Close to a quarter of Spain's IB World Schools are public schools.
People enjoy a sunny day at a terrace on Plaza Mayor in Madrid on March 25, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

There are now 200 IB World Schools — institutions authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate — in Spain.

The Geneva-headquartered nonprofit organisation described this as a “golden milestone” on its website.

“It is very exciting for us to be able to celebrate the fact that 200 schools in Spain can now offer one of the IB programmes, 49 of which are public schools,” says Maripé Menéndez, Head of Ibero-America Development and Recognition at the IB noted.

“It has always been our goal that more students could take our programmes under the firm conviction of promoting critical and creative thinking in the younger generations to be able to solve complex problems, therefore contributing actively and responsibly to create a better and more peaceful world”.

Close to a quarter of Spain’s IB World Schools are public schools. Source: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

Why are there more IB World Schools in Spain?

The IB offers four international education programmes for students aged three to 19: Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP).

The IB DP awards what is seen as a prestigious school-leaving diploma to students.

Since the first IB World School in 1977 , there are now over 5,000 such institutions globally.

In Spain, there are now over 270 IB programmes offered across schools. In 2022, more than 4,500 students took the DP exams.

Last year, the Regional Minister of Education for the State of Madrid Enrique Ossorio committed Madrid to expanding IB programmes in its public school system starting in 2022.

Enrique Ossorio, Regional Minister of Education, said that “the MYP will allow students aged 12 to 16 to connect their learning to the real world. The IB Diploma gives access to the most prestigious universities in the world, and the state of Madrid has more than 500 students benefiting from this international programme”.

The announcement was made during a visit by Menendez and Director General Olli-Pekka Heinonen last February.

“… it’s part of our mission to foster access to an IB education. It’s excellent news to learn that the MYP will be part of the Madrid education offering at public schools,” said Heinonen.

“It was a pleasure to share our vision with the Madrid educational authorities, and I’m looking forward to the IB being part of improving learning opportunities for students in Madrid.”

Some of the IB World Schools in Madrid include Aquinas American School, American School of Madrid, Colegio CEU San Pablo Sanchinarro, IES Principe Felipe, Colegio Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo, IES Ramiro de Maeztu.