Education in Gibraltar

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Education in Gibraltar follows the English system and the schools follow the Key Stage system which teaches the National Curriculum.

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Primary Education

The first year of education is completed in pre-school/nursery. Attendance is from 3 to 4 years of age and is not compulsory.

Compulsory education starts at the age of 4 with primary education (first school). The first year is known as Reception where attendance is up to 5 years.

Primary education in Gibraltar (which consists of both First and Middle school) lasts for 8 years.

Secondary Education

At the age of 12 students enter a single-sex Secondary/Comprehensive school (before this age the schools are mixed).

The students follow a four year course in preparation for GCSE exams where they sit the final examinations at the age of 16.

Up to 10 GCSE subjects can be taken, which includes the core 5 subjects English, Spanish, mathematics, science and religious studies.

After taking their GCSEs, students can move onto the sixth form of the Secondary school providing they have passed in 4 subjects at grade C or higher; these subjects generally incude English and mathematics.

In the sixth form the student will go onto a two-year A Level course, which comprises the AS (Advanced Subsidiary) exams at the end of the first year and then the A2 (Advanced 2) exams at the end of the course.

Students can take up to 4 different A Level subjects at one time.

Further Education

Once the A Levels are completed, there are no facilities for full-time higher/further education in Gibraltar and all students must study elsewhere for degree level or equivalent (also for some non-degree courses).

The Government of Gibraltar operates a scholarship/grant system to provide funding for the students studying in UK.

All students follow the student loans procedure of the UK where they apply for a loan from the Student Loans Company, which is then reimbursed in full by the Government of Gibraltar.

The Gibraltar College of Further Education can provide GCSE and A Level courses as well as some extra evening/part-time courses.

High Pass Rates 

Here is an extract taken from a local newspaper after an interview with the Minister for Education regarding another successful year of high student pass rates:

GIBRALTAR EDUCATION HIGH PASS RATES

The Minister for Education, has expressed his delight at the magnificent results in our A-level examinations.

The Minister states:

"Once again we have broken all our previous records with 97% pass rates in both Westside and Bayside Schools, and at least 18 Gibraltar scholars from both schools (with 3 or 4 A grades at A-level) which is also an all-time record for us".

The Minister does not give credence to suggestions in some quarters that the standard of exams has dropped.

Most experts in UK and subject teachers involved affirm that the increasingly good results are due to the fact that the students are now better prepared for the requirements of these exams and so are their teachers with improved skills and better resources. 

The Minister wishes to congratulate all the pupils for their success as a result of their hard work and motivation and the teachers for their professional competence and dedication. Well done!