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Assessment in primary education

Belgium - German-Speaking Community

5.Primary education

5.3Assessment in primary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Pupil Assessment

Each teacher assesses his/her students in relation to his/her objectives and to his/her teaching. Assessment is used to determine the level of development and achievement of each student. A distinction is made between formative and normative assessment. Formative assessment is carried out continuously in all lessons. It is used to give constant indications about the individual development of the pupil on his way to acquiring competences. Normative assessment is used to give the pupil, guardians and the class council indications of the extent to which the pupil has achieved the competences to be aimed at or acquired. This is done using standards that are the same for all pupils and have been communicated to them beforehand. A school report, which is normally distributed at least four times a year, provides information to pupils and guardians about the assessment per subject, academic progress, learning behaviour and personal development.

Progression of Pupils

The class council decides on the transfer of a pupil or the award of the primary school leaving certificate. In the primary school, the class council consists of the class-leading primary school teacher, who has the main role to play in evaluating the pupil's performance, the head teacher and the other teachers who have given lessons to the pupil. A representative of the Psycho-Medical-Social Centre (Kaleido East Belgium) attends the class council meetings as an advisory member.


Pursuant to Article 18 of the Decree of 26 April 1999 on the regular primary school system, primary school attendance ends with the primary school leaving certificate.

The primary school leaving certificate is awarded to the regular pupil who satisfies the competence expectations in the subjects or subject areas language of instruction, physical education, music/art, mathematics, first foreign language, history/geography to a sufficient degree. When awarding this leaving certificate, special attention is paid to the subjects language of instruction, first foreign language and mathematics.

The decision on the award of the Primary School Leaving Certificate is the responsibility of the Class Council, in accordance with Article 87 of the Basic Decree of 31 August 1998.

The primary school leaving certificate may be obtained outside the school. An examination board is set up for this purpose.

The pupil can thus obtain the primary school leaving certificate either at the primary school attended or after passing the examination before an examination board of the German-speaking Community outside the school.

It should be noted that possession of the primary school leaving certificate is not a compulsory requirement for admission to secondary school. The primary school leaving certificate can still be awarded after the first secondary school.