The German school system
Your children will receive a great education in FrankfurtRheinMain (FRM). There are many types of school with different priorities. They cater to the individual interests and skills of their pupils. Above all: education is free for every child in Germany.
All children who live in Germany must go to school. School attendance is compulsory as soon as children turn six years old. In Hessen, children who turn six before 30 June start school the same year. In Rheinland-Pfalz, the relevant date is 31 August; in Bavaria, 30 September.
All children and adolescents must attend a full-time school for nine years. After nine years, the period of compulsory education ends. Regulations for extended compulsory education vary from state to state.
In Hessen, adolescents have to stay at school for another year if they did not obtain a qualification, they are not starting vocational training and they are not starting a higher education course. In Rheinland-Pfalz and Bavaria, the period of compulsory education is twelve years.
Almost all children in Germany (more than 90%) attend state schools. They offer a high quality of teaching, good equipment and well-qualified teachers. All state schools are free of charge. Different types of schools are available to children and adolescents in FrankfurtRheinMain. More information about the different types of schools and qualifications is available here.
FrankfurtRheinMain also has many private schools that focus on different subjects and use different teaching concepts. They include the international schools. Parents who choose private schools normally do so because of special childcare options, pedagogic concepts or multilingual teaching. If you want to send your child to a private school, you have to pay the tuition fees yourself. These fees can vary.
You can choose freely which private school you wish to send your child to; the same applies to secondary schools. Your child’s primary school is based on the catchment area (Schulbezirk) in which you live. This system ensures that your child does not have to go far to school and makes friends who live nearby.
Classes are held in the morning. Older children also have classes in the afternoon. Afternoon classes for younger children are becoming increasingly popular, however. Pupils can have lunch at the school cafeteria before their afternoon classes.
School days in Germany are shorter than in many other countries. School starts as early as 8:00 am. Afternoon classes often finish at 3:00 pm.
Homework and after-school care
Pupils do their homework after classes finish, either at home or in after-school care. If you want your child to be looked after until later in the afternoon, you need to organise and pay for after-school care separately.
Pupils’ performance at school is marked from 1 (very good) to 6 (inadequate). All subjects are taught in German except at international schools. For children who do not know German well enough yet, many schools offer special language classes called “Deutsch als Fremdsprache” (German as a foreign language).