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Last checked: 24/01/2019

Starting school in another EU country

As EU citizens, your children are entitled to attend school in any EU country under the same conditions as nationals of that country.

They have the right to be placed in a class with their own age group, at the equivalent level to their class in your country of origin - regardless of their language level.

As an EU citizen if you move to another EU country for work, your children are entitled to free introductory tuition in your new home country to help them integrate and adapt to the school system there. Part of this initial training includes support to learn the language of your new home country.

Be aware that the school system in your new home country may be very different from what you are used to. In some countries, for example, children are separated very early into academic or vocational streams.

This is why there is no automatic EU-wide recognition of school certificates. In some countries, you must ask the national authorities to recognise your children's school certificates before you can enrol them in a local school.

Sample story

Ensure a smooth transition for your children

The Owens family were moving from Wales to France with their children aged 9, 12 and 17. Their eldest was one year into her A levels - the UK school-leaving qualification, for which students typically take 3 subjects over two years.

On finding that the French school-leaving qualification varied greatly from A levels - typically involving exams in twelve subjects - the Owens felt it was best for their eldest child to continue with A levels (in an international school near their new home town in France) while they enrolled the two youngest in the local French school.

Find out what you need to know about the schooling system in your new home country by using the drop-down menu below.

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