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Educational System in Saint Lucia

The one tip that you hear expats living in Saint Lucia repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Saint Lucia. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Saint Lucia is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Saint Lucia.
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Relocating to a new country can be a daunting experience, especially when it comes to understanding the educational system for your children. This guide aims to provide expats with a comprehensive overview of the educational system in Saint Lucia. The island nation follows a British-style education system, with English as the medium of instruction. The education system is divided into several stages, each with its unique focus and age group. This guide will cover the main stages of education, enrollment procedures, language requirements, public and private schooling options, homeschooling, and online schooling possibilities.

What are the main stages of education in Saint Lucia?

The education system in Saint Lucia is divided into four main stages: Early Childhood Education, Primary Education, Secondary Education, and Tertiary Education. Early Childhood Education caters to children aged 3-5 years, Primary Education is for children aged 5-12 years, Secondary Education is for students aged 12-17 years, and Tertiary Education is for students aged 17 and above.

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education in Saint Lucia caters to children aged 3-5 years. This stage focuses on the holistic development of children, including their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. The curriculum includes activities that promote language development, creativity, and basic numeracy skills.

Primary Education

Primary Education in Saint Lucia is for children aged 5-12 years. This stage focuses on the development of basic literacy and numeracy skills, along with the introduction of subjects like Science, Social Studies, and Arts. The curriculum is designed to foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Secondary Education

Secondary Education in Saint Lucia is for students aged 12-17 years. This stage includes a broad curriculum with subjects like English, Mathematics, Sciences, Social Studies, and Vocational Studies. Students sit for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) at the end of this stage.

Tertiary Education

Tertiary Education in Saint Lucia is for students aged 17 and above. This stage includes vocational training, undergraduate, and postgraduate programs. The main tertiary institution is the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

Newcomers can enroll their children in Saint Lucian schools by first contacting the Ministry of Education or the school directly. They will need to provide necessary documents such as birth certificates, immunization records, and previous school records. It’s advisable to start the enrollment process well before the start of the academic year.

Can children still learning English enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning English can enroll in public schools in Saint Lucia. English is the medium of instruction in all schools, and additional language support is provided to students who need it.

Are there public bilingual schools?

While there are no public bilingual schools in Saint Lucia, some private international schools offer bilingual programs. Admission to these schools typically requires an application process and possibly an entrance exam.

What types of private schools are common in Saint Lucia?

Private schools in Saint Lucia include International Schools, Faith-based Schools (mostly Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist), and Montessori Schools. These schools often offer a more diverse curriculum and smaller class sizes.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Expats in Saint Lucia often choose private schools for their children due to the smaller class sizes, diverse curriculum, and the presence of other expat students. However, some expats do choose public schools to immerse their children in the local culture and community.

How expensive are Private schools in Saint Lucia?

The cost of private schools in Saint Lucia varies widely depending on the school and the grade level. On average, annual tuition can range from EC$3,000 to EC$10,000. It’s advisable to contact the school directly for the most accurate information.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Saint Lucia?

Yes, homeschooling is allowed in Saint Lucia. Parents who wish to homeschool their children must apply for permission from the Ministry of Education and follow the prescribed curriculum.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Saint Lucia?

Yes, children can attend online schools while living in Saint Lucia. However, it’s important to ensure that the online school is accredited and that the curriculum aligns with the educational standards of Saint Lucia.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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