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Guide to enrolling your child in a school in Catalonia for the first time

Pre-registration runs from March 15 to March 24 and applications must be completed online


15 March 2021 05:47 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The next school year may be several months away, but now is the time to act to enroll your child in a public school in Catalonia for 2021/22. Here is a guide to what you need to do.

Early years education (3-6 years)

In general, a child will go to school for the first time in 2021 if they turn three at any point throughout the year. Applications for pre-registration must be submitted from March 15 to March 24, 2021.

What are the criteria I should bear in mind when choosing a school?

Points are awarded according to the following criteria. If you son or daughter has siblings in a school you've chosen, that is worth 40 points. 40 points are also given if a parent or guardian of the child works in one your picks. If a school is close to the family home (in the same area of influence) that is worth 30 points. If a parent or guardian works within the same area of influence as a school that is worth 20 points. There are other points applied for other criteria, but these depend on the child and family, and do not vary from school to school. You can choose up to a total of 10 schools to apply for, in order of preference.

How can I search for schools near me?

The Catalan Education Department has published an online tool which allows you to search for schools by name or by local area and display them on a map or in a list.

What is needed to pre-register?

The pre-registration application must be completed online before March 24. Supporting documents may be submitted up until March 26. The Catalan government recommends using a digital identification tool, such as Cl@ve o 'idCAT Mòbil. If you do not have a digital identifier, you must attach your llibre de família (family book) and the ID of whoever is submitting the application. This could be a passport, DNI, NIE or national ID card from an EU member state. In certain cases, other documents may be requested, for example an employment contract to verify the location of a parent or guardian's workplace.

What does the pre-registration application involve?

Log in with your digital ID (or by submitting ID) and fill in your child's RALC (Catalonia Student Register) number if known, and other data requested. Choose up to 10 schools where you would like your child to get a place. Indicate if you want your child to be assigned another place if none of the schools you request are assigned. Outline any additional relevant circumstances (for example, any specific educational needs). Highlight which of the points criteria apply. Then attach all the required documentation and submit the application.

What happens after we apply?

You can track the progress of your application from April 19 and by June 7 you will find out at what school your child has been granted a place. Enrollment then takes place between June 14 and June 18.

What about secondary schools?

For secondary school, applications must be submitted between March 17 (from 9am) and March 24.

What about nursery schools and kindergartens? (0-3 years)

For children who will be at least 16 weeks old by the start of the 2021/22 school year, public nursery school pre-registration is open from May 10 to May 21.

And if I want to change my child's primary school? (6-12 years)

Applications must be submitted from March 15 to March 24.

Where can I find more information?

You can find out more information from the Catalan government's official website.


  • Playground at Monsenyor Gibert School in Sant Fruitós de Bages, March 9, 2021 (by Estefania Escolà)

  • Playground at Monsenyor Gibert School in Sant Fruitós de Bages, March 9, 2021 (by Estefania Escolà)