Quick Guide: The German School System

Moving to Germany might be fine for you, but are you concerned about providing your children with the best education? Before you consider removals to Germany, take a look through our quick guide to German education:

As in the UK, non-compulsory but can be a great place to introduce your littlest monsters to German language.

Grundschule (Primary Education)

Spanning four years (ages 6-10), Grundschule is made up of basic education (reading, writing, maths and general knowledge) which occasionally includes the introduction of a second language (generally English) Upon completion of Grundschule, students are recommended for the most suitable type of high school (Gymnasium, Realschule, Hauptschule and Förderschule)


Educates top-level students with the intention of entering university level education. Passing the final exam (Abitur) is a real accolade and necessary in order to enter university. Other types of school do not offer the Abitur exam.

A varied range of subjects combined to cater for intermediary students.


Designed to afford students a vocational education. German society places great emphasis on apprenticeships and vocational study.

Similar to Special Needs school establishments in the UK, offering tailored facilities for those with unique needs.

NOTE: Graduates of Realschule and Hauptschule can still attend university upon attendance and exam undertaking at Berufsoberschule (Upper Vocational School)

International School
Upon relocating to Germany, many UK natives send their children to one of the numerous and highly accomplished International Schools. Native language lessons are a benefit (German lessons are included), as is the exposure to other international student’s cultures.