Literacy rates in Luxembourg are 100%. Education in Luxembourg is compulsory for a total of 11 years; from age 4-6 (2 years pre-school) and continues for another 9 years (primary education). With the completion of secondary school, students graduate with a Luxembourgish School Leaving Certificate (Diploma). Most children attend state schools; as there are limited private schools that offer the same level of education standard as the State schools.
From grades 1-6 of primary school (aged between 6 to 12 years), the language of instruction is German. From the second grade, French is taught as an additional subject. If your children are aged between 12 and 17 years, there are a few choices available to you, if you would like to consider a State school.
During the 6th year of education (aged between 12 to 17 years), there are two main choices – classical or technical education for the subsequent 5 years. Children aged between 12 and 15 who have had a good education standard from their country of origin but are not competent in French, German and Luxembourgish attend Technical secondary education. This consists of initiation classes, with emphasis on learning the French language.
The lower levels of technical secondary education are taught in either French or German, depending on their language competency.
From grade 7 onwards, all children are expected to learn the French language to a high level of competency, as most-higher level technical secondary school courses are taught in French. The difference between technical secondary education and classical education is that children attending classical education must be competent in both German and French. English is taught as part of the language syllabus.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma is widely acknowledged in place of the Luxembourgish School Leaving Certificate. The IB program is taught in the Athenee de Luxembourg. The school just started in 2007 and is applying to be an IB World School so that it can offer the IB program. The IB program is also offered by other international schools in Luxembourg.
The Ministry of Education of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has published a helpful publication on up-to-date information for foreign parents and students. For expatriates who prefer to send their children to be instructed in English, there are some international schools available in Luxembourg city. These schools offer the IB program.
The International School of Luxembourg (ISL) is a non-profit independent school located in Luxembourg city. ISL accepts children as young as age 3 (Lower School), and there are programs up to high school level. French and German language classes are offered, alongside Japanese, Swedish and Norwegian. The school term starts in early September and ends in late June each year.
The St. George’s International school is based on the UK school curriculum, but they offer French language classes as part of their education in recognition of the linguistic diversity in Luxembourg and Europe as a whole. The school accepts children as young as 2 years 9 months up to age 16 years. Students come from many countries, with UK nationals making up 50% of the total school population, and the rest from 18 other nationalities. For 2008/9, there are 3 terms, each marked with a break of around 2 weeks. The autumn term starts in September and ends in December. The winter term starts in January and ends in April, and the summer term starts in April and ends in July.
The Ecole Europeenne (The European School) is a school managed by the governments of the Member states of the EU offering a multilingual, multicultural and multidenominational education throughout Europe for children (from nursery up to secondary level). They are usually regarded as “public” schools. There are 13 schools located throughout EU, and the school in Luxembourg is not exactly located in Luxembourg city but in the Kirchberg quarter at 1, rue Richard-Coudenhove-Kalergi (off the main road, Avenue John F Kennedy that leads directly into the city center).