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Mallorca primary schools

(16 Posts)
runninground Sat 07-Oct-17 11:43:46

My husbands been offered a job in Mallorca and we've decided we would be happy to move there but need to sort a school place first.
We have a 4yo currently in a private school in uk but so far when we've contacted the schools in Mallorca they have said there are waiting lists.
Is there anyway to get a primary school place soon i.e. Can I use a relocation company or do I just put my dd down on the waiting list and hope for the best?! One school said they had 10 children on the waiting list.
Basically, we can move whenever we want to and school fees will initially paid by company but we can't move without a school place. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I would literally move there tomorrow because I hate where I'm living now (in uk) but won't be able to without the school place.

Scabbersley Sat 07-Oct-17 11:45:12

I'd take a year off with him and apply for next year

runninground Sat 07-Oct-17 11:50:28

Thanks for the reply so if I put dd on the waiting list does that mean she might get a space for the next academic year 10 children seemed an impossible wait?
We'd be moving to Palma. Shes been in her current school since she's 3 so i can wait to move out there until she has a space and just keep her in her uk school and husband is able to work choose to perform the job from uk or Mallorca until we can move. We'd be moving to Palma.

Mistigri Sat 07-Oct-17 15:08:04

As she's so young I would just put her in a local primary school until a place comes up in the private school you want.

lifeisunjust Sat 07-Oct-17 18:52:17

There must be 1000s of schools in Mallorca, have they all really said no?

chunkalot Sat 07-Oct-17 20:23:20

Thanks so much for the replies.
I have emailed a list I was given of international schools in the close vicinity of Palma. I was told that international schools are the best way to maintain dd education from being in prep school uk to Mallorca and with the possibility of coming back to U.K. eventually or we might end up staying permanently but I'd like the option to come back whenever if I decided the move wasn't for us.
I would put her in a state school if the schools spoke Spanish but they learn in the local dialect and I'd rather dd was taught in English and picked up the local language (which isn't much use anywhere else except Mallorca) in clubs and other activities seeing as the move may either be permanent or not (im talking we could be there a minimum a few years but could be ten years could be three).

lifeisunjust Sat 07-Oct-17 22:38:30

Why is international education necessary?

My child was educated in French. It has not prevented him from going to university in English.

Why do people have this opinion you cannot possibly change language and back!

chunkalot Sun 08-Oct-17 11:10:39

It's not the language that's an issue it's the education. We will inevitably end up back in the uk system and the easiest way to accommodate changes between schools in any school year is to keep with the same system.
Most of the international schools in Mallorca follow the British system so this should be easier to come back to if our dd has already followed that curriculum.
Also going on people's advice who are already out there, the state schools in Mallorca are not as good as the international schools to the extent that many locals also put their children in the international school. I speak three languages and am not too worried about dd learning in a different language and have therefore applied to schools which teach in different languages as well but the main thing is that they follow the British school system as we won't be there forever.
Applying to university with relevant qualifications is completely different to taking my child out of the British system in reception then tying to reintegrate them into it in say year 5 primary. Thank you for your response though.

lifeisunjust Sun 08-Oct-17 19:21:32

I know 100s of kids who ve done england (there is no british system) then foreign then england, no problem. My son was one of them.

There are 3 types of Spanish school, state, state subsidized and private.

chunkalot Mon 09-Oct-17 18:40:02

Thank you. Ok well I'll start to look at the state schools then as well. It's just they speak a different dialect (or the equivalent of Welsh to English here) so things like I currently help dd with homework etc and won't be able to if it's all in a language I don't know etc. Of course I want her to pick the local language up but just wanted her schooling to be in English for various reasons including easy reintegration into uk schools, when applying back to prep schools here references from international schools would probably be better and I also think would help me be able to help dd more if I was able to speak English to the teachers etc.
Thanks for the reply.

elQuintoConyo Mon 09-Oct-17 18:56:55

They speak another language, not a dialect. They'll also speak Spanish, which you and your DH should start learning before you go.

If you have a good grasp of Spanish, then Catalan is easy to pick up - it is easier for English speakers to pronounce, for a start.

I'd happily put my child in state while they're on the waiting list for the international school. My son's school is a one-group per year intake and maximum class-size is 25.

KingIrving Tue 10-Oct-17 02:01:09

We have been in a similar situation years ago when we moved to Barcelona. All schools are in Catalan. After some pondering, we put our kids in an international school. Might have been different if Spanish (Castellano) had been an option.
The OP comparison to Welsh-Catalan is I believe quite accurate . So you would move to a region in England but schooling in English is illegal so it is either school in Welsh or international.
There were several Catalan families in my kids' school, mainly the DC of parents who had attended the school during the Franco years and the kids spoke a very broken and bad Spanish, so don't assume that you can put your DD in a Catalan school and that she will pick up Spanish easliy, comprehension maybe but fluency and speaking it without mistakes, hum hopefully.
lifeisunjust imagine you had to move to Brest, and the only option was a school in Breton, not French. Would it have been different? And private or public, schooling in 100% Spanish with of course Catalan taught as a language and not as the language in which Maths is taught is not legal in Catalunya. You have Japanese, German, French, American, ...... schools but no Spanish school. Not even private, religious, state= zero.

Of course if it is a long term move, you might as well go for catalan.
Whatever your decision, I recommend you learn both (but start with Spanish the first year, then Catalan the next), because you will need Catalan when you visit the paediatrician, the library.

Kokeshi123 Tue 10-Oct-17 03:20:40

I send my child to a school in the local language--I am a permanent resident, but I know some other 100% foreign non-permanent families who also choose to do the same.

Choosing as an expat to send your kid to school in the local vernacular can be a wonderful choice, but it can also involve a lot of hard work and sacrifices.

Your child has to comfortable with it for a start, esp if they are over age 6 or so and there will be some significant catching up to do.

Language barriers can compound the psychological difficulties of moving home and having to make new friends, and this can be extremely stressful for some children.

Parents will have to manage school in another language, deal with significant cultural difference and communication issues, and also do extra work to keep their kids up with English, especially if they are going to be facing a competitive educational environment upon returning to the home country (the OP mentioned prep school so I am guessing she wants her child to use a private or grammar secondary school, which will involve passing tests).

In short, this can be a wonderful choice but it is perfectly valid for parents to say that they do not want this and that they prefer international schooling. It is not necessarily about being a snob or wanting to stay in an expat bubble.

The OP should try to get a grasp on how long she will be in the country if she can--if a short stay turns into a very long one, local school might be the better option.

chunkalot Tue 10-Oct-17 07:36:17

Thank you so much for your replies. This is what I was looking for!
If Spanish was the main language then it wouldn't be so much of a problem and perhaps I didn't make sense of myself enough in my op but ideally I wouldn't keep chop changing dd school so wanted to know how I go about getting dd in an international school without having to first go to state and then international as they seem to have long waiting lists.
I have now had a response from one suggesting I visit it which I will. We do intend to keep dd in the private school sector in the uk and the move to Mallorca would be about three years minimum. Private school is easier when you move around, dd current school has children from all around the world and they are used to children coming and going as would another international school. If I can avoid dd schooling being held back in anyway with language barriers I would. I fully intend to try to join the local culture outside of schooling though. We are normal people who have good jobs and just want to do what's best. If the main language was simply Spanish then maybe that would make things easier, apparently they have their own version of Mallorquin as well but I am unsure as I haven't been there for a long time, I am just trailing along after my dh although I hope to keep up my own line of self employment whilst there. My dd already learns French and Spanish in her current school in uk so we are not averse to her learning languages merely against a potentially unnecessary language barrier. My dh company will be paying the fees and all round it seems easier for us as a family to simply keep the schooling in English.
Thank you for the replies they were very helpful.

lifeisunjust Tue 10-Oct-17 08:10:42

Yes I would have sent my kids to school in Breton. Would do cymraig too.

chunkalot Tue 10-Oct-17 10:02:51

Good for you life, let's not turn this thread into something else, everyone is entitled to their views. I asked a question unrelated to a debate on if I would send my child to a dialect/minority language school.
I have now decided I wouldn't and will stick to my original plan of international school. My parents travelled extensively and my own sister was moved from her native country to an international school after my parents tried state but she couldn't settle, my dh has been to over ten different schools & we are not afraid of a different language but merely believe our family would be of optimum benefit in our circumstances to send our dd to an international school. We are often offered opportunities in different countries so it could be that it's Mallorca then uk then another country, the international schools tend to be more equipped for children that only stay a few years and are also used to receiving these dc and settling them as well. Basically if we can choose to communicate in English we would where possible simply not to add another burden to moving.
A friend has also since pointed out that should any future uk school wish to contact a school for references etc it would be more straight forward than contacting a school that doesn't easily communicate in English. Thank you for your reply it was appreciated.

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