The Spanish School Schedule

Understand the timings of the academic year and the daily schedule for primary and secondary schools in Spain...

The primary school day

The school day in most primary schools in Spain is from 09:00-12:00 and 15:00-17:00. There is a two-and-a-half to three-hour break in the middle of the day for lunch and a siesta. Many children go home for the breaks, though children of working parents may stay and have lunch (the comidor) if this is available.

Schools hours do vary; in large cities the break is shorter and the day usually runs from 09:00-14:00. Some schools offer the option for students to arrive earlier, to have breakfast and lunch at the school and to undertake an extra-curricular activity in the afternoon.

Times may vary in September and June when schools are only operational for half of the day, from 09:00-13:00.

The secondary school day

The school day at secondary schools is normally longer than at primary schools, running from 08:30-15:00 or 09:00-15:00, but as with primary schools times may vary greatly from place to place.

After school hours

Smaller towns seldom have after-school clubs or activities, as children are usually supervised after school by a family member if a parent is working. Larger cities may have before and after school programs for students.

Summer school

During the summer holidays, summer schools operated by independent clubs or the town hall are available. Costs and activities vary, though the schools run by the town hall are usually less expensive.

The School Year

The academic year in Spain runs from mid-September to mid-June and is made up of three terms, each approximately eleven weeks in duration.

The first term runs from September to December with a two week break (vacaciones escolares) for the Christmas holidays. The spring term starts after the 6 January festival of Epiphany and runs until Easter (either March or April) with an Easter/spring break of two weeks. The third term finishes mid-June for the summer holidays which last 10 to 11 weeks

Schools are also closed on public holidays when they fall in term time and local religious days and fiestas (holidays vary between the autonomous communities).

School holiday dates are published by schools and local communities.


Private and state schools often provide a school bus service to and from local towns. The service is usually very low priced, or free for anyone living over 3.5 Km from school. Contact the school for information on bus stops and times.