WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR CHILD TO ATTEND A CZECH PRIMARY SCHOOL?
What are the Basic Rights and Obligations?
Having an Access to Education - Equal Opportunities
- The children of foreigners have the same rights in what relates to the access to primary schools as the children of Czech citizens. Children of foreigners have the right for unpaid education, for access to school canteen and after-school activities.
- All children are accepted to primary school no matter what country they come from, no matter what their current status is or if they are staying illegally.
Compulsory School Attendance in the Czech Republic
- In the Czech Republic, children start school at the age of six. The minimum compulsory attendance is 9 years. The child has to complete before age of 17.
- Compulsory attendance also applies to all children of foreigners that reside in Czech Republic longer than 90 days.
- In case the parents do not enrol their child to Czech school, they are breaking Czech law. Such issues are dealt with by Child Protection Authority (OSPOD) as an offence, or in certain cases as a criminal act.
How to Select a Primary School?
- In the Czech Republic there are public primary schools (the school authority is the village, town, particular area of the city or a district authority). These schools enable the children to study free of charge.
- In the Czech Republic there also are private primary schools or church primary schools where school fees are paid by parents.
- Some primary schools could have a specific focus (language, sports, mathematical etc.) and could have stricter criteria for accepting the children.
- The primary school is divided into first grade (1. stupeň) - 1st to 5th class and second grade (2. stupeň) - 6th to 9th class. The second grade of primary school could also be studied on the secondary school at a so called “víceleté gymnázium” (leasting 8 or 6 years) or at the art school.
Catchment Area for Primary School spádová škola
- This term concerns the school which the child should attend according to the address where the child lives (your local authority will provide you with a concrete division of schools according to the areas of residence).
- The director of the primary school shall enable the children from their catchment area to be admitted first.
Enrolling to a School of Your Choice
- The parents are entitled to choose other than feeder primary school for their children. They can decide depending on the distance to school from their home or workplace, according to the focus of the school, reputation or quality or according to the possibility of having Czech language classes directly at the given primary school.
- Other than feeder primary school could refuse the child only if the capacity of that school is full. With school of special focus, the children have to fulfil given criteria or undergo an entrance exam.
Admission to a Primary School (zápis)
What does an Admission of a Child to the First Class Primary School Look Like?
- The admission to primary schools usually takes place in April. All children aged 6 prior to August 31 of the given year are obliged to undergo an admission procedure. Admission terms and conditions alongside with the dates when they take place could be found on the school website or municipal websites of towns or particular city areas.
- The parent and child should show up at particular primary school on the day and time of the admission. On the spot the parent fills up appropriate forms, the teachers from that school will have an interview with the child and the parent which often comprises of simple tasks for children to answer.
- The aim of the interview is to find out whether the child is ready for primary school attendance (communication, socializing, graphomotoric development). The decision whether the child was not accepted to school will be sent to parents within 30 days from the interview. Admitted pupils are listed on the school´s website or on a notice board at school door under the registration number.
- In case the child is not ready for school attendance, the parent will ask for the postponement of school attendance odklad školní docházky using a form provided by school. The deadline for these applications is May 31.
- The postponement of school attendance has to be reviewed and supported by Pedagogical-Psychological Counseling Centre + special doctor or clinical psychologist.
- Starting with school could be postponed up to the age of eight. The child whose school attendance is being postponed is still registered at the primary school, where it enrolled.
- A child with a postponement of school attendance can attend a preparatory class přípravná třída. The school principal decides on the child´s placement at the request of the child´s legal representative and on the basis of a written recommendation from the school counselling facility. The preparatory class should help the children to balance their development, it is preparation for school attendance. The preparatory class is usually set up by the municipality or regional authority in a primary school. Children can attend the elementary school group. A year spent in a preparatory class is not included in compulsory schooling.
What does an Admission of an Older Child Look Like and How to Enrol During the Course of the School Year?
- The parents can apply for an admission of their child to school also throughout the school year.
- We recommend you to apply in writing; you fill out an application form and enrolment form (přihláška k základnímu vzdělání a zápisní list). Prior to this you should meet the director of the school concerned. Based on the submitting of the written application, the school shall provide the parents with a written decision on accepting or not accepting the child. In case your child is rejected, you could make an appeal to the authority running the school that will judge whether the decision of the school was appropriate, they will check the capacity of school and will help you with placement of your child in other school.
- Little or zero knowledge of Czech language cannot be the reason for rejecting a child!
What Documents Will the School Require for Admission of a Child?
- Child´s ID (birth certificate or passport). This is necessary for identification of the child; the school has no right to check on the legality of the stay, validity of passport or type or validity of the visa. Even if the children have no ID, they are entitled to get the primary education in the Czech Republic.
- ID of the parent (passport or identity card). The school needs to identify legal representative of the child, but has no right to check on the legality of the stay, validity of passport or type or validity of the visa.
- Proof of the child´s address (for example lease agreement). The school finds out from the document whether it is a feeder one.
- School reports vysvědčení or other documents from the previous school in case the child had previously attended another school abroad.
- Child´s health insurance card kartička zdravotního pojištění. The school asks for it, but if the child has no health insurance card it should not be an obstacle for accepting the child to school.
What Follows When Your Child is Accepted to School?
- With children enrolling to other than first class of the primary school, the school evaluates the previous school attendance by checking the school reports or the knowledge of the child. The child is then placed to a class, ideally according to an age; maximum lowest placement is one year lower class than the relevant expected level.
- The child learns with other children in one class and proceeds to subsequent school years.
- If the child is not native Czech speaker, he/she is entitled to receive 1st to 3rd level support measures (podpůrná opatření). The measure is chosen according to the level of knowledge of Czech. For measures of the 2nd to 3rd degree an assessment from the Pedagogical-Psychological Counseling Centre is necessary. Support measures are, for example, more time to complete the task is given, provision of a dictionary, specific textbooks and didactic means, adjustment of assessment, extra Czech lessons, assigning a teacher´s assistant.
- Communicate the information on your child to school, tell them what subjects your child is good at, what your child likes, if there was anything that your child excelled at (science, sport, art and other abilities or talents).
- The school shall inform the parents on all important changes concerning the school attendance of their child; the changes are subject to parent´s approval (for example examination in Pedagogical-Psychological Counseling Centre, transfer to another school etc.).
This leaflet is available in a PDF format here.
Financováno z prostředků Evropského sociálního fondu v rámci Operačního programu Zaměstnanost - projekt Náš společný kraj č. CZ.03.2.60/0.0/0.0/16_064/0006465.