Last update 16.06.2021
Attention: to find out more about the potential impacts of Brexit on the schooling of British children residing in Luxembourg, consult our FAQ on the subject.
School attendance in Luxembourg is compulsory for young people up to 16 years of age.
Secondary education follows after primary education. School education takes place in public establishments, such as high schools (lycées), private school institutions which apply the Ministry's official curriculum, private school institutions which apply another curriculum and the European schools.
Public high schools are aimed at young persons from the age of 12. A full cycle in a Luxembourg high school, without repeating a school year, comprises 7 years of study.
In public schools, there are several types of education:
- classic secondary education (enseignement secondaire classique - ESC);
- general secondary education (enseignement secondaire général - ESG);
- European education;
- international education;
- British education;
- German-Luxembourgish education.
At the end of the basic school, pupils are directed according to their abilities:
- either to the classic secondary education;
- or to the general secondary education.
Secondary education enables access to academic studies.
General secondary education prepares for the professional work life through initial vocational training. The orientation towards initial vocational training is made at the end of the 5th grade of general secondary education.
Pupils who have:
- completed their fifth year (classe de 3ème) receive a certificate of successful completion of the first 5 years of secondary education;
- successfully completed the years of compulsory schooling receive a certificate.
The secondary school graduation diploma is issued after successfully passing the corresponding final exam of secondary education.
Who is concerned
Secondary education is accessible to students who have completed their basic primary education and whose orientation decision, defined in mutual agreement by the classroom teacher and the child's parents or, where applicable, by the orientation council at the end of the fourth cycle of basic primary education (the 6th year of basic education), has come to a decision in favour of secondary education.
In order to enrol in an establishment, the student must comply with the guidance decision orienting the student towards either the classic secondary education, or the general secondary education.
In the event of disagreement between the classroom teacher and the parents with respect to the guidance decision, a guidance council is seized with the matter.
Pupils having completed a basic education abroad which is deemed equivalent to the primary education in Luxembourg, can obtain a recognition of equivalence by the Minister of Education, subject to the payment of a EUR 75 tax.
The enrolment period ranges from the end of June to the beginning of July.
How to proceed
Enrolling in a public education establishment
A student admitted to a lower class of secondary education registers:
- in a high school (secondary education establishment) of their choice; and
- as a priority, in an establishment located near their place of residence.
They benefit from priority admission if another child living in their household is already enrolled in the same high school.
On written request from the parents, from the establishment's director (principal) or from the commission for reasonable accommodation, to the principal of the secondary establishment concerned, the pupil may be enrolled in another secondary education establishment if:
- the reception capacities of the secondary education establishment allow it; or
- the establishment offers reasonable accommodation adapted to the pupil's particular needs.
Students having passed the class 5ème générale de détermination, the class 5ème générale d’adaptation or at least 5/6 of the modules foreseen by the preparation programme will be issued a certificate stating the successful completion of the lower classes.
Students admitted in a higher class of secondary education or initial vocational training have to enrol in person depending on the education offered by the secondary schools and their maximum reception capacity
Documents to be added to the registration file
In order to enrol in a secondary establishment, the registration file must contain:
- a duly filled out enrolment form (handed by the class teacher);
- a copy of the final report of cycle 4 (bilan de fin de cycle);
- a copy of the orientation decision;
- an expanded residence certificate in the name of the student (to be requested from the communal administration);
- a recent passport photograph of the pupil.
Enrolling in a private education establishment
Parents may enrol their child in a private education establishment if they pay the tuition fees or a specific participation.
When enrolling their child at a private institution, parents must inform the college of aldermen of the commune of residence, and submit an enrolment certificate to prove that the obligation for schooling has been met.
There are 2 types of private school:
- private establishments applying the official curriculum:
- 5 establishments apply another curriculum:
Alternative educational institutions
These alternative educational institutions of the public secondary education enjoy a special status owing to their focus on experimentation and pedagogical innovation, while offering the same academic programmes and preparing for the same qualifications as traditional secondary institutions.
The following establishments form part of the alternative educational institutions:
- the Lycée Ermesinde in Mersch: welcomes students from the age of 12 who have been admitted to the classic or the general secondary education, regardless of the place of residence of their families;
- the Schengen-Lycée or Deutsch-Luxemburgisches Schengen-Lyzeum: a binational cross-border institution located in Perl in Germany that offers a German-Luxembourgish education. It welcomes students from the age of 10 residing in the greater region, whatever their nationality, mother tongue or domicile and grants dual German/Luxembourgish diplomas;
- the "Sportlycée" (educational institution with a strong athletic component): it is intended for young students who participate in sports at a high level and who wish to follow a secondary education with a strong sports component from the first year of secondary education. Applications for admission are submitted by the national federation for the sport practised by the applicant.
- The École nationale pour adultes (ENAD): the institution is accessible for adolescents and young adults who quit their studies without having obtained an official degree or who did not find an apprenticeship position but who fulfill the conditions for access to professional training;
- the National Centre for Continuous Vocational Training (Centre national de formation professionnelle continue – CNFPC). vocational training courses are aimed at young person of at least 18 years of age on 1 September of the current year and who do not meet the conditions for professional training and do not have the skills required to access the job market or have left the school system early. The objective is to reintegrate the young persons into the regular educational system.
Various secondary schools in Luxembourg, both public and private institutions, propose academic programmes with an international focus that prepare students for the International Baccalaureate. The programme is taking place in French or English.
The students concerned are young persons:
- from the age of 12 who recently arrived in the country;
- and who would like to enrol in secondary education classes in French or English.
As enrolment requirements vary depending on the selected secondary school, it is advisable to get in touch with the schools to receive further information:
- Lycée Technique du Centre (LTC);
- Athénée de Luxembourg (AL);
- Lycée de Garçons Esch (LGE);
- Waldorf School (private school);
- International School of Luxembourg (private school).
Various secondary schools in Luxembourg, both public and private institutions, propose academic programmes with a European focus that prepare students for the European Baccalaureate. The German, English and French sections are spread over different secondary schools:
- École internationale de Differdange et Esch-sur-Alzette (EIDE) ;
- École internationale de Mondorf-les-Bains (EIMLB);
- Lycée Edward Steichen – Clervaux (LESC);
- Lycée Lënster Junglinster (LLJ);
- European schools I and II in Luxembourg and Mamer.
The International School Michel Lucius (LML) is a public secondary school offering international English-speaking classes which prepare for the:
- International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE);
- International General Certificate of Education Advanced Subsidiary Levels AS-Levels;
- International General Certificate of Education Advanced Levels A-Levels.