When you buy real estate in Monaco, you are investing in not only bricks and mortar but also in a safe and secure environment to raise your family in, which is one of the reasons the Principality is such a sought-after residential address. Yet relocating to Monaco means a whole new school system for your children and understanding it is undoubtedly high on your list of priorities. ‘How does it work?’ and ‘Is it bilingual?’ are probably just two of the questions you’re looking to answer, which is why we’ve compiled this handy guide.
Let’s start at the very beginning:
What age do children start school in Monaco?
Legally, children are required to start school from the age of six and continue to the age of 16, but in reality, most children start maternelle, or nursery school, at three.
Remember, the school year here starts in September and ends in late June/early July.
The public education system in Monaco
The public school system in Monaco provides free education and is governed by the Department of Education, Youth and Sport. It is comprised of:
- Six nursery and primary schools. Children start nursery school (maternelle) at three, and attend for three years, before graduating to primary for six years of education. Where you live in Monaco will decide what nursery and primary school you can attend. A list of schools is at the end of this guide.
- Collège Charles III, the Principality’s only middle school for students aged 11-15.
- For students aged 15-18, Lycée Albert 1er is the principle high school, while Lycée Technique et Hôtelier de Monte-Carlo offers vocational training.
Are there private schools in Monaco?
Yes. Along with the fully private International School of Monaco (see below), there are two institutions that offer private education ‘under contract’, which means they are subsidised by the state and still required to adhere to the standards and requirements of the Department of Education, Youth and Sport.
- Cours Saint Maur is a catholic nursery and primary school.
- Établissement François d’Assise Nicolas Barré, more commonly known as FANB, is also a catholic school for ages 3 to 18.
How do I enrol my child in school in Monaco?
The application form and list of required documents can be found on the website of the Department of Education, Youth and Sport. You need to show you have lived in Monaco for at least three months, and if you have moved to Monaco recently you will need your residence card or confirmation slip of residence permit.
There are strict enrolment periods to adhere to – as outlined on the website above – and you are required to enrol in person at the school itself during the official enrolment period.
Priority is given to Monegasque children or those with at least one Monegasque parent. If places remain, children of non-Monegasque nationals who reside in the Principality will be enrolled.
A dérogation, or an exemption, is an official request you can submit to the authorities to attend a school outside of your catchment area.
Families who live in France but both parents work in Monaco can also request permission to send their children to school in Monaco, however they are given lower priority.
Are there international schools in Monaco?
Yes, there is one international school in Monaco, the International School of Monaco. Founded in 1994, the school is located on Port Hercules and caters for children aged 3-18 and offers a bilingual French/English program in primary school and English-led learning through Middle School and High School. Students sit for the International Baccalaureate. Admissions are done independently of the state system above.
There is also an international section at the state-run Collège Charles III and Lycée Albert 1er. While fluency in English is a requirement for this intensive preparatory stage for the International Baccalaureate, it is important to note that French is a requisite as well.
What is the language of instruction in Monaco?
The official language is French, although in all state (and private under contract schools) English is taught from age three and Monegasque is taught in Primary and Secondary.
Are there Montessori and Waldorf Steiner Schools in Monaco?
There are two choices for children aged 18 months to six years. La Petite Ecole is a bilingual French/English Montessori school that will be opening its doors in the port of Monaco as of September 2018, while just across the border in Beausoleil, France, the Waldorf Kindergarten also accepts children from 18 months to six years.
Is there a university in Monaco?
Yes, the International University of Monaco is located in the Stade Louis II in Monaco’s Fontvieille district and specialises in Finance, Luxury, International Management, Marketing and Sports Management.
List of state schools in Monaco
- École des Carmes
33 bd du Larvotto
Phone: (+377) 98 98 86 68
- École du Parc
32 bis bd de Belgique
Phone: (+377) 98 98 86 71
- École Stella
16 rue Hubert Clerissi
Website : ecole-stella.gouv.mc
- École de la Condamine
4 rue Saige
Phone: (+377) 98 98 86 65
Web site: ecole-condamine.gouv.mc
- École de Fontvieille
5 avenue des Guelfes
Phone: (+377) 98 98 47 65
- École Saint Charles
11 avenue Saint Laurent
Phone: (+377) 98 98 86 70
- École des Révoires
63 ter boulevard du Jardin Exotique
Phone: (+377) 98 98 86 83
- Collège Charles III
Avenue de l’Annonciade
Phone: (+377) 98 98 86 75
- Lycée Albert 1er
2, place de la Visitation
Phone: (+377) 98 98 80 54
- Lycée Technique et Hôtelier de Monte-Carlo
7 Allée Lazare Sauvaigo
Phone: (+377) 98 98 86 72