The admissions process listed below is unique to these two types of schools. Private schools are completely independent from the Spanish state and manage their own admission process which is usually open all year round. If you are unfamiliar with Spanish school system, take a look at our Spanish Education Guide which gives an overview of the Spanish education system and the different types of schools in Spain.
Dates and registration process are as follows:
8th – 23rd April, both dates inclusive
- Present your applications to specific schools online.
- Schools publish a provisional list of admitted students.
19 – 21st May
- Parents can contest the provisional list.
- Final list of admissions published.
10 – 25th June
- Parents return to the selected school to officially enrol children.
School places at both public and semi-private schools are based on a points system. The more points a student has, the more priority he or she has in admission to a given school. More points are allocated if a family lives nearby to the given school, if children have special needs, if the family income is lower than a certain amount or if there are three or more children (familia numerosa), amongst other things. As these schools usually have a high demand, in order to ensure access we recommend enrolling your child as soon as the school registration process begins.
Parents should allow time to register their child in a Spanish public or semi – private school, as the process can be long and sometimes foreign documents need to be sworn translated. Parents of older children might even have to get their child’s school records verified by the MECD (Ministry of Education) in a process called ‘convalidación’ (the official record of your child’s education). This process is not very complicated but does involve getting a lot of paperwork together (but of course!) and understanding requirements.
Find the time to visit the schools that you think could be a possible match for your child’s needs. There really is no better way to get a feel for the school. Each school has its own unique culture and charm which cannot be interpreted through their website. You can gain a sense of this right away from the moment you walk into the school. Think about how your child or teen will do in this environment. Another Covid effect is that schools have reduced their number of school visits and are organizing individual rather than group visits. Even better to get all of your questions answered! If you are living abroad or simply cannot attend for other reasons, it really is a good idea to get somebody to attend on your behalf. An education consultant is an ideal option as they are knowledgeable, aware of your family’s needs, impartial and unbiased.
Applying outside of normal admission dates:
Some of the more popular schools have a waiting list but the local authorities have a responsibility to find an alternative school if necessary although it’s quite common for the school term to arrive only for you to find out that a place still hasn’t been made available. In these cases, because of their obligations, you may find your child placed in a school that isn’t convenient to where you are living.
Some families do tend to struggle with the admission process as they are unfamiliar with Spanish School System or do not have a good grasp of the Spanish language. Our trusted and expert service is provided to families who are moving to Madrid from abroad. And also to families that already live here and need some extra guidance and support. We want to share our knowledge and expertise of the Spanish school system to help other families.
Sinéad Galvin is an educational consultant and founded Steps into Spain (a boutique educational and relocation consultancy located in Madrid) to help families find the right school for their child in Madrid. She uses her professional and personal experience of Spanish schools, the Spanish education system and the Spanish way of life to ensure that parents are knowledgeable and informed about what to expect and can secure the best school for their child.
Steps into Spain will take stock of your children’s educational needs and overall family requirements (housing, paperwork and general settling in). Our trusted and expert service is provided to families who are moving to Madrid from abroad. And also, to families that already live here and need some extra guidance and support.
Get in contact to discuss your family’s unique needs and how we can best support you.