English in Malta, by the English in Malta, for the English in Malta

Education Guide: Public Schools in Malta

To school your children in Malta, you can opt for a private or a public institution. Schooling in Malta is slightly different than in the rest of the world, particularly with the practice of English and Maltese during classes, but also with regard to the school syllabus. The main language spoken in public schools is Maltese (except for English classes, obviously) – older children who have already started their schooling in a different language will therefore find it more difficult to take classes. On the other hand, it is an excellent opportunity for younger children, who will develop fluency in Maltese, English and in their native language.

General information on public schools in Malta:

  • The Maltese educational system is similar to the British system. Education standards are very high and comparable to those in the UK.
  • Education in Malta is compulsory between 5 and 16 years old, and is structured in four stages:
    • Kindergarten, from 3 to 5 years old
    • Primary, from 5 to 11 years old
    • Secondary, from 11 to 18 years old
    • Post-secondary, 18+
  • The official program lasts 6 years and includes general subjects such as Maltese, English, mathematics, social studies, and religious education.
  • The Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) exams are taken at the end of schooling in Malta, usually at the age of 16. Students who wish to continue their studies sit for entrance exams (based on the International Baccalaureate) at the age of 18, which will determine their access to universities and colleges.
  • Public schools are free for everyone and located in all major cities. Transportation to and from schools is free, as are books and school materials. Only the uniform (compulsory) is at the parents’ expense.
  • The main language is Maltese, except for English courses.
  • Catholic education is automatically taught at public schools, but children can opt out at the parents’ request.
  • The school day usually runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., then the children have homework to supplement their learning. This can take up to 2 hours a day and is an integral part of education in Malta.

From kindergarten to Post-Secondary:

Documents for registration:

To enrol your child in a public school, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Parent’s passport and/or Identity Card.
  • An original birth certificate of the child and a copy translated into English by an official translator if the language of the certificate is not in English.
  • A handwritten letter requesting the child’s enrolment in the school.
  • Proof of residence in Malta (invoice, lease, etc.)

NB: Some schools may request additional documents, as well as a preliminary interview. It is therefore preferable to call them beforehand to ensure that you have all the necessary documents.

Introduction to Maltese and English language:

Language initiation courses are offered to children who cannot communicate in Maltese or in English. Children take a simple test when registering and are then admitted to an introductory school year. This will prepare children to feel confident in their communication both in English and in Maltese. The program during this year includes courses in mathematics, Maltese, English, etc.

The main difference between this introductory year and subsequent years is that these subjects are taught with the aim of learning both languages.

List of public schools in Malta:

Below is a list of public schools in Malta, for different areas of residence:

  • St Nichola’ College – For residents of Attard, Bahrija, Dingli, Mgarr, Mtarfa, Rabat & Mdina
  • St Benedict College – For residents of Bizebbuga, Ghaxaq, Gudja, Kirkop, Mqabba, Qrendi, Safi and Zurried
  • St Theresa College – For residents of Birkirkara, Balzan, Iklin, Lika, Msida, Santa Venera
  • St Margaret College – For residents of Birgu, Bormla, Klarara, Senglea, Xgharja and Zabbar
  • St Thomas Moore College – For residents of Fgura, Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk, Tarxien and Zejtun
  • St Goerge Preca College – For residents of Floriana, Hamrun, Marsa, Paola, Pieta and Valetta
  • Marina Regina College – For residents of Gharhur, Mellieha, Mosta, Naxxar, San Pawl Il-Bahar
  • St Clare College – For residents of Gzira, Pembroke, Swieqi, San Giljan, San Gwann and Sliema
  • St Ignatius College – For residents of Luqa, Qormi, Siggiewi and Haz-Zebbug
  • Gozo College – For residents of Gozo Island.

Health and Safety:

Children undergo medical examinations and vaccinations through the school.

A healthy eating policy regulates internal menus as well as food and beverages allowed into the school.

Some foods high in fat, sugar or salt may be prohibited.

Most children bring packed lunches with them for lunch.

It is advisable to inform the school of any medical problems pertaining to the child.

School attendance is also monitored. Children absent for more than 3 days must present a medical certificate to the school.

A strict child protection policy is applied within every school, both on a physical and verbal level (intimidation, fighting, etc.)

Special cases:

Malta offers inclusive education services. This aims to help children with diverse capacities to improve at different levels, to create environments suited to different developmental capacities, needs and potentials of other students.

The following services directly address issues in order to implement the national strategy on inclusive education:

  • Learning Support Area and Support Group.
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Autism Spectrum Support Team
  • Home Schooling
  • Teachers for the hearing and visually impaired.

Universities in Malta:

Student Visa:

There are 3 public centres for higher education in Malta. Of course, a student visa must be obtained to be allowed to study on the island.

Below is a list of the documents required to obtain a student visa in Malta:

  • Completed Visa Application Form
  • Photocopy of your Passport
  • Two identity photographs
  • A valid return ticket or prepaid return travel certificate
  • Proof of access to sufficient funds to cover education and living expenses
  • Letter of acceptance from the establishment
  • Proof of accommodation on arrival
  • Proof of medical insurance for the duration of the stay

You can find all visa information at the following link:

Visa Student Application

With regard to your studies within the public education system, you have the choice of 3 institutes:

University of Malta:

+356 2340 2340 // University of Malta

  • Arts and religions
  • Social Sciences
  • Culture and Language
  • Medicine and Health
  • Engineering
  • Science and Technology

Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology:

+356 2398 7100 // Malta College of Arts

  • Applied sciences
  • Creative arts
  • Engineering and Transportation
  • Business and commercial management
  • Community services
  • Information and communication technology

Malta Tourism and Languages Institute:

+356 2137 6868 // Malta Tourism and Languages Institute

  • To carry out your studies in applied English or in relation to tourism.

Useful links:

General information on public schools:

Education System

Information about inclusive education:

Resource Centers

List of all schools in Malta (public and private):

List of Schools in Malta

Choosing a public school is about giving your child the opportunity to develop in a multicultural environment, while having a strong educational base. Learning Maltese and English also enables the child to develop skills and facilitate their integration in Malta.


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