Educational opportunities in the TRK
From kindergarten up to university and on to life-long learning: The educational services in Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion are characterized by diversity, high standards, broad networks, and short distances. Schools of all kinds are represented: 446 elementary, lower secondary and special schools, 51 intermediate secondary schools (Realschule) as well as 33 vocational schools and 47 general high schools (Gymnasium). In addition to this, there are also specialized schools like the Waldorf schools and private high schools, as well as the multilingual European School Karlsruhe. Wherever you live within the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion, your children are not far from any school type of your choice. The education system is connected with one another which is another advantage of our region and an aspect both parents and children appreciate and benefit from. This section gives you an initial overview of the German school system including its different types of school.
Types of schools in Germany
In Baden-Wuerttemberg - as in all of Germany - school is compulsory. All children and young people whose residence, habitual abode or place of work or vocational training is in Baden-Wuerttemberg must attend school.
Compulsory schooling requires attendance in class and at other mandatory events organized by the school as well as compliance with the school rules of the school type attended. A vast majority of schools in Germany are state-run. Therefore, your children can attend these schools free of charge.
Children who reach the age of six by September 30, i.e. who celebrate their sixth birthday before then, are subject to compulsory schooling and must attend an elementary school.
Since the 2005/2006 school year, the age requirement has become a bit more flexible, as it was expanded to the entire sixth year of the child's life (from October 1 to June 30). Children who turn six between October 1 and June 30 can be enrolled in school by their parents without further formalities. Ultimately though, it is up to the school directors to decide whether a child is accepted in that school.
In general, the elementary school in question will send invitations to parents with the dates when their child can start school. If this is not the case, parents must personally contact the elementary school where they live.
Parents are not free to choose the elementary school their child is to attend. In general, children attend the elementary school in the district where their parents have their residence or habitual abode. In specially justified exceptions, your child can apply to change school district and go to a different elementary school. Children attend elementary school for four years.
To register for school, the child must go to the school for evaluation and the following documents must be submitted:
- Identification card of the legal guardian (generally mother or father)
- Birth certificate or certificate of descent of the child
- Registration certificate of the school administration office
After elementary school, children must attend one of the following secondary schools: technical secondary school/lower secondary school, intermediate secondary school (Realschule), comprehensive school or general high school (secondary level I). Attendance at these schools is compulsory for five years.
At a glance
- In Germany, all children of a certain age must attend school
- The compulsory school period, or full-time school attendance requirement is nine or at most ten years everywhere in Germany.
- Legal guardians are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school.
- Elementary school lasts 4 years. The elementary school your child attends is determined based on your address; you are thus not free to choose any elementary school.
- Elementary school is followed by secondary schools: technical secondary school/lower secondary school, intermediate secondary school, comprehensive school or general high school.
- Intermediate secondary schools end after 10th grade when students receive their diploma (intermediate level), which is required for most vocational training professions.
- High schools end after the 12th or 13th grade (depending on whether they follow the G8 or G9 model), after which students can earn their Abitur certificate, which entitles them to study at university.