There is a large number of private schools in Brussels. Some private schools offer a complete curriculum from kindergarten to secondary school, while others focus on either kindergarten, primary, or secondary levels.
Information on all private schools in Brussels, from kindergarten to primary and secondary levels, can be found in the rest of the article.
Why Choose a Private School in Brussels?
Private schools in Brussels stand out from public schools in several ways.
Parents who enroll their children in private schools in Brussels typically do so for the following reasons:
- Smaller class sizes, allowing for more individualized attention to students.
- Immersion in other languages, such as English or Dutch, within a multicultural international setting. This is a common characteristic of international schools in Brussels.
- Modern facilities with specialized equipment and a variety of extracurricular activities.
- Pedagogical approaches that better match the needs and preferences of parents and students, such as active learning schools or Montessori schools in Brussels.
- Alignment with the family’s values, philosophy, and religious principles. There are several Catholic/Christian private schools in Brussels.
- A more structured and disciplined learning environment that promotes concentration and academic success for children.
- Flexibility in school programs to meet the specific needs of students.
Higher educational and supervisory standards.
- Selective admission, perceived as a quality assurance factor by some parents.
- Positive social influence from the school environment and classmates on the children.
Private Kindergarten Schools in Brussels
The vast majority of private schools at the kindergarten level are international schools. These kindergarten schools welcome children from 2.5 to 6 years old over a period of 3 years (plus a reception class for the youngest).
From kindergarten, private schools offer enriching educational programs that may include immersion teaching of one or more languages, specific school programs, art and music classes, stimulating extracurricular activities, or a playful and interactive pedagogical approach focusing on learning through play.
Moreover, these schools provide a multilingual and intercultural educational environment, welcoming children from different nationalities and cultures. Teaching is often conducted in multiple languages (English, French, etc.), allowing children to acquire language skills from a young age.
Private Primary Schools in Brussels
Like kindergarten schools, the vast majority of private primary schools are international schools. These schools welcome children aged 6 to 12 from different nationalities and cultures, offering a multilingual and intercultural educational environment.
At the primary level, private schools offer a diverse range of educational programs. Some schools adopt the national curriculum of certain countries (such as Belgium, England, France, Germany, etc.), providing appropriate certification.
Other schools opt for a more international approach, offering globally recognised school programs such as the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) or the International Primary Curriculum (IPC).
Additionally, international primary schools often adopt a differentiated pedagogical approach that caters to the individual needs of each student, promoting their academic, social, and emotional development.
Private Secondary Schools in Brussels
Secondary education in Brussels primarily targets students aged 12 to 18 (end of compulsory schooling at 18 years old). The duration of the curriculum is 6 years for general, technical transition, and technical qualification education, and 7 years for professional education.
For secondary education, there are two types of private schools:
- International secondary schools
- Private schools for preparation for the Jury Central
International Secondary Schools in Brussels
International secondary schools in Brussels are educational institutions designed to accommodate a diverse population of students, including expatriates, diplomats’ children, international families, or local students seeking an international education.
These schools often adopt multilingual and intercultural pedagogical approaches to meet the needs of students from different backgrounds. The school programs in these institutions are often based on international standards and may include curricula such as the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) for international schools or the European Baccalaureate Programme (EB) for European schools.
International secondary schools in Brussels usually emphasize language education by offering courses in various languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, and many others. This allows students to develop linguistic competence and cultural awareness from a young age.
Private Schools for Preparation for the Jury Central
Preparation schools for the Jury Central offer specific courses and training to help students prepare for the Jury Central exams. These exams allow candidates to take tests to obtain their secondary school diploma (CESS).
The CESS obtained through the Jury Central is equivalent to that obtained in public schools in the French-speaking Community of Belgium (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles).
It generally takes one to two years in private school to obtain the CESS.