Compulsory school attendance begins at six and ends after ten years at the age of 16. Before this period, the children can go to a escuela infantil or to a guardería. This pre-school education (Educación preescolar) is voluntary and is intended for kids from 0 to 6 years old. There is a subdivision of two groups here: one for children from 0 to 3 years old, and another one for children from 3 to 6 years old. As a general rule, the small ones start their pre-school education when they are 3 years old. While in Germany, there is a tripartite system with Grundschule, Gesamtschule (Hauptschule und Realschule) and Gymnasium, in Spain there is exclusively Gesamtschulen. The compulsory school attendance last until the 10. Klasse, so all students, as long as they have passed all their exams, receive their qualification, that is comparable to the intermediate school certificate in Germany (Realschule). The primary school (Educación Primaria) lasts six years in Spain (four years in Germany), the middle school (Educación secundaria obligatoria=ESO) four years (six in Germany), and the upper school (Bachillerato) two years (same in Germany).
In the Spanish primary school (Educación Primaria), the students must learn a foreign language that is mainly English. Other foreign languages are optional in the middle school (ESO). There is no final exam in the upper school (Bachillerato), because the grades are the last marks included in the report. The bachillerato allows you to study at the university. However, in order to start, students have to take an entrance test (Prueba de acceso para la selectividad). The Spanish Abitur or Bachillerato is recognized in Germany and converted to the German grade system. It also allows students to start their degrees in a German university.