Education for pupils under 16 years old


Education is compulsory and free for all people between 6 and 16 years old, and is divided into two stages: primary education and compulsory secondary education. There is also a wide range of offers, many of them also free, for 0 - 6 years and those over 16 years old. The teaching of religion is not compulsory at any centre.

Barakaldo has public and private centres to enrol minors for schooling. Foreigners may choose any of these provided there is a place for them. There is no separation of sexes.

Applicants may also choose the language model There are three models: A (basically in Spanish, with Basque as a subject), B (approximately half the subjects are in Spanish and the other half in Basque) and D (basically in Basque, with Spanish as a subject). Another language is studied in all cases (English), and occasionally a further language (French).

How to enrol

For the following year there is an ordinary pre-enrolment period which normally commences in February. Applicants must fill in two documents (Enrolment Application Form for the centre, and a Questionnaire for parents), and these are presented at the centre of first choice (they may choose up to three centres in order of preference). They must also present a photocopy of the Family Register.

It is advisable for applicants to be registered as resident and have available a copy of their registration, photos of the children, and a copy of their vaccination record. It is also useful to have an income certificate.

Centres place students in the year of studies in accordance with their age, and also with certain adjustments in line with their academic level or educational requirements.

Applicants go to the centre to enrol during the year. The centre sends the enrolment application to the provincial Schooling Commission, which accepts it if there is space at the centre, or redirects it to another centre.

Applicants simply fill in the appropriate form (Admission of immigrant students) and, once they have been accepted, the form for another centre for the following year.

From the 3rd year of ESO (at around 15 years of age),application can be made to validate studies done in schools previously attended.

Centres to enrol pupils between 0 and 12 years old

Centres to enrol pupils between 12 and 16 years old

Education for pupils over 16 years old


Even though, school is not compulsory after 16 years of age, we offer a wide range of free education courses organised in three career paths:

  • The Baccalaureate prepares students for university entrance or for higher level vocational training courses. It is essential to have passed the compulsory secondary education course (ESO) or equivalent to gain access.
  • Middle level vocational training cycles offer qualifications in specific professional activities. For access to these courses it is necessary to have passed the Compulsory Secondary Education course (ESO) or equivalent, or to have passed the Entrance Exam.
  • To access higher level vocational training cycles, it is necessary to have passed the Baccalaureate or equivalent, or to have passed the Entrance Exam.
  • Initial vocational training provides a basic qualification for entering the labour market and also for accessing middle level vocational training courses. To apply, the person must be between 16 and 17 years old and have not passed the Compulsory Secondary Education course (ESO).

In the case of foreign nationals, previous studies can be certified and validated according to agreements made with the countries of origin.

As in primary education, applicants may choose the language model. Another language (English) is studied in all cases, and occasionally a further language (French).

How to enrol

Around the month of May, pre-registration takes place for Initial Vocational Training, Medium and Higher Level Training cycles and the Baccalaureate, at the centre the student wishes to attend The admission form must be filled in at the centre including a copy of an ID or passport. It is advisable to have registered on the municipal census beforehand and to hand in confirmation of the same and some photographs. It is also useful to present an income certificate.

Public schools offering middle and higher secondary education.

Public centres for Initial Vocational Training (16-17 years old)

Enrolment outside the ordinary period

To enrol outside the ordinary period, of for further information or in the event of any problems, candidates must apply to the Basque Government Territorial Education Department Immigrant Student Service.

Further information

For further information, consult the Barakaldo Town Hall Department of Education, Basque and Sports.