School is compulsory for all children between six or seven and fifteen years of age who live in Germany. The first level of school is the Grundschule (grades 1-4). After that there is a choice between three kinds of school: Hauptschule to grades 9 or 10, ending with a Hauptschulabschluss; Realschule to grade 10, with the mid-level Realschulabschluss; and the Gymnasium that goes to grade 12 and ends with the Abitur, which qualifies a student to attend university. Alternatively there is the Gesamtschule, which brings together all three types and where students are tracked according to their performance levels.
The school day usually lasts between 8 a.m. and noon in the Grundschule and between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the higher levels, often with some additional or elective classes in the afternoon. Only the Gesamtschulen provide all-day instruction. Public schools are free of charge, while private schools with tuition fees are extremely rare.
For more information
EURAXESS has put together the most relevant basic information on the German school system.
Information about schools in Munich and a list of all schools in the city, including the international schools, is available from the Schulamt, the school district office. In order to enroll your children at a school, you must contact it directly. There you can also determine exactly in which class your child is to be placed and whether there are supplemental German classes for foreigners available.