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School advice for Cantabria

School advice for Cantabria

Old Sep 11th 2022, 5:46 am
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Default School advice for Cantabria

Hi,

British, Bolivian partner, 2 British kids, all residents. Living in Marbella right now; but we are just not beach people - all four of us long for rainy days and green landscapes.

We are going to move to Cantabria as soon as possible. Kids are bilingual; and have been in Spanish school system for a couple of years.

Wondering if anyone can share experiences with schooling in Santander and the west of Santander?
  • Do expat kids suffer xeonophobic or racist bullying? Especially in the smaller towns, where I observe there are only <3% migrant populations according recent statistics. (one of our motivations for coming to Marbella, was so that our entirely foreign (Latino/English) children would have a better chance of fitting in. disclaimer: I ask this in the sincere hope that it is deemed an absurd question: from our own experience, we were welcomed with open arms in a tiny town in Valencia a couple of years back, where we were the only foreigners; but would like to know in case there's some towns that don't take kindly to Guiris showing up - we've seen official reports of this kind of racism at play, when it comes to placements in Concertadaos (semi private colleges), for example, which state the current distribution of expats in these schools, all things considered, is less probable than winning the lottery; so there's evidence of it at some levels at least.
  • The public schools we've seen, look very well provisioned. Is our impression that public schooling seems well managed, and of a decent level, correct?
  • We will have to move here in October, then look for a house - Anyone got any advice about that? Would we be able to enpadron with a month/multi-month airbnb contract (with owner's blessing, of course); because we have a legal obligation to send the kids to school; but we will be leaving Andalucia when our contract is up, and I don't imagine we will find a house overnight (separate question on that coming right up).
  • Should we avoid Concertados (assuming that we could get into one anyhow) - I read that many are run by poorly trained nuns, and are of questionable quality.
  • Are there any schools you would recommend
  • Are there any schools you recommend we avoid?
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Old Sep 12th 2022, 9:02 am
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Default Re: School advice for Cantabria

I don't live there, but maybe but this will help a little...

There are three types of concertados... those run by poorly trained nuns, those run by someone intent on building up some kind of empire where they put all the monthly fees into buying iPads for every pupil and other flashy stuff of datable academic value (and you'll be buying a uniform + chromebook + books on top all probably from the special school supplier), and then the rest which are as good as state schools or maybe a little better.

It depends on the area but state schools might have less racism compared to concertados because they take in more children from foreign backgrounds. Santander is the capital though so I'm sure most local children are used to children from foreign backgrounds.

You might find a bilingual school, in which case try and find out if they're really teaching in English and the class actually follows them, or if it's just a waste of time.

Maybe best to visit shools, try to see the mix of pupils they have, how many pupils per class, see what everything looks like, and find out what they're most interested in telling you about (and what they miss out) which it sounds like you're doing. Good luck!
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Old Sep 12th 2022, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: School advice for Cantabria

The majority of folk here are probably living in the southern areas of spain and are retired without young children so probably not able to provide much information. As a father of a 16 year old who has been through the Spanish system I would say direct racism is not something that I have heard of although everyone is labelled a bit by their nationality- the most important thing is that your children speak Spanish so they are able to participate with other groups. State schools are fine but you may want to consider what kind of opportunities will be available to your children after school if you proceed with the higher Spanish school system. Most middle class Spanish would give their left leg to study and work outside of Spain so UK certificates give your children perhaps more chances. However by 2026 any uk national not a UK resident of 3 years will be expected to pay overseas fees for UK universities!!!
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Old Sep 12th 2022, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: School advice for Cantabria

Originally Posted by Ronnyone
As a father of a 16 year old who has been through the Spanish system I would say direct racism is not something that I have heard of although everyone is labelled a bit by their nationality- the most important thing is that your children speak Spanish so they are able to participate with other groups
Some might call it discrimination. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-s...-idUSKBN29U228
I suppose everybody will see it differently and it could be anything from jokes, not being able to find a rental etc. Of course landlords always want to find the perfect tenant and some people play the racist card when they don't get the apartment.
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Old Sep 22nd 2022, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: School advice for Cantabria

Public Spanish Schools are quite good.
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Old Sep 22nd 2022, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: School advice for Cantabria

Originally Posted by Manolito
Public Spanish Schools are quite good.
There is nothing wrong particularly with Spanish state schools however foreigners do need to consider the routes and opportunities available for their children. If your child completes secondary education and the Bacherlerato then the obvious route would be a Spanish University. Bear in mind that Spain has the highest number of under graduates in Europe and also the highest unemployment figures for graduates. Prior to Brexit many Spanish would be over the moon to get accepted into a UK University but since Brecit this is no longer easy due to the high costs. Many Brits think that their children with UK passports will count as home-students but due to Brexit in 2026 ( 28) they will not be eligible for this category and will be judged as overseas students with 1 year cost of around £ 30,000!!. So do have a hard think about moving to Spain with children as you will deprive them of certain rights they would normally have of living in UK
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Old Sep 25th 2022, 11:28 am
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Default Re: School advice for Cantabria

Lots of EU countries offer free courses for EU students which is something that British/Spanish families can take advantage of.

Study in Europe for free (or low tuition fees)

Last edited by DLC; Sep 25th 2022 at 11:31 am.
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Old Sep 25th 2022, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: School advice for Cantabria

Originally Posted by DLC
Lots of EU countries offer free courses for EU students which is something that British/Spanish families can take advantage of.

Study in Europe for free (or low tuition fees)
This is true however many require a minimal language level for the country language. For example, my son ( who is UK national but qualifies for Swedish passport) has been looking at Swedish universities but even though the courses are in some case in English all students require Swedish. So this does limit UK kids who might be attending private international schools but only have English as their language.
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Old Sep 30th 2022, 1:55 am
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Default Re: School advice for Cantabria

Originally Posted by infrid
Hi,
  • We will have to move here in October, then look for a house - Anyone got any advice about that? Would we be able to enpadron with a month/multi-month airbnb contract (with owner's blessing, of course); because we have a legal obligation to send the kids to school; but we will be leaving Andalucia when our contract is up, and I don't imagine we will find a house overnight (separate question on that coming right up).
Hi, I live in Santander but don't have kids, so this is the only part I can help with. I've a friend who's looking for a flat and she uses idealista.com

When you say "house" do you mean "house" or "flat" because I'm not sure how many houses there are in Santander for under a gazillion euros.

Originally Posted by infrid

British, Bolivian partner, 2 British kids, all residents. Living in Marbella right now; but we are just not beach people - all four of us long for rainy days and green landscapes.
You know Santander has beaches, right?

PS nowadays it doesn't rain so much in the north. Until last week week it hadn't really rained for months. Although perhaps that means we're due a load which will arrive at the same time you do
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