Minors in Spain have the right to education, and the schooling of minors is compulsory from age 6 to 16. This right is not explicitly ruled under Asylum Law but it is guaranteed by other regulations concerning aliens and minors.
Minors’ protection-related issues fall within competence of the Autonomous Communities, which manage education systems on their territory and must guarantee access to all minors living thereon. Asylum seeking children are given access to education within the regular schools of the Autonomous Community in which they are living or they are hosted in.
The scheme followed for integrating asylum seeking children in the school varies depending on the Autonomous Community they are placed in, as each regional Administration manages and organises school systems as they rule. Some Communities count on preparatory classrooms, while others have tutors within the normal class and some others do not offer extra or specialised services in order to ease the integration within the school.
In the practice, asylum seeking children are usually put in school, even during the first phase in which they are accommodated in asylum facilities.
Nonetheless, shortcoming concerning asylum seeking minors accessing education have been reported concerning children hosted in the CETI in periods of overwhelmed conditions due to extreme overcrowding.
In addition, it should be reported the situation of a wide group of minors living in the streets of Melilla, who do not have access to basic social services to whom they are entitled. These adolescents, mainly from Morocco and Algeria, are under the guardianship of the Melilla’s Autonomous administration, as they entered Spain as irregular unaccompanied minors or unaccompanied asylum seekers.
Due to the conditions of the Melilla’s Centre of Protection of Minors in which they should live because they are under the administration’s custody, they prefer living in the city’s street and trying to reach the Spanish Peninsula hiding in transport.