Children can enter into school this academic year if they are three before the end of 2014 and the recommendation is to put children in at this stage if you want them to go into the state system, as after this age places are fewer and further between and so getting into the school of your choice could be difficult.
No matter what stage of education you’re at, this is the time to enter for the next academic year and there are descriptions, help and advice on the Junta de Andalucia Website.
You can search online for the schools in your area, or visit your local education office to ask your questions in person. Once you know the schools in your catchment area, ask around, post on forums and generally ask for advice on the best schools available as there don’t seem to be league tables where you can rate the school easily.
Once you know which school you want to apply to, fill in the application form which can be found online (different forms depending on the age of entry) and present it before 31st March at the chosen school to register for your place.
You need a “certificado de empadronamiento” from the town hall to prove where you live and documents which show your earnings and the hours you work such as your self-employment certificate or employment contract. You will also need copies of your identity documents such as your NIE certificates, Libro de familia and passports. It is recommended to go into your nearest centre for education to make sure you fully understand all the paperwork you need as it can get a bit complicated, especially if you don’t speak the language so well.
You apply for extras such as lunch and after school activity during the registration process when you have been allocated a school. This is at the beginning of June.
If this all seems a little daunting, there are professionals who can act as translator and advisor and guide you through the process and help avoid misunderstandings.
Alternatively there are many International schools on the Costa del Sol which are private and so have easier and more flexible entry requirements and all speak English and therefore make the process easier for you. There are schools teaching the English curriculum and also the International Baccalaureate which can be a good option if you’re not sure where you will be going next as it’s an easily transportable qualification for maximum flexibility. There’s a talk on the IB at Sotogrande International School on March 5th to explain how it works for younger children in the primary phase of education.
For more information on relocating and renting long term on the Costa del Sol please visit our website.