wir sind bund. - The education system

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The education system

Explanation of the education system

Education in Germany falls within the responsibility of the Ministries of Culture and Education of the Federal Länder. The overview above illustrates the basic elements of Germany’s education system.

The individual Federal Länder are therefore also responsible for drawing up rules on the school system. This may mean that different rules apply in different Federal Länder.

After kindergarten, children go on to elementary school. Children and young people with special educational needs which cannot be met by other schools can also receive special assistance at special needs schools.
After grade four of elementary school your child can continue at a secondary school. Germany’s education system generally offers four different types of secondary school that your child can attend after elementary school:

  • Hauptschule (secondary general school)
  • Realschule (intermediate secondary school)
  • Gymnasium (grammar school)
  • Gesamtschule (comprehensive school)

Your child can also go up to secondary school at a later stage. After the end of compulsory school education it is possible to receive secondary education at a trade and technical school or a Berufsoberschule (two-year full-time vocational school) to obtain a qualification to study at a Fachhochschule (university of applied sciences) or at a university.

display as hint: Please note

You will find further information on this subject in the column on the right-hand side of this page. The links and downloads labelled (language = German) take you to an German-language web page or document to download.

Date 1 June 2012