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Almost half of Spanish families pay for private classes for their children

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Almost half of Spanish families pay for private classes for their children
Almost half of Spanish children take private lessons. Photo: Taylor Flowe / Unsplash

Almost half of children in Spain take some form of private lessons outside of school, a new study has revealed.

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The latest report from Esade's Centre for Economic Policies (EsadeEcPol) shows that almost half of children in Spain take private classes or have private tutors outside of school hours.

It showed that a total of 47 percent of children in Spain take some type of private lessons and that Spanish families spend an average of €270 per course, per year on them. 

These are not simply extracurricular activities such as sports or dance clubs, but further academic lessons or tutors for particular subjects, explained Ángel Martínez, economist and researcher at Esade and co-author of the study,

At the top of the leaderboard are language lessons, primarily English, which Spanish parents believe to be one of the most important for their kids, followed by music lessons.

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Juan Manuel Moreno, professor at UNED and another co-author of the Esade study explains that 46 percent of the spending that families dedicate to private classes corresponds to languages. Given this high figure, "It would be necessary to analyse how English is taught in schools," he said.

READ ALSO: Spaniards have second lowest level of English in EU

The philosopher and educator Gregorio Luri, who believes that many parents are convinced schools are failing their children, agrees and added that if a parent wants their child to fully master a foreign language, they take them to a private academy or hire a teacher.

The study also shows that children of all ages, from primary right through to high school are taking private lessons. 30 percent of kids in their second year of kindergarten have some type of private tutorage outside of shcool, followed by 45 percent in primary education. This skyrockets to 63 percent at ESO level (12 to 16-year-olds) and 74 percent at baccalaureate level (16 to 18-year-olds). 

The amount parents spend on extra classes also increases according to age. The amount starts at €117 a year for the youngest school-aged children, followed by €223 in primary, €358 at ESO level, and €420 for baccalaureate level.

Although the average number of schoolchildren who attend private classes in Spain is 47 percent, there are differences between regions and in some it’s over half.  

The Basque Country takes the lead where 56 percent of students take private lessons, followed by Valencia and Castilla y León with 51 percent each. Catalonia is also slightly, above the average at 48 percent.  

At the bottom of the table are Castilla-La Mancha, where 36 percent of children take private classes, and Madrid with 41 percent.

Madrid, however, followed by Catalonia, is the region where parents spend the most on private classes and tutors at an average of €350 per course, per student.

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