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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Can anyone help me here? we are moving to Alhaurin dela Torre/Malaga area in 6 months time and I have heard many stories about school registration (state schools); our main worry is that we have been told that we have to register our kids before they break up for summer holidays, as we will be arriving in October after school breaks up this will not be possible. The embassy has assured us that they will be given a place regardless but what we have been told and what actually happens are often two different things. Also, what is the children' allowance in Spain, we have been given the forms to fill in but no-one seems to be able to give us a definite answer, we have three children aged from seven years to nine months. Any help will be really appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Hi, Can anyone help me here? we are moving to Alhaurin dela Torre/Malaga area in 6 months time and I have heard many stories about school registration (state schools); our main worry is that we have been told that we have to register our kids before they break up for summer holidays, as we will be arriving in October after school breaks up this will not be possible. The embassy has assured us that they will be given a place regardless but what we have been told and what actually happens are often two different things. Also, what is the children' allowance in Spain, we have been given the forms to fill in but no-one seems to be able to give us a definite answer, we have three children aged from seven years to nine months. Any help will be really appreciated. Thanks.
:welcome:
don't worry about the school registration - you will get a place for your kids no matter when you arrive - it might not be in the school of your choice though, if it's full - but you can't register until you live here, so there's nothing you can do about that

I'm not sure what the childrens' allowance you're talking about is - unless it's an allowance for familia numerosa (big family) which you are with 3 kids

you get help with school books (although in my region no-one got the payment this year) & various other benefits & discounts

you might want to have a peek at the 'useful links' sticky thread near the top of the Spain page - there is a post (page 1??) with lots of info & links about education in Spain.
 

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Hi Kastym,
Welcome to Spain and the forurm.
We live in Alhaurin de la Torre and have just enrolled our son in a school here.
When you arrive in October, you will be assigned a place in a school for your children. You are guranteed a place. Most likely you won't have a choice, since the classes will be filled already. This leaves you with the not-so-good schools.
If you want your children in a specific school I sugest that you ally yourself with a firm spanish lady, that can argue your case with the school of your choice, but only if there is room in that school.
Alternatively you can choose a privet school, they will most likely have room, since some spanish parents no longer can afford to have there children there.

Magnum
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The useful links sticky is full of information, well worth a look. Thanks for the welcome, Magnum03, won't be long till we are there as well. However, can anyone shed some light on the zone system for schools and is there a way I can find out which school/schools my kids would be eligible for, we will be living in the campo, but our postal address is Alhaurin dela Torre, do the ayuntamiento post a list of certain schools for certain areas, or do you just have to go an speak to them. My daughter has dyslexia, is she likely to get the help she needs. I tried to make sense of the educacion.gob.es web site but it was a little beyond me, OK it went way over my head.
 

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The useful links sticky is full of information, well worth a look. Thanks for the welcome, Magnum03, won't be long till we are there as well. However, can anyone shed some light on the zone system for schools and is there a way I can find out which school/schools my kids would be eligible for, we will be living in the campo, but our postal address is Alhaurin dela Torre, do the ayuntamiento post a list of certain schools for certain areas, or do you just have to go an speak to them. My daughter has dyslexia, is she likely to get the help she needs. I tried to make sense of the educacion.gob.es web site but it was a little beyond me, OK it went way over my head.
As has been said your children will get a place at a school although it may not be the one you wanted. Perhaps it will be at the not so good schools, but perhaps not - there may be a new school that isn't full yet or a school that perhaps wasn't doing so well, but now has different teachers. Teachers can get changed around a LOT, so schools can change a lot too from year to year.

Your daughter should be given help for her dyslexia at school, but there are a lot of cuts being made at the moment due to the terrible crisis that Spain is living through and things like extra help for kids who need special attention may well go. It may be that you'd have to provide that for your daughter on a private basis, but I don't know for sure.

I too have no idea what you mean by allowance for children??

How come you're coming to live in Spain?????
 

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We lived in the campo in Alhaurin de la Torre (El Romeral). We just went to the nearest school, a primary school in a village just up the road called Torrealqueria, and asked if our daughter could attend. They gave us forms to fill in and she started the following week!

I havent a clue about allowances for children. We were lucky as our UK child benefit was continued because my husband commuted and still worked and paid taxes etc in the UK. We wouldnt have been eligible for anything in Spain, I dont know even if they have such a thing??

Jo xxx
 

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If your going to live in El Romeral, I would recomend the local catholic school, it doesn't cost much and has a good reputation. I have heard from other expats, that the one in Torrealquiria is one of the not-so-good schools the Ayontamiento will send your kids to, because "it has only got 16 pupils in a class". I haven't been there my self. Don't wan't to offend anyone, just sharing information.

In Spain you get a tax deduction for each child and an additional for children under 3.
 

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As has been said your children will get a place at a school although it may not be the one you wanted. Perhaps it will be at the not so good schools, but perhaps not - there may be a new school that isn't full yet or a school that perhaps wasn't doing so well, but now has different teachers. Teachers can get changed around a LOT, so schools can change a lot too from year to year.

Your daughter should be given help for her dyslexia at school, but there are a lot of cuts being made at the moment due to the terrible crisis that Spain is living through and things like extra help for kids who need special attention may well go. It may be that you'd have to provide that for your daughter on a private basis, but I don't know for sure.

I too have no idea what you mean by allowance for children??

How come you're coming to live in Spain?????
that IS a very good point about schools changing - the same happens in the UK although to a lesser extent because the teachers don't move around so much (when we lived there, anyway)

here, of course, it seems that the majority of teachers change schools on a yearly basis - so it's possible that a good school could go downhill & vice versa year on year

the primary school my 2 went to here managed to earn a bad rep for a short time - nothing to do with the actual school - the chair of AMPA had a feud with the directora & managed to cause all sorts of problems - 'no smoke without fire' was the opinion of so many

my girls were there at the time & I became involved with AMPA to find out what was really going on for myself - & I'm glad I did - they were both happy & did brilliantly there :D

the directora retired at the end of last school year & her 'deputy' took over...... he sadly died a month ago - as far as I know that hasn't caused any changes at the school - but what if next year they appoint a new head who doesn't like/want to support foreigners? The school has always been brilliant with foreign kids & embraced the 'internationality'.............. but I know that at another school in the town it's totally the opposite - foreign kids are given little if any help & some have been known to spend all day every day in a corner essentially ignored :mad:
 

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If your going to live in El Romeral, I would recomend the local catholic school, it doesn't cost much and has a good reputation. I have heard from other expats, that the one in Torrealquiria is one of the not-so-good schools the Ayontamiento will send your kids to, because "it has only got 16 pupils in a class". I haven't been there my self. Don't wan't to offend anyone, just sharing information.

In Spain you get a tax deduction for each child and an additional for children under 3.
At the time, the Torrealqueria school was horrendous - well it was for my daughter. the British kids there didnt like her because they deemed her "posh" ????? (by comparison, maybe!!), the Spanish kids there didnt like any of the British kids. So my daughter was caught in the middle. There was one teacher who helped her a little - he was the PE teacher and obviously cared, but he left and the teacher who taught the classes English was American and would constantly tell my daughter off for her poor pronunciation of english words. Ruby was reduced to tears for pronouncing "CHemist" as "Kemist" and its not "DOG", its "DAWG"!!! So we then moved her to the school at the other end of Alhaurin de la Torre - Cappellenia. This was better, but by then my daughter hit her awkward phase and simply refused to speak Spanish or do any work there! In the end, she started bunking off so we decided to put her into the international school in Benalmadena with my son - where she flourished!

IMO the best school by far in the Alhaurin de la Torre area is MIT School - Bilingual School MIT

Jo xxx
 

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jojo said:
At the time, the Torrealqueria school was horrendous - well it was for my daughter. the British kids there didnt like her because they deemed her "posh" ????? (by comparison, maybe!!), the Spanish kids there didnt like any of the British kids. So my daughter was caught in the middle. There was one teacher who helped her a little - he was the PE teacher and obviously cared, but he left and the teacher who taught the classes English was American and would constantly tell my daughter off for her poor pronunciation of english words. Ruby was reduced to tears for pronouncing "CHemist" as "Kemist" and its not "DOG", its "DAWG"!!! So we then moved her to the school at the other end of Alhaurin de la Torre - Cappellenia. This was better, but by then my daughter hit her awkward phase and simply refused to speak Spanish or do any work there! In the end, she started bunking off so we decided to put her into the international school in Benalmadena with my son - where she flourished!

IMO the best school by far in the Alhaurin de la Torre area is MIT School - Bilingual School MIT

Jo xxx
Our freinds had a similar story - both kids ended up refusing to learn spanish, they moved to Guadelmar and found a good school there.
La Cappellenia, Taralpe and one down town (can't remember the name) have good reputations.
If I was living in El Romeral I would go for the local catholic school. This is one of they few catholic schools you can actually get your kids in to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is all very interesting , thank you to all who have replied.

Why are we coming to Spain, too many reasons really to write down in a forum, we have been talking about it for too long (as in 13 years) so are now doing something about it, also, my mom lives on one of the plots looking over El Romeral, in a large house with separate apartment, so accommodation is not going to be a problem, I've never settled in Ireland, too cold and wet, fortunately one of the reasons is not to earn money.

JoJo, you mention the school in Cappellenia, is that in the El Romeral zone? what are the schools like in Churriana; and what is the name of the Catholic school in El Romeral? Our biggest worry really is the schooling, our first daughter is very soft, lacks confidence and has dyslexia, the other is the complete opposite, they are settled here in the village we live in, they have never lived anywhere else though and we would have the same worries if we were moving to another village in Ireland. Our eldest had a dreadful year with her teacher telling her she was stupid and lazy, thankfully she is no longer teaching, but the damage has been done.

I am an acupuncturist, herbalist and massage therapist, currently most of my clients are either drug addicts; I have a contract with a community group in Dublin, or people recovering from a stroke, ideally I would like to stay in the same line of work, but things don't always work out as intended and I imagine I would have to travel to either Marbella area or Malaga, any ideas?

Once again thanks to all those who have replied, this forum really has a lot of information,
 

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We just went along to Capellania and asked if my daughter could start there. We took a bilingual friend whose daughter was already there and they really didnt question where we lived. The catholic school in el Romeral was one we didnt really consider at the time cos it didnt have a good reputation, BUT THINGS CHANGE, it maybe fine now. In fact it was having building work at the time - I'm assuming we're talking about the little school half way thru the village???? I would suggest you just go in there and ask. I have a friend whose children went there and were quite happy with it. If you wanted to ask her how she found the school and if you want any help, she works in Alhaurin de la Torre property and real estate Spain ask for Hayley, tell her Jo sent you !!!!

Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to all those who have replied, it's great to have a forum such as this.

Why are we coming to live in Spain? too many reasons really, not to make money though. I have never settled in Ireland, too cold and wet, my mom and my brother live in Spain, my mom has a large house with separate apartment on one of the hills overlooking El Romeral.

JoJo, how can an American correct your daughters pronunciation? nothing against Americans but different people from different countries have different accents. We are very worried about the schooling, my eldest, just diagnosed with dyslexia, had a dreadful year with her teacher telling her she was stupid and lazy, thankfully she is not teaching anymore but the damage has been done! You mention Bilingual school MIT and Cappellenia both in Dela Torre, do they fall into the zone for El Romeral, nobody has mentioned any schools in Churriana, is there a reason?

Children's allowance is equivalent of child benefit I think, the welfare office here gave us forms to get it approved by the Spanish authorities but we are to expect a lot less than we get here, apparently because it's all part of EU policies it takes about 6 weeks ( I don't know which 6 weeks, but 6 weeks anyway)

I do acupuncture, herbal medicine and massage, my main contract is with a community drugs group but I have been working a lot with people who have had a stroke, I'd imagine I would have to travel to either Marbella/Estapona or Malaga areas, any comments?
 

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Thanks to all those who have replied, it's great to have a forum such as this.

Why are we coming to live in Spain? too many reasons really, not to make money though. I have never settled in Ireland, too cold and wet, my mom and my brother live in Spain, my mom has a large house with separate apartment on one of the hills overlooking El Romeral.

JoJo, how can an American correct your daughters pronunciation? nothing against Americans but different people from different countries have different accents. We are very worried about the schooling, my eldest, just diagnosed with dyslexia, had a dreadful year with her teacher telling her she was stupid and lazy, thankfully she is not teaching anymore but the damage has been done! You mention Bilingual school MIT and Cappellenia both in Dela Torre, do they fall into the zone for El Romeral, nobody has mentioned any schools in Churriana, is there a reason?

Children's allowance is equivalent of child benefit I think, the welfare office here gave us forms to get it approved by the Spanish authorities but we are to expect a lot less than we get here, apparently because it's all part of EU policies it takes about 6 weeks ( I don't know which 6 weeks, but 6 weeks anyway)

I do acupuncture, herbal medicine and massage, my main contract is with a community drugs group but I have been working a lot with people who have had a stroke, I'd imagine I would have to travel to either Marbella/Estapona or Malaga areas, any comments?
there IS no child benefit here - although there are tax allowances if you're working, as someone else said - afaik the UK child benefit isn't transportable (unless that's a VERY recent change)


work could be hard to come by though, so if you're going to NEED to work, I'd stay put for now
 

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Churriana is considered a bit too far away, so it never entered the equation for us. Living in El Romeral didnt affect the choice of schools, altho we did look at Gerald Brennan senior school, which was full (thankfully as I didnt like it). It seems as long as you are in the "Alhaurin de la Torre" catchment area, then the schools (if they have places) are available. The MIT school is fee paying altho its much cheaper than other fee paying schools due to the way its been set up. I believe the teachers are all shareholders and therefore all part own the school.

As for child allowance. There isnt any in Spain - If you're employed on a contract then you may get a tax allowance and you'd also be eligible for free healthcare, but otherwise its not as it is in the UK and as I said before the UK child allowance isnt transferable if you dont work and pay NI there. In fact no allowances are - apart from the DLA

Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
JoJo, thanks for the useful information, we are getting impatient to get there but so much to do until we leave, anyway...
Can you give me any idea about how your children coped with English, obviously with mine going to a state school the schooling is going to be done in Spanish, my second daughter is 5 years and in snr infants(KG2?) and doing very well, apart from speaking to us and any English speaking friends she may make, how do her language skills progress or any English speaking children, I'd imagine their Spanish ultimately becomes better than their English?
 

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JoJo, thanks for the useful information, we are getting impatient to get there but so much to do until we leave, anyway...
Can you give me any idea about how your children coped with English, obviously with mine going to a state school the schooling is going to be done in Spanish, my second daughter is 5 years and in snr infants(KG2?) and doing very well, apart from speaking to us and any English speaking friends she may make, how do her language skills progress or any English speaking children, I'd imagine their Spanish ultimately becomes better than their English?

My daughter was 11 when we arrived in Spain and insisted she wanted tro go to a Spanish school, but as I've said, it didnt work out well. I have to say that altho she was in Spanish education for 2 years, she learnt more Spanish in the international school and is now pretty good - fluent.... ish!!!!!??? I have friends who have bilingual kids, but altho they can speak both languages, they have terrible trouble with reading and writing english - thats something that the parents need to teach at home

Jo xxx
 

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JoJo, thanks for the useful information, we are getting impatient to get there but so much to do until we leave, anyway...
Can you give me any idea about how your children coped with English, obviously with mine going to a state school the schooling is going to be done in Spanish, my second daughter is 5 years and in snr infants(KG2?) and doing very well, apart from speaking to us and any English speaking friends she may make, how do her language skills progress or any English speaking children, I'd imagine their Spanish ultimately becomes better than their English?
my 2 have been in the state system here since they were 4 & 8 - the younger girl could read a bit in English at that time, but not a lot, so essentially Spanish is her first (written) language

she was eventually diagnosed as dyslexic & has had a lot of help - to the extent that she no longer needs it:D

yes, their written Spanish is better than their written English - mainly spelling issues - but when I looked at the spelling of some English kids (who were at international/british school) who I taught maths & Spanish to, it actually isn't so very bad ;)

they have both always read in English at home, comics/books/facebook & of course we speak English at home too (unless they have schoolfriends here), so their spoken English is fine too, although they do often feel more able to express themselves properly in Spanish (or sometimes Spanglish)

the younger one will be 13 this summer & her big sister is 16, so they have both been here more than half their lives, & speak Spanish more hours a day than they do English, so I suppose that's only natural
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
my 2 have been in the state system here since they were 4 & 8 - the younger girl could read a bit in English at that time, but not a lot, so essentially Spanish is her first (written) language

she was eventually diagnosed as dyslexic & has had a lot of help - to the extent that she no longer needs it:D

yes, their written Spanish is better than their written English - mainly spelling issues - but when I looked at the spelling of some English kids (who were at international/british school) who I taught maths & Spanish to, it actually isn't so very bad ;)

they have both always read in English at home, comics/books/facebook & of course we speak English at home too (unless they have schoolfriends here), so their spoken English is fine too, although they do often feel more able to express themselves properly in Spanish (or sometimes Spanglish)

the younger one will be 13 this summer & her big sister is 16, so they have both been here more than half their lives, & speak Spanish more hours a day than they do English, so I suppose that's only natural
Thanks, I really appreciate the replies, my girls are 7 and 5, my son is 9 months. I have had a lot of misinformation, not maliciously but by people who mean well but don't really know, ie, dyslexia is not recognised in Spain, bullying doesn't exist in Spanish state schools. Anyway... the help your daughter got, is/was it state help or private and if private is it readily available. In your experience was dyslexia recognised by the teacher, as I mentioned previously we had a lot of trouble with my daughters teacher, only resolved when she was suspended and subsequently left (the teacher, not my daughter).
At the moment we do extra work with her from the work sheets on Skillwise and TLSBooks, which gives different work for the different grades, I suppose the answer to my question really, would be to continue as we are doing and let the school teach the Spanish curriculum.
 

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Thanks, I really appreciate the replies, my girls are 7 and 5, my son is 9 months. I have had a lot of misinformation, not maliciously but by people who mean well but don't really know, ie, dyslexia is not recognised in Spain, bullying doesn't exist in Spanish state schools. Anyway... the help your daughter got, is/was it state help or private and if private is it readily available. In your experience was dyslexia recognised by the teacher, as I mentioned previously we had a lot of trouble with my daughters teacher, only resolved when she was suspended and subsequently left (the teacher, not my daughter).
At the moment we do extra work with her from the work sheets on Skillwise and TLSBooks, which gives different work for the different grades, I suppose the answer to my question really, would be to continue as we are doing and let the school teach the Spanish curriculum.
'dylesxia' isn't exactly recognised........... it was recognised as a 'reading problem' though by her class teacher & then she had one-to-one help for several years & also extra time for exams & so on - this was at state school & free

bullying DOES exist in Spanish schools - it exists EVERYWHERE & any school which tells you otherwise is lying

it's how it's dealt with that matters & in my experience it's dealt with quickly & harshly

what actually constitutes bullying might be different though - from what my friends in the UK tell me a lot of normal horseplay would lead to a cry of 'I'm being bullied' - it isn't like that here - but TRUE bullying is stamped out

yes, continue with the English worksheets - but imo don't push it too hard - far better to just encourage reading in English
 
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