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A friend of mine recently moved to Madrid with his two teenage kids (one is 15, the other is 16). They are a family of native English speakers.

They are exploring sending their children to a Spanish school (the cost of sending them to a private English school is beyond their means) which means their children would be required to learn Spanish to fluency in as short possible time as possible. He is suggesting sending them to a school for a year so that next September, they will be fluent enough to continue at a nearby school.

The problem is there seems to be no school these kids can go to. I am not talking about the one hour a day Spanish school that you find in Sol. I mean something better suited for children, in secondary school and reasonably priced-not touristyly priced (for the want of a better word).

Thanks guys.
 

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A friend of mine recently moved to Madrid with his two teenage kids (one is 15, the other is 16). They are a family of native English speakers.

They are exploring sending their children to a Spanish school (the cost of sending them to a private English school is beyond their means) which means their children would be required to learn Spanish to fluency in as short possible time as possible. He is suggesting sending them to a school for a year so that next September, they will be fluent enough to continue at a nearby school.

The problem is there seems to be no school these kids can go to. I am not talking about the one hour a day Spanish school that you find in Sol. I mean something better suited for children, in secondary school and reasonably priced-not touristyly priced (for the want of a better word).

Thanks guys.
Was in Sol this morning!!
Well, it's certainly a different kind of idea, I've never heard of anyone doing this before... I'm not sure how this would work out because obligatory state school goes up to 16 so legally they would be required to be in full time "normal" education, wouldn't they?
There are places that do full time language courses, but it would probably work out pretty expensive even though I suppose a deal could be made. Of course the ideal would be to get them involved in activities with people their own age and in the area, but it's not easy at 15 and 16 and school would be the best place to do that...
 

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Is this for real? I mean even if the kids were quick at learning Spanish, I reckon it'd take at least 5 years to become sufficiently fluent to attend a Spanish school at that age. Even if they had native Spanish the 15 year old might still have to start ESO (secondary education) from scratch in order to complete it, i.e. start with the 12 year olds. It's just not an option.

Kids of that age have to carry on studying the same curriculum they are used to, and in a language they speak fluently. I guess the 16 year has finished secondary scool, in which case the curriculum isn't such an issue, but the language certainly is.
 

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Tough...

It is a tough situation to be in; most schools have high prices because most parents that bring their children without any Spanish fluency tend to be sent to Spain by their employers, and employers almost always cover the cost of tuition if the parent is expatriated to Spain, so the school knows they can demand a premium. It is even a higher burden if there is more than one child, though sometimes schools offer discounts for siblings.

That said, I am in somewhat of a similar situation, except out children (four of them) are bi-lingual and spent their Pre-K through 5th grade in IB schools where Spanish was the primary language. Still, we had to go through the process of enrolling them. We are awaiting a response that should have come on Monday, but now today (Wednesday,) I'll update this post with any news. I am in the US, my wife and kids are in Spain.
 

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As Pesky said, a 15 year old will be required to attend 'normal' secondary school, and should be given extra Spanish lessons. The parents need to go to the education department at teh town hall.

Depending on the year of birth of the 16 year old, s/he might no longer be required to attend school, & in that case, since s/he is past the age of obligatory education, might not be accepted into a state school for further education (bachillerato - equivalent of A levels.) In fact, probably wouldn't be.
 

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No word yet...

As I said, I am updating you on the latest...

So my wife went to the school, and the staff is just as miffed that the "government" has not given a response either way as to allowing the children to start school. This is the second time the school has tried to get an answer. When I asked my wife what the latest word was this morning, she texted me back saying "what can I say, Spain.".

True to their form, the bureaucracy in Spain is such that all answers come slowly. The local staff in the city have been very helpful though, and do show empathy. However, they don't have the final say, so they are just following the normal procedures.

The school suggested a semi-private school (no extra cost apparently), but they won't answer their phones. My wife will have to visit in person and find out what the situation is there.

Again, I will update when I get news. All I can say to the OPs friend is to remain engaged, and do not rest until you get the answers you need.
 

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Kids are in...

Okay, so my wife went back the school, they still did not hear anything. Just on a whim, one of the staff decided to call the semi-private Catholic school at the other end of town (small Jaca), and low and behold, the letter from the state arrived there a few days ago! :rolleyes:

So our children have to go to three different schools! The eldest one is in high school, the second youngest is in middle school, and the two younger ones are in elementary school. The semi-private Catholic school had room for both the younger ones, but my wife would like them to all be in the same area, so she is going to see if she can get my 5th grader in the school near to the two older ones. The youngest is in the 3rd grade, and the school does not have room for her, unless they get special permission to add one more student.

So, they are all in. FYI, my wife and kids are Norwegian citizens (never lived a day in their lives there, that's another story), so my wife went to the city offices and got some sort of number, but did not register as a resident.

Unfortunately for the kids, they will more than likely be uprooted in the near future as my wife will most likely accept a job in one of the northern countries. Anyway, I just wanted to give an update on what it was like for our children to enroll in Spanish school. They were educated in the US so far, but are all bilingual, so they just have to get used to new words, and maybe the local accent.

Regards
 
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