Spanish Education System

Living in Europe | Day care, schooling & family related issues | Spain

Education in Spain is free (at state schools and government subsidised schools) and compulsory from the ages of 6 to 16, the latter being the minimum legal age for work, although free and mandatory education can be extended to the age of 18 as part of the E.S.O. (Compulsory Secondary Education) under various circumstances: repetition of or missed school year, integration of students coming from abroad, etc.


Infant school (up to 6 years old) is not compulsory although the vast majority of children start their education between the ages of 3 and 6. This stage is known as the 2nd cycle of Infant Education, which is offered free of charge on an integrated basis by State Schools. Education in Spain is decentralised and the educational authorities are transferred to the Autonomous Regions. This implies certain different features in the general scheme, for example, in the Autonomous Regions with another official language, studying this language is compulsory to varying degrees.

Schools and colleges

Joining the education system

University system

Useful addresses