In this post, I want to touch upon the costs of sending your child to a concertado school in Valencia. I know many of you have probably done your research on what would be the best option based on your budget. I know of ex-pats in Valencia who send their children to private and international schools and are happy with them. However, not all can afford private schooling, so the another option would be to send your child to a public or concertado school.
What Is A Concertado School?
A concertado school is a semi-private school that receive support from the Spanish government. Hence the word ‘concertado’. Concertado schools are not free, unlike public schools. They are partially financed by the government and the parents.
Concertados appears to have better facilities, and support services compared to a public school. However, this is completely based on my personal experience and from what other people have told me. I don’t know whether it’s just the public schools in our town, but some ex-pats and local friends seem to prefer to send their children to the local concertado than public.
Why Did We Choose A Concertado School?
When we first arrived in Valencia, we sent our sons to a private school (12 and 5 years-old back then). However, after 3 years we decided to pull them out because we were not happy with how they were treating the kids. One particular teacher who was British seem to have a dislike for some of the British kids and made my eldest sons life miserable! We raised the issue and was assured that they will look into it, but nothing happened. I even thought my eldest son was exagerrating things, but after we spoke to some expats who also sent their children in that school (and pulled them out), then it proved it to be true.
Our youngest son was also very behind, even though we were told that he was doing well. We only found out when we moved them out of the school. It was also very expensive and the level of support was not existent. It was business, and we paid for our kids education (which we thought was going to be better) but with disappointing results. You can read more about our experience on my post about the ‘Realities of Being A British Family in Valencia’.
What’s The Difference Between A Concertado School And Public School
To be honest, not a lot. While public schools are free, Concertados will require you to pay a small fee. We pay €35.00 a month for our youngest son. This money goes towards the school. Whether it’s a new class equipment, improvements, and anything that will benefit the school.
Most are also owned by the Catholic church, so your child will be learning about the Catholic religion and be involved in religious activities. My son attends mass on fiestas, play on the church band and other religious events that they may celebrate throughout the year.
Unlike concertado schools, public, schools depends mainly on what the government tells them. This could be the amount of financing they’re allowed, places available and the curriculum. In our town there are 2 public schools. One that teaches only in Valenciano and one in Castellano. Kids also are not required to wear a uniform.
How Much Does It Cost To Send Your Child To A Concertado School
This post will be based on our experience and how much we paid this year to send our youngest son to a local concertado school. If you are thinking about moving to Valencia, then it’s a rough guide on what to expect, after all, this is Spain, and one school can differ from another.
Some of the prices I’ve written below are estimates and for guidance purposes only.
The first day of term, the parents are required to pay €30,00 this is to cover the cost of of the school agenda/planner and access to the school learning platform. Both costs €15,00 per year, per child.
We also pay AMPA (Asociación de Madres y Padres de Alumnos) €25,00. AMPA is a non-profit organisation that is available for parents and they work together with the school. They deal with matters and events that affect families within the school. This can include the organisation of trips, discounts for families, selling of uniforms, organising who provides the school lunches and so on.
Most concertado schools will require your child to wear a school uniform. This will come in both in summer and winter wear. During the start of the year (September) the kids in our school can still wear their summer uniform which is their P.E kit. They are normally a light t-shirt and shorts. At the beginning of October to June, the kids must wear the ‘smart’ uniform (shown on the image above).
School uniform prices start from around €12 to €40 depending on the size. To give you an idea, my son will require about 10 pieces of uniform. The prices above are ESO so they are bigger in size and cost more compared to the ones at primary age.
Pre-COVID, the school normally arranges 3 school trips per year. This can be a trip to the museum or an educational excursions. Last year when our son started 1°ESO he had the option to go to Ireland to learn English. This was a costly trip that totalled to around €750.
However big trips like these doesn’t start until your child begins high school. When my son was in Primary school, trip and excursion costs will vary from €5,00 to €100 depending on where they’ll go and what they’ll be doing.
This year is different, no mention of trips or excursions on the initial meeting, so I assume they’ll see how it goes.
Every year your child will require new learning books or textbooks. Back when we sent our son to a private school we paid around €350+ (each child) for new books every year. However, in concertado schools in Valencia, you can apply for a book grant. The programme aims to provide free books and other materials to Valencian students. Read my post to learn more about La Xarxa Programme.
Cost: FREE with Xarxa
This year my son have nine reading books. Three books in each language (Castellano, Valenciano and English). The books I normally buy from Amazon. You can also get them from Carrefour, Corte Ingles and local book stores.
Depending on your families income, and situation you may also apply for help with school supplies. This is a government initiative to help families pay for books and materials. This year our local authority granted €75 for each child, which is a great help for many families as you can easily spend €100 on reading books alone.
This includes, notebooks, pens, rubbers,felt-tips, paints,brushes,bags, pencil cases, folders, rulers, and the list goes on… The total cost of this really depends on where you shop. During the month of August large supermarkets such as Carreour have offers and discounts. Amazon Spain also offers buy 2 get 3 free, so watch out for these.
Sending your child to a concertado school in Valencia is not as expensive compared to a private school. However, the costs add up, especially if you have additional children. This September we’ve spent around €500-600 and this does not include any upcoming trips or any additional materials or uniform that he may need.
If you are thinking of sending your child to a concertado school ensure that you enquire if you may be entitled to some benefits such as La Xarxa and Becas de Libros. This will save you a lot of money in the long run. These benefits are also available for parents who send their child to public school but you must qualify in order to receive them.
Rundown of how much we pay:
- Concertado School Monthly Fee: €35.00
- School Agenda: €15 – yearly
- Online Platform: €15 – yearly
- AMPA – €25 – yearly
- Uniform – €250 – to start the year
- Text Books (Libros de Texto) – FREE (Xarxa scheme)
- Reading Books (Libros de Lectura) – from €70+
- School Materials – €150+
Going back to school in Spain can be costly. So it’s important to check out any discounts or benefits that you may be able to get. In the beginning of August, Carrefour, El Corte Ingles, Amazon.es also offer promotions on books and school materials so keep your eye out for those. There is also a new website Compramos Tus Libros where you can buy and sell school textbooks online.
I hope this post have given you a little insight and a better understanding of how much it is to send your child to a concertado in Valencia. As a parent, you will need to decide what is best for your child’s needs. Unfortunately, we had a bad experience with a private school in the beginning, but no school is perfect, right? So, my advice would be is to do your research. Visit the schools, and check out Facebook groups in Valencia to ask other parents for advice.
All opinions stated on this post are from our own experiences. The level of education and support really depends on the school.