School is not an education

"School's out for summer, school's out forever!"

It's finally here, this long-awaited moment: the final exam has been passed! In the trash with all the notebooks, copies and sheets of paper that have accumulated over the years! Now is the time to party - no more school! But when is it actually time?

How long do you have to attend school in total?

In most countries, children and adolescents must as a rule from the age of 6 at least 12 years to go to school. In most countries, adults who are in vocational training may also be required to attend school. The times when there was a uniform age limit for the end of compulsory schooling are over.

Today there are different regulations in each federal state about when compulsory schooling ends or when a pupil can be prematurely released from compulsory schooling upon application by the school authorities. Some federal states (Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt) have a uniform compulsory education with a duration of 12 years (in Hamburg it is 11 years). During this time, students must have a Full time school visit. After 9 years (10 years in Bremen), compulsory schooling can also be achieved by attending part-time school (Professional school) to be met.

Full-time compulsory education

Your compulsory stay, i.e. the full-time compulsory attendance at school, is based on a nationwide guideline 9, at most 10 years. Normally this is 4 (in Berlin and Brandenburg 6) years at the primary school and 4 to 6 years at the secondary school (e.g. Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium or comprehensive school).

In other words: in most countries you are exclusively occupied with your school education for 9 years. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin, Brandenburg and Bremen it is even 10. In the other federal states, the 10th grade of the secondary and special school can usually be attended voluntarily. The length of compulsory full-time education can be shortened in some countries if the student has skipped one or more school years.

Compulsory vocational school

Anyone who thinks that after the end of compulsory full-time schooling is over has unfortunately rejoiced too early. Because the state decreed buffalo season has not yet ended. Because now you are still part time or compulsory vocational school. This means that young people who no longer go to full-time school after 9 (or 10 in some federal states) school years have to attend vocational school. Compulsory vocational school usually lasts 3 years. At least until the end of your apprenticeship, you will attend a vocational school in addition to your training in your company.

Can compulsory vocational schooling be fulfilled in other ways?

Of course, not everyone has to attend a vocational school. Depending on which training path you choose for yourself, you can also fulfill the basic compulsory vocational schooling in various other ways:

  1. You can attend a general education (e.g. high school) or full-time vocational school or university. However, if you start vocational training afterwards, compulsory vocational schooling is usually revived.
  2. If you are doing an apprenticeship for a job in the public service, this also fulfills your compulsory vocational school.

Can compulsory vocational schooling be suspended?

The compulsory vocational school is suspended

  • during military or community service,
  • while completing a voluntary social year under certain conditions,
  • during certain times before or after giving birth.

Leave of absence

Apprentices can only be given leave of absence from school for an important reason. The argument that they are urgently needed in the training company can only justify a leave of absence in exceptional cases. If possible, company holidays should be during the school holidays. In other cases, an exemption must be requested from the school.

Which vocational school is responsible for you?

Usually, the vocational school in your field of study at your place of employment is responsible. If you are doing an apprenticeship for a so-called scattered and fragmented occupation, you may have to take part in block lessons in central vocational schools. As a rule, however, you then have to ensure that you are reimbursed for the additional costs for your necessary external accommodation, etc.

Didn't find a training position and still go to school?

That is bitter: No vocational training, no preparatory course, no employment relationship? Do you visit too no full-time school, you have to complete a so-called vocational preparation year in most federal states. This is a one-year full-time school year at the vocational school. Otherwise, in most countries, compulsory vocational schooling for young people without an apprenticeship place ends at the latest in the school year in which the pupil turns 18.

By the way: young people in juvenile detention centers also usually have to attend vocational school.

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