Вarcelona offers several private British schools that are included on the lists of the best schools in Spain. The demand for a British education is very high; thus, in 2015 two new schools were opened in the area.
The teaching in these schools is conducted in English, while Spanish is the first foreign language. In some provinces, where another official language may be in use, the regional language is also a mandatory school subject. However, foreign students are usually exempt from studying the additional language at least during their first years in school. At the English schools in Barcelona, one also studies other foreign languages, mainly German and French. The graduates of these schools are therefore fluent in at least three languages.
In this article, we will discuss the particularities of the admission process, accommodation options, and the cost of studying at the British schools in Barcelona.
Below, one can find a list of British schools in Barcelona.
How to gain admission to a British school in Barcelona.
The older a child is, the more difficult it becomes to gain admittance into a British school in Barcelona. The studying process in these schools is based on a system with five important stages: primary school (5-7 years), junior school (7-11 years), secondary school with IGCSE certificate (14-16 years), and senior school with A-level certificate (16-18 years). In the British program, these stages are classified as Key Stage 1-5 (A-level). Many British schools accept children who are 3 years old or younger. This stage is called nursery school.
When admitting children younger than five years, no tests are required. Some schools simply ask the parents to bring the child to the school in order to get acquainted. There are schools that enroll a child based on the parents' application only, even without a child's presence. The only condition is a vacant spot at the time of admission.
Starting with junior school, entrance exams are introduced, the difficulty of which depends upon a student's age. For students of junior classes, it might be a simple interview with a teacher or the school head, while students of senior classes might need to pass successfully the following entrance exams: English, Math, Physics, and sometimes Chemistry and Biology. The list of the entrance exams is defined by each school separately. Some schools allow an interview by Skype or the opportunity to take the entrance exams online, although it is best to consult the school itself to determine whether it allows these options.
The most challenging task is gaining acceptance into the senior level program. The last four years of study in the British schools are presented as two-year long blocks. It is almost impossible to enter the program in the middle of the block because an absolute correspondence of the subjects and the program of the previous school, equivalent to the new school, is required. It might be possible if a child transfers from one British school to another British school. However, even in this case, it is not an absolute rule, since the list of subjects required might vary. Remember that it is highly recommended for you to start the procedure of applying to a British school in advance. Starting in March, schools begin the admission procedure for new students. If you contact the school at the end of May, it is quite probable that there will no longer be vacant spots. Many programs also have waiting lists. British schools in Barcelona organize “welcome days,” or informative visits, for interested parents. By pre-appointment, one also may take an individual tour of a school.
The cost of studying at British schools in Barcelona
British schools are among the most expensive private schools in Barcelona. In spite of this, the studying cost is much lower than that in England, and the quality is practically the same. When applying for admission, one pays the registration fee that constitutes around €3,000. The cost of the education itself is approximately €10,000 per year, but the total cost may vary. If a child lives near his or her school, he or she can have lunch at home and does not need to use a bus. These features will allow parents to save money on food and school transportation, since these things, as well as uniforms, textbooks, and extra-curricular activities, are usually not included in the studying costs and must be paid for separately.
Can the students live on-campus at the schools?
Unfortunately, British schools in Barcelona do not have accommodation facilities for children to live on campus. In general, Spain has very few boarding schools, although many children live with teachers’ families or in the houses of other students who study in the same schools.
Some schools do have agreements with residence houses where students can live. Should you be interested in this option, you must inquire about the child's eligibility for this type of accommodation on an individual basis. However, one should bear in mind that the majority of British schools in Barcelona do not provide this dwelling option. If you are searching exclusively for the type of school with this boarding option, you should consider one of the British schools in Madrid or Valencia or the international schools in Barcelona. Many of these schools offer the option of school-based living or living with a local family.