If they wish, parents may enrol their children, from the age of 3, for early childhood education in a school in the commune where they live. In principle, the communal administration sends a letter to all parents inviting them to apply for enrolment.
From the age of 4 (the age of compulsory schooling), children enter a basic education class in the communal school in the neighbourhood or area—i.e., the 'school catchment area'—that is closest to their place of residence. For that purpose, the communal administration sends parents a letter informing them of the beginning of their child's compulsory schooling and automatically enrols the child in the school whose catchment area they live in.
If for some reason the parents decide to enrol their child in an school outside their catchment area, or outside their commune of residence, they must send a written application to the communal administration or to the school department of their place of residence or of the commune in question.
All children living in the Grand Duchy and who turn 3 before 1 September may attend an early childhood education class in a school in their commune of residence, or else be enrolled:
- in a school outside their commune of residence;
- in a private school or a European school;
- in a school abroad.
All children living in the Grand Duchy and who have turned 4 by 1 September of the year in question are subject to compulsory schooling and must attend a basic education class (preschool and primary school) in the communal school in their catchment area, unless they are enrolled:
Enrolling in a school in the commune of residence
In theory, children attend the communal school in the catchment area of the commune they live in. However, parents may apply to have their children admitted to a different school in their commune. In that case, they must send, as soon as possible (in the 3rd quarter of the year preceding entry to school) a written application, explaining their reasons, to the communal council of their commune. The communal council will approve the application if the local school system so permits, and after the reasons for the application have been verified by the relevant departments.
Enrolling in a school outside the commune of residence
Likewise, parents who wish to enrol their children in a commune other than their place of residence must send a written application, explaining their reasons, to the board of the mayor and aldermen of the commune in which they wish to enrol their child. The application must be submitted before 1 May of the year preceding the year of entry to school.
The following are deemed to be valid reasons:
- children being cared for by a member of the family (up to the 3rd degree, inclusive, namely grandparents, uncles, and aunts);
- children being cared for by a third party acting as a state-approved childminder;
- children being cared for by an state-approved organisation active in the socio-educational field;
- the location of the parents' place of work.
School enrolment procedures
The board of the mayor and aldermen communicates its decision to parents before 15 May. If the application is approved, the parents must so inform the commune of origin within 8 days. The child will then be enrolled by the communal administration on the list of children attending school in the commune for the school year in question. The cost of schooling the child in the other commune is borne by the commune of origin.
Admission may be refused if one or more applications lead to overcrowded classes, the creation of additional classes, or the creation of new structures.
Parents of children who attend school outside their catchment area must send the secretariat of their commune of residence a certificate of enrolment from that school, as soon as they register.
Children may return to the school in their commune of residence. To do so, parents simply need to send the communal administration of origin a letter informing them of their intention. The child will automatically be enrolled on the list of students for the new school year. The communal administration will inform the commune where the child attended school during the current year.
In both cases, this option is only available to families residing in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.
For children who previously attended school in another country, see 'Enrolling a child who has recently arrived in the country in a basic education class".
Specific features for Luxembourg-City
For Luxembourg-City, parents must pick up an 'application to change school catchment areas' (demande pour changement – ressort scolaire) form, in person, from the educational office (Service de l'enseignement). There are 3 situations in which this form should be completed:
- where the child is registered in a state-approved daycare centre located within Luxembourg-City, the parents do not need to sign this application themselves. Instead, the application is signed by the head of the daycare centre, who also stamps the form;
- the application is submitted by the parents themselves, when the child is looked after by a close family member. Parents must complete the form (reasons, stamp of their employer(s), and signatures of parents and the specified childcare provide);
- in the case of a change of address, applications to change schools in the course of the year are made using the same form, with no need to explain the reason.
For out-of-district children—i.e., children enrolled at school in Luxembourg-City, but whose parents do not reside there—the procedure is the same as for an 'application to change school catchment areas'. In that case, the school fees must be paid by the commune of residence, unless the child is staying in a state-approved day- and night-care facility.
L-1351 - Luxembourg
L-1118 - Luxembourg
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