School Enrolment

When do I enrol my child in school?

Compulsory schooling starts in the year that your child turns six, usually by a certain date between July to September (depending on the state) of that year. If your child is born after this certain date, compulsory schooling starts in the year after. In consultation with the child’s Kindergarten and the local school authority (Schulamt), you should enrol your child in elementary school (Grundschule) in the respective school year. The school year usually starts between August and September. The date of the enrollment (Anmeldung) is different from state to state and also from school to school. For an overview see here.

If you want your child to start school before the age of compulsory schooling, you normally have to file an application (Antrag auf vorzeitige Einschulung) at your elementary school. Then the school decides if your child is mentally and physically fit for school.

If you think your child is not ready for school yet at the age of compulsory schooling, you can file a form to enroll your child one year later (Zurückstellung von der Schulbesuchspflicht). Here the school also decides if this is in order.

How do I enrol my child in school?

You will receive a letter from the school administration department (Schulverwaltungsamt) of your city with the request to enrol your child in school. Normally you have to enrol your child in a school in your school district. However, some exceptions to this rule apply. Furthermore, you might have to present the letter you received when enrolling your child.

Whether your child has to be present at the enrolment is generally dependent on the school.

You might have to bring the following documents depending on the state:
  • letter from the Schulverwaltungsamt (see above)
  • birth certificate of the child
  • ID card (Personalausweis) or passport or other identification document of the parents and the child; if only one parent/guardian can come in person the copy of the ID card/passport and a letter of authorization for the other parent might be needed;
  • results of the Schuleingangsuntersuchung, which tests your child for mental and physical fitness (this can often be handed in shortly before the start of the school year);
  • divorce certificate and the decision on the legal custody of the child if applicable.
You might have to fill out the following information:
  • first and last name of the parents and the child
  • date and place of birth of the child
  • the child’s gender
  • address of the parents and the child
  • phone number and contact in case of an emergency
  • the child’s religion and citizenship
  • type and degree of disabilities or chronic diseases if relevant for the attendance of school

If you need assistance with enrolment, you can turn to your local parent network (Elternnetzwerk), to a migrant organization (Migrantenorganisation) in your city. They then might refer you to NGOs, institutions or professionals that can assist you with the enrolment procedure at school.

last modified: Tue, 10/02/2018 - 17:22