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There are two types of health care in Spain, one which is the equivalent to National Health Care in England (Social Security) and the other is Private Health Care.

STATE – to be eligible for the social security system you need to contribute to the system i.e. being employed on a contract, self employed and paying into the system or to be of retirement age.

For visitors there is the (EHIC) The European Health Insurance Card which enables you to access reduced cost, sometimes free, state provided healthcare that becomes necessary during your trip because of either illness or an accident. It also covers you for pre-existing conditions. You can apply for this card before your visit either by application form from Post Offices or apply by phone on 0845 606 2030. You can apply just for yourself or on behalf of your partner and any of your children who are under 18 and in full time education. For each person you apply for you will need to supply their full name, date of birth and national insurance number.

PRIVATE – there are many companies from whom you can obtain Private Insurance. This insurance enables you to use private doctors and hospitals. It is important that you check your policy/entitlements before signing.


PRIVATE – there are two private schools in the Orihuela Costa area both with excellent reputations:

Mar Azul International School which is located in San Miguel – Mar Azul provides your children with the British National Curriculum, supplemented with a minimum 20% Spanish daily.

  • Billingual Nursery 1 – 3 years
  • Billingual pre-school 3 – 4 years
  • Primary 5 – 11 years
  • Secondary 11 – 16 years
  • IGCSE with Edexcel
  • A levels and BTEC

Log onto their website at www.marazulschool.com

El Limonar International School which is located in Villamartin – El Limonar provides a bilingual integrated programme of study for pupils aged 3 – 18, which promotes cultural interaction between English and Spanish. They offer a challenging curriculum which follows the National Curriculum for England and Wales, combined with the requirements of the Spanish educational system. For more information please visit their website on www.ellimonarinternational.com

STATE – State Spanish Schools – all lessons are taught in Spanish but most state schools also have English lessons. These schools are free but books, stationery etc. do have to be purchased by parents. Children wear their own clothes and mostly teachers are addressed by their Christian names. Although education for children under the age of six is not compulsory, many parents choose to enrol their children in pre-school when they are three, or are in their third year. Children usually stay in pre-school until they are five or six years old. The aim of early childhood education is to contribute to the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of a child.

The Law on the Quality of Education (Ley Organica de Calidad de La Educacion) covers the main points of the education law in Spain which are as follows:

  • School is compulsory and free of charge for all children from age 6 to 16.
  • The system includes levels of education adapted to suit students with special needs.
  • All students receive basic vocational training in secondary education.
  • Special systems exist for artistic education and language learning.

The law also determines that education authorities must promote the integration of foreign pupils and develop specific programmes in mainstream schools for those that do not have a good grasp of the Spanish language.

The school system is as follows:

  • Nursery School/ Guarderia age 0 – 3
  • Pre School/Escuela Infantil age 3 – 6
  • Primary School/Primaria age 6 – 12
  • Secondary School/ESO Instituto age 12 – 16
  • High Education/Universidad From 16

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