SCHOOLS IN GIBRALTAR
Even though Gibraltar is only a small peninsula, it still offers numerous schools and one College. School attendance is compulsory for children between the ages of 4+ and 12 years. To offer a high quality of education, all teachers have been trained in the UK and provide a registration number from the DfEE.
Gibraltar's school system is similar to the one in the UK but also provides Spanish lessons and a religious education.
In Primary and Middle Schools, English is the main language of instruction. In the fourth year Spanish is officially introduced and taught. Children over the age of 12 years join the Secondary Education stream. There are two secondary schools in Gibraltar which both offer a compulsory curriculum (English, Mathematics, Science, Spanish, History, Geography, Art, Physical Education, Music, etc.). In the 10th and 11th school year, a number of subjects can be chosen. English, Science, Mathematics, Physical and Religious Education remain core subjects for all pupils.
After completing Secondary Education, Gibraltar's Government provides scholarships for students who are planning on studying in Great Britain. Gibraltar itself does not have facilities for a higher education.
A special school (St Martins) for children with special needs from the ages from 5 to 16 years is located in Gibraltar. Soon there will be facilities for children under the age of five available in the same school.
The Gibraltar Government provides a number of places in nusery units for children of pre-school age. Current Government provision for pre-school children is catered for by St Paul's Nursery, St Paul's First School and Nursery, St Bernard's Nursery, Notre Dame First School and Nursery and St Joseph's First School and Nursery. There is also a Child Development Centre attached to St Martin's Special School.
Secondary Education is free, full-time and compulsory between the ages of 12+ and 15+ years. The 11+ selective system came to an end in 1972, with the two single-sex grammar schools, and the four single-sex secondary modern schools merging into the two existing single-sex comprehensive schools. The Collister Working Party (1974) recommended that no commitment to co-education be entered into, at secondary level, until such time as the community was prepared to accept it. This is still the case to date.
St Martin’s School was opened in September 1976 and essentially caters for a wide range of special needs for children between the ages of 5+ and 16+. The Department of Education and Training recently decided to set up a special needs Observation and Assessment Unit at St Martin’s Special School to cater for all children under the age of 5 who would benefit from such a facility.
The Gibraltar College of Further Education evolved from the Technical School set up in 1949 under the auspices of the Ministry of Defence (Royal Navy). The demise of the Royal Navy Technical Colleges as Britain withdrew from its former colonies resulted in a move to localise posts in Gibraltar and this was steadily done from the mid-seventies onwards. The closure of the Royal Navy Dockyard in Gibraltar in 1982 accelerated the localisation process and this was completed in 1985 with the departure of the last RN Principal and the complete transfer of the facility to the Gibraltar Government.
There are no facilities in Gibraltar for full-time higher education, and consequently, all students must study elsewhere at degree or degree equivalent level and certain non-degree courses. The Gibraltar Government operates a scholarship/grant system to provide funding for students studying in Britain.
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