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In Germany it is compulsory to attend school between the ages of 6 and 15, although the school systems in the various federal states can differ. In NRW compulsory education starts with primary school (years 1-4).

Then pupils have the choice between 3 different types of school in Germany's multi-track educational system:

"Hauptschule" (ends after year 9 or 10 with a certificate called "Hauptschulabschluss"), "Realschule" (ends after year 10 with the certificate "Realschulabschluss") and "Gymnasium" (ends after year 12 or 13 with the certificate "Abitur"). In addition there are comprehensive schools called "Gesamtschule" which cover all stages of secondary education (all school-leaving certificates).

State schools are free in Germany. In the field of general education, there are only a few private or international schools that charge fees. The local school authority can provide information about the particulars of the school system in your area.

The choice of school is usually made after a personal visit and consultation with a member of the school leadership team. The academic year begins after the summer holidays in August or September, depending on the federal state. In Germany, most classes are held during the morning hours. However, North Rhine-Westfalia is currently expanding diverse forms of day schooling.

Schools in Duisburg and Essen

Here you will find information and a search engine for schools in Duisburg. Information about schools in Essen can be found on the website of the city of Essen.

Detailed information on the school system in NRW is provided by the Ministry of Education.

International Schools

In state schools in Germany the lessons are held in German language. In Essen and Duisburg-Düsseldorf there is one private international school each, where lessons are held in English.

Local Integration Centres

The local Integration Centres ("Kommunale Integrationszentren", KI) (Duisburg, Essen) are responsible for supporting children and young people from immigrant families. They will be happy to advise you on schooling for your children.

School holiday child care at UDE

During the Easter, summer and autumn holidays the Family Service Office offers a varied programme of holiday activities. The children of university employees and students at UDE and Essen University Hospital up to the age of 14, who have already started school, are eligible to participate. The activities take place on the Essen Campus from 8 am to 4 pm.

You can find more information on this offer here.