Education in Belgium

Education in Belgium is regulated and for the most part financed by one of the three communities: Flemish, French and German-speaking. Each community has its own school system, with small differences among them. The federal government plays a very small role: it decides directly the age for mandatory schooling and indirectly the financing of the communities.

The schools can be divided in three groups (Dutch: netten; French: réseaux):

Schools owned by the communities (GO! Onderwijs van de Vlaamse gemeenschap; réseau de la Communauté française)
Subsidized public schools (officieel gesubsidieerd onderwijs; réseau officiel subventionné), organized by provinces and municipalities
Subsidized free schools (vrij gesubsidieerd onderwijs; réseau libre subventionné), mainly organized by an organization affiliated to the Catholic church

The latter is the largest group, both in number of schools and in number of pupils.

Education in Belgium is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 18 or until one graduates from secondary school.

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