Schooling for newly arrived students

What do you need to know?

This is the formality for the schooling at publicly funded schools of students who have recently arrived in the city, when the school year has already started or when the official enrolment period has ended.

Schooling for newly arrived students applies to students between 3 and 16 years of age with the following levels of education:

  • Pre-primary education (I3, I4 and I5)
  • Primary education (years 1 to 6)
  • Compulsory secondary education (ESO) (years 1 to 4)

These educational levels are available in different schools depending on the source of funding:

  • Public schools are financed by the State.
  • Private schools, which are divided into two types:
    • State-subsidized private schools (escoles concertades): these are schools that are partly financed privately and also receive subsidies from the Catalan Government.
    • Private (independent): that are privately financed.


In Catalonia, education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16, but it is common for boys and girls to start school at the age of 3.

Here we only explain how to obtain a school place in the city of Barcelona outside the official preregistration period in public schools and subsidised private schools or escoles concertades, since both are governed by the same regulations.

In the case of students between 16 and 18 years of age who wish to continue with their studies and register when the school year has already started, they need to make an appointment and go to the Barcelona Education Consortium Help and Information Office, where they can get information about what to do. (See directions below).

Who does it apply to?

It is aimed at students who have recently arrived in the city who want to enrol when the school year has already started, or when the enrolment period has finished.

Outside the preregistration period, applications for admission are only dealt with, taking existing vacant places into account, where they relate to:

  • Students who have never been to school in Catalonia.
  • Changes of address from another municipality, or district in the case of Barcelona, on the part of the parents, guardians or carers.
  • Claims of other exceptional circumstances, including changes of school due to domestic violence or school bullying.
  • Start of foster care.

What do you need to do?

The application will be carried out exclusively online, therefore you will need a computer, tablet or mobile phone with an Internet connection.

Families who have difficulties in the application process or do not have the necessary means can make an appointment and go to the Barcelona Education Consortium Help and Information Office. (See directions below).

What steps must you follow?


Step 1. Check that you have everything you need for application
  • Digital certificate or a digital identification tool, such as the electronic DNI, T-CAT, Cl@ve system or idCAT Móvil.To get information about the procedure for obtaining the digital certificate, go to the relevant document, where you will find the information and all the details about how to obtain it.
    • If you have a digital certificate, you can use the form with electronic authentication.
    • If you do not have digital identification, you can use the electronic form and you must attach your identification document previously scanned or photographed to prove your identity.
  • Register of Student of Catalonia (RALC) student identifier code. This number is assigned (uniquely and automatically) to a student when they enrol for the first time in public and private schools in Catalonia. If your child does not already have one, one will be assigned to him or her. If your child has it but you don't know it, look it up).
Step 2. Complete the form and send the application
  • Choose the form:
  • Once the form is filled out, send the application. Please note that only one application can be submitted per child. 
  • You will receive a receipt by email with a code that will allow you to check the status of your request.
Step 3: Assignment of school place and enrolment
  • You will receive an email indicating the assignment of the school place.
  • Then you must formalise enrolment in the school.

Who can submit the application?

The application should be submitted by the parent or parents, the legal guardian, or by an authorised person.

What documentation is needed?

The documentation to be submitted must be attached to the online application and must be digitised (by means of a scanner or a photograph).

  • If the student has never been to school in Catalonia, the family book or birth certificate of the boy or girl who is attending school must be attached to the application.
  • If the person submitting the application does not have Spanish nationality, the passport must also be attached or, in the case of EU foreign nationals, the identity document of the member country of the European Union.
  • If it is not possible to identify yourself electronically (you do not have a digital certificate or similar), then it is necessary to use the electronic form and it must always be attached:
    • Family book or birth certificate of the child.
    • Identity document of the person submitting the application: the Spanish national identity document (DNI), the identity card for foreign nationals (TIE), passport or, in the case of foreigners with European citizenship, the identity document of the member country of the EU.
  • Documentation must also be attached that proves the assumption that allows the allocation of a place (in case of exceptional circumstances or the beginning of foster care).

How long does it take?

This procedure can be processed at any time during the course and outside of the preregistration and enrolment process.

Applications received will be assigned in the order of arrival. Applications received before the month of August will have a response, to the extent possible, before the start of the course in September. In general, requests will be resolved within a maximum period of two weeks.

What does it cost?

The process is free of charge.

Schools are under an obligation to provide information about their education plan and about additional activities and what they cost.

Want to know more?

Body responsible for the formality

In Barcelona: the Barcelona Education Consortium (body formed by Barcelona City Council and the Generalitat de Catalunya).

Elsewhere: Department of Education (Generalitat de Catalunya-Government of Catalonia).

Further information

You can use the link to the official Barcelona Education Consortium website (only available in Catalan, but it does have Google Translate which means that the portal can be viewed in many languages).

You will need to make a prior appointment if you wish to receive assistance from the Barcelona Education Consortium Help and Information Office, which you can do by calling 012 or 93 5511000 or accessing the link for “Prior appointment” requests. Address: Entrance on Roger de Llúria street, 1-3. Barcelona.

Important linked formalities

Some examples of formalities which you may be asked to complete prior to newly arrived students being placed in a school are set out below:


The procedures tend to change frequently. Therefore, only what is provided by the regulations in force at the time of carrying out the procedure in question is applicable.