Choice of Educational Institutions in Germany
Under local conditions, parents are free to choose a center where their child can spend the whole day providing early childhood education that matches their own concepts and values. Kindergarten is a traditional form of preschool for children from 3 to 6 years old. Differences in training at Kindergärten depend on leading non-governmental organizations representing different regional and humanistic views. In eastern Germany, private kindergartens are now very common.
School selection in primary and secondary sectors
When choosing a school, it is first necessary to select a certain type of school and find out the conditions for accepting a child to such a school.
In the primary education sector, all students eligible for compulsory education go to primary school ( Grundschule ), which is grade 1 (grade 1 in Berlin and Brandenburg). After primary education, children continue their education at various courses organized in schools of various types and ending with the issuance of various certificates and obtaining various qualifications.
Länder have various settlements that control the transition to secondary education. In some cases, it is necessary to decide which school and type of study to choose at the junior high school level (Sekundarstufe I ) in grade 4, and somewhere in grade 5 or 6, or even at the end of grade 6. But such a decision is not required if the child goes to an integrated high school (Integrierte Gesamtschule ).
In the 4th grade of primary school, the choice is made by the school where the child was studying, and the outcome of the conversation with the parents is taken into account. Depending on the law of the land, this choice is either the basis for determining the future orientation of the child, or help in making this decision. The final decision is made either by the parents, or by the school, or by the school management. Thus, educational acts and educational policies tend to empower the parents to make their own choices regarding the future profile of their child’s education.
But it is worth noting that the right of parents to choose a school for their children does not mean that a student has the right to study at this school. The right to free choice of a place of study referred to in the constitution is not related to the adoption of the child to the chosen school. As a result, when there is an opportunity to study at a school of the same type and it is quite reasonable, some lands reject in their educational acts the legal right to accept a child in special schools.
Pupils wishing to complete primary school, Hauptschule or Berufsschule should always attend a local school. This rule also applies to students of other types of secondary schools if school districts have a school of the type that the student chooses. But parents can choose a school that does not belong to their constituency and asks the school authorities to take their child into it. The school authorities then discuss the pros and cons of each case, consulting with parents and school management, most of all caring about the school’s beneficial effects on the child, which is a decisive factor.
If the district for secondary school has not been determined, parents can always choose which school to attend to their child. In this case, only a limited number of people enrolled in school can be an obstacle to the admission of a child to school.