The Bavarian school system
Bavaria has a flexible and multifaceted school system. Every child begins their academic career with numerous educational paths to choose from. There are 13 different types of schools with various areas of focus, requirements, goals and speeds.
There are more than 6.100 schools in Bavaria. These fall into three main categories: schools of general education, vocational schools and schools of adult education. If you are looking for a suitable school near your place of residence, we recommend searching at the Bavarian school database.
As a rule, every student is eligible to enter the next higher academic level after receiving a school-leaving certificate. Based on the principle of permeability, each secondary school is allowed to award its graduates an intermediate school-leaving certificate. Therefore, when a child leaves primary school and is placed into a secondary school, the child's educational path through the school system is by no means set in stone. When parents and children decide on what path to take, they should bear in mind that it's always possible to switch to a different type of school at a later time.
The Bavarian school system and the wide range of opportunities it offers are shown in the interactive diagram
Parents are responsible for choosing the educational path suited to the specific needs and abilities of their child. This decision should be based on:
• personal goals,
• the child's current academic performance and
• the requirement profile of each type of school.
The teaching staff at primary school help parents make this decision through ongoing consultation and support, as do the primary school teachers at secondary schools (Realschule and Gymnasium) who serve as guidance counselors in the transfer process. Teacher advisors, school psychologists and the State School Advisory Boards can also help parents decide which educational path is best for their child.
The advising and support phase begins at the preschool level. Primary school is the first general school for all school-age children. At the end of primary school (fourth grade), pupils enter a secondary school of their choice, i.e. either a Mittelschule (general, vocationally oriented secondary school for non-university bound pupils), Realschule (professionally oriented secondary school) or Gymnasium (university-preparatory secondary school). As of the seventh grade, students may transfer to a business school.
Each school-leaving certificate opens the door to new academic paths and connections
A child is permitted to switch to another type of school if his/her academic achievement develops accordingly. Each school-leaving certificate opens the door to new academic paths and connections.
After receiving a Mittelschule school-leaving certificate, the pupil may begin:
After receiving the intermediate secondary school-leaving certificate, the pupil may continue with:
• Vocational training
• Vocational secondary school (FOS)
• Gymnasium (higher level)
Special school is for children and young adults who have special learning needs. It offers a variety of pedagogical support programs in the areas of language, learning, emotional and social development, hearing, seeing, physical and motor development and intellectual development.
Bavaria also operates schools for sick children which provide instruction to pupils in hospitals and similar facilities.