Both Spanish and French colonial education included several features that restricted education. Many of them persisted long after independence. Against this background, this paper econometrically studies whether in the recent past the colonial legacy still affected schooling in the ex-colonies of these two former colonial powers – and, for comparison, in the ex-colonies of Britain, the third of the former big three colonial powers. Using a large sample of countries and numerous controls, it finds substantial negative effects on both secondary enrollment and average years of schooling in former French and, especially, in former Spanish colonies. The negative effects on females are particularly large. By contrast, there are no effects in former British colonies.