I have lived in France and Spain for a considerable number of years, more than I care to think about. I have and continue to be in business in Spain but never in France where I currently live. The country is just not business friendly.
I sympathise with you about the education system in France, it’s awful and very narrow. The arts hardly get a look in and it often seems to me that the principal aim of the French education system is to just churn out budding civil servants.
At the international school in Valencia the education for your children will be much broader based and beneficial to any bright child. I completely understand your ambitions.
However, moving to Spain at the moment is fraught with difficulty.
Have you considered how you will earn a living? Spain is on it’s knees economically right now and starting a new business will be uncertain to say the least.
There is no safe way to buy property in Spain. Even using an English speaking lawyer does not guarantee a trouble free purchase.
However having said than thousands do buy without problems. What you need is a great deal of luck.
You need to do your homework on the ground. My advice is rent for at least a year on an area where you want to buy. Then do research locally. You will soon discover who to trust and who not.
France is a very regulated country. Spain is not. It’s a bit like the ‘wild west’ even though it’s an integrated EU state. Institutions and business in France have to comply with a huge number of procedures which are closely supervised by the state. Nothing such as that happens in Spain. You will be on your own in a thriving black economy.
Spain is a cheaper place to live than France, free healthcare, relatively lax tax system and the state does not constantly have it’s hand in your pocket
You cannot find a property successfully using internet portals. You need to be on the ground. There is so much bull shit and hyperbole to wade through, you will end up making costly errors.
Spain and France are both great places to live. France for me is better but I would not like to bring up a young family here or make a living.
Good luck with your choice. You will need it.