Secondary education

Full-time secondary education ('voltijds secundair onderwijs' or 'secundair onderwijs') caters for youngsters between the ages of 12 and 18 years. Secondary education comprises 6 grades (3 stages of 2 grades each). In Brussels, there are more then 40 Dutch-language schools offering secondary education.
Structure of secondary education

The structure of secondary education

Your child starts secondary education in the ‘1ste graad A’, if your child has a certifi cate of primary education, or in the ‘1ste graad B’. In this 1st grade, your child will receive a broad general
education in a variety of subjects. Your child will have the possibility to choose between several additional, optional subjects, which may vary from school to school. 

Brussels also has a schools for teens, called “Tienerschool”. Find out more about the “Tienerschool” on p. 70 of the brochure "Scholengids 2019-2020".

Starting the second stage (3rd and 4th grade), your child will have to choose a more definitive course of study. A ‘transition’ oriented course prepares students who want to pursue higher education, a ‘job-market’ oriented course allows them to start working immediately after graduation. Some courses of study are both ‘transition’ and ‘job-market’ oriented. Your child can choose between general (aso), vocational (bso), artistic (kso), technical (tso) and part-time vocational (CLW) secondary education. Both full-time education (tso, bso) and part-time vocational secondary education (CLW), offer the option of "duaal leren" (dual learning). You can find more information about dual learning on p. 68 of the brochure "Scholengids 2019-2020".

You can find an overview of the different courses of study in the secondary schools in Brussels on p. 76 of the brochure "Scholengids 2019-2020".

Diploma of secondary education

Currently, who successfully complete the 6th grade aso, kso, tso or 7th grade bso obtain their diploma of secondary education. Depending on the course of study and subject to a number of conditions, youngsters who opt for dual learning can also obtain their diploma of secondary education. A diploma of secondary education is the gateway to higher education. Continue reading for
more information about the various courses of study and outcomes.


In September 2018, the first Tienerschool will open its doors in Anderlecht. Find out more about the Tienerschool on or on p. 70 of the brochure "Scholengids 2019-2020".

Finding a school or course of study