Home schooling has grown massively in popularity in many countries since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. There are many reasons that parents might choose to home school their children in Spain rather than send them to a public school: so that they can learn in their native language, stick to the same academic syllabus they were working to in their home country, or simply so that they can have the freedom to explore Spain without the restrictions of conventional school hours.
Homeschooling can be incredibly rewarding for both children and their parents. It helps to forge a long-term bond, allows both parents and children to have increased control over what they learn, and when they learn it, and allows considerable lifestyle flexibility.
But how do you home school in Spain? Is home schooling legal in Spain? And what are the rules surrounding home schooling in the country? Here’s everything you need to know:
Is Homeschooling Legal in Spain?
The first and most important question is, is homeschooling legal in Spain and therefore is it logistically possible?
Whilst current estimates from the European Network of Home Education suggest that there are between 2,000 and 4,000 families home educating their children in Spain, the practice is considered a legal grey area, as there are no specific legislations to regulate it.
The practice is regulated by local government in some areas, but not in all areas of Spain.
The Spanish Organic Law of Education Article 4 states that the basic education process comprises ten years of schooling and that they must be undertaken between 6 and 16 years of age. This doesn’t clearly state whether that schooling must take place in a school environment or whether home schooling is also permissible.
The Spanish Constitution Article 27 on the right to education states: "Everyone has the right to education. Freedom of teaching is recognised and education will aim to fully develop the human personality with respect to democratic principles of coexistence and fundamental rights and freedoms".
There are no other nationwide regulations regarding homeschooling with both supporters and detractors on both sides of the argument often feeling unsure of where they stand legally.
How Can I Homeschool in Spain?
Many families can and do choose to homeschool in Spain. To do so without falling foul of the law in Spain, or incurring any fines from your local educational authorities, you must approach your local educational authority and file a declaration of home education.
This declaration is very easy to complete. You simply share the:
- Name of the child(ren) being home educated
- Age of the child(ren) being home educated
- A detailed description of the curriculum that you will follow
The curriculum you follow should adhere to the same guidelines that conventional school curriculum is subject to. You should ensure that they follow age-appropriate reading or arithmetic schemes, for example.
For this reason, you should have your planning and curriculum in place before you apply to begin homeschooling with the local authority. This includes ensuring that your children have access to age-appropriate educational resources and study materials. These don’t have to be the same materials that Spanish school students use. You can teach in your native language and create your own curriculum.
What Resources Are Available For Home Schooling Parents?
There is no financial support available to parents that choose to homeschool in Spain. If you are homeschooling, then you are responsible for sourcing and funding all of your own resources and materials.
Although there is no financial support available, there are many associations and groups that support those choosing to homeschool, whilst also defending the practice amongst more sceptical Spanish authorities.
The Association for Free Education (ALE) is a space for families who choose to educate their children away from traditional schools. This is a vital resource for those who are homeschooling across Spain.
If you are based in Catalonia then there is a large and active homeschooling community, and therefore plenty of support available. The Catalan Coordinator for Recognition and Regulation of Homeschooling can help with the planning of curriculum for home schooling families. If you are schooling your children in a conventional way in Catalonia, then the Group of Families for a Safe Educational Choice (AFEES) is a good resource that can be very helpful. It’s a platform for families concerned about state schools, and looking for viable alternatives.
Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Whether you want to travel from spot to spot and enjoy everything is culturally diverse location has to offer, or you’re just looking for a beautiful new base to homeschool your young family, our locally based property experts can help. Why not get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you find the home of your dreams.