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What are the laws on homeschooling in Spain?

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What are the laws on homeschooling in Spain?
What are the laws on homeschooling in Spain? Photo: OLI SCARFF / AFP

Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular in Spain but what are the laws around it and what do you need to do if you want to teach your children at home?


There are many different reasons why you might want to home-school your children in Spain.

Perhaps you they didn’t adjust well to the language changes, maybe they’re at a critical point in their education and need to stick to the same syllabus they were doing before you moved, or perhaps they are the type of child that benefits more from one-to-one specialised attention.

As a parent, homeschooling also allows you to have more control over what your children learn - it enables you to make the lessons more personalised and gives you flexibility when it comes to timings or the number of hours a day your child is doing lessons.

The European Network of Home Education believes there are between 2,000 and 4,000 families, homeschooling their kids in Spain.

What does the law on homeschooling in Spain say?

The practice of homeschooling is a bit of a legal grey area in Spain and is not regulated everywhere.

The Spanish Organic Law of Education Article 4 states that the basic education process comprises ten years of schooling and that they must be undertaken between 6 and 16 years of age.

Because it specifically mentions ‘schooling’, many experts believe this means that children have to attend school and use this to argue against it. 

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However, the Spanish Constitution Article 27 on the right to education, doesn’t mention ‘schooling’ at all, only education. It states: "Everyone has the right to education. Freedom of teaching is recognised and education will aim to fully develop the human personality with respect to democratic principles of coexistence and fundamental rights and freedoms". 

Because of this ambiguity and contradictions in the laws, homeschooling varies between regions and local governments regulate them at their own discretion, with no countrywide legislation. 


What to do if you want to homeschool your kids in Spain?

If you want to homeschool your children in Spain, you must comply with several legal requirements to avoid problems with the educational authorities and make sure you don’t incur any fines or other penalties.  

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While regions do differ slightly, generally the first step, wherever you live, is to file a declaration of home education with the corresponding educational authority.  

Your declaration must include information about the names and ages of the children who will be homeschooled, as well as a detailed description of the curriculum that will be followed.

This means that you have to be well prepared in advance and make sure you have all the necessary plans and materials in place before you inform them.

When it comes to the curriculum, you must follow the same guidelines that apply in conventional schools, regarding the areas of knowledge and the level of education expected of students.  

For example, if your child is expected to have a certain reading level by a certain age, you must make sure this target is reached.  

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You must also ensure that your children have access to educational resources and materials appropriate for their age and level of learning. If you’re teaching in your native language, you may need to send away for the necessary materials or download them from the internet.  

Be aware that the education authorities will carry out regular inspections and assessments to make sure that legal requirements are being met and that children are receiving an appropriate education. 


Resources and help

Even though homeschooling is a legal grey area, there are already several associations and groups that support and defend the practice here that can offer help and advice.  

The Association for Free Education (ALE) is a space for families who choose to educate their children away from traditional schools.

If you’re in Catalonia, homeschooling has the support of the Catalan Coordinator for Recognition and Regulation of Homeschooling

Also in Catalonia, the Group of Families for a Safe Educational Choice (AFEES) is a good resource. It’s a platform for families concerned about state schools. 


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