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Starting School

    • Every child living in Belgium is subject to compulsory schooling (from 6 to 18 years old) regardless of nationality and status, living conditions or family situation. The respect of the schooling obligation is the responsibility of the parents (or the person entrusted with parental authority).
    • In Belgium, pre-school education is accessible for children from 2,5 to 6. Primary education is targeted at children from 6 to 12 years old and secondary education is provided for youngsters from 12 to 18.
    • Higher education contains programs that result in the degree of bachelor, master, and doctor.
    • Beware of the language system in Belgium!

      • The language of education is Dutch in the Dutch region, French in the French region and German in the German region. In the Brussels-Capital Region, the languages of education are Dutch (subject to the Dutch Community regulation) or French (subject to the French Community regulation), as the parents choose. In the municipalities around Brussels, known as the “communes à facilités’” (Drogenbos, Kraainem, Linkebeek, Rhode Saint-Genèse, Wemmel and Wezembeek-Oppem), the language of education is Dutch. However, if the child’s mother tongue is French, and if the head of the family resides in one of these municipalities, the child may attend a French-language school.
    • In Belgium, education is split into various networks. Education and training operated by public authorities is called official education. Education and training operated by a private person or body is known as “free” education (Government-aided private education), dominated by a large number of catholic schools.

    • In Brussels, particularly, there are international schools not following the Belgian program. Some prepare for the European or the international baccalaureate (IB), giving access to virtually any university in the world.

    • To facilitate school enrollment, it is recommended to already be registered as a resident in Belgium.

School Enrollment


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Primary School

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Secondary School

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