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While the start of the next school year is months away, many parents who are planning to send their first child to public school here, or those new to the islands, might not realise that the time for considering registration for your child is fast approaching.
So what is the procedure?
We decided to ask Adeje education councillor Epifanio Jesús Díaz Hernández to take us through the steps for those of us first time parents.
- Can you outline what parents who are sending their child to school (primary) for the first time in September 2008 need to do?
They need to go to the edcucation centre nearest to their home during the matriculation period (in March), request the matriculation form, bringing with them all the documentation necessary for registration.
From what age can children begin public schooling?
At three they can attend infant school; from the age of six children must attend primary school as required by law. What paperwork do they need?
The matriculation form (which they will get from the school)
A photocopy of the child’s DNI/Residencia, or that of the parents as well as the original to be shown to the school when presenting the documentation.
A resident certificate confirming your home address.
Council registration document (empadronamiento, available from your local council).
Parents’ census cards.
How do they find out what schools their child is eligible to attend?
Placement in public schools is, as a rule, assigned in relation to factors such as closeness to the family’s home and whether the centre is appropriate for the child. In your official request you can add two more schools where you will be assigned a place if there are no vacancies in your first choice of school.
If parents don’t want to send their child to the nearest school to their home (for whatever reason) can they choose another which may have a better reputation, or their friends may be attending, for instance?
As mentioned in the previous answer, public schools are assigned depending on a number of relevant factors which seek to find the school most appropriate for your son or daughter.
If, for whatever reason, the parents wish to change their child to another school the central education office must be consulted and will assist you with your request.
Can they (and the child) visit schools in advance to find out what each one offers?
Yes, you can visit the schools – at each school you wish to visit you need to ask for the headmaster/mistress who can help you with any questions about the school.
Is there any office they can visit who can help them with the paper work?
The main office in each school will help you with the paperwork and should be able to answer any questions you may have.
Is there information available on the school’s performance and results?
In the schools as well as through the department of education parents can find information and results data about the schools in each borough.
Is there anywhere parents can find out this information in English?
Officially all the information is presented in Spanish and those who don’t speak the language need to find a translator. However in many of the schools and colleges there are people who do speak English, and will generally be happy to help provide information. Just to be safe though it is advisable to bring a translator if you don’t speak Spanish.
Can they change schools if they are not happy?
When – mid term or only after the academic year has ended? As mentioned previously, the central education office needs to be consulted if a change of schools is sought.
For more information you can also consult the regional government website www.gobiernodecanarias.org/educacion
, though the information there is only available in Spanish.