This country profile is part of a collective effort by the network members to map matching practices across Europe. If you find it useful and want to refer to it in your own work, please refer to it as “Cantillon, Estelle (2011), Matching Practices for Elementary Schools – Belgium (French Speaking Region), MiP Country Profile 1.”
Relevant country background
Education policies in Belgium are organized at the (language) community level. There are three language communities in Belgium: Dutch (Flemish Community), French and German. The Flemish Community and the French-speaking Community share responsibility for the delivery of education in the bilingual Brussels Capital Region and thus the two education systems overlap in Brussels (in addition to the European school system).
School education is compulsory and free from age 6 to age 18. Schools are all publically funded (as long as they respect the curriculum of one of the communities) and are not allowed to charge registration fees. Elementary school covers age 6 to 12. Secondary school covers age from 12 to 18. Preschool for children aged 2.5 and above is also offered and publically funded, but it is not compulsory.