The right to education
Article 33 of the Constitution of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg guarantees a fundamental right to education. The State provides public primary and secondary education free of charge. Access to primary education has to be granted to every person living in Luxembourg.
The law on compulsory schooling (loi du 6 février 2009 relative à l'obligation scolaire) specifies that all children living in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are entitled to receive school education from their age of 3 years.
The Constitution further states that each person is free to pursue higher education in Luxembourg or abroad, at the university of their choice, except for the conditions of admission to certain professions.
The conditions of provision and the supervision of public education are determined by the laws governing the different types of education.
Early childhood education is optional for children aged 3-years, but if they are enrolled, the parents have to ensure their children’s regular attendance.
School attendance is compulsory from the age of 4 years until 16.
Compulsory school attendance thus extends over 12 consecutive years. It can be fulfilled by attending a public, private or international school in Luxembourg. Pupils may also attend school in a foreign country.
Under certain conditions, children may be educated at home.
Children with special educational needs are integrated, as far as possible, into mainstream education. They may also comply with the obligation of compulsory schooling by attending special education classes (éducation différenciée) (see 12.2 Separate Special Education Needs Provision).
Learners aged 15 engaged in an apprenticeship comply with their compulsory schooling by attending the vocational classes of the dual apprenticeship system (formation en alternance).
As soon as a child reaches the compulsory school age (specifically, attains the age of 4 years before 1 September of the current year), the municipal administration informs the parents on compulsory school attendance and automatically admits the pupil to an elementary school (école fondamentale) near their place of residence.
Parents must ensure that their children regularly attend school and take part in class and school activities. When a pupil has successfully completed primary education, the parents have the responsibility to enrol them in a secondary school (lycée) according to the guidance decision established at the end of elementary education (see 12.4 Guidance and Counselling).
Compliance with compulsory school attendance is monitored by the municipalities, via the municipal council or the intermunicipal school association (syndicat scolaire intercommunal). Control is based on pupil data exchanged between municipalities, national authorities and schools. In case municipal authorities discover an infringement against compulsory school attendance, the parents receive an order to comply with their legal obligation within 8 days. If the parents fail to comply, the competent ministry is informed. Infringement against compulsory school attendance is sanctioned by a fine between € 25 and € 250. Repeated infringement may lead to judicial and administrative measures.
Aims and objectives of national education policy
The aims and objectives of the current government, as set out by the government programme since December 2013, focuses on the following central issues of educational policy:
- Equal starting opportunities for all
- Quality education
- Development of every child's individual capacities.
For more details on the implemented of reforms by 2017/18, see the MENJE publication of 1016 (État de la mise en oeuvre du programme gouvernemental de l’Éducation nationale).
Eurydice chapter 14 describes recent policy developments and ongoing reforms in Luxembourg.