Barcelona embarks on the new 2017-2018 school year on 12 September with a 1.22% rise in students compared to last year. The system has been adapted to cope with the increase, with more staff and more schools. Publicly-run schools are backing the continuity of innovative projects, with 194 centres linked to innovation and improvement processes, as well as more resources for inclusive education.
The new course gets under way with 1,535 more students than last year, with a rise in all age groups, particularly the first year of infant’s schools and the first year of secondary school. A total of 179,221 students are enrolled at publicly-run schools in Barcelona. The increase in demand means ten new centres opening: six schools, three centres offering primary and secondary education, and a high school.
The number of non-teaching staff remains practically the same as last year. In contrast, there will be 560 more teachers, bringing the total to 9,001. In total, the number of teaching and non-teaching staff tops 10,000 people. In the 38 centres which form part of the Neighbourhood Plan, 59 new professionals are joining teaching staff, in particular specialists in social integration, emotional support and social educators.
Innovation and special education
Nearly all of the city’s schools and colleges back educational innovation. One example is the ‘Tools for change’ programme, which has been extended to operate at 54 schools (26 more than last year) and offers mentorship during the innovation process.
Special Education Support Units (USEE) are also to be opened at seven centres, helping students with special needs and offering support for those with reduced mobility or maladjusted behaviour. Psycho-educational assessment and guidance teams will also be offering more support, with seventeen new professionals in all, and there will be more backing for school care staff, with a 7% increase in support hours compared to last year.