Additional information on the education system
For further information about how to apply for a place at a public centre or when it is necessary to apply, please contact the Education Authority of the autonomous region where you live or intend to live directly (see USEFUL ADRESSES), or inquire at your local education centre. On the whole, enrolments take place in the March prior to the start of the school year.
No validation proceedings are required for students coming from foreign education systems and wishing to join any of the stages that form part of the Primary Education or Compulsory Secondary Education System in Spain. Nor is the recognition of qualifications necessary for admission to the Spanish education system to carry out studies that do not require the School-Leaver’s certificate.No validation proceedings are required for students coming from foreign education systems and wishing to join any of the stages that form part of the Primary Education or Compulsory Secondary Education System in Spain. Nor is the recognition of qualifications necessary for admission to the Spanish education system to carry out studies that do not require the School-Leaver’s certificate.
At present in Spain, there are eighty-two universities (fifty public and thirty-two private). There are also foreign universities who offer teaching in accordance with the education system of their country of origin. Universities may award official qualifications (valid throughout Spain) and their own qualifications. The official qualifications and the minimum content are established by the Government.
Each university establishes the procedures it must follow, the enrolment procedures and the documentation necessary to apply. Normally, pre-enrolment is at the start of July, the admission lists are published in mid-July and the enrolment period starts at the end of July. Private universities establish their own admission and enrolment procedures. For further information about the university system, the centres and official qualifications, please refer to: http://www.mecd.gob.es/educacion-mecd/areas-educacion/universidades.html.
Education centres are divided into public and private centres. Public centres are those centres owned by a Public administration and private centres are those owned by a private natural or legal person.
The public service provision of education is carried out through public and government- subsidised private centres; in the latter, the subsidised studies are financed with public funds to ensure they remain free of charge. The public primary and compulsory secondary education schools are free and provide schooling to the majority of the population, although in varying proportions depending on the Autonomous Regions and stages.
Primary schools usually include the secondary stage of Infant education and, although it is still unusual, some also include the first stage (zero to three years old). Nevertheless, the first cycle continues to be taught in infant schools, with a variety of owner types, as in addition to the private centres there are public regional municipal centres and other public institutions.
Different designations exist within the public centres: Infant schools (which only offer infant education); Primary schools (which only offer this stage); Infant and Primary schools (which offer both stages); Secondary schools (which offer Compulsory Secondary Education, the Baccalaureate in its different disciplines and Vocational Training - Basic vocational training and Intermediate and Higher vocational training); Art schools (which offer vocational training in fine arts and design; Conservatories (which offer vocational training, and where applicable, elementary training in music and dance); Higher studies in music and dance are offered in the conservatories or Schools of music and dance; drama in the Drama Schools; conservation and restoration of cultural heritage in Schools for conservation and restoration of cultural heritage; higher studies in fine arts at the Schools for the corresponding discipline, and higher studies in design, at the Schools of design; and Special education centres (which offer teaching aimed at students with special educational requirements who cannot be attended in the context of measures existing for attention to the diversity found in ordinary schools).
The education authorities have to establish the designation of those public centres which offer teaching grouped differently to those defined in the above points.
Both the public schools and the government-subsidised private schools (partially or totally financed with public funds) which offer primary education, compulsory secondary education or the Baccalaureate, have similar entrance criteria, established by the corresponding Education Administration; and among the priority criteria, when there are not enough places, the following criteria are of particular importance: the existence of siblings enrolled at the school, the proximity of the family home or place of work of one of the parents or legal guardians, per capita income of the family unit and other circumstances.
To find out more about the public and government-assisted schools in each town, visit the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport web page (https://www.educacion.gob.es/centros/home.do) or go to the Education Authority for the corresponding region, the local or district Education.
Non-subsidised private centres do not receive public subsidies and therefore, the education offered is usually for an amount established by the centre. These centres have the right to establish their own character but must, in all cases, observe the rights guaranteed in the Constitution and in the laws regarding teachers, parents and students.
A separate category within the private schools is formed by the foreign schools. The majority of these are small schools, with a limited number of places (not usually more than six hundred) and high fees. Almost all of these offer an education which combines the Spanish education system and that of the country which they represent. Most of these centres are recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.
To find out more about the schools in each town, please refer to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport web page (https://www.educacion.gob.es/centros/home.do).
Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
C/ Alcalá, 34 - 28014 Madrid (Spain)
Tel.: (+34) 91 701 80 00 / http://www.mecd.gob.es/ (available in Spanish and the official languages of Spain).
Information and enquiries:
C/ Los Madrazo, 15 - 28014 Madrid (Spain) Tel.: (+34) 91 083 79 37 and 060
Check here information points for each Autonomus Region.