More professionals and smaller groups as the new school year gets under way

10/09/2021 - 15:19 h

Education. Nearly 174,000 children are back to school on Monday, 13 September, with fewer students per class and almost 300 more staff.

The new school year gets under way in Barcelona on Monday, 13 September. In all, 444 publicly operated or subsidised schools in the city will be opening up for a school year which is opting for maximum on-site presence and safety, at the same time seeking to combat segregation with more emotional and socio-educational support services for pupils.

Nearly 174,000 children, teenagers and young people are getting ready to start a new school year at publicly operated or subsidised schools in the city. The figure is slightly lower than last year as a result of drop in the number of people of school age, which along with the increase in the number of groups in publicly operated schools will also see teacher-to-pupil ratios reduced.

The reduction in ratio will be more noticeable among groups in their first year of infant schooling (P3), with 75% of groups having fewer than 25 pupils, while the ratio in 55% of groups at secondary schools (ESO) will be unchanged at 30 students.

The percentage of students enrolling at publicly operated schools compared to state-subsidised private schools is up by 1%.

More staff

The number of staff working in compulsory and post-compulsory teaching has increased by 295 people for the 2021-2022 school year. This figure includes 239 more teachers, 21 teaching support staff, 11 people for administration and services and more workers relating to measures to combat Covid.

New schools and 32 million euros for improvements

Out of the 444 schools with the Barcelona Education Consortium providing compulsory education, 341 are publicly operated, 168 are state-subsidised private schools and 35 are special education centres (8 public and 27 subsidised). Four state-subsidised schools have become wholly publicly operated for the new school year.

The consortium has carried out improvements at 154 schools over the summer and made further progress on the new building for the Institut Angeleta Ferrer. In all, 32 million euros has been invested in a newly built centre, major work at six schools and improvements at a further 147.

Avoiding segregation, moving towards equity and preserving emotional well-being

The Plan against Segregation, for Equal Opportunities and Successful Education was launched during the 2019-2020 school year. The application of the plan seeks to ensure a balance between the most vulnerable students ain publicly operated and subsidised schools. This year, the plan is due to cover the enrolment of 22,000 students with specific educational support needs recognised, resulting from socio-economic or cultural situations, some 13% of the total.

In terms of emotional well-being and mental health, the figure of emotional educators will have a greater presence, providing specialised emotional support. In addition, the established protocols for the city of Barcelona will continue to operate: abuse of children and teenagers, bullying among equals, psycho-social emergencies and support for transgender students.

More school dining-rooms and sustainable food

Some 93.5% of publicly operated centres offering secondary schooling will be offering school dinners this year, including 100% of high schools. Students who receive school dinner subsidies will get them for every day the school offers the service and not just for two days as was the case until now.

In the context of Barcelona’s role this year as the world sustainable food capital, the Education Consortium has collaborated with institutions and organisations in this sphere to link the initiative with schools. The project ‘Ara, aquí, les escoles’ invites schools to take part and promote a fairer, healthier and more sustainable food system.