Search for the best international schools in Spain; you can find a list of selected schools at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
The largest country in Southern Europe, Spain has long been a magnet for expatriates and its immigration rate has soared over recent decades. Some 2.5 million people arrived in the five years to 2007 alone, more than doubling the immigrant population.
As well as Latin Americans, Africans and Chinese, Spain has drawn in a large number of migrants from within the European Union and one of the largest overseas populations of British nationals in the world.
A large and vibrant private international school sector has developed across the country to cater for expatriates and demand for international education from Spaniards, with schools concentrated around Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante and Malaga.
The National Association of British Schools in Spain, which was founded in 1978, has 80 accredited member schools that teach in English across the country and are authorised by the Spanish Ministry of Education. The British Council runs its own school in Madrid.
More than 85 per cent of Spain’s 198 IB World Schools teach in Spanish. There are 130 schools offering IB programmes that teach in English, including many bilingual schools. The SEK International School Catalunya teaches in English, Spanish and Catalan.
A total of 174 schools are authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma, while 26 schools teach all three stages of the IB curriculum. The latter include the International School San Patricio Toledo, which offers boarding, and International College Spain, in Madrid, which is part of the global Nord Anglia Education group.
Several schools combine IB programmes with the national curriculums of other countries including the United States, Britain and Sweden, while ES American School in Barcelona provides an American-style education leading to a high school diploma and Advanced Placement exams.
Education is compulsory and free from age six to 16. In the state sector, children attend primary school up to age 11, followed by four years of statutory secondary schooling including a preparatory year leading to the two-year Spanish Baccalaureate or vocational training.
Most state schools teach in Spanish but some autonomous regions permit teaching in minority languages. Citizens of other European Union countries are entitled to free education in Spanish state schools. Free admission of British-born children after 2018 will depend on the outcome of negotiations over Britain’s exit from the European Union.
If you are looking specifically for International Baccalaureate World Schools in Spain, you can find selected schools on our sister website: www.ibyb.org.