Education is available free in Spain between the ages of 3-18 in state-funded nurseries, primary schools, and high schools.
Private education is also available and if you so wish you can pay to send your child to private nurseries, private primary schools, and private high schools in Spain.
Spanish high school education starts at around age 12 and it is compulsory for all children between the ages of 12-16 to study four years of Educación Secundaria Obligatoria (Obligatory Secondary Education).
Let’s take a closer look at private high schools in Spain.
Private High Schools in Spain have High Standards
There are different types of Private High Schools in Spain, but all private high schools must adhere to the same high standards as every Spanish educational institution, set by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport (El Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte).
Colegios Concertados, Privados e Internacionales
Some private schools are subsidised by the state with public funds provided that they meet regulations. These are called Colegio Concertados.
Other private schools receive no public funds whatsoever and are financed with tuition fees. They may also receive subsidies and support from private institutions. These are called Colegios Privados.
There are also many international Private High Schools in Spain. These are called Colegios Internacionales.
Language and Culture in Spain
Many people staying long term in Spain opt to send their children to a local Spanish high school in order that their child is immersed in Spanish language and Spanish culture. Others feel it is important to maintain the native tongue and culture and prefer to send their child to an international high school.
It is an important decision and one that depends very much on the individual character of the child. Some may already feel overloaded by the pressures of moving to a foreign country and need the familiarity of their mother tongue and curriculum style. Others may feel desperate to integrate and make new friends.
It’s your decision
Private High Schools in Spain do tend to have significantly smaller class sizes than public schools and offer a wider choice of subjects. They also usually offer more extra-curricular activities such as sport and art. Of course, these benefits come at a price. And fees can be substantial.
There are certainly clear differences between Spanish private and public schools, but there is no one-size-fits-all advice for choosing which is best for your child. Rest assured that the standards of Spanish Education are maintained to a high level across all high schools in Spain.
Let us help you decide
Go! Go! España can recommend many excellent Private High Schools in Spain and is here to help in any way we can. Please get in touch if you require any assistance with anything related to living, working, and studying in Spain.