In Germany, schooling is compulsory up to the age of 18. It consists of two parts, the full-time compulsory schooling (Vollzeitschulpflicht) and the part-time compulsory schooling (Teilzeitschulpflicht). Full-time compulsory schooling lasts at least 9 to 10 years. It begins at the age of 6. In exceptional cases, a child can be enrolled in school at the age of 5 or only at the age of 7 on application.
In the German education system there are larger and smaller differences from state to state. This is because the design of the education system is largely regulated by the state governments of the respective federal states. The first compulsory school is the primary school, which generally comprises 4 grades. Only in the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg does the primary school comprise 6 class levels.
Before children start school, they have to undergo a school examination. As a rule, this is mandatory in all federal states. The school examination is carried out by the municipal health authorities. The children are physically and psychologically examined for their age-appropriate development. The aim is to determine whether they are up to the demands of school attendance.
As a rule, schools offer an "open day" once a year. If you would like to get to know the selected school better before the start of school, or if the appropriate school still has to be selected, a visit during such a day is very helpful. You can get a first impression of the school and the teaching staff and get answers to important questions.
Remember that in many regions the so-called "Sprengel obligation" ("Sprengel-Pflicht") applies. According to this rule, children must attend the school or one of the schools closest to their place of residence or the school district in which they live. The children are taught together in their respective age groups.
After completing primary school, attending at a secondary school is compulsory. Attending a state school is free of charge. However, there are various costs for learning materials.