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Best school in Lisbon Portugal

A snapshot overview of schools in Lisbon that are considered (although not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expat parents.

If there is no ribbon, pending or otherwise, it means we are aware of the school but have elected not to review it at this time. This could be for a number of reasons, but we continually update information and add or remove reviews as deemed appropriate.

Schools selected for full GSGI review are noted with next to their names.

By full GSGI review, we mean the school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final write-ups take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for indepth details descend on the school for an exhaustive visit.

Schools in Lisbon reviewed by The Good Schools Guide International

Carlucci American International School of Lisbon

Adapted curriculum/ American High School Diploma/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 690 students

Founded in 1956, in a wealthy suburb on the Portuguese Riviera, and now on a campus inaugurated by Hilary Clinton in 1998. Largely Portuguese nationals followed by Americans and students from over 40 nationalities including approximately 10 per cent Chinese. Highest number of graduates move on to UK universities but also to Portuguese, Dutch and US institutions. Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).

Click here to read our full review of Carlucci International American School of Lisbon.

International Preparatory School

Adapted National Curriculum for England; ages 3-11; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 290 students

Now on a brand new campus in Cascais. Two classes per year group, from nursery onwards, with a maximum of 20 per class. British nationals in the majority, closely followed by Portuguese with a smattering of others from all over the globe. Leavers tend to continue their education at St Julian’s although some British children go back to schools in the UK.

Click here to read our full review of the International Preparatory School.

St. Dominic's International School Lisbon

PYP /MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 750 students

Originally established by Irish Dominican nuns as St Dominic’s College. The only school in Portugal to offer the IB programme throughout and accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Approximately 50 per cent of students Portuguese nationals but also from over 50 other nationalities. The number of students registered for the IB Diploma has trebled recently with the average score achieved just above the global figure.

Click here to read our full review of St. Dominic's International School Lisbon.

St. Julian's School

Adapted National Curriculum for England/ IGCSEs/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,100 students

Founded in 1932 and still hugely popular with British expats. Colonial in appearance and offering an alternative to sending children back to board in the UK. Dually accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Small Portuguese section up to the age of 15. Serious academics with IB Diploma average scores regularly in the mid-30's out of 45.

Click here to read our full review of St. Julian's School.

Oeiras International School  (pending)

MYP/ IB Diploma/ IB Careers Programme; ages 11-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 350 students

Established in 2010 and moved in the following year into a converted 17th century Quinta, outside Lisbon, featuring an extravagantly decorated chapel. Teaching the International Baccalaureate programme and is the only school in Portugal to offer the IB Careers Programme. Emphasis placed on ecology, for instance, gardening is taken seriously here.


These schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.

Colégio Cachabiu

A small nursery/primary school near the centre of Cascais with an attractive playground. The teaching language is English in the morning and Portuguese in the afternoon.

The International Christian School of Cascais

Small (under 60), and overtly evangelical Christian in character, this school is not for everyone, but mentioned because in the past has had a good reputation for helping SEN children. Family owned, unaccredited and uninspected school, so no way of knowing from an arms length agency about the quality of teaching or fiscal soundness.

St George’s School

School-developed curriculum; ages 3-14; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit

Originally founded in 1960 in Cascais, the school now works in partnership with St James's Primary School (for children from the ages of six to ten), which was inaugurated in 2007. A small, international, bilingual school with the curriculum divided into four main subjects, English, Portuguese, Maths and the Sciences, following both English and Portuguese curricula.

United Lisbon International School (opening 2020)

Adapted American curriculum/ candidate school for IB programme; ages 3-15; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 150 pupil capacity (2020)

International Schools Services (ISS) will operate the school which is owned by entrepreneurs Roman and Chita Stern. Applying to be an IB World School and for accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The founding head of the school will be German Dr. Nils Remmel who has been director of a Swiss boarding school and is a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS) accreditation scheme.

Edifício Cadin

Not a school as such, but a useful resource for those with children with SEN

Set up in 2003 in a purpose-designed building in Cascais. A unique resource, in the area if not in the whole of Portugal, for children with a wide range of special educational needs. It offers help to children with AD(H)D, autism spectrum, specific learning disabilities, epilepsy, dyslexia, etc. Supported by several local businesses as a charitable institution, it offers subsidies to those that cannot afford the fees so that it is within the reach of poor families in the Cascais area. NB Drop down the Home page to Summary in English, which will tell you to choose Quem Somos (which means"Who we are") from list on the left; once there, scroll down again until you reach the English summary.

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