Education in Majorca – everything you should know about the Education System in Majorca.

Education in Majorca is the topic of today’s post by Arletta, a resident of Palma. Arletta has lived in Majorca for many years, studied at local schools, and also has siblings who were experiencing problems similar to her. As I have too little knowledge in the subject, I asked Arletta to write a post! It will be long, but EXTREMELY. I invite you!

Hi! My name is Arletta. I am a 28-year-old Polish woman brought up on an island and I would like to introduce you to the education system in Majorca today. At first it is quite a difficult to understand system. It can be summarized in this scheme:

Education in Majorca – types of schools.

There are 3 types of schools to choose from:

public – [Públicos],
half private – [Concertados]
private – [Privados] (including internationals – Internacionales). 

Public schools are free, no uniforms are used, and the only greater cost is books. Costs between € 100 and € 300 a year. The cost of used books is around 50 €. Each school has the right to charge a one-off amount for enrollment, for school materials (photocopied materials, notebook, school insurance, etc.). You have to take into account the expenditure from 40 € to 65 €. In Majorca, 86% of public schools run classes on a continuous basis, from 9h-14h – kindergarten and primary school, and 8h-14h / 15h – junior high and high school.

In public schools there is rather little or no extracurricular activities.

You must register your child privately for such activities. Classes are much more numerous than in private establishments. Up to 30 students in one class. Throughout the whole stage of compulsory education, each school provides a certain language assimilation program. It works very efficiently and without stress for the child.

Education in Majorca – almost a third of children attend private and semi-private schools.

The recruitment process takes place directly at the selected facility. Classes at these schools take place in two shifts: day 9h-13h and afternoon 15h-17h. During the lunch break, you have to pick up the child personally or buy him dinner in the canteen. Many parents do not have to give up their careers in this way. Semi-private schools are usually Spanish Catholic schools, subsidized from the state budget. So they are much cheaper than private ones. There is more discipline and a higher level there, and the institution itself accepts a large number of students (up to 2800 students). You should apply for admission even one year in advance, because it is very difficult to get to them. The tuition fees of such a school are small, around € 10-40 per month. However, the real monthly costs are around € 200, including canteen, additional activities, coach, uniforms etc.

Spanish private and international schools have the best opinion.

They offer a larger selection of extracurricular activities, have better equipment and a high level. These schools are usually small, have fewer classes and a larger selection of subjects. Majorca international schools run classes in the British, French, German and Scandinavian systems. Tuition is usually 400 € per month for a Spanish school and 900 € for an international school.

Depending on the institution and the child’s age.

You can also count on discounts if your siblings go to the same school. However, you have to add other costs to the monthly amount, such as: enrollment, canteen, extracurricular activities, school uniforms (summer, winter and sports), bus, school trips, textbooks, school equipment, etc. Finally, this amount may be much higher. The most expensive British schools such as Queens College, The Academy, King Richard III, Bellver cost € 10,000 a year. In addition, there is a long waiting list, so it’s worth trying to get even 2 years earlier. In addition to the translated school certificate, a reference card from a former school headmaster or even an entrance exam may be required.

Education in Majorca – languages in schools.

Much of the lessons in public schools are taught in Catalan, and a few in Spanish (Castellano). The child has the right to speak to the teacher and answer the tests in both languages (excluding language subjects). However, in most cases he will get an answer in Catalan. Children in Palma use Spanish comfortably during breaks. The reason is a large number of foreigners, including students from South America. It is not uncommon to find over 10 different nationalities in one class.

What is all this Catalán?

Speaking of Catalan, we do not mean the dialect from the region of Catalonia, and the official language of all Catalan Countries – Països Catalans (Andorra, Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Valencia, Western Belt, North Catalonia, Carche and Alghero – a city in Italian Sardinia). That is, the areas of the medieval Kingdom of Aragon.

This kingdom was united through the marriage of Prince Ferdinand II with the Princess of the Kingdom of Castile Izabela I, creating the Kingdom of Spain.

For the sake of a long history, equal to Castilian language, i.e. Castellano (Spanish spoken in Spain), the subsequent government pressure to centralize the state and official use mainly Castilian throughout the country, we can understand how important language pride is for all Catalan Countries. After all, these two lands were initially created equal, and history could have turned out differently, and now we would all speak Catalan in the country. This language has a huge number of dialects, but one official spelling and spelling. One of them is the Majorcan dialect – Mallorquín (same as Ibizanian or Valencian).

Not once, I witnessed almost a fight, two inhabitants of Majorca.

One from Palma and the other from Arty. The bone of contention was where the correct Majorcan dialect was spoken. In addition, no Majorkiniec will openly admit that the language it uses is only one of many dialects, regardless of the city or region. It’s best not to touch this topic with the islanders.

In high school and high school, you can choose Exención de catalán.

This is an exemption from the subject of Catalan language and literature for 2-3 years, as long as it is the first year of the child in the Balearic Islands or in another Comunidad with the Catalan language. Including this subject also on the matriculation examination. This applies to Spaniards and foreigners, and this works on the basis of a declaration on the temporary work of a parent. It is enough to submit papers to the school coordinator in the first 2 weeks of the school, translate the certificate from Poland and show the parent’s employment contract, and in December they give the answer, usually positive. Link to the form:

Education in Majorca – religion in schools.

Education in Spain is secular, religion classes are optional. Children who do not go to religion have a free lesson during which they rest, do their homework or talk. Always in class and under the guidance of a mentor. School catechists tell children about religion, without textbooks, and give grades that count towards the average. These teachers do not prepare children for sacraments, such as communion or confirmation, but can only advise the parish who will take care of it. Preparation for the sacraments lasts for 2 school years. Every weekend in the church rooms. Communions take place in June, in small groups or individually. The girls are dressed in white dresses with short sleeves, and the boys in white or white and navy blue sailor suits. Usually, a child at the age of 7 is enrolled in pre-communion catechesis, and at age 12-14 for confirmation.

Education in Majorca – recruitment for public schools.

The government guarantees every child who is a Spanish resident a place in a public school. Recruitment of children to public schools is carried out in accordance with the region. However, in larger cities you can choose from among the few nearest outlets. It looks like:
In addition, under this link, in the folder “Educativa 2019-20” you will find a list of all available schools in the Balearic Islands:
Children living close to school, whose parents work closely or whose older siblings are teaching / learning at the same school are most likely to get to the chosen institution. Children are admitted to classes by year. Recruitment to schools starts from mid-March. Every year this date changes. So it is worth going to the nearest Ayuntamiento (office) or specific school and ask for details to fit in the day’s application deadline.

The islanders are very meticulous about dates and dates, and after a while you have to wait even half a year for the next date.

The second registration opportunity is at the beginning of September, but then there is practically no choice and the child gets to the facility where there is still room. Sometimes the one a little further from home. To enroll children in school you will need:
– International child’s birth certificate
– Passport – for child and parents
– Residence (blue document with NIE number inscribed) – child and parents
– Report (Empadronamiento)
– Vaccination card translated
– 2 photos
– Last school certificate translated (for non-compulsory upper secondary education, official approval will be required).

Education in Majorca – education system.

I want to point out right away that schools, depending on the school management, slightly differ in requirements and rules, which is why I tried to stick to the general framework. Let’s start with the fact that education is between six and 16 years old. However, most children start school at the age of three. There is no grand start to the school year. Children who are unveiled dressed come at a certain time to meet the tutor assigned to them and stay in class. Older children (E.S.O / Bachillerato) meet in the auditorium – Sala de actos, where, read by name, they get the same diary (Agenda) for the whole school year. It is used to enter the lesson plan and save tests or sick leave. Then they go with the tutor assigned to them to new classes, where they meet their peers and get a lesson plan.

Education in Majorca – the classes are rotating and every year, children are mixed between classes.

At the end of the school year, each class meets its tutor, students receive final grades and can return home. Younger children – Infantil have individual meetings with parents and a tutor, at a specific time where progress in learning is discussed. From primary school, the lesson lasts 55 minutes. After the lesson, children automatically move to the next room, the next one. There are only 2 breaks a day – 20 min. and 15 min. (gymnasium, high school) or 1 break – 30 min. (Elementary). There are three school semesters a year (September-December, January-March, April-June), three months of vacation (from mid-June to mid-September) and two two-week holidays (for Christmas and Easter). School grades are from 0 to 10, translated into ours:
(1.2) = 0,1,2,3,4
(3) = 5
(4) = 6
(5) = 7.8
(6) = 9.10.
They do not count as a percentage, but rather as a rating, hence the disproportion. And it seems from the Spanish 5, although everyone aspires from 7 and up. In junior classes grades are descriptive.

Repetition of classes is very frequent and not stigmatizing in any way.

At the beginning of each school year it is possible to buy a school locker. Not everyone chooses it. However, children wear a large number of books and A4 notebooks (or one binder with detachable pages), so this is a great convenience during the day. Younger children, in turn, use backpacks-suitcases on wheels, which completely solves the problem of straining the spine. Physical education lessons take place in primary school, junior high school and first grade of high school.

Children undergo fitness tests, but they also write theory exams (health and sport topics).

They also submit written works. The lessons are practical, and the child learns theory from the book. A long tracksuit and short-sleeved blouse of any color and brand are mandatory. There are no class triples at school, and parents’ meetings, although they are 3 times a year, are only attended by parents of children with learning disabilities. In addition, there is no such need, because once a week the tutor, or Tutor / Tutor, has a set time for parents’ visits and will gladly discuss any problem in education.

Interestingly, from the Infantil stage, children call to teachers by name, or possibly Profe / Profesor / Profesora.

It is also impossible not to mention the more important person, i.e. the school coordinator – Jefe de estudios / Cap d’estudis. He deals with formal matters of students, conflicts between them and assimilation of foreigners’ children. Children and parents can come to him with every little thing, and certainly will not downplay it.

Education in Spain begins with [Educación Infantil], early childhood education, divided into 2 parts:

– [Primer ciclo/Guardería] nursery 0-3 lat
– [Segundo ciclo] kindergarten 3-6 lat

Although they are optional, all children go to kindergarten so that they do not get left behind. State nurseries are paid. Despite this, a significant proportion of Spanish mothers choose this type of solution because of the need to return to work and the short period of maternity leave (4 months). The kindergarten is free.

Not counting the small one-off amount for school supplies and the purchase of rather expensive books, which is like the rest of so-called “free” public education.

Kindergartens are located at primary schools, but the playgrounds for older children are separated and the younger ones do not have contact with them. Children in kindergarten already have textbooks, learn a foreign language, nature, reading, writing in block letters and counting. They have to do homework. They also have a lot of games and outdoor activities. Take care of the garden and teach about plants. There are many manual classes, so buying an apron is mandatory. Children often go on educational trips. There is a lot of emphasis on healthy eating, eating fruit for a 2nd breakfast and drinking water. 

Later, the obligatory [Primaria] begins, called by students Colegio – primary school 6-12 years old.

The level of education in primary school is satisfactorily high. The facility is also very friendly to children of foreigners. Such small children learn languages quickly, but in addition, during the lessons, teachers prepare extra materials on separate pages of a photocopier in order to catch up faster.

Then there is the final compulsory stage Educación Secundaria Obligatoria, also called the Instituto – junior high school 12-16 years old.

It takes 4 years and you can not pass twice, but in practice they pull out the ears. In addition, the level drops significantly and for Polish children, apart from language, learning is not a challenge. If the child has a threat in the subject, they have the opportunity to write two final exams – Globales, i.e. from all the annual material. One at the beginning of June and the other September. Most schools pass to the next class with two failed subjects. However, in the next school year you have to take them again from the next Globales exams. And finally pass them because the threats accumulate and do not disappear. It works the same way in high school. In addition to the last classes, after which the lower secondary school / high school title is awarded. Then all subjects must be passed immediately.

Education in Majorca – for foreign children, the first months of lower secondary school are great late adoption classes – PALIC.

Every day, after 1 hour of tutoring in Catalan and Spanish, during normal lessons, but in a separate room, to get the basics of language and to get into normal lessons. If a child is not going to learn or is not doing well (and the obligation to education is up to 16), they send them in the penultimate 3rd grade E.S.O. to the school called [Formación Profesional Básica] (F.P. Básica). It is such an preparation for work, after which you can decide to continue in vocational training. If you pass the entrance examination at junior high school level. Obtained after him the title of assistant technician, i.e. such a minimum without the title of junior high school.

After E.S.O. (at the age of 16), in the Balearic Islands he quits school and goes to work with 1/4 children, which is the most in all of Spain.

The rest have two options to choose from: vocational school or high school. The technical school does not exist here. None of these paths closes the possibility of studying. The first one is longer, but it gives a profession along the way, the second is shorter and provides better preparation, but does not give any professional title:
E.S.O (4 years)> F.P. Medio (2 years)> F.P. Superior (2 years)> Universidad 2. E.S.O (4 years)> Bachillerato (2 years)> Universidad.

Education in Majorca – some children choose [F.P. de Grado Medio], a 2-year vocational school.

A vocational school only offers vocational subjects. After which time for internships (400h) in the last trimester of the second class (March – June) or after corrections (September – November). Internships are not paid and do not count towards seniority. After this school, the technician title is obtained.
Few choose [Bachillerato], a 2-year general high school, ending with – Selectividad, i.e. a high school diploma. There are 3 high school profiles to choose from:
– social and humanistic
– technological and scientific
– artistic (available in few establishments)
Each of them with different subjects, preparing for a particular faculty of studies. The level is high, language expectations are high, a lot of material. Spaniards believe that this is a school only for the brightest. That is why there is no reduced fare.

Here I would not count on help in assimilation or recognition of one of the Polish high school classes.

The only thing they can propose to a new adolescent is to take him back to 4th grade E.S.O.. Which is risky because he can’t pass the language anyway. He then loses 2 years to finish his junior high school title, which he already has. In high school day you can fail a maximum of 2 times. Later, there are 2 options for adults:
[Bachillerato Nocturno], 3-year evening high school from 15.00h to 21.00h. Attending classes is compulsory, but teachers evaluate less harshly than in daytime high school
[Bachillerato a distancia], distance. You can attend how many years it is necessary. Passing a few subjects (or all at once) and preparing at home from online materials.

Going to afternoon classes is optional, and every trimester there are 2 weeks of exams.

There is only one such facility in Majorca and it also offers a two-year middle school for adults.
The high school diploma – [Selectividad], also called PBAU (prueba de bachillerato para el acceso a la universidad) counts as follows:
– 40% This is the result of matura exam
– 60% is the average of all subjects from 2 years of study.
Which gives us a final grade of 5 to 10 (and even up to 14, when we choose additional subjects). That is why stressed students want to have only good grades from 1st grade.

Each of them creates an average and opens or closes the door to the best universities.

Enrollment for the matura exam takes place at the end of March. It is a paid exam, 70 € for the main part. Plus an optional 14 € for each additional subject (a maximum of 3 to choose). Main subjects are:
– History of Spain
– Spanish language and literature
– Catalan language and literature
– Foreign language (English, French, German)
– 1 profile subject (Mathematics, Latin or Art basics – depending on the high school profile).
Additional subjects, 19 to choose from and are very different (philosophy, technical drawing, design, performing arts, chemistry, etc.). As a rule, the exam takes 3 days. At the beginning of June, and the correction, after system changes – at the beginning of July (usually it was September). All matura classes in Mallorca take the exam in one place – the classrooms, at the local UIB University.

After high school you can go to [Universidad] / [Escuela Superior] – studies / college (name depends on the major).

As for the state university U.I.B. (Universidad de Illes Balears), most of the lectures are in Catalan. The campus itself is impressive and modern. But he facility does not have a good reputation among Spaniards, and in the Spanish ranking it is at an average level. It is also difficult to find a job with their titles. First-cycle state studies last 4 years, and each year costs around € 1,000. For a failed item, you pay double, so the professors love to get rid of the first year. There are subjects that pass 2% of students. At the beginning of the year, you can apply for a scholarship (Beca). However, they grant them very rarely.

The answer comes in December and when it is negative, you have to make payments.

Otherwise, the person may not study, study or attend state courses without having to pay the debt in advance. There is also an alternative option in the form of private studies. There are 3 universities of this type in Majorca:
– Escuela Universitaria de Turismo Felipe Moreno
– Centro de Enseñanza Superior Alberta Giménez
– Escuela Universitaria de Odontología Adema
All around Palma. Mainly with tourist and humanities studies. The cost of such studies is around € 6,000 per year. The next option is the distance university UNED (Universidad Nacional de Estudios a Distancia). Here, the majors are more diverse. The program is adapted to the student’s rhythm, and you can learn from home via the online platform.

Instead of studying, you can opt for [F.P. Grado Superior], a 2-year post-secondary / post-secondary school.

An adult school, after which, as in the case of Grado Medio, you need to get 3 months (400h) of free internships to obtain the title of a senior technician. A high school diploma is not required to study in a post-secondary school. To F.P. Superior can also go after F.P. Medio + entrance examination (at high school level) and the age of 19. And if after F.P. Superior wants to go to college, instead of passing the final exams. You can pass another entrance examination to a specific university. In this way, high school is bypassed, only doing junior high school + middle and high school F.P. Sometimes instead of the name Formación Profesional (F.P.) we can meet the name Ciclo Formativo (C.F.).

In recent years, Majorca has a lot of people interested in medium and higher F.P., and few places and directions.

So it’s hard to develop in the profession. There are also a few directions in the “distance” mode (learning – at home, apprenticeships and exams – in person). You can also try to get to private post-secondary schools. There are also a lot of students, and the offer of majors is very small. The cost of such a school is around € 5,000 for two years of study. More information about professional fields:

Education in Majorca – problems of the Spanish system.

The education system has changed many times since General Franco’s death. Every new government wants to introduce changes in education. Usually, however, it meets the wall in the form of 17 autonomous communities (Comunidades autónomas). The result of these changes is poor, and the period of their introduction is long and incomprehensible.

And so in 1980 the system (LOECE), in 1985 the system (LODE), in 1990 the system (LOGSE), in 2002 (LOCE), in 2006 (LOE) and finally in 2013 (LOMCE).

Everyone in the name had the noble words “calidad” (quality) or “mejora” (improvement / better). However, this system change was often chaotic. First scaring everyone about changes to textbooks, subjects and the program for several years. And then rapidly implementing changes in the middle of the year to avoid penalties. The government did not inform about all the changes. The teachers did not know what material to prepare children for. And so the first generations of each “better change” were at a loss. I went through two of them myself. Currently, each change has 3 reasons:
– high school abandonment already at the gymnasium stage
– system centralization across the country (level unification in all Comunidades)
And finally – the Balearic government’s emphasis on Catalan.

Education in Majorca – moreover, after the crisis in 2010, the government is spending less and less on education.

Many teachers have lost their jobs due to a lack of funding and the requirement for Catalan C1 certificates. There is more emphasis on teaching lessons in that language, with children making increasingly absurd mistakes when writing in Spanish. Not long ago, the government wanted to introduce a 3-language system. Thus, 1/3 of subjects should be conducted in English.

Parents bought textbooks, teachers prepared for changes and… it turned out to be a total failure.

The children were wrong times, they lacked technical words in science subjects and as a result 90% of students did not pass English-language subjects in the first trimester of the school. After parents’ protests, as early as the second trimester, schools returned to the old system. Mainly in Catalan. The subject of the Matura exam – Selectividad, is very wrong. After the approval of the LOMCE system, Selectividad was to change into Reválida entering into force in 2016.

So far, however, the governments of all Comunidades Autónomas have failed to establish one good model.

From the good old model of the Polish Baccalaureate (Prueba de Acceso a la Universidad), many different things came out all over the country: PEvAU, EvAU, EBAU, PBAU … Each Comunidad implemented a new law in its own way, which has little in common with centralization. Recently I read about the father of a girl from the Comunidad de Madrid, who rewrote his child in the last trimester of high school, to a school in the Canary Islands. The reason was that the girl was studying very well and wanted to get into medical studies, and her high school diploma is the heaviest in all of Spain.

In the Canary Islands, on the other hand, they rate very gently, which makes it possible to obtain an average of above 10.

When it comes to dropping out of school, the Balearic Islands are still at the forefront of Spain. Teachers lower the level in the last years of junior high school to keep children who later, in turn, are completely unsuccessful in a high school, in which for two years you need to acquire three-year material. High schools are at lower secondary schools due to the fact that they are not very willing.

Education in Majorca – two classes are created from each year, and more than half of the students fail each year.

In total, about 10 people from the entire school take the final exams. There is also a problem of underestimating good students in high school so that they cannot compete with the average from the mainland. This is to keep a future student on the island, so that the university has more students and thus could earn a little. Many well-off parents send their children to private or international schools with the British system, and then to study on land or abroad to have a better start. In turn, the vocational schools are undergoing a real boom lately. There are many volunteers, but already in the 2nd trimester after Christmas, 1/3 classes are attending classes. The rest give up because they can’t do it. Although in my opinion vocational schools do not prepare well for work, they have low level and short internships.

This can be confirmed by the fact that only 15% of students graduating from FP Superior find work in the profession.

In these schools, there are no other subjects than vocational ones. So when after F.P. Medio, someone wants to continue in F.P. Superior, must prepare on his own Catalan literature and language, Spanish literature and language, English / French / German, mathematics, history and 2 vocational subjects at high school level. Then pass April exams above the average of 7.5 (losing the school year by the way) and sign up for school in June. Depending on the number of applicants and the average of the exam depends whether the person will get.

If this does not happen, they will notify you in July. Register on the list of volunteers and say that they will call back if something is released.

In September, you get an additional visit to the education office, where you can choose from among other directions. However, these are the least desirable jobs. The LOMCE system was to provide free entry from F.P. Baska to F.P. Medio, a with F.P. Medio to F.P. Superior, however, despite approving the system years ago, no changes have been made in the Balearic Islands yet.

I don’t need to mention that each of these exams is paid.

All these changes in education, the crippling system and a small range of choices on the islands is extremely frustrating for a young person. I think that the stage of education from junior high school lazy and discourages young people from further professional development, and most talented young people end up in tourism anyway. Which is obviously nothing bad if you love this job. Usually, however, no specific education is required to work in this sector (foreign languages are more important). All this stress, the effort of assimilation abroad. Language learning (not only in itself, but also literature and distribution of sentences) and learning other subjects in a foreign language should be rewarded with a dream job and a good job. It’s hard! All we have to do is wait for the next change in the education system. 🙂

As you can see, education in Majorca is not the easiest topic.

Many people living in Majorca work in tourism. In the lowest positions you will find all these young people. All those that failed and gave up because it was too hard. Not only is education in Majorca poor, but also transport. Children living in pueblos, i.e. villages, small towns, do not count on good access to school or public transport.

The local youth are literally thrown at their feet, so a career in Majorca is often unattainable.

By asking your older colleagues at work or superiors about their past, you will learn that they have worked in the field or the hotel industry since they were 12 years old. Their parents can’t read. They work in one hotel for 20-30 years. The education in Majorca and situation in the Balearic Islands is not the best. So when going to Majorca, think carefully about whether it will be a good move. Especially if you have children and you want to take care of their future and possibilities.


I don’t know which time it is, but I would like to thank Arleta for such an extensive article. Preparation of such content is a lot of time and heart put into it. Were it not for Arletta, the topic “education in Majorca” would never appear on this blog, so detailed. I’m sure this article is one of the best on my blog and readers will get answers to their questions. Thank you again!

What might intrested You:

Childbirth in Majorca:
How to buy a property in Majorca:
Work in Majorca:
Resident discount for travel:
Advantages and disadvantages of living in Majorca:
How to make a NIE number:
Christmas Eve in Majorca:
Sant Antoni in Majorca:

Social media.

If you are looking for help planning your stay in Majorca and do not know where to start – write to me. I’m happy to help you plan your vacation in Majorca. I’ll create an individual sightseeing plan for you. I will help you choose the place where it is best to go for you. I approach everything quite individually. After all, everyone on vacation has different requirements.
By subscribing to the newsletter on the blog, you will be able to read published posts first! I regularly add new places in Majorca and share this beautiful island with you. Thanks to the newsletter, you don’t even have to enter the blog. The entire post will appear in the email!

Facebook and instagram.

Following me on Facebook you gain access to posts that are neither on the blog nor on instagram. It was on Facebook that my adventure with blogging began. It was there that everything took on a new meaning. I also have a really great audience on Facebook! I invite you to follow!
By watching me on Instagram you get the most. This is where I add stories from Majorca every day. There you will find saved reports from ALL places I have been to Majorca (and not only). This is where you can find photos from Majorca in one place. I also share my thoughts and description of life in Majorca there.