge from the war on the territory of these countries will receive residence and employment permits, and their children will be given the opportunity to continue their education in local schools.

If you intend to come to Spain not under the war protection program, then Ukrainian citizens who are holders of biometric passports can travel to the country for up to 90 days without a visa. To stay and study in Spain for more than 90 days, you need to apply for a long-term visa.

The website of the Embassy of Spain in Ukraine.

Important links

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