In Flanders primary education composes together with pre-primary education the level of elementary education (basisonderwijs). As of 1 September 2003 new schools in elementary education need to offer both pre-primary as well as primary education. Existing autonomous pre-primary and primary schools are allowed to retain their original structure. Primary education comprises in general six grades.
On the basis of a pedagogical project schools must create an educational and learning environment in which pupils can experience a continuous learning process. This environment must be adapted to the developmental progress of the pupils. Elementary education is responsible for the education of all pupils and must continue to permanently guide as many pupils as possible through continuous attention and a broadening of the care offer.