Ask A Question  | Learn more about Malta

What is Malta’s school system like and how is it ranked?

I will be moving to Malta with my family if our application is approved. We have not applied yet, but Malta is top on our list. We have two children who would attend primary schools. What is the system like for them?

  • August 24, 2018

    Malta’s education system is very highly rated, with a number of international schools available on the island.

  • Family Office Limited
    August 26, 2018

    There are three types of school in Malta: state, church and private. More information about the educational system can be found on the Maltese government website.

  • August 25, 2018

    I can probably answer you this from first-hand experience, as I have a 4-year-old son who will be attending primary school very soon. In Malta we actually have three types of schools all leading to the same curriculum: (state schools, church schools and private schools. State schools keep on proving to be successful schools, church schools take on a limited number of students (very often based on a draw system) while private schools tend to be the most popular (especially with the expat community in Malta). In particular, private schools have policies for student integration and recognize that students are now coming from various countries and have therefore taken an international aspect. Any Maltese school leads toward the University of Malta, which produces some very successful graduates who are taking prominent roles all around world. Speaking English is the norm in any of the schools mentioned. Our system is more U.K. based, but still a proper balance between studying and fun is always achieved. Generally, the structure is as follows: 1) between the age of 3 and 5 children attend kindergarten (pre-school); 2) after that we have six years of primary; 3) after that we have five years of secondary school; 4) after that we have two more years of sixth form, generally between the age of 16 and 18; 5) last stage would be a university course. Most private and church schools would incorporate all the above levels up to sixth form, without the need to change schools. The school period is generally between late September to late June and summer holidays between July and first part of September. We tend to also have a two-week break both in Christmas period and in Easter.

  • Advocates Primei
    August 29, 2018

    In Malta, schools are divided into two categories: state and private schools. State schools are free and can be found in all the main towns or villages in Malta and Gozo. There are two types of private schools in Malta: church schools and independent schools. Both offer pre-primary to upper secondary education. Both types are regulated by the ministry of education, meaning the curricula are similar across various schools. There are a good number of independent schools and a fair number of international schools that care for foreigners in Malta. Parents pay school fees for these institutions and also need to buy school supplies, uniforms and pay for transport. Since Malta is a bilingual country, both English and Maltese are spoken in the classroom. Admittedly, although on paper both English and Maltese are spoken at school, different schools tend to favor one of the two languages. In state schools, the main language of instruction is Maltese, except for English lessons. Maltese tends to be the favored language outside of classes too. In private schools, lessons are in English, except for Maltese. Students will speak a mix of both English and Maltese outside class, depending on what language they speak at home or what their peers speak. Some parents of children who are not Maltese choose for their children to opt out of Maltese lessons, although they are usually welcome to attend.

  • Seed Consultancy
    August 29, 2018

    The education system in Malta mostly takes its cues from the U.K., having previously formed part of the British colony. 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. School is compulsory for children between the ages of 4 and 16 years old, and the education system is divided into public and private sectors. In Malta, a child’s education is split between kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and post-secondary school. State education is free, including university, for which the individual may opt for having successfully pursued post-secondary education. The lectures in state schools are largely conducted in Maltese, so expats may have difficulty adjusting. Children attend kindergarten from 3 to 4 years old in a fairly informal environment. Primary school lasts from 5 to 10 years old, and there is at least one school per town. Secondary school lasts five years, from age 11 to 16, and marks the end of compulsory education in Malta. Students can choose to take O Level exams to progress to post-secondary school, and have to pass compulsory subjects accordingly. Post-secondary lasts two years until students turn 18, and prepares them to take their A-Levels exams, which are necessary to get into university. Private schools in Malta are either affiliated with the Catholic church or are independent, but all of them are overseen by the ministry of education and offer similar curricula. In contrast with state schools, lectures in private schools are largely conducted in the English language and give expats moving to Malta with children an alternative to Maltese-language state schools. The quality of independent private education is perceived as being of a high level, and the costs for enrolment vary accordingly to the school chosen. Generally, church schools in Malta do not charge monthly school fees, but parents are asked for an annual donation. Spaces are limited and children are often enrolled through a lottery system. On the other hand, there are several international schools that cater for foreign students in Malta, and these offer a very high level of education.