Education and Schools in Malta
A former British colony, the system of education in Malta takes its cue from its former parent country and will be familiar to many expats.
School is compulsory for children between the ages of four and 16 years old, and the education system is divided into public and private sectors.
The school year in Malta runs from September to June, with a three-month summer holiday. Christmas and Easter holidays usually last around two weeks.
Public schools in Malta
In Malta, a child’s education is split between kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and high school. Although state education is free, parents are responsible for buying their children’s uniforms.
Except for English lessons, the language of instruction in state schools is Maltese, so older expat students may have difficulty adjusting.
Private schools in Malta
Private schools in Malta are either affiliated with the Catholic Church or independent, but all of them are overseen by the ministry of education and offer similar curricula.
Private schools often favour English as their language of instruction and give expats children an alternative to Maltese-language state schools.
While the quality of independent education is high, so are the costs.
Generally, church schools in Malta do not charge monthly school fees but parents will have to pay for school supplies and are asked for an annual donation. Spaces are limited and children are often enrolled through a lottery system.
International schools in Malta
There are several international schools that cater to foreign students in Malta. The most popular are the Verdala International School, QSI International School of Malta and International Vocational College Malta.
St Edwards College is also a popular option for expats. While it is strictly an independent school, it offers English-language instruction and is based on the British public school system, while also offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.
International schools usually have very high standards, but expats will naturally have to pay for this privilege.