How do kindergarten and school work in Austria?

Compulsory kindergarten:

  • By law, every child in Austria between the ages of five and six has to be in kindergarten for at least 16 hours per week. This is seen as a preparation for school. If the child does not attend kindergarten, it has negative consequence for the parents.
  • For information about kindergarten and registration for kindergarten contact:

Compulsory schooling:

  • Every child in Austria has to attend school between the ages of 6 and 15 by law.
  • To get a placement at a school, children have to be registered in a school close to their home.
    • Primary school
    • Depening on a child’s grades in primary school, it can attend different secondary schools:
      • If it has received As or Bs (“Sehr gut” or “Gut” in German) in the main subjects German, Reading, Mathematics, a child can attend a secondary academic school (in German: “Gymnasium”) and receive a school-leaving certificate that provides access to institutes of higher education and universities. There are also exceptions such as special school-entrance exams to attend secondary academic schools (read more about this here).
      • The alternative to secondary academic schools are new secondary schools (“Neue Mittelschule” or “Hauptschule”). If a student receives good grades at a new secondary school, he or she can attend a secondary academic school after having completed the new secondary school, which lasts for four years. An alternative to secondary academic school are secondary technical or vocational schools (“Berufsbildende Höhere Schule”), which also finish with a final certificate that provides access to institutes of higher education and universities.

If you are older then 15, education is still compulsory:

  • Since 2017 there is a new law in Austria which states that every teenager between the age of 15 and 18 is obliged to go to school or to do an apprenticeship. The only exemple are asylum seekers who only have to attend school until the age of 15. For more information contact the coordinating office.

More information and help:

  • The better your child’s grades are, the better are his opportunities for education. The best grad in Austria is 1, the worst is 5.
  • Here are the most important contact points and websites on kindergarten and school in Austria:

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