Education and Learning
Bringing children over to the island long term? Don't let education be a worry. There is a great education system here on Mallorca. There are choices naturally to be made and if you want your child to be immersed into the life in Mallorca, including the language then the state schools are a definite must. If on the other hand you are determined that your child should be educated in English then it will be a little more costly but also possible. Either option is good as the education system here is of an excellent standard.
Young children adapt especially well to the Mallorcian education. Schooling in Mallorca covers pre-school through to University. School is compulsory from the age of 6. However, the majority of parents send their children to pre-school or nursery.
State School: These are non-fee paying. Lessons are taught in Spanish and Catalan – with the emphasis being on Catalan in this day and age – a language close to Mallorca’s own. Whilst this may cause problems for older children, who may need some private schooling first to prepare them, the younger children adapt very quickly and soon will become fluent in both languages. There are usually English speaking children at most Spanish school who will help your child adapt.
State Aided Schools: These are small, fee paying schools with lessons usually taught in Spanish.
International Schools: There are a number of International schools which cater for the British, French, German and Scandinavian communities.
Fees are quite high but most of these schools have a very high quality of education and excellent reputations. The syllabus usually follows the UK timetable – up to G.C.S.E. and A/As levels. Statistics for university are on par with the U.K.
Some of these international schools only offer primary education, however, there are other schools which cater for all age groups from pre-school to secondary education. Within these international schools the children are normally educated by teachers from their home country. An additional benefit of these international schools is the variety of nationalities attending – enabling your child with different languages and more importantly, different cultures.
Before applying for a place in any school it is recommended that you get the following documents ready and start the application process as far in advance as possible as there are often waiting lists for entry.
- A letter from the town hall to prove residency in the catchment area.
- Birth certificate of the child.
- Up to date medical and vaccination certificates.
- Passports of both the parents and child.
- 3 passport photographs of the child.
- N.I.E. number of the parents.
- Exam results and school reports from previous school.
NB: Please take note, this is just a guide.You need to find out each individual school’s requirements. It is also advisable to take multiple photocopies of all documents to save time as well as being a back up for your own peace of mind should any documentation be mislaid.
If moving here to live please be prepared to perhaps learn new skills in order to make your life on this island much smoother and happier. One of the most important is of course the Spanish language. Of course this is not compulsory but it certainly makes life much easier if you can understand and converse with the Spanish, especially when needing to buy property, obtain licences etc. There are of course a variety of course and training available for adults that you can take advantage of.
Spanish Language: For people working in or moving to Mallorca learning Spanish is highly recommended. Although the local language is Mallorcan and the school system teaches mainly in Catalan, Castellano is widely spoken throughout the island – largely due to the fact that a lot of Spanish people working on the island are from mainland Spain.
There are various courses available either in language schools or privately, in groups or 1 on 1 tuition as well as the free courses are given by the local council, usually in the winter months.
Driving lessons: The driving test in Spain is similar to the UK, with both a written and practical exam. Driving instructors are available, mainly Spanish but there are English speaking instructors, although as far as we can ascertain, the written test can only be done in Spanish. However, I have noticed that recently there have been English driving schools now advertising so we can presume that there might just be the possibility to take the test in English.
Vocational Training: There is training available for many aspects of vocational training, with tutors fluent in several languages. Some of the tuition available includes: Computer and Software, Art, Dance and Music, Crafts and Cooking. There is also an excellent Bar School - where you can train to be a top class barman/barmaid.
For these courses and tutors check out the local town council, who have multi-lingual staff who can point you in the right direction, local media and the internet.
Learning to Sail: With 41 marinas, 30 Club Nauticos and over 10,000 yachts in Mallorca this is the perfect opportunity for both work and training. Many of the yacht and charter companies on the island provide training as well as sailing holidays, with Royal Yacht Association (RYA) qualifications available when you complete. This can cover basic training right up to receiving your RYA Yacht master.
Other Sports and Recreational Training: Whether you are looking to learn a new sport, or improve on your current favourite hobby, there are a number of qualified instructors throughout Mallorca, covering a number of interests including:
- Horse riding
- Water sports