Private schools in Brussels and public schools
The Belgian educational system has a wide range of schools, childcare and instruction alternatives. Some of them are perfectly suited to expat families living in Brussels. Moreover, childcare facilities are often available for parents who have to do overtime.
What kind of schools in Brussels ?
As capital of the EU, Brussels offers a lot of educational options with public schools, international schools, European schools, method schools and Private schools in Brussels. Belgian public schools in Brussels are tuition-free schools, funded and operated by the Belgian government. The other schools are generally not administered by local, state or national government. However, they provide a very good working, teaching and learning environment and are generally expensive because they are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition.
Choosing a school in Brussels
Belgian public schools or international schools in Brussels ?
Two important factors can help to choose :
- The length of the stay in Brussels.
– Short-term stay in Brussels : in this case, working parents usually choose international schools because they allow their children to continue in the same education system once they return to their home country.
– Long-term stay in Brussels : in this case, all the educational options are open.
- The employer
Depending on the company/government you work for, tuition fees can be supported in whole or in part by the employer.
Belgian schools in Brussels
In Belgium, school is compulsory between 6 and 18. Contrary to private schools in Brussels, education is free in public schools even if parents have to contribute to the cost of school supplies or field trips, textbooks …
3 years of Pre-school (from 3 to 6) : pre-primary education starts from the age of 3. It’s also possible to start from the age of two-and-a-half on the first school day in February or after any holiday period.
6 years of Primary School (from 6 to 12) : children start primary school in September of the year they turn 6 and enter secondary school 6 years later by around age 12.
6 years of Secondary School (from 12 to 18) :
Years 1 & 2 > first degree > general education* for every students.
Years 3 & 4 > second degree > students can choose between general, technical** or art education***.
Years 5 & 6 > third degree > students can choose between general, technical or art education.
* General education prepares students for the transition to higher education (focus on training theory and general knowledge). Some options can contain more practice and technical teaching.
** Technical education prepares students for a profession (focus on practice).
*** Art education is organised in the general education as in the technical education. General education prepares art students to a profession or art higher education.
With its expanding international community, international schools are plentiful in Brussels. These fee-paying private schools following British, American, French and Dutch education systems, among many others, offer the whole range of education from pre-school to high school.
- American curriculum > St. John’s International School
- British curriculum > British School of Brussels (BSB)
- International Baccalaureate curriculum > Montgomery International School
- European Baccalaureate curriculum > European schools
- Montessori curriculum > Montessori school