Education is important and of primary concern when relocating to another country. There are the Spanish state schools, which are very good, and there are also a large number of International schools, where the emphasis is generally on tuition in English although they may well follow a Spanish curriculum.

International Schools

Aloha College El Angel, 29660 Nueva Andalucia (Malaga) Tel: 00 34 95 281 4133 A bilingual, co-educational day school for children 3-18 years. The school is a non-profit-making company, parents buy shares when their children enter and are reimbursed on leaving. Courses follow the guidelines of both the British national curriculum and the Spanish LOGSE. Facilities include four modern Science Laboratories, computer centre, music suite, art and design studio, nursery, library, multi purpose hall and two outdoor sport areas. Examiners from the UK visit annually to award certificates for music, drama and ballet. Extra curricular activities are offered on a regular basis, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Foreign exchange visits and other educational trips form an integral part of the curriculum. The college provides full meals and uniform service on site and runs daily buses from Estepona and Fuengirola. www.aloha-college.com Benalmádena International College Telephone/Fax: (00 34) 95 256 16 66 A co-educational school providing education to pupils aged from 3 to 16 years to IGCSE standard Sunland International School Ctra. Cartama-Pizarra, Nueva Aljaima 29580 Cartama Estacion, Malaga Tel: 902 50 22 50 Almuñecar International School Urbanizacíon Los Pinos s/n 18690, Almuñecar, Tel/Fax (00 34) 958 635 911 A co-educational Primary and Secondary school for pupils aged 2-18. Pupils study the full range of National Curriculum subjects as well as Spanish and social studies in accordance with the Spanish curriculum. Courses lead to IGCSE and A level examinations and students are prepared for university entry abroad or here in Spain. The school is also a member of the Independent Schools Careers Organisation, who offer valuable advice and information on further study and future careers. The facilities include sports area, lab, 2 libraries and an information technology room. Fees include transport and meals. www.almunecarinternationalschool.org Calpe College International School Carretera de Cádiz km. 171, Aptdo 200, 29670 San Pedro Alcántara (Málaga) Tel. (00 34) 95 278 1479. Fax. (00 34) 95 278 9416 Day school for children aged between 3 and 18 years of all nationalities. British curriculum up to A level. Vocational courses are also offered. Calpe also offers a parallel Spanish curriculum. It is the recommended examination centre for several boards, including Cambridge, Oxford and GCSE courses. The English International College Urbanizacíon Ricmar, CN 340, 189.5 km 29600 Marbella Co-educational school for pupils aged between 3 and 18 years and following the British curriculum to IGCSE and A level. Facilities include computer room, science labs, playing fields, 2 swimming pools and libraries. A wide range of extra curricular activities is also offered. Rainbow International Constantina 6, Urbanizacíon Leula, 29620, Torremolinos. Montessori day school for approximately 40 pupils aged between 1 and 6 years. All nationalities are accepted. Teaching is in English up to 4 years, after which pupils may take lessons in their mother tongue St. Anthony's College Aptdo. 119, 29640, Fuengirola, A co-educational school for pupils aged from 3 to18 years. The school teaches the British curriculum to GCE, A level, BUP and COU. Intensive courses in English and Spanish are also offered. Extra-curricular activities include horse riding, drama, Spanish dance and self-defence. Facilities include two science labs, library, tennis courts, pool, gym and recreational areas. Sunny View School Aptdo. 175, Cerro del Torril, 29620 Torremolinos. Tel. (00 34) 95 238 3164 A co-educational school which is fully authorised by the Spanish Ministry of Education for pupils aged 3 to 18 years. It provides a complete British Primary and Secondary education following National Curriculum guidelines, culminating in GCSE and A levels and is a recognised GCE and GCSE Examination Centre. US High School Diplomas are also available. Facilities include science building, maths and computer rooms, art room, library, gym and outdoor sports fields. Swans School Urb Caprico 1-2, 29600 Marbella. Tel. (00 34) 95 277 3248 Primary Education for pupils aged from 3 to 11 years and following the British National Curriculum. There is also a full Spanish Primary Course and a French Primary Course Sotogrande International School Aptdo 15, 11310, Sotogrande (Cadiz) Tel: (00 34) 956 795902 A co-educational, day and boarding school, for pupils aged 3-18 years, offering education leading to the IB diploma. There are excellent sports facilities, including a large, multi-purpose sports hall, 25m swimming pool and an all-weather sports pitch and running track.

Spanish Schools

The academic year runs from the second week in September to the third week of June, although there may be regional variations. The main holidays are at Christmas, Easter and a long summer break. School hours vary depending on the school, either from 0900 to 1600 with an hour's break for lunch, or from 9.00am to 1.30 pm or 2.00 pm. Lessons are generally divided into teaching periods of 45 minutes. Some schools provide school lunches at a minimal costand most schools provide a subsidised bus service to take children to and from their homes in outlying regions. State schools generally provide an after school nursery (guardería) for working mothers. Schools are closed on public holidays and for various fiestas, both local and national. In order for a child to enrol in a Spanish school, an interview is required and, occasionally, an examination which will usually test the child's knowledge of Spanish. New arrivals in Spain must have their children's education record officially verified, which can be an expensive and lengthy process involving the confirmation of credits and marks for each year of schooling. Without the necessary paperwork a child won't be accepted at a state school. British GCSE's, for example, are not recognised in Spain. If possible, this process should be completed before arriving in Spain as a child may not be accepted at a school until the official papers have been received and stamped by the Spanish Department of Education. For infants who are attending school for the first time, the verification process is not, of course, required and enrolment is a simple process. For children transferring from an International school here in Spain to a State school, the process is also much easier. In Spain, children must attend a state school within a certain distance of their home. Town halls and provincial Ministry of Education offices can provide a list of local schools at all levels. To enrol a child in a Spanish school you must provide your town hall with the following documents:
  • your child's birth certificate or passport. Occasionally, an official Spanish translation may be requested.
  • proof of immunisation
  • proof of residence (an electricity or telephone bill in your name will suffice)
  • proof of verification of educational record (except for infants attending school for the first time).