Finding a School and Enrolment

How to find a school for your child and complete the enrolment process...

Children attend the primary school of their area of residence, it is possible to attend a different primary school outside of their local area but a special request may need to be made. Contact the chosen school for more information. School authorities often hold school registration (Schulanmeldung) days for six-year-olds, about six months before the start of the new school year, but this varies from state to state. It is important that parents find the relevant information as not registering is punishable by a fine. The school can provide parents with the relevant application forms.

The process of registering a child with any preschool or school depends on the state. Some states require the relevant forms to be taken to the local registry office (Bürgeramt) which is part of the Bezirksamt. The department responsible for the allocation of preschool places and school places is called (Bürgeramt) Other states require parents to register their child directly through the chosen school.

  • Note: Registration in Berlin should be done by the October before the child is due to start school. Applications should be made directly to the chosen school, the form for which can be obtained from the school or downloaded from the Berlin.de website
  • Note: Registration in Frankfurt should also be done directly with the chosen school. Deadlines are set by the individual schools so it is best to contact the school as soon as possible
  • Note: Registration in Hamburg should also be done with the chosen school. Hamburg.de provides an extensive list of primary schools and their contact details
  • Note: All primary schools in Munich have an open day in April where parents can bring their child into the chosen school to register. This tends to be on the same day, but some schools may choose a different day so it is best to check with the individual school.
  • Note: In North Rhein-Westphalia registration should be done before mid-November. Parents should bring their child to the chosen school to register. The state’s Ministry of Education has a search page to help find local schools

The following documents will be necessary when registering:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport (for non-German children)
  • A certificate from the State Health Office (Staatliches Gesundheitsamt) confirming the child's good health
  • Other documents if relevant, such as residency permit

The transfer to one of the different lower secondary schools depends on individual states' legislation: decisions may be taken by the parents or the new school, based on recommendations by the pupil's primary school.