For families with children, moving to and living in Barcelona can be challenging depending on where you live, your economic situation, how well your children speak Spanish, what types of learners they are, etc. etc. etc. At BCN Life we give you answers and solutions to these issues so you make the best decisions for your family. Schools in Barcelona basically fall in the following categories:
International Private Schools
These consist of the schools that you easily find in internet searches of private schools in Barcelona. These private schools are considered international because they offer school curriculum of our countries such as the US, UK, France, Germany, and Switzerland for example. Most English instruction schools are British curriculum schools in Barcelona. There are only three American schools in Barcelona that offer fully accredited US curriculum that are actually inside Barcelona city. The other two are outside Barcelona and can be difficult to get to when living in Barcelona city.
International private schools in general are the most expensive schools in Barcelona. And because they are international, they may not offer the best way for your children to learn Spanish if that is your priority. However, the good news is that they do provide an excellent education.
Spanish Private Schools
For those of you with a smaller budget or because there are no places for your children in your desired international private school above, there is a tier of English based private trilingual schools that can be a good option as well. These Spanish private schools may offer a better opportunity for your chidren to learn Spanish than the international private schools. The key, however, is finding the best Spanish private schools in Barcelona that match the personality and comfort of your child.
Semi-Private "Concertada" "Concertado" Schools
These charter-like schools are called concertados and concertadas depending on the feminine (escuela) or masculine (colegio) use in Spanish. Often referred to as "semi-private" schools, they are technically public schools but some function and operate like private schools, and in some cases, even better than international and Spanish private schools. The best of these so-called semi private concertada schools offer a trilingual education in Catalan, Spanish and English, although Catalan will be the dominant language and English generally the least dominant.
So while you will not find a dominant English instruction based Barcelona concertada school, these schools can be the best option for your children, especially to learn Spanish faster and to get integrated into local Catalan and Spanish culture. The only issue with the best conertada schools in Barcelona is that they very few to no places available, but we help you with this process.
These offer free education which are in Catalan except for some Spanish learning classes, but almost no English. At all schools, including public schools, you have to pay for lunch during the one and half to two hour break children have in the middle of the day which is about 150€ per month. However, you do have the option to pick up your children during lunch instead of paying the monthly fee and in the higher grades students can leave campus on their own during this time, opting out of the monthly lunch fee.
School for Athletes
Barcelona High School is an American school in Barcelona from 8th to 12th grade for students who want to attend university in USA, particularly on athletic scholarship and need a more flexible school schedule to fully train in their sport. BHS uses accredited US curriculum online college preparatory core curriculum combined with classroom instruction in English by qualified teachers to prepare students for university in USA. Graduates of BHS receive an accredited US high school diploma. BHS is located at ESEI International Business School in Barcelona, next to the American Consulate.
Want to get your child into the best public or concertada schools ASAP instead of waiting for an appointment with the local Education department?
Want to find the best public or concertada schools with openings in your area?
Want to know which are the best public, concertada and private schools by reputation?
Do you know the differences in what all the different private schools offer?
Don't worry. We have toured more schools and discussed them with both locals and expats to understand the nuances of each school's strengths and weaknesses. Indeed, our children have even been in both private and public schools.
We help choose the best school for your children from private school options to concertadas to free public schools based on your desired school needs.
Example of what it's like picking up your child from school in Barcelona