I was wondering if anyone can explain me the school system in Germany. I very recently got my daughter enrolled at a local school and got then got her health check up done at the public health department "einschulungsuntersuchung".

Now the doctor over there says my child is not yet ready or maybe she can get ready in 3-4 months, but as of now not yet ready. She will be starting school in August next year (turns 6 then). The doctor says her language skills are not strong enough. The girl only understands English and also at some point she is not able to comprehend what needs to be done.
I told the doctor she has never had any such problems before and also she has been to English school in India and understands English pretty well. I said you can do it again and I can help a bit.
But then the doctor said I am not saying she will not be able to go to school. The girl can if she improves in the next 3-4 months.

But can the school deny admission to my child based on her report?

  • Have a look at this question, which should give you some information since your situation is similar. expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/19641/… Dec 9, 2019 at 15:20
  • I dont think the situation is similar. My daughter is in an international preschool and will turn 6 years and must attend school next summer. The.doctor said if she improves in the next 3 months she might go but I would suggest her staying one year in Kindergarten as she doesnt understand english well...but my point is my daughter understands english really well. Can I be denied admission based on her diagnosis?
    – Anony
    Dec 9, 2019 at 15:33
  • There is a portion about language learning classes. That is what you must ask about in your local area. Dec 9, 2019 at 15:37
  • 1
    Yes. I want my daughter to attend international school and there the knowledge of german is not necessary.
    – Anony
    Dec 9, 2019 at 15:41
  • @Anony How will your daughter be able to function in a foreign county without a working knowledge of the local language? Or do you plan to move away soon? Dec 10, 2019 at 3:06

1 Answer 1


There are 16 school systems, the number of federal states (Bundesland, pl. Bundesländer). Each state has a Department of Education, traditionally called Kultusministerium but subsequently rebranded as Bildungsministerium.

I just went to Lower Saxony’s Department of Education website. Since there is no “switch to English version” button, I entered “English” as a search term. They have a concise guide on their school system (other documents). Possibly other states have similar materials, but probably states having a large influx of migrants.

Summary (for Lower Saxony): There is a mandatory German proficiency assessment. If your daughter fails it, she is sentenced to attend a mandatory German class for one year before going to school. And then she might be asked (but not sentenced) to attend remedial German classes.

The crucial circumstance: The law does not differentiate whether the student will eventually attend a bilingual school or a school that has English as its main instruction language. These are universal requirements. It is called Schulreife (readiness for school).

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