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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Single-structure primary and lower secondary education


5.Single-structure primary and lower secondary education

Last update: 24 June 2024

Primary and lower secondary education is compulsory for ten years and is integrated within a single-structure with no distinction between primary education and lower secondary education. The Danish public school (the Folkeskole) covers primary and lower secondary education, which consists of:

  • One year of pre-school;
  • Nine years of primary and lower secondary education;
  • A one-year optional tenth form.

This chapter describes the organisation, teaching and learning, and assessment in the single-structure school system as well as alternative structures in single-structure education.

The Act on the Folkeskole regulates primary and lower secondary education. The Act on the Folkeskole states the educational objectives, including the schools’ obligation to provide the pupils with subject-specific qualifications and prepare them for further education as well as prepare the pupils for their role as citizens in a democratic society.

Parents may choose an alternative to the public school system including:

  • Home tuition;
  • Private independent schools;
  • Continuation schools;
  • Youth schools;
  • Vocational schools.

Private independent schools are self-governing institutions under obligation to measure up to the standards of the public school. The schools receive state grants. The municipalities are responsible for the youth schools, which offer instruction and leisure time activities for youths between the ages 14 and 18. Continuation schools are private residential schools for pupils in form level eight to ten. Vocational schools offer practical or vocational subjects combined with general instruction for pupils aged 16 or pupils who have completed form level nine in primary and lower secondary education.



Ministry of Children and Education (Børne- og Undervisningsministeriet), 2022: Briefly about the Folkeskole (Kort om folkeskolen). [Accessed 17 June 2022]

Ministry of Children and Education, 2018: The Aims of the Folkeskole. [Accessed 21 June 2022]

Legislation and Official Policy documents

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2024: Act on Private Independent Schools and Private Schools (Bekendtgørelse af lov om friskoler og private grundskoler), LBK no. 161 of 21/02/2024. [Accessed 24 June 2024]

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2024: Act on the Folkeskole (Bekendtgørelse af lov om folkeskolen), LBK no. 90 of 29/01/2024. [Accessed 24 June 2024]