Foreign kids in Gozo schools?


I'm thinking of moving to Gozo with my partner and two children (6months and 11yrs). I was wondering if anyone has any experience of British children in state schools? (particularly in Gozo if possible). I've heard that most text books and lessons are in English, which sounds great, but am wondering how British children settle generally.

My partner and I are not married and I'm wondering if, in a smaller, more conservative ocmmunity, this could pose a problem for my older son at school in Gozo. We're also not Catholics.

I do own an apartment in Gozo and have been there a few times on holiday, but have no experience of living there.

Any information, good or bad, on schools gratefully received. My son is confident but not very outgoing, so I'm wondering how well other British children have been received by Maltese/ Gozitans.


I'm not there yet, but when I visited in November, one of the friends we made (expat by birth, maltese by descent) warned that he was having some challenges with the school system. Although the public school system is technically bilingual, he said that his kids are mostly taught in Maltese, which they've adapted to, but the tests were delivered exclusively in Maltese. He was concerned that this would be too difficult for the kids, and insisted that the kids get tested in English (which they legally have the right to). He had to fight with the teachers, then the school, and bring it all the way to the minister of education in order to get his kids tested in English. So maybe double check with the exact school you are considering about the language of testing, not just the language of teaching?

Hi, My 11 yr old son and I have been living in Malta since June 09. He started school in a state school in sept and so far has settled in really well...there are a few other foreign kids in form 1 with him so this has helped.The only problem with regards to text bks seems to be that history and goegraphy books are printed in Maltese so the teachers are having to teach in maltese and English...but are managing quite well to make sure the foreign kids are included fully.Everything else is taught in English. We havent hit exam time yet but I cant imagine tests will be in Maltese for the foreign kids..i will be double checking this though now that that problem has come to light elsewhere.

My son has definately found it challenging to make such a big move ( he previously went to a 2 teacher, 2 room school in rural big difference!!)but he has settled in to school and has made friends.

As for not being married or catholic...I am neither married or catholic also and have had no problems at-all in that regard. My partner still has to spend alot of time in Ireland,so at the moment its just my son and I...I have to say I think its harder for me than my son at the moment!! Still looking for work and battling bordem while hes at school...but Malta, so far has been a good move. Hope thats of some help!!


I moved here 6 1/2 years ago when my daughter was 5 and my son was 10. We started off in Malta the first two years because there was an English speaking private school there. Unable to afford the tuition anymore, we moved to Gozo where my husbands family is from.

I sent my daughter to a Church school (very inexpensive) in Gozo because there seemed to be more foreign students attending. She was happy there because she had an English friend, but when her English friend moved...she was misreable. The Gozo kids didnt seem to accept her. They werent mean, but they excluded her a lot. It took her about a year to finally find someone who would play with her. My daughter does have ADD which could also be a reason for it but she seems to get along great with native English people instantly. She is 11 now and attending Form school in Victoria. So far she is doing OK because she has more English friends. As for how good the girls school is...too early to tell...I just hope it's better than the boys school.

As for my son, He was doing well in the school in Malta. He was very happy and had lots of friends. His grades were excelent too. When we moved to Gozo, he had trouble making friends and had stuggled in school. He knew very little Maltese which didnt help. The teachers were susppose to teach in English but, because my son was shy and didnt stick up for himself, they taught in Maltese...with the exception of English class. So my son basically went through 5 years of school being SELF taught. His grades fell along with his self esteem. I consider it a miracle that he passed 4 O' levels. Unfortunatly you need 5 to get into 6th form and you need an O level in Maltese to go to the University. He's now attending MCAST in Malta. I just pray he does well there... 

So if I could do it all over again knowing what I know...I would of moved here either when my kids were very young or I would of retired here. I grew up in a military family and know how hard it is to change schools... but when you bring your kids to a different country and different culture with a different language... it's super hard for them. If you really want to move to Malta, Malta is a better place to send them to school. The kids there seem to be more accepting of foreigners. The kids in Gozo are a close knit group as they practically all grew up together. When you bring an older child's going to be hard for them to fit in with them. It's not to say they wont....just hard.

Another drawback I forgot to mention about sending my children to PUBLIC school here....

I always liked to get involved with my childrens homework and class functions in the U.S. This is very difficult to do here because the text books are mostly in Maltese. I also feel akward going to class meetings because I'm ususally the only English person and the teacher is obligated to speak in English. I feel the Maltese parents resent this... which I dont blame's their I just stopped going. I still go to the school functions but they arent the same when you cant understand what's going on. I guess I could solve this problem by learning the language but it's difficult to take lessons working full time and running a house hold...I have picked up a lot of it over the past 6 years but not enough to fully understand.

What Im trying to say is just be prepared to face these challenges. I dont mean to sound negative about Malta. Besides the education drawbacks, my children live a safe and free life here. I think Malta is one of the only place left in the world where people still leave their doors and cars unlocked and the children run free in the streets. I will actually pick up an hitch hiker or offer a ride to a stranger in a bus stop when it's raining which I would NEVER do anywhere else. You rarely hear of serious crimes and if you do, it's usually on the main island and caused by a foreigner.

Every place has it pros and just need to figure our which ones you can live with.


I see the last posts where in October has anyone got anything new to add.

We too will be moving to Malta next year June/July my daughter will be re-doing Grade 0/R straing there in September. We are also keen to move to Gozo for a quieter life than Malta itself, but I guess we will onyl know once we are actually there.

I have written to all the schools in Gozo but have had no response - anyone had any positive experiences with a public english teaching school in Gozo?

good evening to all .
anyone can give me some information about gozo's schools.
I will move with my family in september . I have 2 children (5 years and 3 months).
I spoke already with a friend in Gozo and he suggest me a private primary school (salesiani).
Do you know how much will be a month ?

We're moving to Gozo in August and our six-year-old daughter will be attending Rabat primary (otherwise known as "The Happy School"). I know there are a couple of mums on here whose children attend the school and who speak very highly of it. We visited in November and the headmaster Mr. Spiteri was kind enough to show us around the school and even introduced our daughter to every class. He writes a daily blog ( where he talks quite candidly about the day-to-day goings on in the school and I must admit I've become a fan of the blog itself!

We were told that all classes are taught in english except for maltese (obviously), religion and social development studies. Because Malta is part of the EU our daughter will also receive free maltese lessons at the school.

The headmaster did say that quite a few english children attend the school and he seemed confident she would be happy in his school. The original posts on this subject are from five years ago and I wonder if perhaps things have changed a bit since then? From what I understand the schools shut down at the end of this month and it may be hard to make contact with them, so I would suggest maybe emailing/telephoning prospective schools. Anyway, good luck with your move.

hi tks for your answer
I colled the "happy school" this morning, I found a really helpful person !
he give me a very important information. Becouse we are resident in massalforn I can't enroll my sun on this school but he told me "ZEBUG" school . Do you know it?
my name is Micaela if you wont to we can stay in touch as we are starting this adventure in a new country

Of course, I'm sure we can help each other with any problems we may encounter. We met a young family when we were over in November whose daughter (also 6) attends the happy school. They live in Marsalforn, but I think they may have moved there from Victoria, which is why their daughter is at the happy school. Unfortunately I don't know anything about any of the other schools, but it should have good views if it's in Zebbug :)

Hi!  We are planning to move from malta to gozo with a 4year old and a 10 month old. Can i ask your experiences in schools or kindergartens in Gozo since september? Did Your 5years old go to school or kindergarten? My only concern is the language, wonder is there any english speaking, private kindergarten or school in gozo?

This is all good information for me when, hopefully, my wife and I will be moving to Malta. Although retiring, I will probably have three grandchildren and my son and daughter moving with us. Any information on schools for 11, 9 and 7 year olds and job vacancies will be much appreciated. We have had holidays in Malta for the last 8 years, so not concerned on what to expect, hopefully. Keep in touch.

Hi Phil,
I just had a vist with the secondary school in Gozo for my daughter and was very impressed, lovely teachers, big airy rooms with 22 pupils per class based on there academic level. To be onest I would pay good money just for that in the UK and this is a state school. I'm more then happy for my daughter to attend there next year but email them and go have a tour. I have no worries at all sending my daughter there and have confidence that I can work through any problems with the teachers as they are very helpful.
Hope this helps for your grandchildren, you can pm me if you need anymore information

Although I am hoping to move to Malta, I am getting the vibes that Gozo schools are better for English people. Is that so. I know Gozo is quiet, maybe too quiet for some people. Any thoughts.

Thank you very much for this interesting report - this really helps for my research to find the right school for my son. All the best for your kids!!!!

We are living in Kildare in Ireland at the moment and hope to move out to Malta next year. My grandchildren, 10, 8, 6 will be attending school, while my wife and I are retiring. My daughter will be looking for work. Where are the schools and best places to live near them.
Phil (Goodison)

Hi there, what is the name of the secondary school in gozo, we are visiting next week to view schools and properties. Our children are aged 11, 7 and 6.

Gozo college for your 11 year old, don't know for your younger ones

Thank you  :top:

Hi my family are moving to Malta in January and we have a 11 yr old son with high functioning autism can anyone recommend any good schools . And how do I get a placement for him

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