In Germany, school attendance is compulsory. Children between the ages of 6 and 18 years must attend a school in Rhineland-Palatinate. In Rhineland-Palatinate, children that have reached the age of 6 by 31 August of any year must be registered at a primary school for the beginning of the upcoming school year. Earlier enrolment can be arranged on request. The school checks whether the child has reached a stage in his or her development that allows him or her to enter the first grade of primary school without hindrances. It is also possible to postpone compulsory schooling should parents feel their child will need a little more time to master everyday school life. The school supervising authority will then check if this issue applies. Furthermore, it depends on the place of residence at which schools parents can register their children.
The school system in Germany is composed of a primary school, which all children attend from 1st to 4th grade. This is where the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic are taught.
From grade 5 onwards, the educational path in Rhineland-Palatinate is divided into different school types:
- Secondary school (Realschule plus)
- Integrated comprehensive school (integrierte Gesamtschule)
- Grammar school (Gymnasium)
- Special educational support (sonderpädagogische Förderung)
The Realschule plus is attended up to grade 10 and concludes with the secondary school leaving certificate I (Sekundarabschluss I). Afterwards, the adolescents can start vocational training and change to a vocational school. Pupils can also attend the Realschule plus up to grade 12 and thus obtain the so-called “Fachhochschulreife”, a qualification entitling them to study at a university of applied sciences.
At the integrated comprehensive school (integrierte Gesamtschule) and at grammar school (Gymnasium), the general university entrance qualification (allgemeine Hochschulreife) can be obtained. Further information on the Rhineland-Palatinate school system can be found on.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, 54 grammar schools are bilingual with a focus on German-English or German-French lessons. Some grammar schools do not only offer the German “Abitur” but also the French “Baccalauréat” school-leaving certificate. A list of bilingual schools in Rhineland-Palatinate can be found here.
German schools abroad
You have obtained your Abitur at a German school abroad? This greatly increases your chances to enter university or do vocational training in Germany. More on possibilities in Germany with a school leaving certificate from a German school abroad can be found on the “Make it in Germany“ portal.