This translation is a brief summary of the text in Dutch. The full version is available in Dutch.
Start school from 2.5 years old, compulsory education begins at 5
Parents in Belgium must provide their children with education from the ages of five to 18 through the school system or home education. Nearly all toddlers start nursery school when they turn two and a half. There, they learn essential future skills through play.
The school choice is up to you!
As a parent, you have the freedom to choose which school your child goes to. The school around the corner or one further away? A private school or an official (public) one? Religiously associated, or ideologically neutral? It’s up to you. However, you must consent to the school’s methodology and regulations when you enrol your child.
Official and private schools
Three networks organise and run the Dutchspeaking schools in Brussels:
- official (public) schools
- community schools (GO): Flemish Community schools
- subsidised community schools (GOO): municipality schools and Flemish Community Commission schools
- private schools
- subsidised private schools (GVO): run by private entities recognised by the Flemish government, e.g. Catholic schools.
How much does school attendance cost?
- Primary schools are prohibited from charging for enrolment or class materials. However, they can charge for non-essential materials and activities, e.g. swimming lessons, sports events, or school trips. School invoices are limited to a maximum of EUR 50 a year for nursery school children and EUR 95 for primary school children.
- Secondary schools are not allowed to charge for enrolment, but they do charge for schoolbooks, activities, and services such as the school bus.
- If you are entitled to a school allowance and/ or annual support for low-income families with school-age children, those costs will automatically be paid through your Groeipakket.