Some foreigners choose to relocate to the Czech Republic with their entire families, including children. If that’s your case, you should have at least a basic idea of how things work with compulsory education here. In this article, we’ll explain under which conditions your children must attend kindergarten and primary school and what are some alternatives to their education if you don’t wish to send them to public state schools.
You can put your child in public or private schools or arrange an individual education.
Compulsory school attendance
In general, school attendance is compulsory for children of foreigners – including EU-nationals and third-country nationals – if they are staying in the Czech Republic for over 90 days.
If you have such a child at home, you’re obligated to sign them up for primary schooling, which is compulsory from age 6 to age 15.
Choose a school for your child based on the location of your residence, because these schools are obligated to accept him or her (unless they’re at full capacity). All you need to do is to fill out an official application for education. You can get this application from the school itself – they’re often placed on the school’s website. The school is then obligated to send you a written answer.
You have several options
If you don’t want to send your offspring to a public state school, you have other options. For example, your child can attend a private school (but in that case, you should expect to pay hefty tuition). You should also make sure that the private school of your choice has an official Ministry of Education accreditation.
If you choose a private school that has not been accredited by the Ministry of Education, you are obligated to – at the same time – sign your child up for individual education in a state primary school. Non-accredited schools typically have contracts with accredited primary schools, so just ask them about this. On the basis of this contract, your child would be regularly examined – usually once per term – to make sure they’re being educated in accordance with the law.
Your last option is then individual education (homeschooling) – meaning that you’ll find a private teacher for your kids. Here, you have to fulfill the same conditions you would need to fulfill if you send your children to a non-accredited school.
1 year of kindergarten is also compulsory
In the Czech Republic, it is also necessary for children to attend kindergarten for at least 1 year. Similar to primary education, this means that at circa 5 years of age, your offspring should start in:
- Accredited kindergarten
- Private non-accredited kindergarten (and be examined in a state kindergarten)
- Or individual groups (and be examined in a state kindergarten)
Similar to private primary schools, private kindergartens have contracts with state kindergartens where they send monthly reports about what the children have learned. Once a year your child will be examined to see what she or he has learned.
Classes in Czech or English?
Are you worried that your children won’t be able to understand the language? When it comes to public state schools, you don’t need to be afraid, because your child should be given an assistant or even an interpreter, who will help him or her understand the material.
Of course, there are also private primary schools that offer education in English. This can mean some classes or even all of the curriculum would be taught in English. If you prefer this option for your children, it might be a good choice, as they would be in an international environment and wouldn’t feel quite so isolated.
Things to keep in mind
The compulsory length and form of education can be different in your country, so make sure you know what your duties are in the Czech Republic.
Once your offspring turns 6, they are automatically considered children who are obligated to start school. Therefore, it’s necessary that you sign them up for primary education, even if they’ve never gone to school before in your country of origin.
Your child’s compulsory education may be postponed on the basis of a psychological report. But if that happens, he or she still needs to attend kindergarten.
Still confused about the rules regarding compulsory education in Czechia? We are here to help you out. All you need to do is fill out this form on our website and we’ll take care of everything. We’re active in all of the bigger Czech cities (including Prague, Brno, Pilsen, Olomouc, and Hradec Králové), but we’re also able to service the rest of the country.
Article source: MŠMT
Photo source: Max Fischer, pexels.com
12 thoughts on “The Ins and Outs of Compulsory Education for Children of Foreigners in Czechia”
I really feel blessed to read this post.
Thanks Neha, that’s great!
Thank you for posting this information.
Can you please help clarify a question for me?
Is the compulsory age inclusive of age 15? In other words, are requirements complete once the child turns 15, or do they continue until the 16th birthday?
Thank you for your help.
According to Czech law, education is compulsory for the duration of 9 school years (School year starts in September). However, the requirement ends in the school year when the pupil reaches 17. So to answer your question, they have to continue during the school year when they turn 16.
Thanks a lot for the information!
Can my grandchild attending school here for the time of his stay?
It depends on how long she’s staying and what is her residency status. I’d encourage you to call some schools in your area to ask this question directly.
Hey Tereza, fellow Texan here, living in Plzeň. Thanks so much for your article. My son is 3 and I have written over 30 školkas in our area, but they are all full, including our local one of course. I’m wondering how I can find information or advocate for the government to provide more spaces for our children. It seems I’m not the only one in this problém. Need to work, but need kindergarten in order to work, and need to work to afford private kindergarten. However even the private kindergartens are at capacity here!
I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles with looking for a kindergarten. Unfortunately, there has been a shortage of kindergartens in Czechia in the past couple of years, not only for foreign children but for Czech children as well. It’s a systemic issue. 🙁 There is not much we can do to help, you’re already doing it all by writing to them and asking questions.
If you want to advocate for this issue, the best course of action is to e-mail the ministry of education or the minister himself. You can find the contact info here: https://www.msmt.cz/?lang=2
Best of Luck,
You write that there IS an option of choosing individual education for your child.
Do you know if that option makes it possible/legal for the child to attend an online schooling program, following an american curriculum which is accepted in schools worldwide?
Or does it HAVE to be a czech curriculum?
I don’t think it has to be a Czech curriculum. Children often attend British-style international schools here. If I were you I would give a call to the Ministry of Education to ask this question.
My daughter did not get into any high school due to not speaking Czech properly. Would I be able to let her homeschool through Cambridge system and would she be able to get into Czech university with Cambridge matric certification done through homeschool?
She is 15 and has dual citizenship.
hi Tereza, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, our consultants will help you. Have a nice day! Regards, Terezia