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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational variations and alternative structures in primary education


5.Primary education

5.4Organisational variations and alternative structures in primary education

Last update: 3 February 2024


Minorities and ethnic groups

Schools for minorities and ethnic groups are operated in the provinces of Burgenland (Croatian and Hungarian) and in Carinthia (Slovene). More details

Organisational variations and alternative structures in primary education

Waldorf schools, rooted in anthroposophy, exist in all of Austria's provinces as alternative schools.

Other alternative schools operate according to the principles of Freinet, Rebecca Wild and others.

The educational principles of Maria Montessori are not taught in special schools, but are implemented in several mainstream institutions. 

Less common variations

Austrian pupils may undergo general compulsory education at public schools or at schools enjoying public-law status. Alternatively they can attend a private school not enjoying public-law status, or they may be taught at home, if private tuition is at least equivalent to that offered at a corresponding school.

The board of education must be notified of private tuition arrangements within one week after the end of the previous year of instruction.

Children being taught privately must take exams at the end of the school year to demonstrate that they have attained the educational goals of the school they would have to attend otherwise. If they fail this exam, private tuition will be disallowed in the following school year, and the child will have to finish compulsory education at school. 

International schools

There are several private, foreign-language schools in Austria, some of which enjoy public-law status.

These international schools and the Lycée provide suitable educational options for the international community. 

Legislation references