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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: 26 September 2022

Minorities and ethnic groups

Schools for minorities or 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, which are rooted in anthroposophy, exist in all of Austria's provinces as alternative schools.

Other alternative schools are run 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 a number of mainstream institutions. 

Less common variations

Austrian pupils may undergo general compulsory education at public schools or at schools enjoying public-law status, but also in 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 before the beginning of the school year.

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, failing which 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 a number of private, foreign-language schools, some of which enjoy public-law status.

These international schools and the Lycée aim to make adequate educational provision for the international community. 

Legislation references