Are you prepared for the start of the school year on the Costa del Sol?

If you live on the Costa del Sol and you have school-age kids, you will know all too well that the start of the 2018-19 academic year was either this Monday, in the case of primary school children, or is looming just around the corner next Monday 17th September for secondary, bachillerato (sixth form college) and other academies

This week, thousands of children in Spain will be wiping the dust off their schoolbags, repacking their pencil cases with freshly-sharpened pencils, putting in their packed lunch orders and waking up in the dark for the first time in months… all in preparation for the return to school.

For many, it is an exciting opportunity to catch up with classmates not seen since school broke up before summer, while for others the sinking reality of a strict daily routine may be partially compensated for by that shiny new pair of shoes that will make the other kids envious on the first day back.

Whatever the case, the academic calendar for Málaga province has now been set and the school year will run until Friday 21st June 2019, in the case of primary education, and Tuesday 25th June 2019 for all other students.

This year’s holidays will fall on the following days: 2nd November, 7th December, 24th December-7th January (Christmas break), the entire week of 25th February-1st March, 15th-21st April (Easter break) and 1st May. This means that, in total, infants and primary school pupils have 178 teaching days scheduled and all other pupils have 175.

Here on the Costa del Sol, parents have the choice of sending their children to any one of a wide variety of high-quality educational centres including state, semi-private (concertado) and fully-private schools, as well as international colleges catering for students of a plethora of different nationalities.

Expats must choose very carefully which is the best option to suit their circumstances, since there is no single, definitive answer to the question: What is the best type of school for my child?

In Andalucía – as in Spain in general – the level of free state education is very high. That said, just under one-third of pupils are educated in semi-private (state-subsidised) or fully-private schools.

When compared with Ireland, Finland and Germany, whose state school representation is 100%, 95% and 90%, respectively (according to a 2015 Eurostat survey), one notices the relative prevalence of private education in Spain, in spite of a robust public infrastructure.

This could be partly due to Spain’s large expatriate community and the demand for international schools teaching the same curriculum as in the countries they represent. On the Costa del Sol, as you would imagine, the options are vast, with English, German, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish schools among the foreign-language options.

If you’re considering moving over to the sunshine Coast permanently with your family, it’s important to stay well-informed about the education options open to you in your area, either for an immediate change of school or for your child’s future enrollment…

…So take a look at our “Education in Spain” page for more information about the Spanish education system!