Making the right choice

How to choose a private school

To help you choose an appropriate private school for your child(ren), you should ask the following questions:

It’s advisable to check whether a school is recognised by the Spanish education authorities and whether it belongs to an accredited organisation. Most British schools in Spain belong to the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS, ), whose members are visited and approved by British school inspectors. Advice about British schools in Spain can be obtained from the British Council, Paseo Martínez Campos, 31, 28010 Madrid (913-373 500, ) or from the European Council of International Schools/ECIS (UK 01730-268244, ). Information is also obtainable from embassies in Spain.

Before making a final choice, it’s important to visit the schools on your shortlist during term time and talk to teachers and pupils (if possible, also speak to former pupils and their parents). Where possible, check the answers to the above questions in person and don’t rely on a school’s prospectus or director to provide the information. If you’re unhappy with the answers, look elsewhere.

Finally, having made your choice, monitor your child’s progress and listen to his complaints. Compare notes with other parents. If something doesn’t seem right, try to establish whether the complaint is founded or not; if it is, take action to have the problem resolved. Never forget that you (or your employers) are paying a lot of money for your child’s education and you should ensure that you receive good value.

This article is an extract from Living and Working in Spain.
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