How to register your child at School in Marbella

Editorial Family Fun

Admissions and registrations explained

In Spain, children must attend a state (Government funded) school within a certain distance of their home, so if you have a preference for a particular state school in Marbella and you don't want to entertain Private schooling, it's important to buy or rent a home within that school's catchment area. The Marbella Town hall and the Provincial Ministry of Education offices can provide a list of local schools at all levels.  If you can translate the website or understand Spanish everything you need to know can be found here but we will outline things in some detail below to help.

The enrollment period will depend on the school, although it is usually in Marbella it is during the month of March of the year that your child will start school in the September.  You will be looking to enrol your child into their first school in Spain when your child turns 3 years in that particular calendar year but naturally if you have just moved to Marbella your child can be enrolled at any school age.  Once you have been allocated a school you will then have a registration process "Matriculación" at the individual school to complete also.

The Paperwork part
First, go to the following website and download and print the application document from here or go to the Town Hall and collect one.

Now you can also do the whole process online however, only available during the admissions period, but you will need a digital certificate to do this (the same thing you are issued to access your tax and social security information online)

ALL members of the household will need to be registered on the padrón (local census) and have an up-to-date "Empadronamiento" document as these expire every 3 months. 

You will then need to be prepared to submit copies of the following documentation with the official application so our advice would be to get these ready in advance: 
- your own passport
- your child’s birth certificate or passport
- if the child was born in Spain then their "libro de familiar"
- proof of residence in Spain (Certificate of Padron)
- your NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) and/or TIE card
- up-to-date immunisation/medical certificate 
- tax declarations and work contracts
- two passport photos
- school reports from previous schools if applicable

If your child is going into examination years there is a process of validation (convalidación) required.   You will need to provide the appropriate forms from the Department of Education (MECD) along with your child’s school record documents and/or examination qualifications, plus his/her birth certificate. A child will not be accepted until the official papers have been received and stamped by the Spanish Department of Education. The process may take between 3-6 months, although a document from the Education Ministry that the documents have been received can be acceptable to start at the school.

Once you have completed the form you will take it to the school that you are listing as your first choice.

What about Private schools in Spain?
Some private schools in Spain are subsidised by the state, known as charter schools or "colegio concertados" and fees are cheaper. Others are fully independent and known as "colegios privados". All schools have an application process however the Private Schools do tend to have the option to complete all the paperwork in English which can be helpful to those of us who are still learning the lingo!  You can find a selection of the Private schools in Marbella in this part of the website