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Hello

We are a young family of 4 with 2 children ages 8 and 4 years old. We are looking to move to Barcelona in January for 1-2 years and then come back to the UK. My husband has work so it will just mean myself finding some office work once we are over.

My main worry is finding the right area for my children to attend state school? I have no idea about the schools in and around the city but have heard Sant cugat has some expat community's from the UK. I'm fully expecting my daughter and son to be taught in Spanish but would like to know if there are any specific schools that supports expats other than the pricey private or international schools?

We have also been looking at properties to rent but they seem really high. Are there any places we look at private rents?

Any advice would very much appreciated?

Kind regards,
Sophie
 

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Do you and your partner speak Spanish? State schools in Spain are not like UK schools who will often provide language support for new immigrants.

Unless you speak Spanish you will really struggle to find work given that there are millions of local folk who know the language/rules/regulations/culture desperate for work in these times of mass unemployment in Spain (far far worse than the UK)

Effectivly, putting your two through state schools means they are loosing two years of education when they return to the UK, so they will be playing catch up big time in Spain and the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My husband and I both speak basic Spanish but have a tutor.

I will be also be teaching the children from home so they are not to far behind in the UK.

Thanks for your reply :)
 

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Hello

We are a young family of 4 with 2 children ages 8 and 4 years old. We are looking to move to Barcelona in January for 1-2 years and then come back to the UK. My husband has work so it will just mean myself finding some office work once we are over.

My main worry is finding the right area for my children to attend state school? I have no idea about the schools in and around the city but have heard Sant cugat has some expat community's from the UK. I'm fully expecting my daughter and son to be taught in Spanish but would like to know if there are any specific schools that supports expats other than the pricey private or international schools?

We have also been looking at properties to rent but they seem really high. Are there any places we look at private rents?

Any advice would very much appreciated?

Kind regards,
Sophie
How exciting and refreshing to find someone who has a job and speaks some Spanish. We have a few people on here with children and some children, I'm certain they'll be along to advise you
 

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I'm fully expecting my daughter and son to be taught in Spanish...
In Catalunya, your children will be taught in Catalan, not Spanish. However, given their ages, they should be able to pick up both languages quickly enough, particularly in the case of the younger child.

Effectivly, putting your two through state schools means they are loosing two years of education when they return to the UK, so they will be playing catch up big time in Spain and the UK.
I disagree with this, especially in the case of the younger child, who at the age of 4 might not even have started school yet. There is no way his/her education will be affected by a move. The older child may have a little more difficulty adapting, but as long as they are back in the UK before starting high school, I can't see that their education will be adversely affected.

We have also been looking at properties to rent but they seem really high. Are there any places we look at private rents?
Rental costs in and around Barcelona are ridiculously high. Demand far outstrips supply, thanks to properties being rented on Airbnb instead of to residents, and this has pushed prices up.

If you go through an agency, you can expect to pay 4+ months' money upfront (2 months' supposedly refundable deposit, one month's rent in advance, and one month's rent + VAT in non-refundable fees). The other option is to rent direct from a private landlord. However, many are wary (especially of foreigners) and will ask for anywhere between two and six months' money upfront.

To get an idea of what's out there, have a look at some of the biggest rental sites: Idealista (https://www.idealista.com/), Fotocasa (https://www.fotocasa.es/es/), Enalquiler (Pisos en alquiler en España, Madrid y Barcelona - Enalquiler.com), and API (Alquiler y venta de pisos y casas - API portal inmobiliario profesional).
 

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Do you and your partner speak Spanish? State schools in Spain are not like UK schools who will often provide language support for new immigrants.

Unless you speak Spanish you will really struggle to find work given that there are millions of local folk who know the language/rules/regulations/culture desperate for work in these times of mass unemployment in Spain (far far worse than the UK)

Effectivly, putting your two through state schools means they are loosing two years of education when they return to the UK, so they will be playing catch up big time in Spain and the UK.
State schools in Spain DO provide language support for new immigrants. Most children won't lose anything at all - unless it's because they have to actually catch up with what they are being taught - in some subject areas, Spain is ahead curriculum wise than the UK, so they won't miss out education wise.

Not a real problem at the ages of the OPs children, but certainly if they were coming up to secondary school age.

I do agree that it's a good idea to keep up their reading in English though.
 

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They don't provide the same level of care the UK does, don't give false hope.

Can I ask what this statement is based on. The OP has young children, young children adapt, who are we to tell this mother that the children will lose two years education. When was the last time you actually attended a school in the U.K.
I'm not so sure schools in the U.K. are the be all and end all as neither are they in Spain, education is complex it's about school standards, parent involvement ( OP speaks limited spanish) child ability.

As for the same support as in the U.K. I would suggest that support in schools would depend entirely on where one lives

Half a million primary school children ‘taught in super-sized classes’ | The Independent
 

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Can I ask what this statement is based on. The OP has young children, young children adapt, who are we to tell this mother that the children will lose two years education. When was the last time you actually attended a school in the U.K.
I'm not so sure schools in the U.K. are the be all and end all as neither are they in Spain, education is complex it's about school standards, parent involvement ( OP speaks limited spanish) child ability.

As for the same support as in the U.K. I would suggest that support in schools would depend entirely on where one lives

Half a million primary school children ‘taught in super-sized classes’ | The Independent
I'd like to know as well

I live in Spain, I moved here with two children then aged 4 & 7 who didn't speak any Spanish when they arrived, and went through the Spanish education system, so I know first hand what happens. I'm not the only member here in that position.

I also know that support is still currently given to new immigrant children who don't speak Spanish, in the form of special 'out of class' language lessons in small groups. It's actually a legal requirement that it is.

The quality of the extra support will vary, but with small class sizes generally (around 20 - 25 max in a class) it's easier for class teachers to help too. Many schools in high immigrant areas have a buddy system as well.


I have no idea what is offered in the UK. I'm not giving 'false hope' - just telling it as it is.
 

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Our son started Spanish state school when he was three years old. He is now about to start his fifth year (2nd year in primary). He is obviously fluent in English but also in Spanish and is learning German as well. His maths is at least a year ahead of children at the same age in UK. Even though his Spanish is very good (much better than mine) he still receives additional language support at school. As mentioned earlier it is a legal requirement to offer such support. He is also being taught social sciences, general science plus physical education. He loves school (at the moment) but he isn't ready yet to go back (so he tells me) but his new year starts on 15th September, a Friday so not an horrendous beginning...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you so much for all your informative messages. I have to admit I was starting to panic but its great to hear first hand of the extra support that is legally provided for immigrant families with schooling. I am definitely going to continue all the English and maths homework we currently do at present (around an hour a night) so that the transition back to the UK isn't to hard for them both. My 8 year old has been learning Spanish since she was two so is good with the language for her age and is usually correcting me when I get words wrong.

Does anyone know of any areas in or around Barcelona city that they could suggest us having a look at?

I think this experience will be amazing for our family and I thank you again for your support :)
 

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Can I ask what this statement is based on. The OP has young children, young children adapt, who are we to tell this mother that the children will lose two years education. When was the last time you actually attended a school in the U.K.
I'm not so sure schools in the U.K. are the be all and end all as neither are they in Spain, education is complex it's about school standards, parent involvement ( OP speaks limited spanish) child ability.

As for the same support as in the U.K. I would suggest that support in schools would depend entirely on where one lives

Half a million primary school children ‘taught in super-sized classes’ | The Independent
We have friends who returned to live in the UK 8 years ago, with their 2 chldren who had been born and educated wholly in Spain until their return, when they were aged 10 and 8. Of course they were native Spanish speakers (both parents also spoke fluent Spanish) but the family spoke English at home and their mother ensured they had support with reading and spelling in English.

When they returned they were certainly not behind their English classmates in primary school in any way, so I don't think bob bob is justified in saying that the OP's children would effectively lose two years of their education.
 

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We have friends who returned to live in the UK 8 years ago, with their 2 chldren who had been born and educated wholly in Spain until their return, when they were aged 10 and 8. Of course they were native Spanish speakers (both parents also spoke fluent Spanish) but the family spoke English at home and their mother ensured they had support with reading and spelling in English.

When they returned they were certainly not behind their English classmates in primary school in any way, so I don't think bob bob is justified in saying that the OP's children would effectively lose two years of their education.
I agree

I know quite a few families who have returned to the UK after their children have been educated in the Spanish system. As long as they have kept up with reading in English, they have had no problems at all returning to school in the UK.

Some have returned & of course sat Spanish GCSE & A level a few years early, so leaving more study time for other subjects.
 

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I agree

I know quite a few families who have returned to the UK after their children have been educated in the Spanish system. As long as they have kept up with reading in English, they have had no problems at all returning to school in the UK.

Some have returned & of course sat Spanish GCSE & A level a few years early, so leaving more study time for other subjects.
Our friend's son did just that, sat his GCSE Spanish exam in his first year at secondary school and got an A grade. I think it must give them quite a confidence boost as well. He's just finished his first year at university and on course to get a 2.1 from his results so far.
 

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Plus.. if I may be so bold.... my Spanish students, at the age of 5/6 are far more articulate in a foreign language than their English counterparts... the caveat being I haven't set foot in a UK schools for twenty years :D
 

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I know Barcelona very well. What area of the city will you be working in? It's best to live not too far from work as the metro can be very crowded in the morning. Most rental properties are in Eixample which is a nice district. The Raval area is to be avoided.
By the way, what is your rental budget?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I know Barcelona very well. What area of the city will you be working in? It's best to live not too far from work as the metro can be very crowded in the morning. Most rental properties are in Eixample which is a nice district. The Raval area is to be avoided.
By the way, what is your rental budget?
Hi Thank you for your reply.

My husband is doing Field Sales so we have no tie's to a specific area. We want to move to an area that is suitable for our young children in regards to state schools and maybe an expat community so they settle in a bit faster?
 

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Hi Thank you for your reply.

My husband is doing Field Sales so we have no tie's to a specific area. We want to move to an area that is suitable for our young children in regards to state schools and maybe an expat community so they settle in a bit faster?
Most expats with families prefer to live in Sant Cugat or Castedellfels which are two nice towns just outside the city. In Barcelona itself, I think the "zona alta" is the best are for children as it has less traffic and more green spaces. There are also a lot of schools in this area. Many better off Spanish parents choose to send their kids to "concertada" schools which are run by the catholic Church, even if they are not religious. There is a fee for attending these schools but they are much cheaper than private schools.
Honestly, without having an idea of your budget I can't really recommend an area. While there are a lot of expats in Barcelona, they are spread throughout the city (although those who can afford it prefer the "zona alta" neighbourhoods of Sarria, Bonanova and Pedralbes)
 

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Most expats with families prefer to live in Sant Cugat or Castedellfels which are two nice towns just outside the city. In Barcelona itself, I think the "zona alta" is the best are for children as it has less traffic and more green spaces. There are also a lot of schools in this area. Many better off Spanish parents choose to send their kids to "concertada" schools which are run by the catholic Church, even if they are not religious. There is a fee for attending these schools but they are much cheaper than private schools.
Honestly, without having an idea of your budget I can't really recommend an area. While there are a lot of expats in Barcelona, they are spread throughout the city (although those who can afford it prefer the "zona alta" neighbourhoods of Sarria, Bonanova and Pedralbes)
Hi

Thank you so much for this information. I will be researching all these area tonight. We have a rental budget of around £1600 a month sterling. I have thought about the concertada school but am finding it hard to get information on any school around the area at this point? Is there a local council that maybe could help me with this information?

Thank you again,
Sophie
 
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