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Spain

Education

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM IN SPAIN

The current system of education in Spain is known as LOE after the Ley Orgánica de Educación, or Fundamental Law of Education. State education in Spain is free and compulsory education lasts from 6 to 16 years of age.

Below Higher Education the system can be seen as consisting of four levels:

1. Pre-school (Educación Infantil, segundo ciclo) - 3 to 6 years of age
Structured as two cycles of three years each:

  • Nursery or Kindergarten (Jardín de Infancia) (0–2 years of age)
  • Preschool (Preescolar) (3–5 years of age)

2. Primary School (Educación Primaria) six years of schooling - 6 to 12 years of age
Structured as three 2 year cycles:

  • First Cycle (6–8 years of age)
  • Second Cycle (8-10 years of age)
  • Third Cycle (10–12 years of age)

3. Compulsory Secondary Education (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria) is structured as four years of schooling, from ages 12 to 16 years and consists of two academic years each (total 4 years):

  • 1st Cycle (12–14 years of age)
  • 2nd Cycle (14–16 years of age)

Upon finishing ESO the student has a number of options, including:

  • Spanish Baccalaureate (post-compulsory diploma)
  • Vocational Training.
  • Work (it is only possible to get a job from 16 onwards)

4. Post-Compulsory Schooling (Bachillerato) two years of schooling - 16 to 18 years of age
The post-compulsory programme offered by Spanish schools is the Spanish Baccalaureate, or Bachillerato. It encompasses grades 11 and 12, and is the normal option for those wishing to go on to university. Upon completion, it entitles the student to sit the university-entrance exam (selectividad), or to follow some kind of higher vocational training.

Schools in Spain can be divided into 3 categories:

  • State schools (Colegios Publicos)
  • Privately run schools funded by the State (Colegios Concertados)
  • Purely private schools (Colegios Privados)

GRADING SYSTEM

Elementary, High Schools, and Vocational Schools

Spain uses a 10-point grading scale for elementary and high schools:

    * 9.0-10 is the best possible grade and is called "sobresaliente" ("outstanding"). A 10 grade may also include a distinction called "Matrícula de Honor" or "Mención de Honor," but usually only a limited number of students per group may benefit from it. Distinctions may imply tuition waivers for the following course.
    * 7-8.9 is called "notable" ("very good"). Sometimes a distinction is made between "notable bajo" (low outstanding) and "notable alto" (almost outstanding).
    * 6-6.9 is called "bien" ("good").
    * 5-5.9 is the lowest passing grade and is called "suficiente" ("sufficient").
    * 3-4.9 is called "insuficiente" ("insufficient").
    * 0-2.9 is the lowest possible grade and is called "muy deficiente" (literally translated as "very deficient").
    * The term "suspenso" ("fail") includes both "insuficiente" and "muy deficiente".

The following table is only an approximation of the Spanish grading scale as it corresponds to the ECTS scale. The ECTS grading scale is a grading system defined in the ECTS framework by the European Commission.

Grade in Spanish Academic Records

Definition

Estimated ECTS Grade

Definition

4

Matrícula de Honor

A

Top Qualification in Class or Subject

3

Sobresaliente

A

Highest 5%

2

Notable

A/B

Next 10%

1

Aprobado

C-D

Next 85%

 

Suspenso

FX-F

Not Pass

© 2009 Ottawa-Carleton Education Network