One of the issues which has been blamed for the fall in the number of British citizens is the Balearic state school education system. Many British citizens complain that not enough English is taught in local schools and to some extent they have a point. Less Catalan, more English is their wish. Some British residents who have children of secondary school age say that they have little option but to return to Britain because they are concerned about the education system. The previous centre-right Partido Popular government tried to introduce a three-language learning system (English, Spanish and Catalan). While many thought it was a good idea, there were not enough qualified teachers so that the system could be introduced, and it also sparked an outcry, with thousands of people marching through the streets of Palma. In the end it led to the downfall of the administration of Jose Ramon Bauza of the Partido Popular.

Experts say that if the local authorities are serious about English being taught in local schools then they must start work on a plan which would naturally involve more English teachers being recruited and trained. At one stage the Balearic government was even prepared to ask for British residents to come and help out in local schools with English classes. The local education system is far from perfect and English classes should be increased. These islands live from tourism and speaking the language is vital.

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Max / Hace 9 months

Graham and Ron I totally agree. I have spoken with many worried Spanish parents here and for them, only a native English speaker will do. Let’s not forget, beyond the basics, English is a tough language to learn...all those nuances etc.

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Graham / Hace 10 months

Unless you speak Catalan you cannot work in the state schools here. They have missed such a trick with an International natural speaking tounge population. All they have done is penalised their childrens education with the narrow island mentality thinking.

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Ron / Hace 10 months

The idea of recruiting British residents to help in schools for a derisory 'wage' was a stupid non-starter. The only solution will be to bring English teachers from the UK. This will never happen with our nationalists in power. Sr. March plans to reduce the English teaching that now exists to devote more time to Catalán. I am sure he actually thinks that English is not a powerful enough language in the world as he thinks Catalán is. Until he and his cronies of the left are well gone nothing will change. I personally know 'English' teachers in state schools here who will not even have a conversation with me because they don't feel confident enough and are embarrassed to try! Meanwhile they continue to draw their lavish salaries. I speak from experience having had two granddaughters in local schools, only to have had to take them away to the private sector.

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Max / Hace 10 months

I should add that schools here, like everywhere, are deficient in teaching life skills ( money, sex, the dangers of the Internet, emotional resilience, core values, etc.)...all the things needed for our frankly appalling modern life. That’s why I teach my daughter these things after school every day. But a young mind can only absorb so much. Unless you want your offspring to have a public service job here, why spen the time on Catalan when there are so many more important things to teach them? I’m waiting for my troll friend to red mark me on this...idiot.

+7-

Max / Hace 10 months

And for the second time (only) I agree. Parents must be the activists for this though. As much as I like and respect our hosts and neighbours, they need to be dragged into reality. English, then probably Spanish, then Mandarin, then Arabic are the languages kids need. Catalan is like Welsh...what possible use? Local pride wins nothing for the future of kids. But, it’s a question of priority. My daughter is learning Castellano, English, German and Catalan. In that order. For any kid in Spain not to be taught English is a travesty. Like it or not, (as the French do not). However, it’s also a travesty that so many Brits don’t bother to learn Spanish.

+8-