The education system in Gibraltar offers enormous rewards, greatly enhancing the future of children who attend any district school run by the Department of Education, Gibraltar. Gibraltar schools offer fantastic opportunities whether you opt to make Gibraltar your home and send your child to one of the independent schools or the Government-run state schools.
Depending upon your preference, education choices in Gibraltar vary greatly depending upon several factors, including religion. Gibraltar Government dedicates itself to providing first-class Catholic, Christian and Hebrew primary, middle and secondary education with fantastic teaching facilities for maximum learning.
Due to Gibraltar being a British Overseas Territory, the primary education system follows that of English schools’ system in the UK, with the curriculum closely following that set by English GCSE and A-Level programme.
We often get asked the question “are schools in Gibraltar free?” The answer is primarily yes; all children resident in Gibraltar and opting to send their children to the Government-run state schools have access to free education. Curriculum books and some school materials including school transport, with regular buses transporting children to various schools from their home around the multiple districts of the Rock.
School uniform for most schools is compulsory and can be purchased locally by parents. For low-income families, financial help is available, and you would need to contact the Education Department to find out more about what sort of help is on offer.
Admission to schools in Gibraltar relies upon many factors. The necessary documentation required to take advantage of the free education in Gibraltar’s British state schools includes proof of residence, ID card, passport, utility bill and property deeds or lease.
Like many families, there is the option to live in Spain and pay for private schooling on offer in Gibraltar. Alternatively, international schools in Spain offering worldwide qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate, the closest one to Gibraltar being Sotogrande International School (SIS) where pupils can enjoy uninterrupted schooling from the age of 4 through to 18 years old.
The level of education in Gibraltar is of a high standard with a strong focus on British and Spanish heritage. In Gibraltar, qualified teachers teach subjects in the English language and, due to the proximity to Spain, and due to Gibraltar being mostly bi-lingual, the Spanish language is compulsory up to GCSE level, to ensure students have the benefit of both languages.
List of primary and middle schools
Gibraltar offers such superb facilities and opportunities to children from 3 years old and include:
|Name of Primary/Middle School||Headteacher||Telephone|
|Hebrew Primary School||Mr R Lomax||+350 20078425|
|Governor’s Meadow First School||Mrs F Ferro||+350 20075772|
|Notre Dame First School||Mrs P Cruz||+350 20075182|
|St Bernard’s First School||Mrs S Lopez||+350 20078888|
|St Joseph’s First School||Mrs G Montegriffo||+350 20078515|
|St Mary’s First School||Mrs J Sanguinetti||+350 20075946|
|St Mary’s First School||Mrs R Hitchcock||+350 20071696|
|St Martin’s Special School||Ms A Felipes||+350 20078704|
|Bishop Fitzgerald Middle School||Mrs L Parral||+350 20077162|
|St Anne’s Middle School||Mrs L Andrews||+350 20077161|
|St Bernard’s Middle School||Ms D Holmes||+350 20073863|
|St Joseph’s Middle School||Dr T Ocaña||+350 20075615|
Children with special needs or disabilities are catered for in many of the schools, offering help and assistance dedicated to providing support for pupils who require special requirements. Gibraltar has a strong focus on delivering learning and physical support facilities, with after school social clubs offering sporting activities, access to reading and the arts and emotional and social support for both pupils and their families.
St Martin’s School provides an entirely devoted educational establishment for children with special needs from the ages of 3 upwards. Contact any of the schools direct, or the Gibraltar Education Government department to discover more information on facilities and services provided for children with special needs, including dyslexia and autism.
For working parents, there are numerous options for privately run nurseries, crèche facilities and playgroups. All private education establishments require registration with the Department of Education. In this way, all facilities get regular inspections by the local fire brigade and environmental agency to ensure correct standards of care and staffing levels.
Primary education begins at age 11 and Gibraltar has an enviable secondary school system and extra curriculum sporting calendar, especially since the recent opening of its outstanding ultra-modern secondary school and sixth form college. Gibraltar Government, with its continually improving philosophy, to its vision to a whole new level, when it designed and built the new school.
The secondary school has the benefit of extended academic, IT, sporting facilities and art rooms including those at its nearby Gibraltar College, where courses on offer include adult evening classes in a range of subjects.
Private schools in Gibraltar
While Gibraltar state primary and secondary schools offer excellent standards of education and cost nothing, many parents prefer to pursue public education. The reasons vary; for example, parents might live in Spain and not be eligible for state education but still wish their child to have the benefit of an English based education system.
It may be the case that the child may find large state schools challenging or intimidating and prefer smaller classes with improved access to teachers. Whatever the reason, Gibraltar has two excellent private schools:
- Loreto Convent School (+350 200 75781) is a primary and middle co-ed school for children aged 4 -12 with fees starting from £7,750. The school has a long history of Catholic tradition in Gibraltar with a warm family atmosphere with friendly teachers and academic staff. Loreto School website offers a range of information and calendar activities.
- Prior Park School (+350 20062006) is a secondary school and sixth form, offering co-ed from ages 12–18 with annual school fees starting from £10,000. The school runs regular taster and open day events and admission is usually following a meeting and a basic academic test.
International schools near Gibraltar
For many families, the lure of private international schools is strong, especially since a recent report claiming that four international schools based nearby are the best of their kind in Andalusia. Those included in the report that are closest to Gibraltar are:
- Sotogrande International School (+34 956 79 59 02) in Sotogrande
- Laude San Pedro International School (+34 952 800 148) in San Pedro de Alcántara
Both schools boast extreme education excellence with numerous academic and sporting options plus access to the arts. Courses include GCSEs, A-levels, Spanish Baccalaureate, global studies and International Baccalaureate.
Sotogrande International School fees range from 7,100 euros up to 20,800 euros for the International Baccalaureate and boarding facilities. Laude San Pedro does not offer information on its fees but invite you to contact the school for detailed explanation and information on discounts and scholarships.