Education in Gibraltar largely follows the British model with a few structural differences, and expats can choose from a small selection of state schools. There are also a couple of private schools and while there are no international schools in Gibraltar, many expats working in Gibraltar live over the border in Spain and send their children to nearby international schools there.
Public schools in Gibraltar
Education in Gibraltar is compulsory from ages four to 15, during which time it is provided free of charge. Nursery school is optional and can be attended from age three, prior to the start of formal schooling.
First school (otherwise known as primary school) is compulsory and children attend from ages four to seven. Middle school is from ages eight to 11, while secondary school with sixth form is for ages 12 to 18. Though students can legally stop attending school at age 15 after the completion of the GCSEs, most students continue to attend school and move onto the sixth form.
It's worth mentioning that public primary schools in Gibraltar are co-educational, while public secondary schools are single-sex. There are around a dozen public primary schools to choose from, but only two public secondary schools.
Private and international schools in Gibraltar
Private schools in Gibraltar include Loreto Convent School, a co-educational primary school, and Prior Park School, a co-educational secondary school. Both are Roman Catholic schools, with teaching taking place through the Catholic lens and conventions.
Due to the extremely limited availability of private schools in Gibraltar, parents who want to pursue this route should apply well ahead of time to secure a spot.
As there are no international schools in Gibraltar, expats who are set on sending their child to one of these will have to extend their search beyond the border and into Spain. The nearest international school is in Sotogrande, and there are a few in Marbella as well.
Some of Spain's international schools offer boarding facilities, but with the availability of regular and cheap flights to the UK, many expats and local Gibraltarians choose to send their children to boarding schools in England.
Special-needs education in Gibraltar
As a small territory, Gibraltar has limited special-needs resources available, though the government continues to make an effort to provide support for students who need it.
Gibraltar's secondary schools, and two of its primary schools, Notre Dame School and Bishop Fitzgerald, have dedicated Learning Support Facilities designed to provide assistance to students with special needs. Should more comprehensive support be required, there is a dedicated special school in Gibraltar, St Martin's School.
Tutors in Gibraltar
Tutors in Gibraltar are useful for both expats and locals. Some hire tutors to help students with problem subjects, such as maths or science, while others make use of language tutors to help children pick up English faster or maintain their mother tongue.
There are few tutoring companies in Gibraltar itself, but as the territory largely follows the British curriculum, it is fairly easy to find a tutor online.
►For tips on finding a new home, see Accommodation in Gibraltar
Are you an expat living in Gibraltar?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Gibraltar. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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