Education in Gibraltar

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Education in Gibraltar
Coat of Arms of the Government of Gibraltar.svg
Department of
Education and Training

Director of
Education and Training

Jaqueline Mason
General details
Primary languagesEnglish
System typeNational
Literacy (2005-06)
Post-secondary diploma23%
Comparison of school structures in Gibraltar and England

Education in Gibraltar generally follows the English system operating within a three tier system. Schools in Gibraltar follow the Key Stage system which teaches the National Curriculum.

Primary education[edit]

The first year of education in Gibraltar is done in nursery or pre-school. Attendance is from 3 to 4 years and is not compulsory. Compulsory education starts at the age of 4 years with primary education. The first year is known as Reception, where attendance is up to 5 years. In Gibraltar Primary education lasts for 8 years (First and Middle school).[1]

Secondary education[edit]

At the age of 12 Gibraltarian students enter a single-sex secondary school (all education before this age follows a coeducational system). Following a four-year course preparing for General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), where students sit for final examinations at the age of 16. Students can take on up to 10 GCSE subjects including the core 5 (English, mathematics, science, religious studies and Spanish). Students willing to continue their studies after taking their GCSEs can move onto sixth form (in the same school) providing they have obtained a minimum requirement of 4 subject passes at grade C or higher (generally including English and mathematics). Here the student will go onto a two-year A-Level course, sitting Advanced Subsidiary (AS) examinations at the end of the first year and Advanced 2 (A2) examinations at the end of the course. Gibraltarian students can take up to 4 different A-Level subjects simultaneously.[1]

Government secondary schools are Bayside Comprehensive School for boys and Westside School for girls, and Prior Park School Gibraltar is an independent coeducational secondary school.[2]


Gibraltar has fifteen state schools, one MOD school, one private school.[1]

Further education[edit]

Higher education[edit]

The Arms of The University of Gibraltar

On 31 March 2015 the government of Gibraltar announced the adoption of the University of Gibraltar Act and The University of Gibraltar, the first university of the territory, opened in September 2015.[3][4]

Previously, all students must study elsewhere at degree level or equivalent and certain non-degree courses.[1] The Government of Gibraltar operates a scholarship/grant system to provide funding for students studying in the United Kingdom.[5] All Gibraltarian students follow the student loans in the United Kingdom, where they apply for a loan from the Student Loans Company which is then reimbursed in full by the Government of Gibraltar. In 2008, there were 224 Gibraltarian students enrolled in British universities, the highest figure to that date.[6]


All teacher-training takes place in British universities and colleges, where students can opt to enrol on a teaching degree or a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). Students obtaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in any constituent country of the United Kingdom and who have a registration number issued by the DfES (UK) is eligible to teach in Gibraltar.[1]

Early history[edit]

The Duke of Kent during his brief period as a resident Governor of Gibraltar recommended that schools be set up for the regiments. These were reorganised in 1916 by General Don into a school at Buena Vista and another on Castle Street, Gibraltar. The priority given to the schools however can be judged by their closure in 1828 when the Barrack Master was demanding the premises. This was unfortunate as examinations were in progress and the schools were open to better off civilians who could afford the dollar a week charges. Of the 180 children available, 70 had been attending.[7]

The regrowth of the schools can be assigned to Mary Ann Rule who was the wife of William Harris Rule a newly arrived Methodist missionary in Gibraltar. They had both learnt Spanish and Mary was asked to teach one child to read. She was joined by her brother and then other Catholics and then Jewish children. Rule noted that he became unawares the founder of the first charity school in the garrison". The Jews eventually withdrew on religious grounds and Rule was involved when the Lieutenant Governor Sir William Houston set up the first official free school on Flat Bastion Road in 1832 and he sent his own children there.[7]

The following year Rule restarted his school requiring his pupils to attend Methodist services each Sunday. In reply the Catholics arranged for two teachers from the Congregation of Christian Brothers to start the Christian Brothers School in 1835. Rules school however was popular across the faiths but this came to a head in 1839 when his school marched down Main Street on the centenary of Methodism with 400 children of all faiths and denominations waiving messages in support of Methodism.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Government of Gibraltar - Education & Training. Archived 2001-03-02 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Home. Prior Park School Gibraltar. Retrieved on 28 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Minister Licudi announces the adoption of the University of Gibraltar Act".
  4. ^ "University of Gibraltar".
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-06. Retrieved 2010-02-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Abstract of Statistics 2008[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b c Dundas, Susan Irene (2000). "Methodism in Gibraltar and its mission in Spain, 1769-1842,". Durham etheses. Retrieved 30 June 2013.

External links[edit]