Country information for Spain - Financing of inclusive education systems

The total budget allocated to education in Spain comes from public funds (provided by state, autonomous and local authorities), private funds (provided by families) and, to a lesser extent, private institutions. The public or private nature of the ultimate funding agent, rather than the recipient of the services, is what determines whether education spending is considered public or private. Some 80% of education expenditure in Spain is financed through public funds, while the remaining 20% comes from private funds. In 2019, Spain devoted 4.26% of its gross domestic product to education (Eurydice).

Public funds earmarked to finance Spanish education are mainly provided by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, as well as the education authorities of the corresponding autonomous communities. Other ministries and other local and regional authorities also provide funding.

Regardless of the authority providing funding, public spending is not earmarked for public education only, but is also allocated to subsidise private establishments and finance learner scholarships and grants.

Education funding comes from the national budget, which includes the Ministry budget, and from the autonomous communities.

The Budget for Special Education covers:

  • Staff expenses
  • Operational expenses
  • Furniture and inventoried equipment expenses
  • Expenses for alterations
  • Grants to non-governmental organisations
  • Grants to private schools with an educational co-operation with the Ministry
  • School canteens
  • Hostels located inside schools
  • Financial support for mainstream schools that include learners with special educational needs
  • School transportation
  • New building improvement
  • Removing physical architectural barriers.

The autonomous communities finance special education in a similar way.


Last updated 09/11/2022

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