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Education in Javea Spain

Education in Spain is regulated by the Organic Law on Education (LOE) of 2006, with reforms introduced by the Organic Law for the Improvement of Educational Quality (LOMCE) of 2013. It is a national right of all children to have access to education. In Spain, learning is mandatory until the age of 16. Primary Education (EP) and Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) constitute basic Spanish education. Basic education is compulsory and free for all students, consisting of ten years of schooling between six and sixteen. Outside of the obligatory education, there is the option of a Bachelor's Degree (Bachillerato) or Vocational Training (FP).  The Spanish Constitution of 1978 established a decentralized model of the State in which educational provisions are divided among the General Administration of the State (represented by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training), the departments of education of the autonomous communities, local administrations, and educational centers.  The following demonstrates which stage of school a pupil will typically be at depending on their age: 3 years - 1º Infant school 4 years - 2º Infant school 5 years - 3º Infant school 6 years - 1º Primary school 7 years - 2º Primary school 8 years - 3º Primary school 9 years - 4º Primary school 10 years - 5º Primary school 11 years - 6º Primary school 12 years - 1º Secondary school 13 years - 2º Secondary school 14 years - 3º Secondary school 15 years -4º Secondary school 16 years - 1º Bachelor's Degree 17 years- 2º Bachelor's Degree

Pre-school and Infants

Infant education (IS) serves children from birth to age six. This schooling stage is voluntary and aims to contribute to children's physical, social, and intellectual development. Infant schooling s divided into two cycles: the first for children between 0 and 3 years old; and the second for children between the ages of 3 and 6. Only the second cycle is guaranteed free by law.

Basic Education

Basic Education in Spain is compulsory and free for all pupils. However, educational materials and textbooks are usually not free. Spanish schooling encompasses 10 academic courses that, in principle, 7 correspond to the ages of 6 to 16 years; these courses are distributed in the two sections of Primary Education and Compulsory Secondary Education.

Primary Education 

Primary Education (EP) is an educational stage comprising six academic courses, which are standard between six and twelve.  Students can stay one on for one more course at this stage in exceptional circumstances such as special educational needs, a disadvantaged population, or late incorporation into the Spanish education system. These studies take place at a Center for Child and Primary Education, CEIP. This level of education aims to provide all children with a formal education that makes it possible for students to acquire apprenticeships or go on to further education.  The curriculum includes cultural basics, oral and written expression and understanding, mathematics, study practices, individual and cooperative projects, and promoting progressive autonomy to encourage a students' full development. This stage is organised into subjects and areas developed throughout the six academic courses, which are mandatory and inclusive. The curriculum areas of this educational level are structured into the following blocks: Subjects: Spanish Language and Literature, Mathematics, Nature Sciences, Social Sciences, and a First Foreign Language. Specific: Physical Education, Religion or Social and Civic Values, and Artistic Education. Free autonomic configuration: Cooficial Language and Literature (in the case of communities with two official languages), Second Foreign Language, or other subject matter that the school can choose. Methodology: The didactic methodology is oriented to the student's general development, integrating their different experiences and learnings. Teaching is personal in nature and adapts to each child's learning rhythms.

Secondary education

The Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) stage comprises four courses, typically followed between the ages of twelve and sixteen. In turn, this stage of schooling is divided into two cycles of three and one academic course each: First Cycle: 12–15 years (if not repeating a course) 1st ESO 2nd ESO 3rd ESO Second Cycle: 16 years (if not repeating a course) 4th ESO At the end of the ESO, students who have achieved the basic objectives of this school stage will obtain the title of Graduate in Compulsory Secondary Education (GESO). This qualification allows access to take a Bachelor's Degree, THE FP I, the mid-grade cycles of art and design, middle-grade sports education, or the potential to apply for work. Students who do not earn the ESO degree can take part in a professional qualification program, such as an apprenticeship.

Vocational training for employees

The Spanish Vocational Training System aims to improve worker skills and company productivity and meet labour market needs. Social security contributions fund vocational training along with the European Social Fund and the Spanish Public State Employment Service. Employees can claim 20 hours of free training annually. There is a broad range of vocational training courses in Spain that can be completed in various ways. Sessions may be in-house at the place of employment or an educational institution or online. Courses taken need to be related to the employees' company's enterprises. Education In Spain - Interesting Fact

High school - Bachelor's Degree

The Bachelor's Degree is optional and trains students to access higher education. The degree is a requirement for those who wish to attend university and students will study for a further two years after finishing mandatory education at the age of 16. It comprises two courses (1st and 2nd Bachelor's Degree). Students who successfully complete high school in any of their modalities will receive a Bachelor's degree. 


As well as the Bachelor's degree, access to university requires the passing of a single test, the University Entrance Exam, Pruebas de Acceso a la Universidad (PAU), commonly referred to as the Selectividad.  La Selectividad is divided into two parts: the "general" section, which is compulsory for everyone, and the "specific" segment, which consists of focus topics based on the pupils' academic interests. This part is optional.  La Selectividad scores out of 14 points. The student's average grade, plus the PAU score, is used to calculate students' overall grade average. Sixty percent of this overall score is composed based on the students' average grades in their bachelor degree studies, and 40% is based on their Selectividad performance.

Extra curriculum subjects

The lessons in this section are not integrated into the basic schooling levels that constitute the general curriculum. They have their own structure and levels, ranging from elementary classes to studies equivalent to a diploma or a bachelor's degree. The extra curriculum subjects are:

  • Art and Design
  • Conservation and Restoration of cultural assets
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Dramatic Art (Theatre)
  • Languages
  • Military Career

Sports lessons

Sports lessons are organized on the basis of sports modalities, and, where appropriate, their specialties, following the recognition granted by the Higher Sports Council.  Sports lessons are structured in two grades, middle grade, and higher grade. To enter the middle grade, students need the Graduate in Compulsory Secondary Education certificate. The Bachelor's degree and a Sports Technician degree are required to access the higher degree in the corresponding modality or specialty. Both grades are also available to those who pass an entry test in each grade. Sports lessons are organised into blocks and modules. Those who pass the sports lessons of the middle grade will receive the title of Sports Technician in the corresponding modality or sports specialty. Those who pass the sports lessons of the higher grade will receive the title of Superior Sports Technician in the related modality or sports specialty. The title of Superior Sports Technician allows access to approved university studies.

Education centres

Schools in Spain come in 3 categories:

  • State schools
  • Privately run schools funded by the state
  • Private schools

As a rough figure, around 68% of pupils in Spain attend a state school, 25% go to a State-funded private school, and 7% attend private school. Usually, primary education takes place in a colegio and ESO and the bachillerato in an instituto.  Basic and the Bachelor's Degree state education is free in Spain, but parents have to buy or partly pay for books and other materials. Grants, loans, and second-hand book sales are usually available for those who have problems finding the money for school materials.  School uniform is not always worn in state schools but is usually mandatory in private schools. There is a mostly consistent admissions process for state-funded schools throughout the country. The main admission procedure for pupils wishing to join a school in the autumn is carried out in the spring of the same year.

Catchment Areas

In Spain, the state school (primary or secondary) a child will attend depends on the school's distance from their own home. A list of schools and their catchment areas is available at town halls and provincial Ministry of Education departments. If you live in a rural area, you may have only one option, while those living in cities such as Valencia have several possibilities. To obtain a school place, a family must register in the town hall Padrón then visit the Education Department at the town hall. A school registration application and a medical certificate are issued. The medical report must be completed by a doctor, include the child's complete medical history, and confirm that vaccinations are up to date. When filling out a school registration form, it may be possible for a parent to select if they prefer the child is taught in Spanish or the local language, such as Catalan or Galician. Parents can also choose if a child should be taught religion. Catholicism is standardly taught in state schools, but some schools teach other religions in ethics classes. While you can state your school preference, The Education Department at the town hall will finally decide which school a child will attend.  

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