A snapshot: schools in Lisbon considered (but not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expats.
Schools with a full GSGI review are noted with next to their names. (pending) means that the school is on our list to review.
By full GSGI review, we mean school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final reviews take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details and descend on the school for an exhaustive visit. We are aware of the other schools on this page and we continually add or remove schools, as deemed appropriate.
British School of Lisbon (pending)
National Curriculum for England; ages 3-11; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit
Opened in 2019 and run by The Schools Trust, a British non-profit organisation, specialising in setting up international schools. Located in a historical building in downtown Lisbon. Initially, teaching children in English from nursery until year six of the British system, but intending to expand upwards.
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 other nationalities including 10 per cent Chinese. Highest number of graduates head to UK universities but they also move on 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.
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 the UK.
Click here to read our full review of the International Preparatory School.
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. Only school in Portugal to offer the full International Baccalaureate programme and accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Approximately 50 per cent of students are Portuguese nationals but they also come from over 50 other nationalities. The number of students registered for the IB Diploma has trebled in recent years with graduates scoring just above average points.
Click here to read our full review of St. Dominic's International School Lisbon.
Adapted National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ 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 age 15. Serious academics with average International Baccalaureate Diploma scores in the mid-thirties.
Click here to read our full review of St. Julian's School.
Oeiras International School (pending)
MYP/ IB Diploma/ IB Careers; 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, which is a 'national monument'. Whilst academics are not ignored and they also include the International Baccalaureate Careers Programme, there is a definite emphasis on ecology. There are plans afoot to expand as most year groups are over-subscribed.
These schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.
Small (under 60), and overtly evangelical Christian in character, this school is not for everyone, but mentioned because, in the past, it has had a good reputation for helping SEN children. Family owned but an unaccredited and uninspected school, so no way of knowing from an arms-length agency about the quality of teaching or fiscal soundness.
French curriculum/ Brevet/ French Bac; ages 3-18; day; co-ed; independent; state
One of the oldest of the AEFE (French Agency for Education Abroad) international schools, founded in 1907 and located on its present site since 1952. Teaching a French curriculum and accredited by the French Ministry of Education. Around 90 per cent of the students are either French or French-Portuguese.
Adapted curriculum/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma; ages 1-18; day; co-ed; independent; privately owned; 1,430 students
Owned by the British Inspired Group. Started in 2005 as a day care centre, growing up to be the largest group of international schools in Portugal. The schools are still bottom heavy with a much larger number of nursery and primary pupils than in the secondary system. However, they have recently been authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma so this balance will almost certainly change.
Adapted National Curriculum for England/ Portuguese curriculum; ages 10-14; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit
A small international bilingual school, now in partnership with St James’s school. Students tend to move on here from St James’s School at the age of ten or eleven and stay on for the second half of their preparatory schooling. Slightly hard to understand whether they are really one school or two.
Adapted National Curriculum for England; ages 6-10; co-ed; independent; privately owned
Recently moved into partnership with St George’s School, basically providing the first four years of preparatory schooling, after which they progress to St George’s for the rest of their time before secondary school. Not entirely easy for outsiders to understand the relationship between the two schools.
Adapted curriculum; ages 4-11; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit
The fourth of the TASIS schools to be opened, initially teaching pre-kindergarten to grade 5 but intending to expand upwards from 2021. The original school was founded in 1956 in Switzerland and has been followed by schools in England and Puerto Rico. Located in Sintra, a very picturesque town, 45 minutes west of Lisbon by car.
Adapted American curriculum/ candidate school for IB programme; initially for 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.
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 poorer families in the Cascais area.
For more information on the schools above, please go to each school’s individual entry on The Good Schools Guide International search.