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How does high school work in Spain

Spain’s high school starts at 14 and ends at the age of 18.

  • 3º ESO – 14 to 15 years of age (9th Grade in US, Year 10 in UK)
  • 4ª ESO – 15 to 16 years of age (10th Grade in US, Year 11 in UK)
  • 1º Bachillerato – 16 to 17 years of age (11th Grade in US, Year 12 in UK)
  • 2º Bachillerato – 17 to 18 years of age (12th Grade in US, Year 13 in UK)

Spain has privately-owned and state schools. Some of the private schools are funded by the state (concertados).

  • The system includes levels of education adapted to suit students with special needs
  • All students receive basic vocational training in secondary education
  • Religious instruction is available but optional
  • Special systems exist for artistic education and language learning

The Spanish law determines that education authorities must promote the integration of foreign pupils and develop specific programmes in schools for those that don’t speak fluently the language. «Bridge» classes provide facilities for students to study Spanish before joining an ordinary class.

The daily timetable can vary but generally, most children go to secondary schools from 9am to 5pm. The ethos is now more geared towards project work and continuous assessment than the old-style fact learning.

Compulsory education ends at the end of ESO. At 16, students can choose to study for the bachillerato, undertake intermediate vocational training which will be focused towards a specific job, or leave education completely. At 16, those students who wish to continue their education will study for a further two years to earn the Bachillerato certificate – it’s roughly equivalent to the ‘A’ Levels in the UK.

At Euroace we take care of all and organize various options of academic programs for high school students – if you want to receive more details please get in touch with us at contact@localhost or call +34 963 155 702


  • Osasere
    8 de febrero de 2023

    Please in 18 how can I apply for school in Valencia Spain. I’m new to Spain

  • kiwi
    14 de mayo de 2024

    It actually ends at the age of 16. When you finish 4 ESO, you can decide if you want to continue or not 🙂

    • euroace
      26 de mayo de 2024

      Ah really! Good to know!


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