Education System in Spain

Have you just moved with your kids and are trying to figure out how the education system in Spain works? LAE Kids will give you a short rundown of the things you need to know!

Education in Spain is mandatory and free from the age 6 until 16, though families have to pay for the materials and books used throughout the year. From 16 to 18 it is also for free; however, these two years are optional. When it comes to university, students must pay for it, but the government finances part of the tuition.

That Education system in SpainPre-school education

This stage goes from 0 to 6 and is meant to develop social, communication, physical and intellectual skills. It is divided in two parts:

  • From 0 to 3 years old
  • From 3 to 6 years old.

As mentioned previously, this cycle is optional but it is definitely recommended, since early schooling brings benefits to children such as a better performance in upcoming courses and affective relationships, among others.

Primary Education

It starts at the age of 6 and it goes on until 12. It is divided into 6 courses and its main objectives are:

  • Improve oral expression and comprehension.
  • Boost reading, writing and Math skills.
  • Help children acquire basic cultural knowledge.
  • Encourage creativity.
  • Develop studying habits.

All subjects are taught by the same teacher, except for music, physical education and languages, which are in charge of specialists in those areas.

Secondary Education

It usually goes from the age of 12 to 16 and it is quite a big deal, since generally students have to start this cycle in a new school and the level of exigency is way higher. The main objectives during this cycle are:

  • Get students to acquire basic scientific, technological, artistic and humanistic skills.
  • Consolidate studying habits.
  • Prepare students for subsequent studies and work life.

Once students finish this cycle they get the “ESO” (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria) certificate. With this, they finish mandatory schooling.


It is divided into two courses and students generally are between 16 and 18 when they go through them. This cycle focuses on Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Arts and it is meant to prepare students to enter higher studies or university.

Formación Profesional (Professional Training)

These courses last two years and they can be done either on-site or online. Their main objective is to provide students both with theoretical and practical skills to develop a career. There are three types of courses:

FP básica

Addressed to those students who didn’t finish ESO.

Ciclo de grado medio

It provides students with a “technician” certificate.

Ciclo de grado superior

It provides students with a “superior technician” certificate and it also allows graduates to access university.

This Education system in SpainUniversity

This is completely optional and the duration depends on the specific degree chosen. It can go from 3 years up to 6.

Once students graduate, they receive a certificate that opens lots of doors when it comes to looking for a job.

Do you have any questions regarding the Spanish educational system? Don’t hesitate to contact us if that is the case! Follow us on Facebook or send us an email. We will be happy to help!

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