German Schooling Rules

21 posts in this topic

Hello there,

 

I wish to know the German schooling system. From the very first glance it looks like you get the letter from a school situated nearby your house basically from your area. I want to know is there any Parents preference in this process. What if we do not wish to send our kids to certain school in our area? I believe as a parent we should atleast have the *RIGHT* to decide about our kids education.

Or does it mean the only way out from this is to change the house to the place where we want our kids to go to the school of our choice.

Please suggest.

 

Thanx.

 

Regards.

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https://www.bremen.de/leben-in-bremen/bildung-und-beruf/schule/der-uebergang-vom-kindergarten-zur-grundschule-36151024

This site says that your child is meant to go to a school near your home, the exception being all-day schools (Ganztagsschule) and schools with special systems (e.g. Montessorischule). In Saxony, you are sent a letter with the name of a particular school nearby, and you go to the appointment there, but if you want to send your child to another school nearby (or one of the ones with a different system) you simply tell them then, at that appointment. Why don't you go along to your local school and ask if the system is the same in Bremen?

 

Oh, and yes, you have a right to make decisions, but schools only have a certain number of places, so if a school is full you can't insist that they take your child. The idea of telling you which school to go to is so that children are evenly spread.

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I want to know is there any Parents preference in this process.

 

No.

 

 

Or does it mean the only way out from this is to change the house to the place where we want our kids to go to the school of our choice.

 

Yes.

Or you find an argument like that other school is next to the U-Bahn stop which your wife has to use every day on her way to work, so therefore it would save her time if your child went to that other school.

 

 

What if we do not wish to send our kids to certain school in our area? I believe as a parent we should at least have the *RIGHT* to decide about our kids education.

 

From grade 5 you get to choose the school.

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Perfect Anne. I agree and thats what we have decided. We shall go with the letter and discuss.

But when we tried to talk to the lady of the school nearby our house, she did not sound positive about it.

So we are lil worried.

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Oh, and yes, you have a right to make decisions, but schools only have a certain number of places, so if a school is full you can't insist that they take your child. The idea of telling you which school to go to is so that children are evenly spread.

 

I respect the System. But as a parent if I know certain school has the better reputation then I should be the first person to decide and have willingness for this school. If there is no place in the school then I understand one can not force the school but here the lady is not willing to accept to release us from the school. To look for some other school comes at later stage.

 

Moreover my kid is already going to the KG in the same area. and all his friends are going to go to the same school. So even from the integration point of view it makes sense that my kid goes to the school there.

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It might well be that they are stricter in Bremen, but you might also try going to the school you're interested in, and asking there, just as a second opinion you know. You could mention the point about not wanting to split him up from his friends, definitely bring up the integration and maybe also say that talking to them has been really good for his German and you're afraid his German will suffer if he has to start out making friends again from scratch?

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Moreover my kid is already going to the KG in the same area. and all his friends are going to go to the same school. So even from the integration point of view it makes sense that my kid goes to the school there.

 

If you have a suitable school close to your house it will be very hard to argue why you kid should go elsewhere. The integration argument isn't too good either, as its much more likely for a kid to be in a KG elsewhere but a more local school. My daughter will have the same issue in that many of her friends at KG will end up in a different school but that also means the kids she will go to school with live around us somewhere so its just a case of finding out where and getting in touch with them.

 

On the one hand you say you don't know the German system, and yet you think you know it well enough to be able to judge which school is best? The schools on Bremen do vary (which is why we live in Niedersachsen :D) but I would be a bit careful about damning one place just due to hearsay.

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One thing you need to bear in mind is that parents here are keen on children walking to school alone, even in the first year of primary school (after some initial practice). It gives children quite a feeling of pride when they walk to school with their group of friends, and is a nice way to start the day, chatting, before lessons start. Would your child be able to walk to this other school or would he be the odd one out being driven there?

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Sometimes the schools have reciprocal arrangements - ours does with the schools on either side, and just so long as the numbers are not wildly unbalanced, the three heads will release kids to go to one of the other schools. There is an unpopular school further round the city, and the head will not release kids for any reason at all, as far as I can see, and then there is some kind of arbitration thing with the Stadt to sort the problem.

 

As the posters above have pointed out, it is good for the kids to be able to walk to school, and good to have mates nearby, and another thing is that the individual teacher that your kid gets is what matters. Our school is OK, two of our kids had the best teacher evvah, and one of them had quite frankly the most pointless class teacher you can imagine.

 

A class teacher in Germany is like the ruler of a small country. The way the continent functions may not be that pertinent.

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But as a parent if I know certain school has the better reputation then I should be the first person to decide and have willingness for this school.

You do have a choice - you've already made it and now you are unhappy with the consequences. By choosing where to live, you choose what school your child goes to (barring any of the aforementioned exceptions). Just as in other countries, quite a few people here choose where to live (buy or rent) according to the school catchment areas, seeking to maintain their child's guarantee of a place at a certain school. In my city until a few years ago it was relatively easy to get permission to attend a primary school outside of one's catchment, but now they've clamped down and are only approving requests when parents can demonstrate the child will be at a measurable disadvantage by attending the assigned school. Parents' convenience and the child's social circle are no longer considerations, or so a good friend of mine was told. Furthermore, the Schulamt is waiting until late June to announce its decisions in individual cases, in the realistic hope that many parents just give up as their kid will have missed a bunch of transition activities and events (or participated in them, rather confusingly for the child, at both the assigned school AND the hoped-for school). I know one family that has indeed moved house -- to a flat not quite as nice as the one they had until now - just to make sure their child would go to one state primary over another. Perhaps you'll be lucky and it won't be as hard where you are as it has become here. You can probably go to the Schulamt directly if the people at the schools n question seem to be no help.

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Thanx everyone for the valuable replies. I do not want to justify what I said before *pog* but what I simply meant, I think I do know the system but I may not know well enough. Otherwise why in the first place I put a question here on board.

 

Ok the main question/concern here.. I did not so far elaborated here , as I did not want to critisize directly but just to make my point clear now , the school nearby, whosoever parent I asked/met so far , did not give me positive reply about it. I mean just 100% ..take my words.

And when you know that the response you get is from the genuine people/friends, you tend to believe atleast more than 60% of it.

Yes Liebling , we have made a choice already if you want to put it this way. But believe me , we were not knowing then that it would affect my kids schooling. *pog* Hence I said I dont know enough of this system.

 

Nonetheless thanx anyways and I take all your replies in positive manner. Perhaps we will opt for a nearby paid school and not (Stadt) school of our choice if we are left with no other option. But certainly *NOT* the school which we do not wish to go with.

 

Thanx.

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We had to move flats (across a main street literally) in order to get into the school district we wanted. Expensive but worth it in the end.

 

If the school has that bad of a reputation, I am sure you are not the only parent trying to get their kid into the "better" school.

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Hi Everyone,

 

Last September I moved to Göttingen from Munich with my daughter seven years old. Before moving I arranged primary school for her, which seems closest to our residence. Since two months I've observed that this school is not a good one on my daughter's progress. I searched for the possibilities of school changing.

I've heard that -unless the child have a pedagogic reasons to change school- the only way could be to find someone at the desired school area, WHO gives you a signed explanation that s/he can take care of your kid in case you need to be supported e.g., drop kid to the school and/or pick up..than you can register for that school.

Does anyone have experience with changing school such this way?

I don't want to move just because of the school, but neither me, nor my daughter are happy how the school and Hort-day care center at the school- treated so far!

 

(Sachinh1980 I especially wonder your solution in the end. Did you manage changing your kids' school, if so , how?)

 

Thanks to you all in advance!

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You do have a choice - you've already made it and now you are unhappy with the consequences. By choosing where to live, you choose what school your child goes to (barring any of the aforementioned exceptions). Just as in other countries, quite a few people here choose where to live (buy or rent) according to the school catchment areas, seeking to maintain their child's guarantee of a place at a certain school. In my city until a few years ago it was relatively easy to get permission to attend a primary school outside of one's catchment, but now they've clamped down and are only approving requests when parents can demonstrate the child will be at a measurable disadvantage by attending the assigned school.

 

Interesting. I had no idea that school catchments existed in Germany - we have total 100% free choice here (Wolfsburg). There are no school assignments, there are no catchment districts. You get a letter at school registration time that lists all of the schools in the city, and you decide which one you want to enrol your child in. There are a few of the smaller schools that are on the edges of the city (ie in the villages) that only allow the children from that village due to space restrictions but any of the children from that village are allowed to go to any of the larger schools in the city instead. I just figured that this was the normal way it was done across the country, or very least, Niedersachsen. But surely we can't be the ONLY city that operates this way?

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That - that the school district / catchment area is equal to the entire city for all elementary schools in the city - is a special situation in Wolfsburg only, and by no means the norm. That situation ends exactly at the city border too.

 

Wolfsburg abandoned school districts in 2009 in order to save three schools that were up for deletion due to having too few students. A few regional districts in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein have gone the same way more recently. The more prosperous areas of Germany with better demographics tend to have very narrowly defined school districts.

 

The state governments try to actively combat such (costly!) measures from the municipalities, usually by threatening to assign teacher posts based on total student numbers instead of per-school student numbers (which results in less teachers, thus forcing classes to be adjusted properly, and thus closing down some schools). In Wolfsburg they countered by transforming most schools into "branches" of a larger school so they can more staff between the branches more freely.

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Hi all

 

where can we find an official website describing the rules to choose the Elementary School and Gymnasium in a given state (e.g. NRW)?

I found this one, seems to be sponsored by the government: 

https://handbookgermany.de/en/learn/school.html

 

What other official sites can you recommend ?

 

Thanks in advance

Luis 

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