Education System in Portugal / International schools...

Education System in Portugal:

- Public education vs Private international schools
- Pisa test scores, Portugal vs OECD/EU countries, 2000 - 2018 evolution
- Organisation of the education system and its structure
- Organisation of private education
- National qualifications framework
- Portuguese education system for foreign students
- Integration into the portuguese public schools
- International schools (North, Centre, Lisbon, Alentejo, Algarve, Azores, Madeira)
- Recognition of Foreign Academic Diplomas / Higher Education Degrees
- Universities
- FAQs
- etc...

Education System

Public education is the most widely used education system in Portugal. It is considered an efficient system and, in general, public schools are good.

Since 2000, Portugal has improved its education scores in Mathematics, Science and Reading (indicators from the Pisa test, detailed in the following points), when compared with other OECD and EU countries.

The education system in Portugal is divided into four categories, Pre-school, Primary, Secondary and Higher education.

Kindergarten / Pre-school / "Jardim de infância, creche ou infantário" ) (optional)
This is for 3 to 6 year old. To get a place in the public nursery schools it is necessary to register the child and wait for a vacancy. Before the age of 3, parents can go to private pre-schools to get an appointment to evaluate the child and its family environment, and then the child may be accepted or not.

Portuguese Basic Education (mandatory)
For children between the ages of 6 and 14.
It is mandatory to enrol children who have attained the age of 6 between April 15 and June 15 every year.

Educational institutions in Portugal have qualified teachers for the inclusion of immigrant children. Integration in most cases is often smooth, and there are classes with several nationalities (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, Africa, Asia,…).
Classes are divided into three cycles:
  - 1st cycle (1st to 4th years of schooling);
  - 2nd cycle (5th and 6th year of schooling);
  - 3rd cycle (7th to 9th years of schooling).

Secondary Education in Portugal (mandatory)
For teenagers from 15 to 18 years old and goes from the 10th to the 12th grade. When the student completes this stage they are ready to apply for higher education, by submitting to national exams.
Many schools (not all) have autonomy to offer to secondary school students the possibility to build their own curriculum, allowing them to choose any of the different subjects available in  these areas of study:
  - science-humanities
  - vocational
  - specialised artistic
  - science-technology
  - education and training
In other schools, student is limited to choose one of these areas of study.

Higher Education in Portugal
Along with other European countries, Portugal is part of the Bologna Treaty, which states that Higher Education courses must have a duration of three years. After that, it is possible to do a master's degree, which lasts from one and a half to two years. And a doctorate, which takes up to three years of study.

Portugal has one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Coimbra, which is still going on where students from all over the world are studying. But there are other universities internationally recognised and well positioned in international rankings.

Education quality

Education quality varies according to schools and teachers. Not everything is as perfect as we would like. But in general it is good, and some public schools have quite high standards, even better than in some private schools.

The teaching model is similar to other EU countries, and Portugal is one of the few countries in Europe to have shown successive improvements in education since 2000, regarding Pisa test indicators in Maths, Science and Reading.

Even in public education, foreign students learn Portuguese & English and also have the option to choose another language (usually German, French or Spanish).

Comparing Portugal with OECD & EU countries:

Pisa test is considered the largest in the world, involving half a million students every three years, and serves to evaluate the education system of each country.

Pisa Report - Country notes about Portugal, 2018

Pisa Report, Portugal, 2018


Pisa results, Portugal, 2000 - 2018 evolution
(in portuguese)





(in portuguese)


When should I enrol my child in school in Portugal?

Enrolment is normally carried out between the months of April and June each year. However, if you arrive in Portugal out of this period, there is always a solution. Parents should look for the school grouping in your parish ("junta de freguesia") where they live and try to enrol their child outside this period.

Enrolment should be made according to the neighbourhood where family lives or where one of the parents works. Regarding this, it is necessary to talk to the person in charge of the school grouping in the respective parish, who will let you know which schools are available for you to choose from.
If there are no vacancies in the nearest school, student will be reassigned to another school nearby, but he or she will not be left without studying in public schools. Enrolment can be made both online and in person at schools.

Required documents for enrolment:

To enrol a foreign student in a public school in Portugal you must bring the following documents:
- Valid passport of the student;
- Fill in the enrolment form (provided by the school);
- Student's current photo;
- Student's school records / school equivalency documents (in case the student has already studied in another country)
- Vaccination booklet;
- Medical certificate (in some schools);
- Proof of family address (a water, electricity or telecommunications bill will be enough)

Applying for schooling equivalence:

In cases where children or teenagers have already studied in another country out of EU, an equivalence is necessary in order to know at what level they are in Portuguese education.
For that to happen, it is necessary to have school documents recognised by a Portuguese consulate in the country of origin.

Cost of public education:

In Portugal, public education is considered universal and free of charge during compulsory schooling. This means that no fees related to enrolment may be charged to you. But parents will probably have to pay for their children's food and school materials.

EU reports & others

Education system in Portugal

EU report about education system in Portugal: National reforms in school education

Organisation of the Education System and its Structure
- The Portuguese education system
- Home schooling and individual tuition

Organisation of Private Education
- Private and cooperative education statute
- Pedagogical autonomy

National Qualifications Framework


Portuguese Education System for Foreign Students

Integration into the Portuguese schools

Learning a new language at an early age enables children to fully benefit from learning it, because children are not afraid of making mistakes. They learn a new language effortlessly and have the great advantage of teaching it to their parents/adults.

Many studies suggest that the best time to introduce a foreign language is before adolescence. At this stage of life, language is learned and acquired more quickly and spoken with exceptional pronunciation, almost like native speakers. On the other hand, it is much more difficult for older students to speak a new language without having a "foreign" accent.

All foreign students have the right to be integrated into the Portuguese education system.
For students whose mother tongue is not Portuguese, specific measures for learning the Portuguese language are included in the school curriculum: In primary and secondary education, school programmes may integrate the subject of Portuguese as a non-mother tongue (PLNM - Português Língua Não Materna) aimed at students whose mother tongue is not Portuguese or who have not had Portuguese as a school language.

How to classify students in PLNM level groups

When a student whose mother tongue is not Portuguese is placed in the educational system, his or her school should draw the sociolinguistic profile and apply a PLNM diagnostic test to assess his or her knowledge of Portuguese. Depending on the information collected and the results obtained in this test, the student is placed in a PLNM proficiency level.

You can read everything here:
(PDF doc)

You can translate free the PDF into English/other language by using a Doctranslator, such as:


Further information:

(in english)
Portuguese as a second language (PL2) / Português Língua Não Materna (PLNM) - General information - EN

(in portuguese)

International Schools

International schools in Portugal are very popular with international residents because of their high standards of education and variety of school programmes. Often, they have rigorous admissions processes, which vary from school to school, some requiring admission exams, school history, and even an interview.

All of them offer degrees such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) program or British GCSE and GCE examination systems, as well as programs recognized by the Education Department of Germany, France or Spain. All these school programmes are recognized by the best international universities.

You can find English-speaking international schools in Portugal, especially in pre-school education, primary and secondary education. These schools are mostly in the Greater Lisbon area, North (Porto & Braga), Algarve and Madeira Island.

Probably the oldest british school in Portugal is one at Porto, which is originated mainly from the English community, which has always been numerous due to trade with the UK.

Most of these schools are attended by many nationalities, so integration is not difficult. There are websites & emails from each school in the following list, so it is easy to find out more about each one.
Teaching Languages: English (British & US), French, German, Spanish, Swedish.

List of some Schools for International Students in Portugal:

Below is a listing of some international schools in Portugal divided by regions.

Please note that in certain cases, you need to enrol children well in advance to ensure they get a vacancy in some of these international schools.

NORTH (Porto, Braga)

International College of Porto (CLIP), Porto
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 18
Founded in 1990, the International College of Oporto (CLIP) offers its 1,000-plus students a curriculum that connects physical, personal, and social development with academic discipline.

Oporto British School, Porto
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 18
Founded in 1894, the Oporto British School is one of the oldest international schools in the world, and also the oldest British school on continental Europe. It takes students from primary and secondary level and invests in small classes and academic rigour, besides fostering a culture of respect and quality in education, stressing the importance of individual accompaniment

Colégio Luso-Francês, Porto
Curriculum: French
Language of instruction: French
Ages: 3 to 18
Luso-Francês school is one of the most prestigious schools in Porto. The school is part of the Our Lady Franciscan Mission and was founded in 1936. This catholic school teaches students from preschool to the end of secondary education and is well-known for its workshops and extracurricular activities.
It is the only one of the three schools listed which follows the curriculum from the Portuguese Ministry of Education. It is also the only one eligible to be ranked on the list of the best schools in Portugal. In 2018, it was the 27th best school for classes up to year 9. It was also the fifth best for those with a full secondary education.

Lycée Français International, Porto
Curriculum: French
Language of instruction: French
Ages: 3 to 18
Situated next to the Parque de Serralves in Porto, Lycée Français International in Porto combines Portuguese and French education systems. It opened its doors in 1963 and now has students from preschool to 12th grade. As with Lycée Français Charles Lepierre in Lisbon, Lycée Français International in Porto is part of the AEFE (Agency for French Teaching Abroad) global network. As such, this school carriers out classes in the French language and follows the curriculum from the French government.
Its students study towards obtaining the baccalauréat. With this qualification, students can apply to study at universities in Portugal, France or any other country.

Deutche School, Colégio Alemão do Porto, Porto
Curriculum: German
Language of instruction: German
Ages: 3 to 18
Interculturality is one of the key concepts at this school, which has students from several different countries and promotes cultural tolerance. For those coming to study in Portugal, know that this is an institution which fosters general knowledge among its students, and does not only limit itself to following curricula. Familiarity with several languages and integration into Portuguese culture are also concerns of the Porto German School, which is around 100 years old and has classes from kindergarten through to secondary school.

CLIB - Colégio Luso-Internacional de Braga/The Braga International School, Braga
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 18
Founded in 1999, The Lower School (3 -9 years) and the Early Upper School (10 – 13 years) curriculum are based on the English National Curriculum. The Upper School (14-18 years) prepares students for the Cambridge IGCSE examinations and the AICE Diploma (AS and A2 level examinations).

CENTRE (Coimbra, Leiria,...)

St.Paul School, Coimbra
Ages: 6 to 15
Language of instruction: English, Portuguese, Deutch, Spanish

Colégio São José International School, Coimbra
Ages: 6 to 18
Language of instruction: English, Portuguese
CSJ is a catholic school with an innovative educational project, following the Schoenstatt model. The institution tries to teach its students to be autonomous, providing them with a tutor.

Escola Internacional de Torres Vedras, Torres Vedras
Curriculum: American, IB
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 18
Founded in 2005, the school is the first institution in Portugal authorized to promote the “Dual Diploma”, being recognized as an “American High School” partner by “Academica International Studies”, USA. Certified as “Cambridge Educational Partner ”, bet on foreign languages (English, French and Spanish), Education for citizenship and Information Technologies, Music, Sport and the development of communication skills.

Colégio Luso-Internacional do Centro, Marinha Grande
Ages: 3 to 18
Language of instruction: English, Portuguese
The Colégio Luso-Internacional do Centro provides an international education, following the English curriculum and the international Cambridge programmes.

Annarella - Ballet & Dance School (Conservatório Internacional de Ballet Annarella Sanchez)
Language of instruction: Portuguese, English, Spanish
Annarella Academia de Ballet e Dança , surge em 1998 em Leiria, e na cidade de Leiria Portugal .
Ensino especializado do Ballet com Metodologia da Escola Cubana de Ballet .

LISBON WEST (Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, Oeiras,...)

Tasis Portugal, Sintra
Curriculum: American International
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 13
Formally known as The American School in Portugal, is a private American international boarding and day school in Portugal. It is the newest of the four TASIS Schools, a Swiss group of American international boarding schools.Located in Sintra, the school enrolls pupils from around the world. It will open in September 2020.

Oeiras International School, Oeiras
Curriculum: IB
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 6 to 18
It keeps a special focus on science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. It follows IB standards and is open to students from ages 3 to 18. The school is located in a historic palace.

International Preparatory School (IPS), Cascais
Curriculum: British
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 6 to 14
With 36 years of experience, and following the British curriculum, the International Preparatory School hosts students from over 35 nationalities. Its students and teachers are multinational, and the school focuses on global understanding. Families are invited to take centre stage in school issues, and it sees itself as a place where the educational process of the home can be carried on,

St. Julians School, Carcavelos
Curriculum: IB, British, Portuguese
Languages of instruction: English, Portuguese
Ages: 3 to 18
Founded in 1932, St. Julians School is the oldest and largest British international school in Portugal. The school teaches students from 45 different nationalities. It has a strong record of academic achievement.

Carlucci American International School Of Lisbon, Sintra
Curriculum: American, IB
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 18
Founded in 1956, the school works in cooperation with other American international schools and with the US Department of State, following an American philosophy in its academic programme. The secondary students are prepped for obtaining the American diploma but can also opt for the International Baccalaureate in the final two years. The Carlucci American School of Lisbon works towards teaching leadership skills and sensitivity towards global issues, fostering active learning in spacious classrooms and making use of technology.

Tagus Park International Sharing School, Oeiras
Curriculum: International
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 1 to 18
It offers a curriculum focused on personal and professional development, preparing students of age 4 months to 18 years for an increasingly global, multicultural and multilingual world.
The language of instruction is English. In addition, the academic curriculum includes tuition in the following languages: German, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Italian and Russian.

International Christian School, Cascais
Curriculum: American, Christian
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 5 to 18
This schools offers a North American-style education. Its a non-profit that serves the Christian missionary community and other expats in Portugal.

Sintra International Christian Academy, Sintra
Curriculum: American, Christian
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 4 to 18

St. Dominics International School, Oeiras
Curriculum: IB
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 18
St. Dominic's International School has been running in Portugal since 1975, having been founded by Dominican nuns who can trace their presence in the country to the XVII Century. With students from over 60 different nationalities, it includes all levels, from kindergarten to 12th grade. Academic preparation in St. Dominic's goes hand in hand with the formation of strong and determined characters.
It is the only school authorized to offer all three IB programs. The school places a strong emphasis on the arts, and participates in sports and community service.

Aprendizes Active Learning School Cascais
Curriculum: British
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 18
Pre, 1st, 2nd e 3rd Cicles Secondary IGCSE Bilingual Cambridge

Greene's Tutorial College, Estoril
Curriculum: British
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 14 to 18

Jill's Place International Personalized Approach to Learning & Teaching, Carcavelos
Curriculum: International, Reggio Emilia Approach
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 1 to 11

St George School, Cascais
Curriculum: British, Portuguese
Languages of instruction: English, Portuguese
Ages: 6 to 14
Respect, justice, honour, love, liberty and solidarity are some of the keywords at St. George's School, which serves children from the ages of ten to fourteen with a bilingual method, focusing its curriculum on English, Portuguese, Maths and Science. The school operates in a partnership with St. James Primary School (for children aged six to ten), which was founded due to the need to expand St. George's, which has existed in Cascais since 1960.

Lisbon Montessori School, Cascais
Curriculum: Montessori
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 12
LMS offers holistic Montessori education, which orients the student toward the path of independent learning endevours. Students work individually or in small groups and are guided through their choices of resources and presentations.

Santo Antonio International School, Estoril
Curriculum: British, Catholic
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 6 to 18

International Preparatory School, Alcabidexe
Curriculum: British
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 11

St. John's School
Ages: 3 to 6

Svenska Skolan Lissabon
The school follows the Swedish curriculum and is open to children between 3 and 12 years.

Boa Ventura Montessori Nursery School, Estoril
Since 1995, welcomes children of all nationalities, from 2 to 6 years old.


United Lisbon International School, Central Lisbon
Curriculum: International
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 15
It is a new world-class international school located in central Lisbon.The school is opening doors in September 2020. United Lisbon is a modern and innovative international school, offering English-language academic programs from Early Childhood (from 3 years) and to grade 12, with a challenging curriculum based on US-standards and leading to internationally acknowledged university-preparatory programs.

Redbridge School, Central Lisbon
Curriculum: International, French, Portuguese
Languages of instruction: English, French, Portuguese
Ages: 3 to 12
Redbridge School is an elementary school in Lisbon.The school focuses on creativity and an international mindset, in a multilingual environment. Redbridge classrooms include a mix of ages among students, English, French and Portuguese language, a creative approach to learning, digital literacy, and connection to the community.

Astoria International School, Central Lisbon
Curriculum: British, Portuguese
Languages of instruction: English, Portuguese
Ages: 2 to 18
It is a private school offering bilingual or even trilingual education. They offer nursery, daycare, kindergarten, and junior education, open to kids as young as four months old.

British School of Lisbon, Central Lisbon
Curriculum: British
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 10

Lycée Français Charles Lepierre, Central Lisbon
Curriculum: French
Language of instruction: French
Ages: 3 to 18
It is a French international school in Lisbon and offers children the opportunity to learn English and Portuguese.
Lycée Français Charles Lepierre opened in 1952 and is now one of the most well-known and sought after schools in Lisbon. Located next to Amoreiras shopping center, it offers pre-school facilities as well as basic and secondary education. Courses are taught according to the French national education curriculum. In this way, they are similar to other French language schools. However, their schedule also allows for equivalencies from the Portuguese curriculum. Their courses follow the body of knowledge and skills laid down by the Portuguese ministry of education.
With more than 2,000 students, the school teaches Portuguese, English, Spanish, German and Italian, in addition to French.

Deutsche Schule Lissabon, Escola Alemã de Lisboa, Central Lisbon and Estoril
Curriculum: German
Language of instruction: German
Ages: 3 to 18
With roots that go back to 1848 in Portugal, this is considered the oldest German School in the Iberian Peninsula, and only the second in the World, outside of Germany. It serves students from kindergarten to 12th grade, preparing them for attending universities all over the world.
The DSL considers bilingualism and multicultural exchange to be essential conditions and fundamental goals of their work. In addition to the main campus in Lisbon, there is also a campus in Estoril.

St. James Primary School, Lisbon
Curriculum: British, Portuguese
Languages of instruction: English, Portuguese
Ages: 6 to 10
is a school was created in response to the need for expansion of St. Georges School which has existed since 1960, in Cascais, and follows the same guidelines, policies and ethos.

Prime School Group, Lisbon & Cascais
Curriculum: British
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 18
Leading International group of schools with roots in the Cambridge international curriculum, which currently has four schools for students from ages 3 to 18, in Lisbon, Estoril, Cascais and Sintra

Park International School Group, Central Lisbon & Cascais
Curriculum: British, Portuguese
Languages of instruction: English, Portuguese
Ages: 1 to 16
With branches in Lisbon (Praça de Espanha and Restelo), Alfragide and Cascais, PaRK International School caters to children aged up to 11 and has as its pillars the concepts of innovation, happiness and responsibility. Since 2001, PaRK International School has invested in preparing its students to be determined and autonomous, by boosting their self-esteem and helping them to embrace values such as courage, honesty and respect.

Instituto Español Giner de los Ríos, Lisboa / Instituto Espanhol, Algés - Dafundo
Ages: 6 to 18
Language of instruction: Spanish, Portuguese
Instituto Español is a Spanish international school in the municipality of Oeiras, operated by the Spanish Ministry of Education. It offers educación infantil (preschool) to bachillerato (senior high school) level courses.

SOUTH LISBON (Seixal, Palmela, Setúbal)

St. Peter's International School, Palmela, Setúbal
Curriculum: British
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 14 to 18
Located in Palmela, and catering to students from kindergarten to 12th grade, St. Peter's International School has as its goal the formation of autonomous, critical and creative citizens. Social responsibility is strongly branded into the values of this institution, which boasts a 26 year presence in Portugal. It is part of Inspired Schools – a leading group of reputable schools in the UK, Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and Latin America and in 2018 it ranked 10th among the best schools of the country.

Seixal Internacional School, Seixal
Ages: 3 to 9
Language of instruction: English, Portuguese
This school adopts the international curriculum and portuguese curriculum. It also offers certified training for adults, modular, in flexible hours, after work or at weekends.
International School of Palmela, Quinta do Anjo - Palmela
Ages: 6 to 18
This school adopts the international curriculum of Cambridge


Tamera, School of Hope, Escola da Esperança, Odemira
Language of instruction: Deutch, English
The Escola da Esperança wants to become the first international school in the Alentejo region. It shall be a place of learning for children from the region, for the children of the community of Tamera and for children and young people from all over the globe.
It offers an educational model, which is based on progressive, internationally-researched teaching methods.

The concept is inspired mainly by the fundamental thoughts about pedagogy by Maria Montessori: sensitive stages of learning, directing learning to the children's inner growth strengths, working with materials in a prepared environment.

This school takes a holistic approach to learning. The creative curiosity of children and young people and their absolute joy and enthusiasm for learning is protected and strengthened through positive learning experiences.
They offer online and on-site courses for those wanting to explore this global vision for peace, including learning opportunities for children and young people.


Nobel International School Algarve, Lagoa
Curriculum: British
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 18
The Nobel International School claims to be the oldest and largest private school in Southern Portugal and aims at challenging the minds and developing the creativity of its students. It takes Portuguese and foreign students from more than 30 different nationalities living in Portugal. From kindergarten to secondary school, both in its English section, which follows the British curriculum and in the Portuguese section, which follows the national curriculum. It invests heavily in small classes, the intensive learning of English, as well as sports, drama and arts. It is part of the NACE School Group, which includes around 50 schools in nine countries.

Vale Verde International School, Luz, Lagos
Curriculum: British,  Portuguese
Language of instruction: English, Portuguese
Ages: 6 to 18
Vale Verde International School offers secondary education to an international student body.

Algarve International School, Almancil
Ages: 3 to 18

Aljezur International School, Aljezur
Ages: 10 to 18
Located in a veritable paradise, the school operates on an estate and takes students from all nationalities and contexts. Created in 2010, this school prefers a model of personalised accompaniment, organising the students into small groups and encouraging strong relationships between students and their tutors. It follows the British curriculum and has students from 26 different countries.

Colegio Santiago Internacional, Tavira
The Colégio Santiago Internacional follows the guidelines of the English curriculum and is bilingual, teaching in English and in Portuguese. It takes children up to the age of 18 and has a student body from 14 different countries. So, The institution aims at educating all aspects of its students, both academically and in terms of personal development.

Vilamoura International School, Vilamoura
This international school in Vilamoura offers a wide-ranging educational program to children from the ages of 3-18.
Regarding international exams, for several years the Colégio de Vilamoura has achieved results above the world averages, allowing its students to achieve placements in the best universities in Europe, placing Vilamoura on the map of the most prestigious international schools in Portugal. Cambridge's Curriculum is globally recognized by higher education institutions and is valued in the workforce.
This school includes pre-school, basic and secondary school and follows both the national and the Cambridge curricula. Founded in 1984 it believes in the early apprehension of foreign languages, research, development of mathematical thought and promotion of arts and sports, all based on democratic and humanist values.

The Academy International School, Quarteira

EDEN Montessori International School, Albufeira
Ages: 3 to 9
Eden Montessori International School in Albufeira is the first of its kind in Portugal, offering authentic Montessori education in both English and Portuguese for children in groups of ages 3-6 years and 6-9 years.

Eupheus International School Algarve, Loulé
Eupheus International School offers Pre Prep, Preparatory, and Lower Secondary education for 3 to 14 year olds.

International School of The Algarve (ISALGA), Lagoa
Ages: 4 to 18

Knightsbridge School International Algarve, Olhão
Private international school for boys and girls with international educational programme for students aged 3 – 18. English is the primary language of instruction, Portuguese and second language learning opportunities provided.


International School of Madeira/The British School Madeira, Funchal, Madeira
Curriculum: English
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 3 to 15
The British School of Madeira opened in September 1980. It is the only international bilingual Portuguese-English school in the Island

Madeira International Sharing School, Funchal
Curriculum: International
Language of instruction: English
Ages: 1 to 18
From the same group of Tagus Park International Sharing School
Waouh thank you very much for this report very complete
Hi John,

Really appreciated for this useful post.




this is a fantastic summary!  I wish something this complete was out there when we were looking.

A clarification for anybody considering United Lisbon IS. The high school curriculum for 11th and 12th grade will be the IB. Starting in Fall 2022, they will accept 11th graders (11 grade in the US) and the following year will be the first year for 12th grade as the rising students begin their final year. The school is fairly new and still small but I understand will continue to grow its student body.

Ranking of Public & Private Schools in Portugal

You can check here the classification of 1870 schools in the ranking of secondary and basic schools, based on the scores of national exams. There are 629 secondary schools (11th and 12th years) and 1241 primary schools (9th year), in Portugal, including Azores and Madeira islands.

Ranking of public and private schools 2020:

You can search by Private/Public school, City/County, National Exam Average (general or per subject), internal scores (scores obtained by the student in their own school before the national exams).

The same ranking as above but also indicating the number of students in each school who have submitted the national exams.

It is shown the ranking (year 2020) of public and private schools in the country, which is based only on the scores of the national exams (school years 11 and 12) which are the same for all students, both from the public and private system.

The first 20 places are all private schools (which are mostly Catholic schools), but if we consider the first 100 schools in this ranking, we can see that 56 are private schools and 44 are public schools. And if we consider the first 200 schools in this ranking, we can see that 62 are private schools and 138 are public schools. This means that there are also quite good public schools in Portugal.




Grading System in Portugal / Sistema de Avaliação (Notas)

Comparative grid scores of the Primary & Secondary Education Systems

UK - Portugal

(PDF doc)


In Portugal, American and English schools follow the school programmes of the US and UK systems respectively:

Comparison of the British and American education systems:

New International schools opening soon

They are looking for english speaking teachers to join their teams:

Lisbon (Alcântara neighbourhood)

Almada (South bank of Lisbon)

New teaching methods

Brave Generation Academy (BGA)

Brave Generation Academy Portugal wants to go against the traditional teaching model. Each of the hubs has a maximum of 30 students and there are no fixed school timetables. It is certified by Cambridge School and has three levels of education (Lower Secondary, IGCSE and A-Levels), each lasting two years. The school year starts whenever the student wants. Students have access to mentors who can help them along their way and also course managers, who are responsible for the contents being taught at each of the academies.

The first Brave Generation Academy was born in Cascais, having expanded to other cities in Portugal.

By March 2023, it has 53 school hubs open in Portugal. It has seven hubs in Cascais (Cascais, Guincho, Linhó, Parede), 4 in Lisbon (Belém, Campolide, Expo/Parque das Nações, Lumiar), and is also present in Porto, Maia, Braga, Coimbra, Leiria, Aveiro, Caldas da Rainha, Óbidos, Santarém, Fundão, Sintra, Setúbal, Ericeira, Comporta/Troia, Ofir/Esposende, Lagoa, Lagos, Loulé and Tavira. For the next months, more BGA hubs are expected to open in Viseu, Madeira/Funchal, Vilamoura and Tábua. In the future, the academy intends to invest more in the portuguese countryside.

Escola Raiz, Lisbon - bilingual english & portuguese school

The Raiz School is a private school that has an educational framework in order to give sense and logic to all the work that is done in this school. It is a constructivist school, which implements the HighScope pedagogical model in all school years.


The BGA and the Raíz School are two examples of ways of transmitting knowledge outside the box in Portugal. But there are more. Some movements or models even have many years of application in Portugal. Learn more about these 3 teaching methods and the Portuguese schools where these models are applied:

  • Waldorf Pedagogy
  • Pestalozzi Movement
  • Vela Verde Method … a86eb71b1f … -portugal/


International Schools

(cont. previous #7 - #14)


The Lisboan School

(Alcântara neighbourhood)

They combine world-leading curricula to give the best academic programme for the particular stage of children  education journey. Beyond the classroom they offer a diverse programme of enrichment activities. Children from 3 to 18.

AIS School

Almada (South bank of Lisbon)

AIS presents a curriculum that seeks to respond to the educational needs of each child, favouring learning in a bilingual context and pedagogical innovation, which privileges contact with Nature and the exploration of individuality, the environment, as well as digital media.

Maple Bear is a world leader in bilingual education, based on the best teaching practices originating in Canada and always respecting the Portuguese curriculum and legislation.



Maple Bear is a world leader in bilingual education, based on the best teaching practices originating in Canada and always respecting the Portuguese curriculum and legislation.



Nederlands Onderwijs Algarve Portugal

Nederlands Onderwijs Algarve Portugal (NOAP) offers complete primary and secondary education according to the Dutch Curriculum supplemented with Portuguese education. Individual approach and attention, customized curriculum, child coaching and parenting advice.

Deutsche Schule Algarve

Deutsche Schule Algarve is a bilingual (German/Portuguese) international school.