Costa del Sol Schools Guide 2019

If you’re thinking of moving to Spain with your young family, then you’re probably wondering about the quality of the schools and how the education system works. Moving schools can be a difficult transition for children and parents alike, whether you’re moving from one local school to another, or moving from one country to another. But Spain is a country with high educational standards, and there are plenty of great schooling options in the Costa Del Sol. It could well be the best choice you make for your kids!


To help you decide, here’s everything you need to know about schools and education in the Costa del Sol:

The Stages of Education in Spain

Nursery Education

The ages at which children will transition from one school level to another vary slightly in Spain, when compared to the UK. Based upon the Ley Orgánica de Educación or Fundamental Law of Education, education in Spain is compulsory for all children and young people who are resident in the country between the ages of 6 to 16 years. In the UK children start their compulsory education between the ages of 4 and 5. However, between the ages of 0-6 many children will receive an optional nursery education; this is viewed as a great opportunity to integrate your children into Spanish society, encourage them to socialise with their peers, and give them an introductory insight into how formal the education system works.

Primary Education

At six years old your child will transition to primary school, where they will remain until they are 12 years old (in the UK children attend primary school from 4/5 years old until they are 11). Primary education tends to be academically focused, whilst still having a good level of pastoral care, and children are expected to take exams each year to ensure that they are reaching the required educational standards and keeping up with their peers.

Children in public schools in Spain are given the extra motivator that if they fail their end of year exams in either primary of secondary education, they may well have to repeat the whole year again.

Lower Secondary Education

The type of secondary education your child will receive will depend on whether you choose to send them to an international school or a local Spanish-speaking public school. In an International School your child will follow a similar education system to that in the UK, working towards GCSE or iGSCE exams at the end of their school career. If they attend a Spanish public school then they will work towards achieve the Spanish standard, which is a Certificate of Education. Basic vocational training is also offered in all lower secondary schools in Spain.

Note: Just like in any country, standards in Spanish public schools can vary wildly from area to area. If you have a specific school in mind then speak to our property experts to ensure that the home you choose is in the right catchment area. 

Non-Compulsory Education

From the age of 16, just as in the UK, attending school is no longer compulsory. However, it is essential if you would like to achieve your a-levels or the equivalent Spanish qualifications required to enter a university either at home or overseas.

Local Versus International Schools

Many parents struggle to decide whether to send their children to a local or an international school. To help you to make the decision, here are some of the things you should consider:

  •  The first thing to note is that, just like in the UK, education managed by the local authority in Spain is free. However, if you choose to send your child to an international school you will need to pay a termly fee. The financial implications of this decision is a huge concern for many parents.
  • Does your child speak Spanish? Most state schools will offer the Spanish curriculum in Spanish,  which can be difficult to adapt to if your child doesn’t currently speak the language. Of course,  this will be less of a concern the younger your child is: entering nursery school without being able to communicate with your peers will be much less daunting than entering secondary school. Younger children also find it easier to adapt and learn new languages.
  • Do you want your child to mix with local children? If learning more about the Spanish culture and integrating with their new local community is important to you, then  you will find this happens much faster and more organically if you send your child to the local school.
  • Finally, what qualifications would you like your child to gain? If you plan to relocate back to the UK at any point, or would like them to attend university in the UK, then easily transferable qualifications should be a primary concern.


Choosing the Right School

Here is a comprehensive list of some of the best schools in the Costa del Sol, to help you make the right decision for your children, and for your familiy:





Peter Pan Nursery

C/ El Olivar 5, Arroyo de la Miel (Benalmádena). Tel: (+34) 952 562 103.
Also now at MARBELLA; C/Los Naranjos s/n, Urb. Linda Vista, San Pedro de Alcántara, 29670 Marbella.
(+34) 952 782 051
Bilingual education: 0 - 3 years. Also offering after school activities club, excursions and baby-sitting service.



Costa Kinder Care

(Next to the Buddhist Stupa), Benalmádena Pueblo. Tel: (+34) 952 448 007
Bilingual education: 0 - 6 years. Also offering after school activities/homework club and language classes for adults.



St. Javier's International School, Marbella

Tel: (+34) 952 823 457
Email: [email protected]
Bilingual education: 1 - 7 years. Optional after school classes and night time babysitting service.





The International School Estepona

Centro Commercial La Zarza Camino de Cortes, Urbanisation El Paraíso, Estepona.
Tel: (+34) 952 884 789
Bilingual: 2-12 years



Swans International School (Primary)

Capricho s/n, 29600 Marbella, Malaga

E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 952 773 248
Fax: 952 776 431

Swans School, founded in 1971, teaches children from ages 3-12. 300 pupils. Two classes in each year. English National Curriculum plus full Spanish Primary course in language and humanities. From Year 4 (age 8-9) all pupils they also study French. French, Arabic and German languages are also available extra-curriculum.



Calpe School

C/. Los Eucaliptos 60, Urb. Linda Vista Baja, San Pedro de Alcántara

Tel: (+34) 952 786 029

Bilingual: 3 - 9 years.

Saint George's School

Urb. Cortijo Blanco s/n, 29670, San Pedro de Alcántara.
Tel: (+34) 952 786 606. 2 - 8 years.




Aloha College

Urbanizacion el Angel, Nueva Andalucia, 29660, Marbella, Málaga, Spain

E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 952 814 133
Fax:(+34) 95 281 2729

Ages 3-18, co-ed day school. IGCSEs at age 16. 16-18 year olds do the IB diploma only. Founded in 1982. On the outskirts of Marbella. Known for its academic and sporting achievements. Generally considered by parents as one of the top schools on the coast. By far the largest of the schools listed - around 1000 students. Has recently dropped some of its emphasis on sport to concentrate on bringing academic results back up to expectations. Pupils go on to leading universities in the UK and Continent. Many nationalities.

Benalmadena International College

C/Catamaran s/n, Nueva Torrequebrada,
Benalmadena Costa

E-mail: [email protected]
Tel/Fax: 952 561 666

Ages 3-18, co-ed day school. British school, mostly attended by British pupils. Founded 1997. English Curriculum education with IGCSEs, AS and A Levels. For those not wanting to do A levels, the school has recently introduced vocational courses.

Laude San Pedro International College

Urbanizacion Nueva Alcantara, Avenida Coruña 2, San Pedro de Alcantara, 29670 Malaga.

E-mail: [email protected]
Principal: Gillian Falxman
Tel: 952 799 900
Fax: 952 799 055

Member: Colegios Laude Formerly King’s College, Marbella, and then International College San Pedro. Pupils aged 2-18, co-ed day school. Two form entry school. Pupils follow the English National Curriculum. IGCSEs at age 16. AS and A levels at 16-18.

Mayfair Academy

Avenida de las Golondrinas, Atalaya Park, Estepona 29680, Malaga

E-mail: [email protected]
Tel:952 784 923
Fax: 952 789381

Midway between Marbella and Estepona. Pupils aged 4-18, co-ed day school. Offers I.G.C.S.E. and A Levels. It also has an alternative Sports, Skills, Study & Career (SSS) Technology Curriculum available from age 15 (Year 10 through 13). which is unique to the Costa del Sol. The SSS includes 7 GCSEs and 1 A Level. This gives an alternative university entrance route with two NVQs and a Community Sports Leaders Award, or a full gym instructor/personal trainer qualification.

St Anthony's College

Postal Address: Apartado 119, Fuengirola 29640 Physical Address: Camino de Coin Km. 5.25, Mijas Costa 29649, Malaga

E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 952 473 166
Fax: 952 462 021


Ages 3-18, co-ed day school; an officially recognised bilingual school offering an English curriculum with GCSEs at 16 and a wide range of A Levels at 18. Established in 1968. It also offers Spanish EGB, BUP and COU. Spanish Section gives lessons in Spanish Language and Culture. Enables the validation of British studies by the Spanish Ministry of Education, leading to Graduado en Educación Secundaria (GCSE equivalent) and Título de Bachiller Español (GCE equivalent). 

St George’s British School of Malaga

Avda Centaurea, nº 8 (Urb.Cerrado de Calderón), 29018 Malaga

E-mail: [email protected] Tel: 952 290 149, 952 204810
Fax: 952 200 903


Situated just east of Malaga. Co-ed day school. Ages 3-18. English National Curriculum. IGCSE from ages 14-16, A Levels from 16-18. Also, Also, a number of Spanish language courses help with preparation for Universities in Spain.

Sotogrande International School

Postal Address: Apartado 15, 11310 Sotogrande, Provincia de Cadiz, Spain Physical Address: Avenida de La Reserva (CA 533 - Km 3) 11310 Sotogrande, San Roque, Cadiz, Spain

Tel: 956 795 902 Fax:956 794 816
Email: [email protected]
Web site:
Member:, ECIS

Near to Gibraltar, this is the southernmost international school on the Costa del Sol. Situated in a particularly wealthy area. Founded in 1978. Co-ed day (ages 3-18 years) and boarding (ages 11-18). It is the only international boarding school in Southern Spain).

Students obtain good IB examination results, and do well in inter-school sports competitions. The school is highly regarded and offers PYP, MYP and IB Diploma and certificates.

Sunland International School

Ctra. Cartama-Pizarra, Nueva Aljaima, 29580 Cartama Estacion, Malaga

E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 952 424 253
Fax: 952 424 410 Member of ECIS; accredited by CIS.

Situated around 20km inland from Malaga. Lovely, spacious rural setting, this growing 300 pupil school gives a particularly friendly welcome. Mostly used by inland families, though there are school bus services from Malaga and from Benalmadena-Torremolinos. Spanish owned, Currently ages 3-17, with up to age 18. Co-ed day. Pupils are mostly British. English curriculum, (SATS ages 11 and 14, and IGCSEs). Also, Spanish language and studies (eg.Conocimiento del Medio) are important. In May 2008, the growing secondary school saw its first IGCSE exam sittings, and began its first A Level course in September 2008.

Sunny View School

Apartado 175, 29620 Torremolinos, Malaga, Spain C/Teruel 32, Urb. Cerro del Toril, Torremolinos

Web: #
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 952 383 164
Fax: 952 37 26 95


Founded 1971. In the hills above Torremolinos. Over 450 pupils. Co-ed day school. Ages 3-18. Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Schools. Complete English National Curriculum education, including GCSE from ages 14-16, A Levels from 16-18.

Swans Sierra Blanca

(Secondary School) C/Lago de Cisnes, Urb. Sierra Blanca, 29602 Marbella, Malaga

Email: [email protected]
Tel: 952 902 755
Fax: 952 900 914

Swans Secondary school has been growing incrementally since 2003. Co-ed day ages 11-18. It offers IGCSE, and since Sept 2008 provides the full IB diploma to Sixth Form students. It offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities.

The British College Benalmadena

Urb. Torremuelle, C/Guadalmedina 3-5-7 29630 Benalmadena Costa

E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 952 442 215
Fax: 952 56 22 72


Ages 5-18. Co-ed day school. A 5 minute walk from Torremuelle train station on the Fuengirola - Malaga line, which is much used by the older pupils. In addition to its British and other European pupils, it is well represented by Spanish pupils, who are given intensive English language tuition. English National Curriculum. Students do IGCSEs for ages 14-16, A/S Levels at 17, and A Levels at 18. A bilingual school for all ages. Spanish Language and Literature, and Spanish History and Geography, are taught in the Secondary school. It has a Psychology department staffed by three psychologists where the staff are used within the school.

The English International College

Urb Ricmar, Crtr. De Cadiz, Málaga Km 189, 29600, Marbella, Provincia de Malaga.

Tel:952 831 058
Fax:952 838 992
Email: [email protected]

Founded 1982. At Las Chapas, close to Marbella. Around 500 boys and girls aged 3-18 years. Most students are British, with around 1 in 5 who have English as a second or third language
A very popular school on the coast, because of its focus on providing a traditional English National Curriculum education, and its high academic and sporting standards. Reassuring to parents who are yet to become familiar with the IB programme. It provides SATS tests for ages 7, 11, and 14, IGCSEs and A Levels. Has a large Spanish language department, also covering the Spanish national exam systems. It assesses pupils before entrance. Most pupils go on to good, mostly British, universities.

The International School Estepona (Primary School)

Centro Commercial La Zarza Camino De Cortes, Urb. El Paraiso, Estepona 29688, Malaga
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 952 884 789 Fax: 952 886 926

Benavista, Estepona, near Marbella. Primary School Only. Ages 2 to 12 years. Co-ed day school. Bi-lingual (English & Spanish). Small Classes. English National Curriculum. Montessori for ages 2-5. Includes an all weather sports court, landscaped gardens, school vegetable garden. Air-conditioned and heated classrooms, child sized toilets, rounded walls, a state of the art computer suite with digital smart boards, sports grounds and a soft play area for the younger children.



The Marbella Design Academy

All tuition is in English, with courses including Interior architecture, furniture design and graphic design. Camino Hoyanca, 29110 Monda..
Tel: (+34) 952 459 677/609 594 885

The Tutorial Learning Centre

Tuition in a variety of GCSE and A Level subjects.
N340/A7, Km. 197, Calahonda, Mijas Costa. Tel: (+34) 952 838 078

Málaga Business College Provides tuition for the University of London/LSE undergraduate degree in business and diploma for graduates in Management. Melior Building, C/ Palma del Río 19, 29004 Málaga.
Tel: (+34) 951 164 923




Escuela Finlandesa

C/. José Salik 4, Urb. Los Pacos, Fuengirola.
Tel: (+34) 952 476 193


German College

(Colegio Alemán Juan Hoffman) Urb. Elviria, La Mairena, Plaza de Alemania s/n, Marbella,
Tel: (+34) 952 831 417


Norwegian School

(Colegio Noruego/Den Norske skolen Costa del Sol) Avenida Cerro Del Viento s/n, Arroyo De La Miel, Benalmadena.
Tel: 952 577 380


Swedish School

(Colegio Sueco/ Svenska Skolan) Avda. Acapulco 11, Fuengirola.
Tel: 952 475 076



Thinking of moving to the Costa Del Sol? No matter how big you’re family, we can help you find the perfect family home for your clan. From luxury villas to properties on the beach, our property experts have all the knowledge and skill needed to turn your Spanish dream into a reality. We have properties in Coin for sale, as well as various other locations on the Costa Del Sol!