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Registering for School - Part 2

By Jo Green - Tue 18th May 2010

Click here to read Registering for School – Part 1.

We knew from other parents at our daughter's nursery that school registration week was between the 4th and 14th of May, so came back from a week’s break in the UK with that weighing on our mind.

On taking her to nursery on our first day back, we were given a registration pack that had been left there for us. Whether a number of these packs had been taken by the school to the nursery, or whether the nursery had specifically gone to the school on behalf of the parents, I don’t know – either way it was quite helpful.

The other thing that was helpful was the fact that the covering form detailing the registration process was in both Spanish, Valencian and English!

The first form was just the basic details about my daughter and us as parents (Names, address, Date of Birth, NIE and SIPS numbers), and on the reverse it clearly stated what documents should accompany the registration. Basically all that was needed was a Medical certificate (specifically for school starters detailing any health issues); a copy of the birth certificate OR the ‘libretto de familia’; a copy of the Padron; and a copy of both parents NIE OR Passports.

All in all quite straightforward!

A second form was in the pack (this time issued by the Communitat Valencia and unfortunately not in English) asking a for a few of the same details and also asking for what I believed to be instructions for her religious education.

Finally came a form (in Spanish) for one of the parents to sign to give permission for the child to take part in any activities outside school premises.

All of these forms and documents were to be presented at the school between these dates in order to register her to start classes in September.

Although my Spanish can only be described as ‘passable’ at the best of times, the whole process was surprisingly straightforward and easy – I basically presented the documents, the secretary then stamped one of the copies and passed it back to me as conformation that she was now officially ‘in the system’.

The exact date when school was to commence was as yet unknown (they almost always aim for the 7th or 8th of September, I was told) but that somebody from the school would call us to inform us of the exact date and procedure. Classes would initially be for 1 hour a day (accompanied by parent) for the first week, rising to 2 hours the next week (still accompanied by a parent), and so on, in order to get the child used to a full school day. A ‘proper’ school day would be in place by the start of October.

Procedural matters in Spain never cease to amaze me – some things (like trying to correct an incorrect SUMA bill) often take multiple phone calls or visits, and reams of paperwork, whilst the seemingly important stuff (like obtaining a residencia certificate or registering for school) are more often than not achieved quite painlessly!

Comment on this Blog

We are in an inland village about 30 mins to the North of Benidorm. Unless you have a marketable & 'in demand' skill and an understanding of the language it is very hard to get established. Having enough savings and a support network of family & friends also helps. We've been here 6 years and we are only really just getting established - but be patient and work towards your goals and you'll get there !
Jo Green - Mon, 22nd Nov 2010
Hi Jo, unfortunately still haven't moved to Spain yet :( My partner actually decided to move over for a couple of months 1st, as a sort of 'trial run' he went to Benidorm but unfortunately he couldn't get a decent enough job to support a family out there so he came back home and we felt so disheartened. But it is something we are going to do one day, I think it is in our hearts to live abroad, and one day we will.. just not sure when! How is life for you in Spain? x
Kelly - Mon, 22nd Nov 2010
Hi kelly, I was just wondering if you ever made the move over here to Spain, and if so how you got on? I hope everything went to plan!
Jo Green - Mon, 22nd Nov 2010
Kelly, glad that you found the blogs interesting. In my area the hours for pre-school start (for 1st year children) at just one hour per day for the first week, 2 hours for the next and so on.... rising to 8.30 - 1.00 and then back again between 3.00 - 5.00 in the afternoon. Most schools allow the children to stay on the premesis during the break for 'Comedor'. During the Summer months the hours drop back so that school is just attended in the earlier part of the day. These hours can be quite disruptive if both parents work, which is one of the reasons why Spaniards typically choose to live and work close to the Town Centres, and also why it is quite common to find the Grandparents living with the family - the extra help with the schoolrun etc... must come in handy.

Click here to read Tumbit’s Guide to Registering your child for state education, which you may find useful.

Jo Green - Sun, 30th May 2010
Hi Joanna thanks for replying to my message on yahoo! answers :-) Read your blogs they are really interesting to me as me and my partner and 2 daughters are hoping to move out this september. Glad to hear that it was pretty straightforward to register your daughter for school.. I hope it is the same for me! I speak basic spanish (not much) but my partner can get by quite well so that should help. How many hours does your daughter do at her school? In UK between the ages 3 and 5 I think they do between 12 and 15 hours... is it the same over there? We want to move over so badly but I'm just a little nervous about not knowing the spanish education system so any info. you have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Kelly x
Kelly Mcmanus - Sat, 29th May 2010

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