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Best schools on the Costa del Sol

A snapshot: schools on the Costa del Sol 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.


International schools

Aloha College  (pending)

International Primary Curriculum/ adapted National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ A Level/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 840 students

Founded in 1982, in a purpose-built building in Marbella, to provide an English-based education but also one of the first International Baccalaureate schools in Spain. Now on a much larger eco- campus and teaching a Spanish curriculum leading to Spanish qualifications, as well as the English pathway. 70 per cent of students are expats with the remainder local. Very respectable IB Diploma average scores in the low to mid-thirties.

Sotogrande International School 

PYP/ MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; privately owned; 980 students

Purpose-built  campus offering amazing sporting opportunities through an Elite Sport programme, in particular golf and tennis but, luckily, the arts are also well catered for. Academics not left behind as ten students scored over 40 points for the International Baccalaureate Diploma recently. Also, an Apple Distinguished school and accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Click here to read our full review of Sotogrande International School

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

British College Benalmadena (The)

Adapted National Curriculum for England/ Spanish curriculum/ IGCSE/ A Level/ Spanish Bach; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 600 students

An international, bilingual school in an urbanisation called ‘Torremuelle’ between Torremolinos and Fuengirola. Offering intensive English courses for Spanish students. Recently, nearly 60 per cent of students gained A*-B at IGCSE and around one in seven students, sitting A-Level exams, achieved A*-B in at least four subjects. Inspected by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS).

British International School of Marbella

Adapted National Curriculum for England; ages 2-12; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 180 students

Founded in 2010, with British passport holders being the largest cohort amongst the 20 plus nationalities. The new Nagueles campus, under construction in 2020, will include more sport facilities as well as high-tech classrooms. Part of the non-profit, global, education group, British Schools Foundation (BSF) and accredited by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS) and the Spanish Ministry of Education.

British School of Malaga (formerly St George's School)

Adapted National Curriculum for England/ A Level/ Spanish curriculum/ Spanish Bach; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 670 students

Part of the International Schools Partnership (ISP), currently operating nearly 40 schools in 9 countries. An international school following the English curriculum but also preparing students for Spanish exams and entrance to Spanish universities. Very sound exam results recently at IGCSE and A Level with students achieving above average grades Accredited by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS).

Calpe School

National Curriculum for England; ages 2-10; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 100 students

A small, private, primary school established in 1973, teaching the English curriculum and preparing children to continue in the British system. Accredited by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS).

English International College (The)

National Curriculum for England/ I/GCSE/ A Level; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 500 students

Founded in 1982 and located on the eastern side of Marbella. Impressive A Level results with a high percentage of students gaining A*-B. An international school delivering an English education with English the first language for 80 per cent of families, However, they also enroll students from around 30 different nationalities. Known for its sporting achievements, particularly golf. Accredited by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS).

International School Estepona (The)

Montessori/ adapted National Curriculum for England; ages 2-12; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 100 students

Bilingual (English/Spanish) nursery and primary school in Benavista, Estepona, founded in 2004. Their Montessori approach, combined with an English curriculum is aimed at allowing students to enter into British secondary schools either in the UK or abroad. Accredited by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS).

Laude San Pedro International College

Adapted National Curriculum for England/ Spanish curriculum/ GCSE/ A Level/ ESO/ Spanish Bach; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 800 students

Founded in 2004 and now run by the International Schools Partnership (ISP) currently operating nearly 40 schools in 9 countries. Eighteen A Levels on offer as well as the Spanish Bachillerato. An accelerated two way (English to Spanish and Spanish to English) programme for new students, who come from around 50 nationalities. Accredited by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS).

Lycée Francais de Malaga

French curriculum/ Spanish curriculum/ Brevet/ French Bac/ Spanish Bach; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; state; 870 students

Unusually for an Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) school, this lycée offers a Spanish as well as French curriculum and the choice of taking either the French Baccalaureate or the Spanish Bachillerato. Established in 1968. Accredited by the French Ministry of Education.

Mayfair International Academy

Cambridge 1, 2/ IGCSE/ A Level; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 200 students

Small ‘boutique’ school located in Estepona since 1997, which has just constructed a brand new, four million euro campus at Atalaya Park, on the eastern edge of Estepona. Delivering an all-English education to children from the UK, Spain and Russia as well as from over 20 other nationalities. Inspected by Cambridge Education (CE) for British Schools Overseas (BSO).

Novaschool Sunland International

Adapted National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ A Level/ Spanish Bach; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 500 students

Founded in 2001 on a  pretty rural campus near Cartama, to the north-west of Malaga. Part of the Novaschool Sunland International group, who operate nurseries and two schools in various parts of Spain. However, this is the only bilingual school in the group. Classes taught in English but Spanish language and culture on the curriculum throughout. Students are mainly British or Spanish.

Queen's British Grammar School

Adapted curriculum/ IGCSE; ages 3-16; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned 

A newish, family-run school, opened in 2016 in Estepona .Teaching a curriculum in English and providing a traditional atmosphere, including the wearing of British style uniforms. Spanish is a compulsory subject and they state that they are hoping to expand into offering A Levels. So far, good parental feedback but needs more time before we can review it.

St Anthony's College

Adapted curriculum/ IGCSE/ A Level/ Spanish curriculum/ Spanish Bach; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 250 students

The oldest British school on the Costa del Sol, opened in 1968 by an English music teacher for six students. Now grown 40 fold and on a campus between Fuengirola and Mijas. Graduates pass their A Levels successfully with 30 per cent A*-A in the last published results, unfortunately the school has not published any figures since 2015. Accredited by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS).

Sunny View School

Adapted National Curriculum for England/ Spanish curriculum/ IGCSE/ A Level; ages 2-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; privately owned; 650 students

Founded in 1971 on a campus in the hills above Torremolinos. Now on two sites, primary and secondary on the main site, with early years classes (opened 2017) housed close by. The pupils are largely Spanish (around 70 per cent) with about six per cent British and the remainder from over 30 nationalities. The nursery is inspected by the Schools Inspection Service (SIS) for British Schools Overseas (BSO) and the rest of the school by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS).

Swans International School

Adapted curriculum/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 665 students

Grown dramatically since it opened, as a small primary school in 1971, in the El Capricio quarter of central Marbella. Today’s primary school remains on this site with the secondary school housed in a purpose-built campus in Sierra Blanca. New curriculum since 2015, influenced by English and Singapore examples. Academically, very sound with a high percentage achieving A*-A at IGCSE and 30 per cent of International Baccalaureate Diploma  students consistently scoring 35 points and above. Inspected by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS).

For more information on the schools above, please go to  each school’s individual entry on The Good Schools Guide International search.

 

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