In Germany, school is mandatory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16 years old (born on or before 30 June). Attending school is also a right protected by German law.
For children between the ages of 16 and 18 years old, attending a vocational school (Berufsschule) is mandatory if neither a community school (Gemeinschaftsschule) nor a university-track school (Gymnasium) has been chosen.
The primary school (Grundschule) responsible for your child should be located in your residential area. If you are uncertain, please ask the school directly.
When you enrol your child for school, you will need:
- A medical certificate (Attest) from the Office of Youth Medical Services (jugendärztliche Dienst des Gesundheitsamtes des Regionalverbandes). Children who were registered at the Refugee Arrival Point in Lebach will likely already have this medical certificate.
Proof of residency (Meldebescheinigung) from the local Citizen’s Registration Office (Bürgeramt).
Call the school, make an appointment, and enrol your child in the secretary’s office.
Before your child begins Grade 1, he/she will undergo a medical examination – as do all children in Germany. This will check if your child can see properly, if he/she needs glasses, if he/she hears well, if he/she is ready for school, and if he/she needs special support before starting school.
Typically, children attend primary school (Grundschule) for four years. Afterwards, they move on to a secondary school (weiterführende Schule). This can be a community school (Gemeinschaftsschule) or a university-track school (Gymnasium). At the community school your child can pursue for three types of diploma: Hauptschulabschluss, mittleren Bildungsabschluss or Abitur (after 9 years). At a Gymnasium, your child can pursue the Abitur diploma – this is the highest school diploma.
You can find information on the different types of schools in Saarbrücken here: Schulen in Saarbrücken
At the moment it is very difficult to find secondary schools. If your search is not successful, get in touch with your Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt).