It’s important when choosing a school in Spain to find a good fit. In the public system, there are very few reasons they will allow you to change school mid-year. And unless you plan on moving a couple of times to find a good fit for your kids, it’s best to do your research, go on tours, and talk to other parents in your area.
Other than knowing your child’s need regarding pace, curriculum, structure, special accommodations, and language acquisition needs you’ll need to think about extracurricular opportunities, class size, diversity, and inclusion as well as cost (books, lunch, and extracurricular activities are not free).
To help you jump start your search here are some of the best bilingual schools in the Community of Madrid:
CEIP Isaac Albeniz (Metro: Pio XII), has small classes for only infantil and primaria (12-18 students for primaria). With a newly renovated patio, ample activities (lunch and after-school) and a positively disproportionate number of language assistants. Though it’s a rather upscale neighborhood, students don’t live in the area, making it more culturally and socio-economically diverse, and they still maintain an active AMPA (Asociaciones de Madres y Padres de Alumnos, PTA).
Concertado (state-funded private),
essentially private schools that receive public funding.
Gredos San Diego is a concertado school system that has eight campuses throughout Madrid. Serving ages 1-18 and offering the opportunity to receive a dual diploma at the completion of Bachillerato. With numerous lunchtime, after school and summer activities as well as school day excursions, GSD allows students to explore their world and pursue their interest.
With 2 of its locations in the community of Madrid, SEK International is one of the most prestigious school systems in the country (#13 in El Mundo). SEK has day school and boarding options, both at a pretty penny. They do offer scholarships, but they are largely for students at the Bachillerato level.
Real Colegio Alfonso XII Padres Agustinos situated in the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, falls under the Federación Agustiniana Española (Catholic school). Though not as expensive as other schools the prestige of going to school in a palace with an opportunity to board can be called nothing but luxury.
Remember that enrollment in your closest school isn’t a guarantee, even in Madrid. Enrollment in public schools starts in February and is dictated by a points system. While concertados and private schools you must contact directly. So whether you choose public or private, low-cost or luxury, there are good schools to be found all over the community of Madrid.
Diane, a Philadelphia native, entrepreneur and busy mother of 2 currently living on the outskirts of Madrid. Between baking cookies and doing business consultations she loves spending time with her family intentionally getting lost and table-top gaming.