Andorra’s educational structure is peculiar due to the coexistence of different schooling systems. Andorra, despite being a small country, differentiates itself by having three public schooling systems financed by the state, based on language. A quality education system is available to all families residing in Andorra.
Parents can choose whether they want children to be educated in the Spanish, French, or Andorran school system, from the early years up to secondary school. Andorran educational system is varied and flexible, with great freedom of choice and very complete. Bear in mind that Andorra’s literacy rate is 100%.
Andorra School System
Apart from the three public education systems in Spanish, French, and Catalan, two private schools in Andorra prioritize the teaching of English as the main language. Schooling in a tiny country isn’t quite as simple as the tax system, as you are spoiled for choice.
- The core language is Catalan and French is a second language. Each classroom is supported by a Catalan and French tutor.
- English language activities are carried out by a teacher specialized in English during the second and third cycles.
- Spanish is introduced in the third cycle and is taught by a specialized Spanish teacher.
- The core language is French.
- Agreement between the Government of Andorra and the French Republic in the field of education provides free public education through French establishments in the Principality. Besides, there is a possibility of granting an Andorran diploma for some specific training validated by a French diploma and following the lessons taught in the public education establishments of France is foreseen.
- The core language is Spanish.
- Agreement between the Government of Andorra and Spain maintains a Spanish public education system in Andorra comprised of Spanish state-owned schools.
Private Schools in Andorra
There are two private schools in Andorra with the English language of instruction. The main difference is that the English-speaking country recognizes the validation of their educational programs.
- Agora International School Andorra located in La Massana allows obtaining a double degree: the Spanish and the American baccalaureate.
- The British School of Andorra is placed in Andorra la Vella: the educational program is based on the British National Curriculum.
If you are thinking of moving with your family to Andorra, you can be more relaxed about your children’s education. And if you need any further details or assistance with enrollment, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Andorra’s Public Education Structure
Andorra’s educational structure integrates centers that follow the Andorran educational system and schools that follow the Spanish or French structure. The formal system is divided into four stages:
- Primary education
- Compulsory secondary education
Despite the significant differences between the systems, the law determines that schooling will be compulsory in the first and second-grade sections, which means from 6 to 16 years old. However, depending on the structure, division between the levels or grades of each educational stage is variable.
There are slight differences between each of the educational systems. For example, while primary education in the Spanish and Andorran systems lasts six years, in the French system this stage only lasts five years. The same situation repeats in the second stage, which completes compulsory education up to the age of 16 (15 in the case of the French education system).
The last stage of education, the “bachillerato” or “batxillerat”, is a two-year program in both the Spanish and Andorran systems, and a three-year program in the French educational system.
Maternal, Primary and Post Primary Education in Andorra
Most children enter primary education at the age of six when it is compulsory. Upon completion of primary education at the age of twelve, children move on to secondary education until the age of 16.
For those wishing to enroll in a university course, they must take two years (for the Andorran and Spanish education system) or a three-year course (for the French education system).
Here is a summary of all levels:
Early Childhood (Educació infantil)
The first cycle is from 0 to 3 years old, and the second would be from 3 to 6 years old. At maternal school, attention is paid to the effective development, movement, and body control habits. On the other hand, communication, language, coexistence, and social relations are also in focus to ensure that children can continue schooling in a comfortable and harmonious environment. In the second stage, children are allowed to expand social and emotional development.
Primary (Primera Ensenyança)
The primary education sector (Primera ensenyança) is the first stage of compulsory schooling and admits students from the age of 6.
In the French system, this stage lasts five years, while in the Spanish and Andorran systems it lasts six years. At the end of these studies, students in the Andorran system obtain a certificate of first education.
The number of educational centers that teach this stage is 25, distributed among the three educational systems.
Secondary School (Segona Ensenyança)
The second stage completes compulsory education up to the age of 16 (15 in the case of French education). For the Andorran system, the duration is four years. In the case of the Spanish system, it consists of a four-year cycle (ESO – Educación Secundaria Obligatoria ) and is followed by a two-year cycle (non-compulsory studies – Batxillerat).
For schools following the French system, the “collège” extends from age 11 to age 14. In all educational systems, at the end of those 4 years, students will obtain a certificate. For most students when they choose to stay in school, they will follow a 2-year system; Batxillerat (baccalaureate) to prepare students for university.
Four schools are offering the second stage education: one from the Andorran system, one from the French system, and two from the Spanish system.
“Batxillerat” is a section of formal education that prepares students to enter university or higher professional level. All students who have completed the previous cycles and, depending on the educational systems, begin at 15 or 16 years of age (depending on the educational system followed). In Andorra, the Baccalaureate is only taught in four schools: the Andorran school, the Lycée Français, the Spanish Institute, and the Sant Ermengol secondary school.
The University of Andorra (Universitat d’Andorra) was created in 1997 as a public institution of higher education. The university consists of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Education, the Faculty of Business and Technology, and the Faculty of eLearning and Lifelong Learning.
IPA is a member of the European University Association and the International Association of Universities. As of 2006, almost three-quarters of the university’s finances came from the Andorran state.
Individuals wishing to enroll in a university course must present one of the following qualifications:
- An Andorran high school diploma or an equivalent diploma is recognized by the Andorran authorities.
- The university entrance exam for students over 25 years of age.
- An Andorran advanced professional diploma.
- A bachelor’s degree in the corresponding Specialization for a master’s degree.
- Degrees from foreign educational systems approved by the Government of Andorra.
- Pre-registration for any degree offered by the University can be done online through the University’s website during the pre-registration period.
Sports Activities in Andorran schools
Andorra’s geographical location, cultural influence from neighboring countries, and political configuration have played an important role in the educational structure, where the multilingual education of the Andorra population is crucial for the development of the country. Andorra is known as an excellent tourist destination for skiing, for this reason, the Government supports the experience of learning to ski as a compulsory school subject. The teaching of this sport is also subsidized by the government for a short period, but parents can choose to complete the learning of skiing in a more advanced way if they wish.
The promotion of sport in the country’s education is very prominent, apart from skiing, which only covers a short period of the year, there is a choice of more traditional sports such as football (FC Andorra), basketball, and tennis which are also part of the school curriculum. If you are thinking of moving to Andorra, education is not something you should be concerned about.