Enrolment in secondary education (from the age of 12 +)

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 their primary education, the pupils are guided to either the classic secondary education or 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 happens at the end of the third year (5ème) in general secondary education.

Students having successfully completed their fifth year (3ème) of secondary education receive a certificate of successful completion.

Students having 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 guidance decision, defined in mutual agreement by the classroom teacher and the child's parents or, where applicable, by the guidance 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

Students admitted in a lower class of secondary education enrol in a secondary education establishment of their choice but have to give priority to a secondary establishment close to their place of residence. They benefit from priority admission if another child living in their household is already enrolled in the same establishment.

On written request from the parents, the secondary education establishment's director or the Reasonable Accommodation Commission, to the director of the secondary school concerned, the student may be enrolled in another establishment, subject to available places, or if the secondary school concerned offers reasonable accommodation measures which are adapted to the student'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

In order to enrol in a secondary establishment, the enrolment file must contain:

  • the original copy of the guidance decision;
  • a duly completed application form (to be obtained from the primary school teacher);
  • a photocopy of the report card from the last year of basic education, certified compliant by the primary school teacher;
  • an expanded residence certificate in the name of the student (to be requested from the communal administration);
  • a recent passport photograph of the child.

        Enrolling for private education

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:

There are also the European schools I and II in Luxembourg and Mamer.

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.

International baccalaureate

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 13 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:

European baccalaureate

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:


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.

Who to contact

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