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Assessment in primary education

Belgium - Flemish Community

5.Primary education

5.3Assessment in primary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Pupil assessment

Pupil assessment belongs to the autonomy of the school. The School Regulations must contain the agreements concerning pupils’ evaluation and assessment. Prior to enrolling their child at a school, parents declare themselves in agreement with the regulations, and therewith to the agreements concerning pupils’ evaluation and assessment. Parents are involved in the creation of the School Regulations through participatory organs.  

The standards and the procedure for the assignment of a primary school certificate are subject to central education regulation. At the end of elementary education the class council decides autonomously whether an elementary education certificate will be issued or not (see below).

Progression of pupils

The school decides which pupil has successfully completed a particular grade and can progress to the next grade. The decision to make a pupil repeat his/her year is taken after consultation with the Pupils’ Guidance Center (PGC). Parents receive a written motivation of this decision and working points for the next year. Pupils who reach the age of 15 can no longer remain in primary education. Thus the number of times that a pupil may repeat a year remains limited.


School governing boards of recognised, financed and subsidized schools can grant the Elementary Education Certificate to regular pupils from regular primary education who have turned eight before 1 January of the school year in question. The granting of the certificate takes place on the recommendation and after decision by the Class Committee. The committee assesses whether the pupil has reached to a sufficient degree the goals of the curriculum, which aim at achieving the attainment targets.

A pupil who is not granted the Elementary Education Certificate has a right to receive a written motivation and to get a list of elements to which special attention needs to be drawn in the future school career. There is also the option of lodging an appeal.