Secondary Education

Information on secondary education in Luxembourg; enrolment and programmes...

After primary education, students go either to a lycée classique (general education) or a lycée technique (with a focus on technical education leading towards specific professions). Pupils undergo an academic guidance session (cycle d'orientation) at the end of Cycle 4 in order to evaluate the best option for their secondary school education. This is based on the child's performance and abilities as well as their interests and aspirations. The guidance is based on four criteria:

  • Parents' wishes
  • Primary school teacher's advice
  • School results of the last two years
  • Results of a series of exams taking place at the end of year Cycle 4

The decision (avis d'orientation) is made by a panel made up of the child's main teacher, a secondary general education teacher and a secondary technical education teacher. The committee is chaired by the chief education inspector of the region, assisted by a consultant psychologist. An appeal by the parents is possible.

Enrolment at a secondary school

Children attend the secondary school closest to their place of residence. Parents wishing to enrol their child in a school outside of their commune must request a dérogation with the commune's bourgmestre. Registration takes place at the school between mid-June and the beginning of July.

The following documents will be required:

  • the original of the academic guidance decision (avis d'orientation)
  • completed registration form available from the school or from the primary school teacher
  • a document issued by the commune of residence stating that the child is on the citizen's register (extrait de registre de la population)
  • a copy of the child's results from the first half of year 6

Secondary school programme

In the first year of secondary education all pupils follow a similar programme. From the second year onwards a range of options can be chosen according to preference and ability. These will lead to education of a general nature or with a more technical, artistic or professional focus. Often schools will specialise in one of these streams or will have different sections for different streams. Within the streams pupils continue to choose from further options throughout secondary school resulting in a broad education weighted towards their preferred subjects or career.

Assessment is ongoing throughout secondary education. If the child has not achieved satisfactory grades during the school year they may repeat the year. Students receive a diploma at the end of their studies and for those who have followed a general range of subjects; the next step is normally higher education.

Technical students often go to university or college to study related subjects or may start working straight after school. Vocational students typically begin working part-time to complement their studies from age 16 and then move into full-time employment.

International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate is a secondary school certificate recognised by the law as an equivalent to the Luxembourgish school certificate (Diplôme de fin d'études secondaires). It is offered by a limited number of private and public schools.

Teaching is either in English from age 14 onwards, or French from age 15 onwards. A particular focus is put on languages and sciences. At the end of their studies, students receive a diploma, enabling them to continue their studies at university.

A-Level Qualifications

A (Advanced)-Level qualifications – equivalent to the International Baccalaureate and the Luxembourgish school certificate – are also available in Luxembourg and are accepted at universities worldwide. During the first year of the course (age 16-17) students generally specialise in four subjects and take four AS (Advanced Subsidiary) exams at the end of the school year, then choose three of those subjects to continue at Advanced Level during the second year. A-Level exams require a rigorous programme of study and are highly regarded for acceptance at universities worldwide. As A-Level qualifications are based on the UK curriculum, instruction and exams are in English. Subject options include traditional subjects such as English literature, history, mathematics and sciences, in addition to more modern subjects such as media studies, business and music technology.

Maisons Relais

Maisons Relais provide before and after-school care for children under 18, as well as lunch programmes and help with homework. This service is organised by the Commune. Not all communes offer this facility.