Schools in Cancun

Schools in Cancun

If you are a parent who is contemplating a move to Cancun, Mexico for work, you are probably wondering how the education system there works.  Similar to the school systems in the US and Canada, schools in Mexico begin with preschool learning and advance to basic grade school education (primaria), middle school (secundaria), high school (preparatoria) and beyond that, higher education.  Mexican law requires all children ages 6 through 14 to attend basic education courses including preschool, primary and lower secondary classes.

When you become a permanent resident of Mexico, you will have the option to send your child to free public school, although you may find that a private school is a better fit for your family.  While you will have to pay if your child attends a private school, tuition prices are generally much lower than most other countries, and the quality of the education found in most private schools is typically far superior to state-run schools.  Moving to a new country can be a challenging transition for children to navigate, so choosing a bilingual school may help them adjust more quickly.  It is recommended that you tour several schools and ask plenty of questions before deciding which one will be the best fit for your child.  Cancun has many wonderful education choices, so as you begin your search, look into schools such as Alexandre, Colegio Britanico, Diuni and IAS.

Mexico’s Grading System

Mexico’s Grading System

Instead of grading with letter grades (A, B, C, D and F), most schools in Mexico grade using numbers 1 through 10.  In order to pass any given year in school, each student must maintain a minimum grade of 6, or the year will have to be repeated.  The grading scale is as follows:

●9 to 10: Very good/ Excellent

●8: Good

●6-7: Satisfactory

●0-5: Fail

Here is a more in-depth look at the education levels offered in Mexico:


Public education offers free optional preschool for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years. 


When children reach the age of 6, attending primary (grade) school is mandatory. 


All children must attend secondary school (also known as lower secondary education), and proof of 6 years total of primary education is required. 

High School

Known as preparatoria in Mexico, high school is not required and parents and students may choose from three options, all of which last 3 years (general upper-secondary, technical professional education or technological upper-secondary). 

Higher Education

Higher learning offered at universities, technical institutes, teacher training colleges and technological universities is completely optional.