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Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

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Overview Belgium (French Community)

Contents

Belgium-French-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-French-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-French-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-French-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-French-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-French-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-French-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-French-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-French-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-French-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-French-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-French-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-French-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-French-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-French-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-French-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-French-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-French-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-French-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-French-Community:Legislation

Belgium-French-Community:Glossary

Educational facilities

There are various childcare facilities for children under the age of three: these include day nurseries, registered childminders, and municipal childcare centres.

Ordinary education is divided into four levels, which correspond to age groups. Two of these levels form pre-secondary education:

  • Pre-primary education (also known as nursery school) for children aged two-and-a-half to six.
  • Primary education for children aged six to twelve.

Secondary education is for young people aged twelve to eighteen and over:

  • Full-time secondary education is organised in two-year stages. The first is called the observation stage, the second the orientation stage and the third the determination stage. Some institutions provide ‘traditional’ secondary education, which consists of six years split into two three-year cycles.
  • Secondary dual vocational education and training is also organised for young people aged 15/16 and older; the small and mid-sized businesses also organise dual vocational education and training.

Higher education, with different courses of varying duration, is provided for young people aged eighteen to twenty-five and over. It is subdivided into university and non-university education. There is long-type and short-type non-university education. The long type is of university level.

In addition to full-time ordinary education, there are also:

  • Specialised education, for disabled people aged three to twenty-one or older, organised at the pre-primary, primary, and secondary education levels;
  • Part-time arts education, known as ‘socio-cultural advancement’ education. This form of education is organised at the secondary and higher (short-type) levels;
  • Education for social advancement, designed for young people and adults who have left the school system and wish to acquire new qualifications or update their competencies; or also to obtain a qualification that they did not earn during their schooling. This type of education is organised at the secondary level (including specialised education) and the higher level (short and long). Since the extension of the compulsory education period, it may also target young people aged 15/16, who have satisfied their full-time compulsory education obligation and enter a part-time stream.

Finally, outside the education system, there are courses for adults.

Compulsory education

The law regulates compulsory education. Every underage child must attend school from the school year during which he or she turns 6 until his or her 18th birthday (legal age).

Attendance is full-time until age 15/16 and includes a maximum of seven years of primary education and at least the first two years of full-time secondary education. Only children who did not attend the first two years of secondary education by age 15 are required to remain in full-time education until age 16. If a 15-year-old pupil has completed the second year of full-time secondary education (even without successful completion), then he or she no longer falls under the obligation of compulsory full-time school attendance. In no case is compulsory full-time school attendance extended beyond age 16.

The requirements for part-time compulsory school attendance are met when the teenager attends full-time secondary education or dual vocational education and training or another programme recognised as meeting the compulsory schooling requirements.

A committee examines applications for compliance of training programmes with the compulsory schooling requirements. The programme must include at least 360 hours per year if it is attended before the end of the school year in which the minor subject to compulsory education reaches age 16; and at least 240 hours per year if it is taken between 1 July of the year in which the minor subject to compulsory education reaches age 16 and the end of the school year in which he or she reaches age 18. The programme must be educational and prepare the student to engage in an occupation. The list of recognised training programmes is published in the Belgian Official Gazette: they are mainly the apprenticeship schemes organised by independent professions and the programmes taught in dual vocational education and training centres or CEFAs.

Attendance of pre-primary education is not compulsory, but pupils who attend nursery school during the first year of their compulsory education are required to attend on a regular basis.

Minors subject to the compulsory education obligation who are not enrolled either in a school institution organised or subsidised by the French Community or recognised as dispensing education satisfying the compulsory education obligation fall into the category of home schooling. This is subject to inspection of the level of studies performed by the General Service of Inspection (on the basis of the sets of standards defined by the Missions Decree, 24 July 1997), of the pursuit of the objectives assigned for compulsory education by the aforementioned decree, and of the use of fundamental texts. Minors classified as receiving home schooling must be enrolled for various tests according to their age (the common external test held with a view to obtaining the primary education certificate, and the examinations held with a view to obtaining orientation certificates assessing the first stage).Should the minor fail these tests, he must be enrolled in an education institution.