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Schooling in Spain

By David Hemmings

Although I am not an expert on this subject, I feel that my personal experiences and those of my fellow ex-pats, may be of some help to those of you who are thinking about moving to Inland Andalucia and have concerns about your children and schooling.

Most of the villages and towns have primary schools and secondary schools. However, for the outlying villages, transport in the form of a school bus would be provided to take the children to the nearest larger town. A child from an EU country will always be accepted into the chosen school where the first language is Spanish. This may seem as if you are throwing your children in at the deep end, but you could not give them a better start to their new life in Spain. They will learn the language quickly and also the local customs, as well as making new friends.

The system is different to the UK. If your child starts to fall behind at school due to the fact that he or she hasn’t got to grips with the language then they will have to repeat the year again. This also applies to Spanish children should they fall behind. I personally do not feel it is necessary to put your children into the expensive English schools as the Spanish schools are now fully equipped to accept foreign children and most of these children will be fluent in Spanish within about 6 months of starting.

Finally, some good news for the children - the Spanish love their holidays and fiestas. The summer holidays last for around 3 months, so you get lots of free time to enjoy the lovely weather. The school hours are generally 9.00am-2.00pm which gives you most of the afternoons to enjoy activities provided by the schools, or swimming in the municipal pool which all rural villages have, or in your own pool if you are lucky enough to have a finca or villa.

About The Author

David Hemmings has lived in Spain for the last 20 years. Since 1998 he has worked in the Real Estate business. Initially he covered the Costa del Sol resort areas, where the coastal property boom was taking place, but for the last year or so he has been concentrating on the inland areas of Andalucia on behalf of Grupo Inland Andalucia, where the property market is now much more buoyant than that of the coast.

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