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

Belgium - German-Speaking Community

5.Primary education

5.4Organisational variations and alternative structures in primary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

On the basis of the freedom of education guaranteed in Article 24 of the Belgian Constitution, guardians in the German-speaking Community have the option of choosing to educate their school-age children in a school or at home.

The principles of home schooling were last amended in the Decree of 20 June 2016 on measures in the field of education and can be found in the Decree of 31 August 1998 on the mandate to the school authorities and school staff and on the general pedagogical and organisational provisions for mainstream and special schools.

Home schooling must

- meet the requirements of our school society project;

- enable the pupils to reach a level of competence defined for the teaching system;

- take place in an appropriate environment.

Enrolment by the parent or guardian takes place before the start of the respective school year or before a change to home schooling during the school year. The government provides an official enrolment form for this purpose, which must be used compulsorily for enrolment.

By enrolling in home schooling, pupils are obliged to take part in the external examinations for obtaining the leaving certificates of primary school, lower secondary school and upper secondary school.

The school inspectorate is responsible for the regular monitoring of home schooling. It documents its inspections by means of written reports to which the guardians can react by submitting a statement.

In the event of difficulties in carrying out these inspections or if deficiencies are found in home schooling, the school inspectorate may convene a home schooling commission. If necessary, this committee shall decide to what extent home schooling can be continued or not.

At the request of the parents or guardians and after an expert opinion by the school inspectorate, this commission can also approve the resumption of home schooling - after the deficiencies found have been remedied. It also acts as an appeals body in the event of differences of opinion between the legal guardians and the school inspectorate.

If necessary, youth welfare services and the public prosecutor's office can be informed.