Whether the decision is made, or you still are weighing up the options, if you have kids the chances are that schooling is high on your list of priorities when considering a move to Tenerife. There are many different options, but there are several types of school to think about before you refine your search. The first decision to make is whether to place your child in the Spanish System, or take the British Private Schooling option. This article will be dedicated to Spanish Schools, but there is a separate post on the British Schools in Tenerife.
First, we have Spanish State Schools. These schools are free to attend, as long as you can provide evidence of residency in the local area, and you complete the necessary forms. Normally in spanish state school, parents are expected to provide materials such as books and stationary at their cost, and the school provides a list of required items which you order at your nearest stationary/book store. In Spanish state school, children usually are not required to wear uniform.
The next kind of Spanish schools are the Spanish Private Schools. Sometimes they are partially state funded or sponsored by religious orders, but in all cases there will be a cost involved (from around €150-€450 per month), and usually there will be a school uniform to adhere to. These schools tend to have higher levels of achievement than their state equivalent, and often have access to better facilities.
In either case the education system will be divided into phases, with care often being provided for very young children, and even babies. The divisions start with a Jardin de Infancia (Nursery) for the under threes, and Educacion Infantil for children 3-6 years old, both of which are optional. The next phase of schooling is Educacion Primaria and is for children aged 6 to 11 and is compulsory. School hours tend to be from 8.30AM until around 1 or 2PM, at which point some schools, but not all, may provide lunches. After Educacion Primaria, children move into Educacion Secundaria Obligatoria (ESO), which is for children aged 12 to 16 and is also compulsory. The school day is only slightly longer than Primaria, but may offer more extra-curricular activities. On successful completion of this phase a Certificate of Secondary Education will be awarded and the children will have the option to proceed to further education or leave school.
Further Education takes the form of a Bachillerato, a less subject-specific system than A Levels, with the student choosing between five areas of study including Arts, Nature and Health Sciences, Science and Engineering and Social Sciences. Completion of the Bachillareto is essential for students wishing to go on to University or other advanced studies.
To find out which school your child could attend it is necessary to contact the ayuntamiento (town hall) for the area where you live and they will provide all necessary information.
The state funded or private schools are usually in great demand and therefore there are often waiting lists for places, so it is advisable to apply as far ahead as possible.
Private schools following the Spanish Education System in Tenerife include: Colegio Costa Adeje in El Madronal, Adeje (More about the el Madronal area here) and Luther King School in Aldea Blanca.
Next post: British private schools in Tenerife…