Education in French-Speaking Geneva

Understand the education system in French-speaking Geneva...

The education system varies from canton to canton:

Education in the Canton of Geneva

The education levels are known as:

  • Ecole enfantine (4 to 6 years old)
  • Ecole primaire (6 to 12 years old)
  • Cycle d'orientation (12 to 15 years old)
  • Enseignement secondaire postobligatoire (after 15 years of age): collège/gymnase, école de culture générale or école de formation professionnelle

Enrolment in pre-school/école enfantine

Necessary documents:

  • Proof of health and accidents insurance
  • Residence permit

For international civil servants, a carte de légitimation or a certificate from the parent's workplace for the tutor and child as proof of residence. Parents should be aware of the deadlines for enrolment in pre-school (normally at the beginning of the year). Children who have reached the age of four on 30 June of the calendar year may be enrolled for the school year starting in August of the same calendar year. Parents may request a derogation to delay enrolment for children born between 1 July and 31 October.

Information about enrolment and other formalities can be obtained from the Département d'Instruction Publique.

Enrolment in primary and secondary school

Every child registered in the canton of Geneva and under 15 years old must attend school. Children who have reached the age of six on 30 June of the calendar year must be enrolled in primary school for the school year starting in August of the same calendar year.

To enrol in primary and secondary school the following documents are needed:

  • Proof of health and accidents insurance
  • Residence permit. For international civil servants, a carte de légitimation or a certificate from the parent's workplace for the tutor and child

Non-resident students have to attend the primary or secondary school of their area.

To enrol your child at a local state school in Geneva:

  • Tel: +41 (0)22 327 24 12 for primary education
  • Tel: +41 (0)22 791 78 11 for secondary education

Education in the Canton of Vaud

The education levels are known as:

  • Cycle initial or école enfantine (4 to 6 years old)
  • Cycle primaire (6 to 10 years old)
  • Cycle de transition (10 to 12 years old)
  • Voies secondaires à options, générales ou de baccalauréat (12 to 15 years old)
  • Enseignement secondaire postobligatoire (after 15 years of age): collège/gymnase, école de culture générale or école de formation professionnelle

Enrolment in pre-school/cycle initial

Necessary documents:

  • Birth certificate or livret de famille
  • Proof of health and accidents insurance
  • Vaccination certificate

Parents should be aware of the deadlines for enrolment in pre-school (normally at the beginning of the year). Children who have reached the age of four on 30 June of the calendar year may be enrolled for the school year starting in August of the same calendar year. Parents may request a derogation to advance or delay enrolment for children born between 1 May and 31 August.

Information about enrolment and other formalities can be obtained from the commune or from the Département de la formation et de la jeunesse.

Enrolment in primary and secondary school

Every child registered in the canton of Vaud and under 15 years old must attend school. Children who have reached the age of six on 30 June of the calendar year must be enrolled for the school year starting in August of the same calendar year. Parents may request a derogation to advance or delay enrolment for children born between 1 May and 31 August.

To enrol in primary and secondary school the following documents are needed:

  • Birth certificate or livret de famille
  • Proof of health and accidents insurance
  • Vaccination certificate

Non-resident students have to attend the primary or secondary school of their area. Information about enrolment and other formalities can be obtained from the commune or from the Département de la formation et de la jeunesse.

Education in the Canton of Neuchatel

The education levels are known as:

  • Ecole enfantine (4 to 6 years old)
  • Ecole primaire (6 to 11 years old)
  • Classe d'orientation et classe de transition (11 to 12 years old)
  • Ecole secondaire, section pré-professionnelle, moderne ou à maturité (12 to 15 years old)
  • Enseignement secondaire postobligatoire (after 15 years of age): lycée, école de culture générale or école de formation professionnelle

Enrolment in pre-school/école enfantine

Necessary documents:

  • Birth certificate or livret de famille
  • Proof of health and accidents insurance
  • Vaccination certificate

Parents should be aware of the deadlines for enrolment in pre-school (normally at the beginning of the year). Children who have reached the age of four on 31 August of the calendar year may be enrolled for the school year starting in August of the same calendar year. Parents may request a derogation to delay enrolment.

Information about enrolment and other formalities can be obtained from the commune or from the Département de l'éducation, de la culture et des sports.

Enrolment in primary and secondary school

Every child registered in the canton of Neuchatel and under 15 years old must attend school. Children who have reached the age of six on 31 August of the calendar year must be enrolled in primary school for the school year starting in August of the same calendar year. Parents may request a derogation to advance or delay enrolment.

To enrol in primary and secondary school the following documents are needed:

  • Birth certificate or livret de famille
  • Proof of health and accidents insurance
  • Vaccination certificate

Non-resident students have to attend the primary or secondary school of their area.

Information about enrolment and other formalities can be obtained from the commune or from the Département de l'éducation, de la culture et des sports.

Canton, Class Primary Education Secondary Education
Geneva Division élémentaire Division élémentaire Division moyenne Cycle d'orientation Etablissements secondaires supérieurs
Vaud Cycle initial Premier cycle primaire Deuxième cycle primaire Cycle de transition Voie secondaire Enseignement secondaire post-obligatoire
Neuchâtel Ecole enfantine Ecole primaire Ecole secondaire Secondaire II
Class 1E 2E 1P 2P 3P 4P 5P 6P 7e 8e 9e
Age 4-5 years 5-6 years 6-7 years 7-8 years 8-9 years 9-10 years 10-11 years 11-12 years 12-13 years 13-14 years 14-15 years 15-19/20 years
Education Optional education

Compulsory education (yellow background)

Post-compulsory education