Spanish Educational System


The Spanish educational system is mandatory from 6 to 16 years old. Once the compulsory schooling is over, the student will choose between taking a baccalaureate (to later enter the university) or to attend professional training. There are three types of schools / institutes, the public ones, the concerted ones (partly financed by the State, in the obligatory grades) and the totally private ones. The course usually begins in mid-September and ends at the end of June, there are Christmas and Easter holidays, and some days that vary according to the school and the region. The schedule is usually from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. although it depends on the school, the private students usually have afternoon hours ending the classes around 5:00 p.m. We will delve into the stages that are of interest to our students:

Compulsory Secondary Education

The stage of Compulsory Secondary Education normally goes from 12 to 16 years, consists of four courses and is organized into two cycles: The first cycle consists of three school years (1st, 2nd and 3rd of ESO). The second cycle consists of one (4th of ESO). When finishing 4th of ESO, you get the title of Graduate in Compulsory Secondary Education, which allows you to access either a Baccalaureate or a Vocational Training.

High School

The baccalaureate, normally between the ages of 16 and 18, is organized in two 1st and 2nd year baccalaureate courses and can be done in three different modalities: science, humanities or arts. The bachelor’s degree allows students to take the entrance exam to the University (PAU) and / or to access the Higher Level Training Cycles. In the baccalaureate a series of compulsory subjects will be taken for all, other electives and others that are characteristic of the chosen modality.

Vocational training

It normally takes place from the age of 16 and is structured in two cycles:

  • Middle Grade Training Cycles – the Technician Title is obtained
  • Higher Degree Training Cycles – the Higher Technician Degree is obtained

The vocational training courses include a practical training phase in work centers. The qualification obtained with the Higher Technician in the corresponding profession is a comparable certification in the European labor market.

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