ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW – Schools and Education

State Education:


State run education is available to non – Spanish nationals. It is generally considered to be of a high standard with all studies leading to the Bachillerato (equivalent to A level studies), necessary for university entry.

1. It is free but the cost of school books is not included.

2. Travel to school can also be free, by means of a school bus, if a distance of 4 km or more has to be travelled .

3. Those pupils entitled to free travel will also be entitled to subsidised school meals as they are unable to return home for lunch.

4. The school day is generally a morning session between 9 am to 1pm and an afternoon session between 3pm and 5pm.

5. For the months of June and September there normally is one single session between 9 am to 1.30pm. July and August are holiday months.

6. The hours of attendance for senior school (for 12 to 16 year olds) normally one continous session starts at 8.30am and ends at 3.00pm.


How to obtain state education:-

In order to obtain state education details of the pupil and their parents (if also resident in Spain) need to be entered on the “Padron” ( similar to the Electoral roll in the UK) at the local Town Hall and a certificate obtained confirming that registration has been made . In order to be enterered on the Padron the applicant will require a NIE number ( “Numero de identidad de Extranjer” -Foreign Identity number.Information is set out below as to how to obtain a NIE number


How to register on the Padrón:

Visit the local Town Hall. Have with you your passport; a utility bill; a copy of the “escritura” (title deeds), if you own your own property in Spain, or a copy of the letting agreement if you are renting and your NIE number (Numero de identidad de Extranjero).

You will be given a certificate showing your property details as well as the names of all those who reside there. This is a quick process and normally the certificate is handed to you on your first visit.

Obtaining the NIE number:


These are issued by the National Police and can be obtained by attending a local National Police Station and requesting an “EX18 NIE” form and “RESIDENCIA” application form. For non -Spanish speaking applicants it is advisable to be accompanied by someone who does. Alternatively you can collect an application form to take away for completion.


You will need to take with you your passport, together with a photo copy of it, and two passport size coloured photographs.


An application must provide a Spanish address. This is required for communication purposes. If you do not have a Spanish residence this can be another persons address but they will have to accept responsibility to notify you of any communications received.


Upon submitting your completed forms you will be issued with a Form 790 which you will need to take to your bank so that the police administration fee can be paid by them on your behalf. Your bank will issue a receipt confirming that the fee has been paid which you will need to give to the police when you collect your NIE and Residencia certificates.


This identification number is used to track the individual’s financial and official activities in Spain. Spanish citizens have a NIF number (Fiscal Identification Number / Número de Identificación Fiscal) which is their DNI (National Identity Document/ Documento Nacional de Identitidad) followed by a letter. The NIE number always starts with “X” and is followed by seven numbers and a letter. The number is personal to an individual; it is not transferable and it does not expire.


Notification needs to be made when there is a change of address.



Private education:

There are many private education schools and colleges which will accept pupils who are not Spanish.