More and more people decide to come and live in Portugal and start a new life. Quite often now people are not prepared to wait till the education of their children has been completed in their home country. There is no doubt to my mind that a good and sound education will be the corner stone of a child’s future. For parents with children the Algarve has the following to offer.
Basically there are two options:
• State schools
• Foreign – language international schools.
Education in all Portuguese state schools is free and each town has its primary school (escola primário) and the bigger towns have their secondary school (escola secundário). In between these 2 schools the Portuguese systems has a 2-year bridge school (ciclo). Normally young foreign children pick up the Portuguese language pretty quickly and adapt to state schooling.
You may however for personal reasons decide that you wish to give your child a more international education and if so you have the choice of some recognised English-language schools.
Several of them educate pupils up to the age of 16 and the curriculum is the English I.G.C.S.E. level (Internal General Certificate of Secondary Education. The language of instruction is English, although Portuguese is compulsory as a second language. The course is divided in a Primary School (4 to 10 years of age) and a Senior School (11 to 18 years of age).
The following schools are available without being complete:
• The Algarve International School at Porches, Lagoa, founded in 1972.
• Colégio International de Vilamoura, Quintinhas, Vilamoura
Besides that there is a primary school
• The Barlavento English School “ in Espiche ( west of Lagos ) and the
Although in the past the school only went up to the IGCSE exams (age 16) the Algarve International School in Porches now also offers Advanced Levels (“A “levels ) or a GNVQ course.
Educating your children in a private school is not cheap and school fees and one should inform at the respective school the present fees applicable. Having completed the above schemes the one could attend English colleges or universities.
Note for parents of Dutch children:
Having completed the IGCSE exams after years 10 and 11, this will be considered in under certain circumstances as equivalent to HAVO (assumed that one sits the ICE exams and get sufficient marks)
Barlavento English School:
Headmistress: Julie Robinson
Address: Ferrel – Espiche
Tel: +351 282 789 206
Fax: +351 282 788 308
International School of the Algarve:
Head master John Butterworth
Address: Cx. 80 Porches
Tel: +351 282 342 547
Fax: +351 282 353 787
Colégio International de Vilamoura:
Tel: +351 289 366 585
Fax: +351 289 360 388
This article is written and provided with permission by Robert M.L. Snapper, fully licensed real estate agent in Portugal.