Founded 60 years ago, The British School of Barcelona has grown into a model of excellence of teaching which embraces a holistic approach to children's learning and development

The History of The British School of Barcelona


The british school is founded

The british school was opened by Mr Pedro de Verda in 1958 as The Anglo-American School, under contract to the American Navy. The Sixth Fleet was based in Barcelona at that time and the school served the needs of the children of its officers, also admitting pupils from the local area. After the departure of the Navy, the british school continued in its task, providing an international education to children of all nationalities.


The Curriculum is expanded

During the 1960/70 period, the british school gradually changed from a small 70 pupil school for 4-14 year olds to a much larger centre providing a British curriculum for children from the age of 3 to 18 years. It became an authorized centre for official United Kingdom examinations – O levels and A Levels – and prepared pupils for university entrance.


Spain recognises foreign schools

In 1978, the first Royal Decree recognizing foreign schools in Spain was published and studies were validated for Spanish pupils also. At that time, the National Association of British Schools in Spain was formed to defend the interests of British education in Spain. The Anglo-American School was a founder member of NABSS and over the years has contributed to the work of the association in the support of its aims.

The recognition of studies was an important factor in the growth of the british school, as more families from the local area showed interest in British education and the learning of English, and the need for expansion became apparent.


New ownership

In 1985 Mrs Anne McEwan and her husband Sr. José Farré, who both already worked at the british school, became partners in the ownership of the school. Anne McEwan, a professional educator, became headmaster and José Farré took over the administration. Under their leadership the school developed further and it was evident to them that the premises no longer fulfilled the school´s requirements. Soon afterwards, the plot now occupied by the school was purchased and planning for the new school building started.


New building works start

The planning for the new international school building was a long process and it was not until 1997 that the construction works began.


The British School of Barcelona is founded

In 1999 Mr and Mrs Farré founded The British School of Barcelona.

The new facilities enhanced the quality of the educational provision already in place and a second form entry was opened the following year. Pupils continued to learn in a happy, relaxed atmosphere, achieving personal and academic success, gaining places at top universities in the United Kingdom, Spain and other countries worldwide.


The British School of Barcelona joins Cognita

In 2007, the owners of The British School of Barcelona reached retirement age and, to ensure the continuity of the school and its aims for excellence in education, they transferred its ownership to the prestigious Cognita Group.


50th Anniversary

In 2008 the international british school commemorated the 50th Anniversary of its opening: Fifty years of excellence of teaching and learning. The ceremony was presided over by the Minister for Education of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Mr Ernest Maragall, and the founders of the school, Mr and Mrs Farré.


The school improves its facilities

In 2013–2014 The British School of Barcelona carried out an ambitious project to expand the facilities. The expansion, which represented an investment of €4.7 million, enabled the british school to offer new services and increase its capacity for new students in Early Years, Primary and Secondary in response to the high demand in the area.

The result of the expansion was a new Secondary building with a dozen classrooms, a fully equipped 700m2 Theatre with 376 seats, music rooms, two multi-sport courts and an artificial turf field, a new kitchen and a large dining hall.


Grand opening

On the 11th October 2014, The British School of Barcelona was pleased to mark the opening of the new buildings with a spectacular inauguration ceremony.

The ceremony was chaired by Headmaster Josep González, and it also included the participation of the Vice-Consul of Great Britain in Barcelona, Maria Leng, and the Mayor of Castelldefels, Manuel Reyes. Following the speeches, a party was held for the whole school community which gathered together more than 500 people including both families and staff of The British School of Barcelona.


Cognita Group Acquires International School of Barcelona

In January 2016 Cognita announced the acquisition of International School of Barcelona, located in Sitges.

As from September 2016, the international school will be integrated as a new campus under the brand of The British School of Barcelona.


BSB Nexus, new Pre-University Campus

April 2018 sees the opening of BSB Nexus, the new Pre-University campus of The British School of Barcelona in Castelldefels.

The  purpose-built, three-storey centre, offers a global pre-university experience to 16-18 year-old students through a comprehensive curriculum: Advanced Level Examinations (A Levels), International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), Foundation Programme, Spanish Bachillerato.