Our History

«Once a Georgian, always a Georgian».

St. George’s British International School Bilbao was founded in 1956 by John Augustin Franks, an entrepreneur and pioneer who arrived in Bilbao from Great Britain in 1930. He spent many years teaching English at the British Institute in Vizcaya, gaining a reputation as an exceptionally gifted teacher. He then went on to found St. George’s British International School and was subsequently awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his services to education. The school opened on 26 January 1956 at No. 11 Zabaldibe Street, with only 6 students; in those days, as is still the case today, students from St. George’s were renowned for their excellent manners and education.

John’s daughter, Ms Julie Franks carried on the family tradition and took over the school; after 62 years at the helm, her reputation as an educator remains impeccable. Her skill as a leader and her positive style has won her the affection, respect and admiration of both her staff and the many hundreds of children who have passed through St. George’s classrooms, learning from her example and acquiring the tools that they needed to lead happy, successful lives in the world beyond the school gates. In 1967, with the help of the families that were at the school at that time, St. George’s moved to a site in Lejona, and work began to create the school as we know it today.

From the beginning St. George’s British International School expounded two fundamental ideologies: the all-round education of every student with a catholic-based foundation in values, and the adoption and promotion of English language and culture as a tool for preparing students for life within the global community, hence our being commonly known as the “English School of Bilbao”.

St. George’s has undergone numerous changes over the years, both in infrastructure and in the teaching resources and methodologies used in each subject area, however, our overriding aim is always the same; we want to work together with our families to ensure that all our students develop into confident, well-rounded, well-educated and well- prepared individuals, with all the tools that they will need to live and work happily in the world in which we live. Our development has therefore always been closely bound to the ever-evolving requirements of today’s society.

A history which, coinciding with the 65th Anniversary of the school, marks a new milestone, with the conversion of St. George’s into a British International School, and which will involve the implementation of the British curriculum at all educational stages, up to Baccalaureate. A new stage that we face with responsibility and commitment, and embracing the wide range of opportunities that it will bring for the whole educational community: teachers, pupils and families.

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