Homeschooling in Spain: A Short Guide

Homeschooling in Spain: A Short Guide. Image - Pixabay

Navigating the Spanish schooling system is no easy feat, especially if there’s a language barrier to contend with and if you are thinking of homeschooling.


Homeschooling, in particular, is a bit of a grey area in Spain. In the Spanish Constitution Freedom of Education is recognised, but on the other hand, there are no national regulations for homeschooling in place.
Homeschooling is very common in many countries such as the UK and the USA and families choose this for many cultural, religious and logistical reasons, however, this is not the case for Spain.
Spanish law states that all children between the ages of six and sixteen must obtain an education from an officially recognised education centre, starting from the calendar year that they turn six. Parents who do not follow this rule could face a fine from the Ministry for Education.
While this law affects the whole of Spain, it appears to only apply to permanent residents in Spain.
Homeschooling  It can be an attractive option for many expats as they help their children to transition into a new culture in Spain. In most homeschooling countries, there are large networks for parents to be part of to get advice and guidance for what to do, however, as there are only a small minority of homeschoolers in Spain, there are also fewer resources available.
As a result of the pandemic and for very different reasons, many families have decided to remove their sons and daughters from the school system in Spain, which has caused the administrations to react and, in some cases, more harshly towards families.
Homeschooling is permitted in certain cases if parents apply for special permission to homeschool their children. This is typically granted to children receiving education, such as high-level sports education, which makes it extremely difficult to attend school.
The biggest difficulty families face is leaving the school system, as there is no established path for this process. This situation can possibly lead to legal action against the family, which could result in a school attendance order. Still, there are families who don’t encounter such difficulties, and there is a small but active homeschooling community in different parts of the country.
Alternatively, you can arrange for ‘distance learning’ through a government approved institute, they offer courses for Primaria and Secundaria education online, you can sit the exams in Spain or abroad.
There are plenty of helpful resources available online to parents interested in homeschooling in Spain. Organisations such as the Free Education Association ‘Asociación por la libre educación’ (ALE) provide information on homeschooling children and understanding the laws surrounding it in Spain. Alternatively, seek advice from an English-speaking lawyer, local homeschooling communities, or the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Spain.


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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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